Action Fund Past Projects
List of Past Projects
- Gianna Brassil, Human Rights Podcast
At New Tactics, we hold regular conversations on a variety of human rights topics through the medium of online forums. My project aims to expand our online conversations model to a podcast platform. With this new project, we aim to investigate the role of podcasting in human rights work and the unique ways in which compelling audio storytelling change and challenge how we consume human rights related content.
- Jaime Hasama, Putting the Beauty in the Beautiful Game
Soccer is known as the beautiful game since it can be played anywhere with almost no equipment, but why do we only see the same white, middle class demographic in the United States? We work with girls from immigrant families, girls of color, first generation, and low-income situations to prepare them for college soccer recruiting. We guide them through the process while also building a more diverse soccer community through bi-weekly mentoring sessions and weekly soccer games.
- Clara King, Photovoice Narrative Project
This project will work with high school students at Breakthrough Twin Cities. Students will have the opportunity to use photography to identify, represent, and enhance their community through the process of taking photos of their surroundings and discussing the resulting images with their peers. The project will culminate in a final exhibition of student photography.
- Ariana Hones, The West Side Frisbee Team
The aim of this project is to create a youth ultimate frisbee team at Neighborhood House, located on the West Side of St. Paul. There are three goals of this project. The first is to help youth stay active. The second is to build leadership and community through ultimate frisbee. The third goal is help close the college access gap and assist Macalester in reaching out to our local youth. Macalester’s two ultimate teams will do skill workshops with the team as well as serve as mentors in leadership and college accessibility. The Action Fund will help kickstart the ultimate frisbee team by purchasing uniforms, tournament costs, and other programming materials.
- Mara Steinitz, Comparative College Visits with Urban Roots
Urban Roots Youth will visit three different colleges around the Twin Cities for a tour, lunch and an information session. The students will compare options for higher education and decide which works best for them. Local colleges will build and strengthen ties with this local youth development non-profit.
- Rachel Lieberman, An Urban Retreat for New Authors
Rachel Lieberman (Macalester Student and Teacher with Cow Tipping Press) will work with Bryan Boyce (Founder and Director of Cow Tipping Press) to organize a writer’s workshop on Macalester’s campus for adults with developmental disabilities in the larger Twin Cities Community. Rachel will lead the workshop, and Macalester students, staff, and faculty will volunteer as support staff to help facilitate the writing process. Afterward, there will be a lunch discussion for all participants, volunteers, and observers, that is open to the larger Macalester community.
- Michael Curran, Artist Education Workshops, Patrick’s Cabaret
This workshop series is intended to address the wide-ranging financial, artistic, and structural challenges particular to artists of marginalized identities. In four peer-led workshops, artists will select an issue area relevant to them (from personal finance to methods for building safer arts spaces) and teach about how they’ve been able to survive as artists on the edge of culture.
- Katherine Lane and Tasneem Issa, Foldscope: Exploration, Discovery, and Science for Everyone, Foldscope Instruments, Metro College Prep Schools
This project shares The Foldscope (a $1 origami microscope) with educators, scholars, youth, and the Macalester community. The low-cost scientific tool is a starting point to discuss education equality and to expand access to science by providing opportunities for curiosity and exploration.
- Claire Looney, Clothing as a Catalyst for Change: Self-Care and Body Image in a Domestic Violence Shelter, Casa de Esperanza
This project focuses on improving the function of the clothing donation room at the domestic violence emergency shelter, including reorganizing and decorating so that new shelter residents are able to have an experience closer to & “shopping,” emphasizing their worth and the importance of practicing self-care. The changes to the room will culminate with a celebratory gathering and body image workshop for the residents.
- Elena Torry-Schrag and Mia Smith, Breakthrough Community Collaboration, Breakthrough Twin Cities; Youth Farm
60 BTC middle school students will engage in a service learning project with Youth Farm to expand their definition of community and provide them with the opportunity to experience civic engagement.
- Emma Wise and Martin Moore, Decolonizing Public Parkland by Building Bluebird Houses, Saint Paul Natural Resources, Saint Paul Public Housing Agency, Youth CARE, and Elpis Enterprises
To engage the residents of public housing of Saint Paul with nature and natural spaces and parks through a birding hike and building a bluebird nestbox to learn about birds in an urban habitat during a one day workshop, and the installation of the nestboxes in public park space thereafter.
- Nina Escriva Fernandez, Power of Me: The Next Step in the Journey of Young Latin@ Leaders, Casa de Esperanza
Provided Latin@ youth leaders with yoga and self-defense training to complement other summer curriculum.. At summer camp workshops at the end of the project, the students transferred these skills to their peers.
- Ngan “Jasmine” Nguyen, Reaching Out, Supporting, and Empowering Southeast Asian Immigrant/Refugee Families, Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE)
Provide a forum for Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee parents, particularly Hmong and Karen, to be better equipped in supporting their daughters as they transition from high school to college, as well as foster mutual understanding between parents and daughters through digital storytelling.
- Nita Chai, Sophia Wiedmann, and Abby Fleeter, Liters in Learning, Minnesota Internship Center Charter High School (MNIC)
Provide students with durable plastic water bottle, as well as educational information on the benefits to wellbeing from drinking more water daily.
- Yolanda Burckhardt and Juliette Myers, Empowering Women: Developing Strengths and Career Goals, Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE)
Provide an opportunity to participate in the Junior Achievement Job Shadowing Program. Students will receive one-on-one career and leadership training. In the weeks leading up to the job shadowing, Macalester interns will design and lead workshops using StrengthsFinder–building career and networking skills, and self-awareness.
- Elena Torry-Schrag, Breakthrough Twin Cities Bridge Activities
Breakthrough Twin Cities is a six-year, tuition-free program that prepares under-resourced youth for college and inspires the next generation of educators. This fund would facilitate activities between the Breakthrough and Macalester Communities through a college visit and group civic engagement project and create a bridge between the two communities.
- Lazareena Thaveethu, Garden Revitalization Project
This project aims to bring together student youth and community members to spread awareness about Earth Day and the roles they could play, to better serve the community spaces on the East Side of Saint Paul. I will be leading a short seminar and gardening activity on Earth Day, April 22 and on Saturday, April 25.
- Sofia Halperin-Goldstein and Rachel Swanson, Oral Histories and College Access: A Family-Based Collaboration, Casa de Esperanza
Host a group of eight Latina mothers and their families at Macalester to continue their year-long collaboration on an oral history project. In addition to a discussion circle with the adult participants, Macalester students will engage the youth in a college access program involving a campus tour and information session.
- Emma Ensign-Church, Girls Group, West 7th Community Center
Re-implement this group with an official curriculum that promotes self-esteem, develops life skills, and inspires positive motivation in young girls, with a specific focus on college readiness.
- Colleen Cilwick, Hector Santiago Bautista Aniceto, and Peace Madimutsa, Dance it Out, Shine Bright!, Metro Social Services, Inc. (MSSI)
This project uses dance to teach at risk children and youth how to carry on distress free and harmonious lives and thus be able to shine at their brightest levels in school and in the world.
- Brett Hahn, Health Break, Sabathani MNIC
Provide students healthful snacks in accordance with the USDA’s “Smart Snacks” guidelines during school breaks.. Facilitate health discussions and provide the on-site Health Advocate with a better means to reach students and address their health concerns. Health Breaks will encourage students to adopt more healthful lifestyles both in and outside of the school environment in addition to solidifying lasting relationships between the Health Advocate and students.
- Allison Vandenberg-Daves, Create Pollinator Garden, Youth Farm
The project aims to restore pollinator habitat in the Twin Cities, by engaging youth in the creation of a pollinator garden. This will encourage youth leadership, and educate youth farmers, along with the broader community, about pollinator decline and the steps our community can take to reverse it.
- Carolyn Willis and Wynonna Ardiansyah, Sex Health Curriculum at MNIC
Empower students through knowledge of sexual health and reduce the stigma around this important topic amongst the staff and student body.
- Li Guan, Courtney Olson, Sam Burlager, Carrotmob, LEDC & Lake Street
Carrotmobbing: rewarding businesses that commit to environmentally friendly practices through organizing the positive power of consumerism. Letting consumers “vote” with their dollars, and financially supporting businesses lacking capital to participate in sustainability.
- Antonina Storniolo, Miriam Magaña, Campus Visit, MNIC
Bring MNIC students to visit the Macalester campus, enabling the students to learn about the opportunities that the college provides and Macalester will be able to engage in partnership with a community organization, helping strengthen our current connections.
- Prakshi Malik, Acting Out the Economy, WISE
Experiential Learning with Girls Getting Ahead in Leadership at Junior Achievement
Partnered with Women’s Initiative for SelfEmpowerment to give GGAL members an opportunity for experiential learning that focuses on financial literacy, career exploration, and leadership skills.
- Carol Mejia, Elisa Lee, Adan Martinez, Jocelyn Cardona, and Isabel Ruelas, Dare to Dream Conference: Demystifying the College Admissions Process for First-Generation College Students and Families
Partnered with Hmong American Partnership, NAVIGATE, and Common Bond’s Skyline Towers to hold a conference for 50-70 first generation college students and their parents to learn and experience the college process. Included a panel discussion, campus tour, and workshops on Financial Aid and the Admissions process.
- Julia Sillen, Nina Slesinger, and Ilana Master, Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Partnered with Twin Cities Correspondence School and Common Good Books to offer a series of workshops on diverse creative forms, with the end goal of creating mail art and personalized letters.
- Nina Slesinger, Yes And…
Partnered with HUGE Theater to provide improvisational comedy lessons for adolescent girls to teach them the power and value of speaking up.
- Yang Zhang, Health Education with Native American Community in Twin Cities
Partnered with Division of Indian Work to raise awareness of health issues among a Native American community. Hosted a series of health forums and training sessions that addressed community health topics to groups in need.
- Emma Buechs, In the Heart of the Beast/Phillips Project Partnership
Established a partnership between the three community center sites of the existing Phillips Project of the Youth Programs of HOBT. Chaperoned and bussed Phillips Project students to and from public workshops.
- Caroline Devany, Building Our Village: A Collaboration Among Frogtown’s Gardeners, Local Business Owners and Macalester Students
Through the addition of a shaded pergola structure to “Our Village,” a community garden based in Frogtown, an opportunity was created for community building, with long-term goal of building a vibrant community space.
- Margo Faulk, Dream of Wild Health
Purchased cooking ware for nutritional cooking classes for Native parents of young children as well as provided an opportunity for Macalester students to learn more about community based nutrition, culturally sensitive public health initiatives, and food justice in the Twin Cities.
- Sofia Halperin-Goldstein, Soy un/a nino/a fuerte: The Development of an Activity Workbook to Increase Resilience Among Latin@ Children Living at a Domestic Violence Shelter
Funded the printing and binding of a resiliency- based workbook for Latin@ children ages 4-12 that aims to encourage participants to recognize and communicate their inner strengths and emotions, in addition to negotiating their identities through a process of cultural exploration.
- Jessica Ramirez, Allied in Sexual Health Advocacy and Outreach
Partnered with Family Tree Clinic to promote and expand testing for sexually transmitted diseases, as well as train and educate leaders on sexual health. Aims to promote sexual health on college campuses.
- Sara Saltman, Antara Nader, Skyline ELL Resource Library Project
Partnered with CommonBond Communities ELL program to create an ELL Resource Library for the students attending the adult English class at Skyline Towers.
- Essie Schlotterbeck, Learn to Ride Bike Fleet
Purchased a fleet of bikes for a series of adult Learn to RIde classes, held in partnership with Cycles for Change and the Community Partners Bike Library in Saint Paul. Taught a series of Learn to RIde classes.
- Caroline Devany, Julia Sillen, Greetings from University Avenue
Showcased the vibrancy of University Ave through postcards created by a Macalester printmaking class, enabling the University and Macalester community to build through artistic expression.
- Emma Gerushun-Half, Miriam Magana, Establishing the MNIC Health Club
Founded a peer-led health organization at the MN Internship Charter School so that students could learn about health issues, raise health awareness, and educate their peers.
- Becca Cohen, Lydia Lippold-Gelb, Teal Radford, The New Face of the Jourdain
Implemented a recycling program in the Jourdain housing complex in the Hope Community. Partnered with Aeon, a non-profit developer, the project connected with the community to create a sustainable program.
- Jonas Buck, Wayne Lee, Avid Mentoring Program (AMP)
Worked with the AVID mentoring program at Highland Park Senior High School to improve the curriculum and materials from previous years in order to adapt to new audiences of students. The project also allowed for students to keep their resources at the end of the program.
- Steve Peyton, Redevelopment for the Community and the Future
Created community forums to provide a voice for valuable public input for the redevelopment of the Ford Plant.
- Charlotte Fagan, Hannah Geil-Neufeld, Ainsley Judge, Sasha Lansky, Kayla Nussbaum, Girls on the Move
Built bike literacy through skills exchanges with 7th and 8th graders at the Laura Jeffery Academy and Macalester students interested in bike maintenance.
- McKenna Bernard, Nadia Foo Kune, Paul Rebman, Fostering Recycling in an Apartment Building for Individuals Affected by Long Term Homelessness
Created a recycling system that helped develop environmental sustainability and fostered skills for those who have suffered from homelessness.
- Kelly Cargos, Erin Daly, Kyle Gename, Emma Wheeler, Project for Pride in Living: Energy Reduction Venture
Reduced energy waste through implementing a community-based social marketing plan to increase sustainability and environmental education, helped improve self-sufficiency in lower-income environments.
- Claire Henkel, Bo Scarim, Mollie Siebert, Sustainability as a Model for Community Living
Fostered a sustainable lifestyle in a Project for Pride in Living-owned subsidized housing unit by using psychological principles to help community members engage in more sustainable habits and conscientious behaviors.
- Harry Kent, Abbie Shain, Little Free Library
Re-imagined the “Mac Bubble” and fostered stronger community interaction between the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood and the Macalester College community through the installation of the community library, creating more opportunities for Macalester literature to be heard beyond campus.
- Sadie Cox, Addressing the Digital Divide with Project for Pride in Living
Project for Pride in Living came to speak at Macalester about the problem of the digital divide and their efforts towards fostering inclusion. Mac students had the opportunity to volunteer in a computer training workshop for K-6 students in PPL’s “Homework Hangout” program.
- Emma Kalish, Eric Goldfischer, Maya Pisel, Aditi Rao, Economic Justice /Partnering with Peace House Community
Cooked a meal for Peace House, a community center for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Minneapolis, MN.
- Brett Srader, Anna Waggener, Sean Ryan, Kidist Sewdie, Julia Wallhager, Culture and Cuisine: Somali Youth in the Twin Cities
Connected students from Project for Pride in Living with Macalester students, particularly international students from Africa. During this gathering, we explored cultural commitments and the difficulties of maintaining culture in a new home, particular with relation to the Somali and East African context.
- Hannah VanDenBrandt, From My School to Yours: Stimulating College Interest and Bridging the Arts
Third grade students from Linwood A+ Elementary, a local art-infused magnet school, traveled to Macalester College for an arts focused campus visit.