So we know Ms. Rona has cracked the sash cord and has us in our homes for most of the day. If you’re like me you’re probably struggling with this new normal. We’re trying to adapt and adjust to the new requirements to stay safe and alive while balancing mental stability with remaining productive. I have a brain that has to intentionally keep learning ALL THE TIME even when not in a formal educational setting. There are millions of resources out there on Mr. Google but I wanted to share some of the resources, both new and old, that keep me occupied but also growing that big brain that we humans have been blessed with. We’re flipping the script on quarantine culture!
Before we go on though, I encourage everyone to read this essay by Charles Leslie Jr. entitled ‘Let us Prepare for the Rise of the Phoenix.’ It was such a comforting and insightful read in times of uncertainty especially if you live in Belize or if Belize lives in you.
The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative is my first plug. I’ve always wanted to be a YLAI fellow but I’m still too young to apply. In the meantime, I joined the network to access online training and access great resource tools from YLAI alumni. These include servant leadership, grant writing, community organizing for action, transparency and good governance and much more! You can sign up for the newsletter and join a course here: https://ylai.state.gov/online-courses/
Next, Harvard University, one of the world’s leading universities, is offering FREE courses to keep those noggins in tip-top shape. These range from Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology, Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs and Justice among many other quirky but interesting topics. Some have already started so jump on it here: Free Harvard Learning
We’re scurrying along! Next up are the online resources made available by the Department of Youth Services. These programming objectives are specially curated for youth development purposes that are in line with its objectives of governance, health and well-being, enterprise and community strengthening. You can find the sign up information here: https://www.dysbelize.org/online-trainings
This one is for my fellow tree huggers who want to strengthen their understanding of the interlinkages of climate action at communal to international level. The United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership is a partnership by over 30 organizations that love and work to preserve our only home! The awesome courses on this platform include children and climate change, cities and climate change, sustainable diet and of course much more. You can sign up and find out more at https://unccelearn.org/course/index.php. You will definitely be able to think, talk and act climate after these interactive sessions!
Finally, this one’s for my fellow book worms! Maestro Yasser Musa is one of my muses. He is an art activist, poet, publisher, and promoter. A bona fide creative with a WICKED brain. On his website, https://www.yassermusa.com/, he shares with us downloadable versions of his favorite reads from authors such as Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, George Orwell, Arundhati Roy among others. No doubt a collection of books shared with him by those who inspire him, these books speak to politics, love, art and just the things we stay alive for. A concept memorialized in a quote from my favorite movies of all time, Dead Poet Society. “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” While you’re on the website by sure to explore it a bit. I am sure you’ll find it awe-inspiring!
Of course, we know that everyone doesn’t have access to the internet in these times so if you are able to share those wifi passwords with your neighbors. Though small it’s an incredible act of solidarity!
That’s it! These are the spaces on the world wide web that are keeping me sane and safe while the in-person meetings with colleagues have ceased, while the quiet library with that comforting book smell is closed, while I can’t go visit my favorite coffee shop on the mouth of the Belize River to read my Amandala. I hope you can find learning and inspiration in them too!
Remember, Stay Home but Stay Curious.