Tea (far right) with Food Justice Housemates!
Teodora (Tea) Čakarmiš is an LVC17 Food Justice Volunteer serving at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tea, an extremely unbiased source, shared that she is from “the number one place to visit in Eastern Europe” – Belgrade, Serbia. As a Food Justice LVC-er, Tea is the most interested in “understanding the intersections of environmental racism, on a local, but also on a global scale.” Tea shared her belief that the “plight that the ‘Global South’ faces due to climate change is… the most important issue that the international community will have to tackle in the future. Preservation of our environment is a justice imperative, since it speaks directly to humanity’s survival and quality of life.”
The Urban Ecology Center of Milwaukee is an organization with a mission to get people to go outside. The different locations of the Urban Ecology Center help community members “make connections between new and old ideas, their behaviors and their impact, and, most of all, with each other.” Tea is serving this year as the Center’s Community Programs Educator. As a Community Program Educator, Tea “contributes to the efforts of conserving our planet’s natural world by encouraging the local community to connect and protect urban green spaces.” She plans and teaches at the Center’s afterschool program, the Young Scientist Club, which does everything from going on bird walks, canoeing, doing science experiments, gardening, harvesting, and cooking locally-grown vegetable-abundant foods. She shared that she helps organize the Center’s special events, “geared towards promotion of recreation and time spent outdoors, such as Fall Fest, which will welcome up to 500 Milwaukeeans.” Another of Tea’s projects for the year is to put together a free community program to show and share environmental & social justice oriented documentaries. “Throughout the year, I will be setting up screenings and follow-up discussions of documentaries that somehow altered the consciousness of the public on the topics that relate to environmental and social justice.”
When asked why she chose to do a Service Year, Tea shared, “Coming from an, economically speaking, modest background, I grew up thinking I did not have much to give. What intrigued me about a year of service was the empowering realization that my skillset, my passion for social justice, and my unique international background, were as good as currency.”
Are you interested in supporting other volunteers like Tea in their service year? Click here to donate to our current volunteer campaign!