On Friday, September 23rd, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Campus Compacts held their first collaborative AmeriCorps VISTA meeting at Providence College. The goals of the meeting were fourfold: 1) to show how the Campus Compact VISTA program connects to broader Campus Compact goals and priorities, 2) to allow the VISTAs to meet and network with members from other states, 3) to explore the future workings of the tri-state VISTA model following the July 2017 merger of RICC, CTCC, and MACC into Campus Compact for Southern New England, as well as to create opportunities for collaboration across state lines, and 4) to provide content training for members including an exploration of resources available from National Campus Compact (College Positive Volunteers, Connect 2 College, Knowledge Hubs).
VISTAs were privileged with a visit from Andrew Seligsohn, PhD, President of Campus Compact, and Maggie Grove, Vice President for Strategy and Operations. Seligsohn gave an energetic and passionate speech to the cohorts during lunch about the mission of the Compact and how each VISTA project can help fulfill that mission:
“Everybody’s voice can have equal power in our society,” Seligsohn said, “that is where we seek to go, that is a fundamental value that animates Campus Compact, and that is the reason that poverty fighting is an essentially democratic endeavor. It is important to meet people’s material needs – that is part of human dignity – but it’s also important that every person feel and also have grounds to believe that they have an equal chance to influence the future of their community and their future of their country, and that is what the work of VISTA is about. That’s why the VISTA program is completely within the mission of Campus Compact.”
Mikey Davis, a RICC VISTA serving at the Feinstein Institute of Public Service at Providence College, said of the meeting: “It gave us a great opportunity to get together across the tri-state area, which is not something we’d usually be able to do. I enjoyed getting to meet with the cohorts across Connecticut and Massachusetts and see just how many of us there actually are.”
RICC, CTCC, and MACC will be holding another All-Corps meeting in January 2017 in Hartford, CT. We are excited to see what great things the three Compacts will be able to continue to accomplish together!