Presentation on theme: "East St. Louis Action Research Project UP260 October 2002 Robert Antequino ■ William Carroll ■ Amelia Litterski Michael Mathis ■ Kyle Roberts ■ Christopher."— Presentation transcript:
East St. Louis Action Research Project UP260 October 2002 Robert Antequino ■ William Carroll ■ Amelia Litterski Michael Mathis ■ Kyle Roberts ■ Christopher Spatz Ryan Spokas ■ Elizabeth Steege ■ Taylor Cohen
The weekend started with our arrival at the NTAC house.
After a quick lunch we hopped on the bus for a quick tour of the town. One of the highlight was the casino but the bus wouldn’t stop for a “closer” look. Under funded St. Mary’s HospitalThis casino is one of the largest employer of residents and is one of the largest sources of revenue for the city.
Our project was to remove unruly weeds and garbage on Bond Avenue (between 16 th and 17 th Streets). Bond and 16thBond and 17th
At first it the project seemed overwhelming but we worked really, really hard…
…for a really, really long time.
The second day started off with an early interview with Ms. Faulkner. Billy and Ms. FaulknerThe group and Ms. Faulkner
After the interview we were back to work on the clean up. Ms. Reeves wants to clean up her street.Ms. Reeves, her son, and her neighbor attack those unruly weeds.
While we were worked for two days out in the alley, another group was “working” for two days on some signs. The end result Another group gets their hands dirty by painting signs.
The staff did remember to give us a well deserved break from our daunting tasks.
We did a job well done putting those unruly weeds in back in their place. BeforeAfter
This corner store is now ready for business again! BeforeAfter
The weekend finally came to an end. We are all dead tired but very proud of all the work we accomplished.
When you arrive in East St. Louis, you are overwhelmed with a large shock of gray. The streets are bleak, swarmed with decay and poverty. The air hangs heavy, hot and humid, uncomfortable and oppressive. The air is not the only thing reigning oppressive; the conditions of life remain oppressive to the town. The sidewalks are littered with trash, the streets are dotted with cracking in the pave. Homes look like open wounds, waiting to be cleaned and bandaged, wanting to be fixed. The above is from a student journal written before the trip was taken. Even though we only worked on one block, we can see a lot of truth in the writing. Maybe it was the weather, but it did seem like a very gray weekend. A few of the houses and streets we saw were not maintained and there was a lot of trash on the ground.
However, the sun still shines and the children still play, running around, carefree, with the pleasure of not knowing a better world. There is a sweet smell of hope floating in the otherwise heavy air; there is a sense of wanting a better place, wanting to sift through the decay and start fresh. People are friendly, smiles are plentiful, lighting up the gloomy atmosphere. People cherish the small bits; the corner stores, the front porch, their fellow neighbors. The people of East St. Louis long for change and a brighter day, they long to repair the past, they want to change the color from gray to bright clean white. The above is written from the same journal. An uplifting scene of hope is painted that most would believe is unattainable in East. St. Louis. There are signs that this is going on and that there is progress being made toward a new city. There are new housing develops, a museum, a safer place for children to be after school. These things are few for now, but through the efforts of the community and volunteers this scene can become to reality in the future.
One can see that in East St. Louis there is much need for change and, and change for the better. The work we do be it cutting down brush and weeds is only a small physical change in the environment but the work is needed. Not unlike the never ending cutting of the weeds and the brush, the work that is done by the members of the SENDO organization is desperately needed, and is slowly reclaiming the city from years of continuous neglect from fiscal crisis, discrimination, and unforgiving social and economic changes. Community members, students, and the SENDO organization want to see East St. Louis grow and develop.