Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Environment'


The Broadening Scope of Human Rights

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America

hands by Michel de Nijs, 2006The University of Washington's Center for Human Rights recently hosted its annual celebration marking Amnesty International's (AI) 50th anniversary, and recognizing around two dozen organizations including the Krista Foundation. AI believes combating human rights abuses and nurturing a world where justice is rooted in the sustained efforts of ordinary citizens, from letter writing campaigns to advocating at the policy level.

The keynote speaker was AI's Director, Larry Cox, who began by highlighting the power of civil society. In December, when Larry met with top national leaders in DC, he was told that regime change in Egypt in its current state was ‘impossible.' Culturally appropriate behind the scenes pressure was not working and civil society was too weak. Yet two months later, the efforts of Egyptians, (and the sustained efforts of human rights advocates) made radical revolution possible. Larry shared this story as an inspiration and reminder that we all play a role in bringing about change and advocating for the basic needs of our local or global neighbors. Our success in overcoming the most entrenched challenges our globe faces does not rest solely on the leader, but rather on each and every person involved.

The Human Rights Symposium also showcased work closer to home. The panel that followed Larry Cox included: Pramila Jayapal, founder and E.D. of OneAmerica, James Bible, President of the NAACP-Seattle/King County, and Magdaleno Rose-Avila, an author/artist/activist who is the outgoing E.D. of the Social Justice Fund. These speakers addressed a wide variety of issues, from the institutional discrimination and profiling in the US of people of Middle Eastern descent following 9/11, to incarceration rates and the industry of prisons in the US (the country with the most people per capita locked up). They agreed that there is much work to be done within our national borders.

Amnesty International has been working to broaden the view of what qualifies as human rights, sharing that systemic oppression takes place in social, economic, and cultural areas. Human rights are often associated with high profile international abuses, political prisoners or torture cases in foreign nations. However, Larry advocates that basic human rights abuses occur within the US and abroad in areas such as the right to free and fair elections, employment, legal representation. There is often an unjust distribution of and access to wealth, power and legal rights which perpetuates poverty and disproportionately impacts marginalized segments of a population.

At the Krista Foundation, we hear many Colleagues who would resonate with this broader definition of human rights. Whether working in urban education, in law, or with people caught in human trafficking, whether at home or abroad, whether during formal service or service as a way of life—Colleagues are advocates for human rights alongside the people they serve and learn from. As they integrate service as way of life, Colleagues become engaged civic leaders in local communities and at all levels/sectors of society.


Excitement Builds for 2011 Conference & Guest Day

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Faith/Theological Exploration, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Intercultural Development, Post-Service Term Reflections, Preparing To Serve

windswept tree by 06 Colleague Megan HurleyExcitement is building for the KF's Annual Memorial Weekend Conference! This conference brings together Krista Colleagues, spouses, and invited guests.

Guest Day (Sunday) is open to the public who want to celebrate or learn more about our mentoring community-including mentors, parents, and other friends of the Foundation. Register if you'd like to come!


A Beautiful Struggle: Recognizing Hope, Embracing Tension, Living Grace

Troubles produce endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. -Romans 5:3

Keynote Speaker: Ron Ruthruff has worked for the past 26 years with homeless and street-involved youth and families as Director of Ministry and Program Development for New Horizons Ministries. He and his wife, Linda recently opened a nonprofit Seattle café that provides job training and employment for young adults working to exit street life. Ron serves as adjunct faculty at Bakke Graduate School and guest lectures at a variety of seminaries and colleges.

Memorial Day Weekend, May 27th - 30th 2011
(Lodge open on Friday evening, the 27th)
Clearwater Lodge, outside of Spokane, Washington
Krista Colleagues, spouses and children are welcome!

GUEST DAY is Sunday, May 29th. Come for Brunch, the Keynote & Krista Colleague Commissioning. Guests are welcome to sit in on afternoon workshops and share a festive dinner.

A special 10th anniversary welcome back to our Krista Colleague Class of 2001!

Come and reconnect with old friends, make new friends, be encouraged and encourage others as we continue to learn what it means to be a "Global Citizen"!

To register click


Colleague Finds Joy & Vitality in the Fields

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Community, Environment

Cure Organic Farm Produce- Ingrid"It's like every carrot is an educational tool, every tomato is a shared excitement. Everyone gets hopeful in the spring for the peas to come up... I love sharing that feeling with people." Says Krista Colleague Ingrid Hannan ('09), who is on a mission is to "revive and cultivate a sense of intimately knowing what we're eating." She credits Krista Foundation ideas with influencing her approach to her work: "Staying for Tea" has become ingrained in how I see service, how I approach a conversation with a community member, how I think about the goals and mission of growing vegetables. The way I see it, there are major problems with food production and distribution in the world. And I am more empowered thinking about fixing it—as Aaron says in the article—'at eye level.' Instead of coming into the scene with all these grandiose solutions and changes, I feel like a member of the community working for and with everyone." Whether growing vegetables, selling at farmers' markets, or building relationships with community members Ingrid brings valuable insights to her daily work.

Last season, Ingrid spent long and busy days working for Cure Organic Farm, a business-minded production farm that sells to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, farmers' markets, and restaurants. This season, Ingrid works for Lykins Gulch Community Garden, whose primary function is not production, but rather creating a beautiful space with very well-tended and healthy vegetables. She has found excitement adapting to working close to nature: "The exciting thing about having a job to grow vegetables is that every day is different. There are so many factors out of your control, so most of the job is about working with and alongside nature. It's incredibly surprising how important things like rainy days and temperature become."

Providing vegetables to people and talking with them about them is a joy for Ingrid, yet an even deeper joy is in reconnecting the local community with where their food comes from. "I am becoming increasingly passionate about steering our food choices away from impersonal, unhealthy, corporate-minded food and towards the community-minded, natural and healthy beautiful food." Her conviction is evident as she says, "Support farmer's markets! Eat local! Eat seasonally! And best of all, grow your own."

Meanwhile, living on the farm and close to the land has taught her valuable life lessons. "I've learned so much about balancing work and rest; about how to integrate myself into a role of serving the community; about what good growing practices are, and..." she laughs, "about how to cook kale when there is a mountain of it growing!"

She appreciates her connection to the Krista Foundation: "Every KF event is a really cool moment in which I feel beyond supported, it's where I know other Colleagues feel the excitement and importance of social food equality...and promoting good health for all."

Even without a clear sense of the future, Ingrid is committed to integrate her service to the earth "as a way of life." "Guaranteed-everywhere I go I will poke my nose into the local agricultural community; now that I am tapped into one, I feel it's vitality and joy. And I never really want to leave that again."

Ingrid's gardening blog is a must read:

See a few photos on Ingrid's KF page.


Earth Month Opportunities

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Environment, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Spring Into Bed | Seattle | May 14 produce from Ingrid's farm

Allie May, 08 Colleague and former EarthCorps volunteer and supervisor, recently wrote to the KF: "Since January I've had the pleasure of working with the Just Garden Project to design some graphics in preparation for their upcoming event, Spring Into Bed. The Just Garden Project (JGP) is a grassroots organization dedicated 'to building a just food system and a culture of gardening for all people.' On May 14 you can join in the building and celebrating of 30 gardens alongside low income families and communities across Seattle! The woman who started JGP is an AmeriCorps Alum, and extremely passionate about social and food will surely be touched by the excitement, gratitude and love behind every garden built!" -Allie email her to join this project.

Yank Ivy! | Seattle | April 23

Lydia Imhoff first volunteered with EarthCorps throughout 2009, and became a supervisor in 2010. Now, in her spare time, she continues to support their restoration projects. She writes "Come on out to Golden Gardens for Earth Day to beautify the park and connect with your neighbors. We will be pulling invasive English Ivy, learning about local habitats and working alongside about 100 volunteers from all over Seattle. You'll be glad you did!" EarthCorps involves local and international service volunteers in environmental restoration. "Contact and tell them Lydia sent you!"

Music and Booths! | Spokane |April 23

Audra Krislock and her mother Evita are involved with the Faith and Environment Network in Spokane. Audra writes, "On Saturday April 23rd we have an Earth Day Event in downtown Spokane. Lots of great organizations come—there is live music and tons of great information. In the past I have volunteered with the Faith and Environment Network booth and plan to help out again this year." Check it out at:

Compost Fair! | Spokane | April 30

Audra also mentions, "Right now I am taking the class to become a Master Composter. At the end of the month we are hosting compost fair. It is April 30th from 10-3pm at Finch Arboretum. I will be there helping run the event. "Let me know if you need more information or have other questions." email Audra

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Nominate a New Krista Colleague!

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Faith/Theological Exploration, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Intercultural Development, Preparing To Serve

Conference Dialogue: Teresa, Tami, NathanThe Krista Colleague Cohort Program is the heart of the Foundation. Nominated by professors, pastors, and other community leaders, 15 "Krista Colleagues" are selected each year. These young adults are committed to a sustained period of voluntary or vocational service of at least 9 months and motivated to serve by their Christian faith.

Often applicants are college seniors applying to do service after graduation with a variety of service organizations. After formal service and debriefing, Colleagues take an active role in mentoring newer Colleagues.

Older Colleagues consistently express appreciation for the formal trainings and conferences to prepare for and integrate service, but also for the friendships they form with Colleagues and older mentors through the Foundation network.

Acceptance as a Colleague includes a $1,000 Service & Leadership Grant to be used at the intersection of vocational interests and commitment to serve.

Nominations are due by March 20th, so nominate today!

Click here for nomination criteria or nomination forms!

Questions? Please contact Program Director, Stacy Kitahata

Please LIKE, POST, and SHARE this link with any potential nominators.

-The Krista Foundation



The Krista Foundation | Service In The News, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Arts & Culture, Community, Education, Global Citizenship, Intercultural Development

serve well blogNo. Seriously. Greetings!

Have you noticed the world is full of thousands of spoken and unspoken ways to meet, greet, or just acknowledge someone?
In intercultural service assignments, whether in U.S. neighborhoods or international settings, we adapt to local ways of meeting somebody, entering a room, or just passing a stranger.

Watch this video prepared by 09 Colleague Brandon Adams, and be sure to post your short paragraph response below:


Here's some quick food for thought from Sean Rawson, a volunteer with Jesuit Volunteers International:

"Nicaraguans almost always greet everyone in a room upon entering, either individually or collectively as a group. This usually means a handshake or a cheek kiss for old friends or new acquaintances alike. Even if somebody enters a conversation or a meeting, he or she generally interjects at least a "Buenas tardes" to those present. To my North American-educated mind, this initially came off as extremely rude; I'd be having a conversation or even presenting some point in a workshop, and someone would walk in late with a public "Buenas!" distracting me and the rest of the group from whatever was being discussed. As time went on during my first few months here, I began to realize that this wasn't just a group of inconsiderate youth, but in fact a great example of the beauty of cultural diversity.

Anyhow, I've been working on learning from my Nicaraguan co-workers, friends and acquaintances to recognize that human relationships are worth taking a few seconds out of a busy schedule to make someone feel recognized."

How about you? Share a custom or a story about the greetings you've learned or observed in service.

(Comments may not post immediately, as they'll go through a moderator to prevent spam.)




A Different Kind of Ecologist

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Environment, Global Citizenship

Alicia Ward - Krista ColleagueAlicia, a 2006 graduate of Seattle University, served as a coordinator with the Osa Sea Turtle Conservation Program. She instructed volunteers from all over the world, speaking to tourists, working with the local population, and going out on all-night beach patrols to observe the sea turtles laying eggs and monitor nests. The work with turtles addresses the plight of an endangered animal and connects with larger ecological issues of environmental degradation and the effects of human presence. Alicia not only found hope in the baby turtles, but also in the groups of volunteers from all over the world. Despite different languages and national and political persuasions, groups bonded over the hard work, listened to one another, and found that they have much in common.

With her KF Grant, Alicia attended the International Sea Turtle Symposium in February 2007. The symposium experience, along with completing a spotted-owl survey for the National Parks Service at Mount Rainier, preceded and strengthened her application to the Peace Corps Master's International Program. In the fall of 2008, Alicia began her master's studies, specializing in International Conservation and Development, with a focus on wildlife.

Click here to read more about Alicia.