Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Housing Opportunities Made Equal 42nd Annual Meeting

Through our involvement in Public Allies, RAPP is establishing a growing relationship with an amazing, long-standing organization in Cincinnati: Housing Opportunities Made Equal.

HOME's mission is that it "exists to eliminate illegal discrimination in housing, especially racial discrimination, and to promote balanced living patterns."

HOME accomplishes this by providing a wide variety of needed services to our community.  They include educational outreach so that consumers and landlords understand the law, helping people access housing, providing mediation, and preventing homelessness.  Through its many decades of work, HOME also has a great knowledge of the history of housing and housing discrimination in Greater Cincinnati and great understanding of how that contributes to current issues in housing discrimination.

Thursday, September 23rd, HOME will host its 42nd Annual Meeting in the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Keynote speaker will be UC's own President Gregory Williams.  The ticket to the event includes discounted ticket price to the exhibit "America I AM, The African-American Imprint."  Tickets are $50/person; a table for 10 can be sponsored for $500.  RSVPs are needed by September 17th.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Final Days for Peer Leader Applications!

As mentioned earlier this month, we're taking applications for Peer Leaders with RAPP XXVI.

Peer Leaders are an amazing group of students who complete a second year with RAPP serving as a mentor for the current group. The only qualifications are to have successfully completed a RAPP year and to still be a UC student.

Peer Leaders set their own agenda in terms of what they want to get out of the role. Some areas folks have worked on in the past include developing facilitation skills, understanding group dynamics, working on listening skills, continuing work on crosscultural communication skills, session/program planning, and relationship building. Also, Peer Leaders tend to have a lot of fun!

Peer Leaders commit to attending training in mid-September and attend/help at most of the meetings and retreats for the RAPP group with which they work (at least 3/4 of meetings and 2/3 of retreats). Peer Leaders also meet at least on time per quarter with the program coordinator to check in on how they think things are going and what can be done to make their experience more valuable for them.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Leader, time's running out to apply! Contact Rebecca at 513.556.6119 or lehmanrl@uc.edu by the end of the day this Wednesday, September 1st!
(pic - RAPP XXV Wednesday Peer Leaders at the year-end banquet, Kimmins is presenting DeVorah to the group)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blast from the Past: RAPP on the News

In 1990 - back when RAPP's full name did involve two p-words ("Pilot Project") - CBS Evening News explored issues of racism in higher education. Below is the segment, which used the University of Cincinnati as its source for exploring the subject. Of course, RAPP was highlighted in the segment!

It's great to see so many people important to RAPP's past - of course, Mrs. Linda Bates "Ma" Parker. Also, Dr. Eric Abercrumbie who is still a professor and the director of both Ethnic Programs & Services and the African American Cultural & Resource Center.

Hopefully, we'll see some of these faces at the 25 Year Reunion on Saturday, May 14th, 2011!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

UC News Roundup

Here are three recent news stories about life at UC:
  • Our incoming students gave back to the UC community in a big way through the Orientation school supply drive. In a demonstration of the Just Community values, literally thousands of supplies were gathered for students at Taft Elementary and Hughes Center. Read about it and watch a video HERE.
  • The latest results in the Student Satisfaction Inventory demonstrates UC has made some gains in student services and student life. Basically, students are saying they're satisfied - and in many areas, more satisfied than the average - with many aspects of UC. Read the UC News coverage HERE.
  • Vicki Calonge - the Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development who supervises the RAPP Program Coordinator - was recently on WVXU's Impact Cincinnati program discussing the role of student organizations - particularly Greek organizations - on campus. You can listen to the show HERE.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And Now, One for RAPPORT

It's been a minute since I made one of these, so I made some time today to make a little video for RAPPORT:

Spread the Word Tip #5: Come to the Table

It's been a minute since the last Spread the Word Tip, so let's do a quick review:
#1 - Wear you RAPP t-shirt, it's a great conversation piece.
#2 - Help folks avoid common misconceptions about RAPP - let them know it's open to EVERY UC student and that we talk about race AND other topics.
#3 - Remember that "word of mouth" really also includes "word of fingers-and-keyboard" - our on-line presence is important.
#4 - You can win stuff for helping spread the word! Woot!

Now, on to #5 - Come to the Table.
RAPP does information tables at events three out of the four quarters of the year. In spring, we're out at WorldFest and the Student Activities Fair. All summer long we're out three days a week at Student Spotlight in incoming new student orientation.

We're approaching fall, which will involve many opportunities to stop by, bring friends to, or help out at RAPP informational tables. We'll be out a LOT this fall, keep your eyes on this blog and - if you're on the RAPP & RAPPORT listservs - on your email.

Brice, one of our recruitment leaders, will be working with me to organize volunteers to staff the tables. Help spread the word about RAPP by volunteering at one or more event. This isn't a complete list, and most don't have dates yet, but we'll hopefully be at the following events (links are to last year's event coverage):
Hope to see you at these tables - either behind it staffing it or in front stopping by to say hi!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mark Your Calendars Now: Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Human Rights Campaign and Crossport are collaborating to host a Cincinnati event for the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November.

The event will be held at Hebrew Union College the evening of Thursday, November 18th. It will feature readings, music, information, and keynote speaker Cincinnati Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls.

Watch here for more details as they emerge.

Friday, August 13, 2010

RAPP at Art Academy of Cincinnati Convocation

The Art Academy of Cincinnati is a well known, well respected, and long-standing institution of higher education in the arts. I recently learned that the Art Academy's history and UC's history are intertwined - it started out as the McMicken School of Design at UC in 1869.

AAC and UC are coming together again for their 2010 convocation!

RAPP will be presenting at convocation on the morning of Wednesday, September 1st. We'll be engaging students, faculty, and staff in discussion of how we can create an inclusive environment.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Women's Fund Open House

From Barb Rinto at the UC Women's Center:

Dear Colleague: I am on the Board of The Women's Fund at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. We are hosting an open house to education other about TWF and our efforts via 1000 Women Strong. I hope you will consider attending. Please invite other who you think would be interested.

For more information now, please go to our website.

Join the Women's Fund and other strong women!

Are you interested in improving the lives of women and girls in our community?

Are you passionate about women's issues and want to meet other women who share your passion?

Do you want to be a part of a community of women discussing the issues and making real change?

If so, join us!

Date: Tuesday, September 14th
Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
Location: Abstract Displays
6465 Creek Road
Cincinnati OH 45242

To RSVP, please contact Tara Block at blockt@gcfdn.org or call at 513.768.6135.

Please RSVP by September 10th!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Join the Social Justice League!

Here it is! The way to join the Social Justice League!

This new initiative has been developed for many reasons. First, we hope it provides motivation for RAPP graduates to stay connected and thus reinvigorates the RAPPORT program. Second, we hope it provides a tangible benefit and sense of progress to the many RAPP graduates who do stay connected with the program. Third, we hope it provides a sense of structure and direction that many RAPPORT participants state they miss from the RAPP experience.

Those who pursue the certificate can expect the following outcomes from their experience:

  • Develop knowledge and skills related to peer education and facilitation
  • Continue exploration of social justice issues within the context of experiential learning
  • Frame their RAPP experience in the broader concept of social justice education
  • Explore and critically analyze core concepts of social justice education

Along with the intrinsic benefit of the above knowledge, skills, and experiences, those who complete the program will be given a certificate and can cite their certified status on their resume or CV.

In order to enroll in the certificate program, you must have successfully completed a RAPP year. You also must be a currently enrolled UC student.

Students seeking the RAPP Certified Social Justice Peer Educator have two tracks they can choose between in order to complete the cerficate:

Peer Leader Option: To obtain the certificate, in one year the student must:

  • Fulfill the commitment of a RAPPORT Peer Leader year
  • Participate in the Facilitator & Peer Leader Pre-Service Training
  • Attend at least three RAPPORT facilitation workshops*
  • Lead at least three activities in RAPP sessions throughout the school year
  • Participate in a quarterly one-on-one meeting with the RAPP Program Coordinator

RAPPORT Only Option: To obtain the certificate, in one year the student must:

  • Attend six RAPPORT Meetings (RAPPORT Retreat equals two meetings)
  • Attend five RAPPORT facilitation workshops*
  • Co-plan and co-facilitate at least one outreach workshop OR two RAPPORT sessions OR develop and implement a passive outreach program
  • Participate in at least one promotional activity for RAPP OR conduct at least three RAPP interviews
  • Participate in a quarterly one-on-one meeting with the RAPP Program Coordinator

To get on the path to becoming a RAPP Certified Social Justice Peer Educator, contact Rebecca Lehman at lehmanrl@uc.edu or 513.556.6119 with the following info: Your name, your current phone number, your RAPP year, and your current email address. If you know when you're applying, also state whether you'd like to pursue the Peer Leader Option or the RAPPORT Only Option.

We are currently considering whether to make the RAPPORT Only Option for the certificate open to UC students who have not completed RAPP. If you are interested in the RAPPORT Only Option and haven't completed RAPP, please contact Rebecca to explore the possibility of you entering the program.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Peer Leaders - The Search is On!

It's that time of year! It's time for us to reach out to RAPPers in search of the amazing few that will commit to a second year with RAPP serving as a mentor to current members!

In the last few years, Peer Leaders have included such amazing folks as Tad M, Krystal S, DeVorah Y, Kimmins S, Nancy P, Kinsey B, Deanna H, Maika A, Chantal I, and Mia S.

They largely get to identify what they'd like to get out of the process and what they'd like to do in the year, so some Peer Leaders work on developing facilitation skills and others focus on building outside relationships, and others focus on supporting others through challenging points and more.

Peer Leaders commit to attending training in mid-September and attend/help at most of the meetings and retreats for the RAPP group with which they work (at least 3/4 of meetings and 2/3 of retreats). Peer Leaders also meet at least on time per quarter with the program coordinator to check in on how they think things are going and what can be done to make their experience more valuable for them.

If you're a RAPPer who'd like to learn more about becoming a Peer Leader, contact Rebecca at lehmanrl@uc.edu or 513.556.6119. Selections for Peer Leaders will be made the first week of September – so to be considered for this leadership position, you’ll need to let us know about your interest by Wednesday, August 31st.

(pic - Krystal and Tad, PLs for the Tuesday group of RAPP XXV)

RAPP XXVI Facilitation Team!

It's official! We now know the facilitation team for the 2010-2011 schoolyear:

Kinsey Brown
Kinsey will be working with RAPP as our Public Ally apprentice. She was an outstanding Public Ally finalist overall, and her history with RAPP didn't hurt!
Kinsey is a member of RAPP XXIII and was awarded the Terence L Jones Diversity Award for her commitment during that year. She served as a Peer Leader with the Sunday group of RAPP XXIV and was well respected by the group for her breadth of knowledge, great listening skills, and ability to challenge others supportively.

Kimmins Southard
Kimmins will be working with RAPP as an intern through the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies undergraduate program, with which they are seeking a minor. They are in their last year of studying for a bachelor of social work degree. They are also a Peer Educator at the UC Wellness Center and an active leader in GenderBloc.
Kimmins is a member of RAPP XXIII. They have been very active in RAPPORT since then - both as a RAPPORT member and as a Peer Leader with the Wednesday group of RAPP XXV. Kimmins was well respected by the group for their leadership, their ability to connect others with activities and leadership opportunities, and their ability to genuinely listen to others.

RAPP XXVI is bound to have a great year ahead! This team brings much knowledge and experience - and we're all looking forward to building a strong Peer Leader team this year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

RAPPer in the Spotlight for SOL Work

I'm a little slow on the uptake on this one! Still, I wanted to cross-promote it here.

RAPP XXV graduate Dy'Mand Montgomery is a Student Orientation Leader (SOL) this summer. SOLs work long hours with incoming new students and their parents throughout two-day orientations all summer long. The process of becoming a SOL is very competitive and takes a lot of dedication to complete. Then they go through extensive training on the University - honestly, I think there are very few people out there who know as much about UC as our SOLs do!

UC News highlighted Dy'Mand in their article UC Upperclassmen Play Key Role in Summer Orientation. (the picture at right is copied from this article).

Interviews and Workshops

Despite the expected calm of summer, life's been pretty busy around the RAPP office these days. Here's why:

Inter views!
In the past two weeks, I've been conducting both regular RAPP interviews for spots in RAPP XXVI as well as interviews of nine Public Allies finalists who are seeking a position here with RAPP for the 2010-2011 Public Ally class.

Both kinds of interviews have been great! We should know by early next week (if not sooner) who our Public Ally will be for the year. All of the candidates were great, providing thoughtful responses to an assigned reading as well as insightful reflections on the interview questions. I am confident all of them will be great wherever they end up!

Not actually the leading of them this time, but preparation for them. We'll be doing a workshop with 100 (100!) Leadership Scholars volunteers tomorrow morning. RAPP's just been booked for convocation at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Plus each evening SALD staff and many a RAPPer are hosting the Commuter Session for incoming new student orientation.

Also keeping me busy is preparation for this year's RAPPORT. Let '10-'11 be called The Year of RAPPORT!