Global Fulbright Community To Advance A Sweet Water Integral Urban Home For Each and Every Neighborhood?
Through Life Long Social Learning Networks Starting With Aquaponics Experiments?
Nice Radio Show On Milwaukee’s Heart Haus Integral Urban Home
Chicago “Sun Times” article on Chicago’s Think Do House.
Urban Homes As
- Lab for Aquaponics Trials
- International hostel
We are bringing into fresh being a 21st century homes and cottage industries local local economies in global networks.
For every city, let us help manifest a
special house that’s multiform, multivalent, and mutualistic in essence…
That inspires Fulbright Scholars and everyday life long learners from across the world.
Fulbright International Scholars collaborate with SWF
Upon meeting in January at the SWF installation at the Chicago City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, SWF Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt and Sarah Gleisner, Program Officer of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program with the Institute of International Education (IIE), began to explore opportunities for potential collaboration between the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Seminar on Youth Engagement and Empowerment and Sweet Water Foundation for the spring of 2015. Given Fulbright’s mission to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries and SWF’s mission is to democratize, globalize, and commercialize urban agriculture practices for resilient 21st century communities via hands-on, real-world learning grounded in concepts of community, equity, transformation and resilience, both Sarah and Emmanuel recognized a tremendous opportunity for cross pollination across the programs.
On both Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st, approximately 80 of the 140 Fulbright scholars joined by Megan Spillman, the IIE Chicago Director participated in site visits to the Perry Ave Community Farm, the Think-Do House, and the CSU Aquaponics Center. On Saturday March 21st, 40 of the Fulbright scholars from 30 different countries worked directly with the SWF team, local residents, and Orrin Williams from the Center for Urban Transformation on the Perry Ave Community Farm helping to prepare for the 2015 harvest season. Contunued at
Fulbright Community Testimonials
What we choose to energize,
What not yet new worlds,
We will vision and bond to create…
What enabling relationships we craft,
With what earth beings deploying what universe forces,
In our many storied webs of being becoming…
What energy quanta for what new dreams
For what fresh embodiments for
Whole Earth communities and personal elevations.
Why not let it be known we have successfully created
On shoestring budgets two breakthrough projects
In Chicago and Milwaukee, each of which simultaneously contains a…
“In the emptiness, I find a visionary”
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Author/Byline: SUE ONTIVEROS
I knew something special had to be going on if my dear friend was calling before 8 on a
Sunday morning to invite me.
Still, that didn’t mean as I was agreeing that I wasn’t also thinking to myself, ‘‘So I am
going to just show up at 57th and Perry without an exact address, only with the
reassurance, ‘you’ll know the house when you see it.’ ’’
But as I drove through well-worn streets where so many homes and businesses are no
more, I could see she was right: there was no doubt which house it was. On the side of
the house is an almost-finished mural of regal-looking African Americans.
The building gives off this aura of “Yeah, I’m in the middle of emptiness; so what?” Once
inside, I realized that if the people who congregate here have their way, that emptiness
won’t be forever. And what you or I might see as emptiness, they see as opportunity
waiting to happen. It’s all in your perspective.
The answer to a host of urban problems — jobs, hunger, education — could very well
be right inside the front door. Literally. The walls are done in blackboard paint so ideas
and possible ways to implement them can fill them. And they do.
Oh, and the living room? It’s “living” alright. Herbs under grow lights sit in what was a
fireplace. An aquaponic system (a setup that basically grows plants and fish using the
same water) stands near a window.
Upstairs, along the stairway, downstairs, in the kitchen — something’s going on. Then
there are the two acres of land being farmed outside. The energy here is incredible.
And at the hub of it all is Emmanuel Pratt , a Chicago State professor and founding
director of the Sweet Water Foundation. You don’t run into true visionaries every day,
but Pratt , he’s the real deal. He looks at all of what’s going on here as a way to put an
end to the blight. But his ideas spring not from tearing down what’s left and embracing
gentrification (which, let’s face it, usually means moving out the poor people). He uses
what’s already here and gets kids, veterans, seniors involved in urban farming, green
initiatives and a lot more, not just at this location, but in other struggling neighborhoods.
One of the ways he’s doing that is by tapping into his incredible network of “doers.” The
day I’m here, so are others from Chicago Ideas Week. But Pratt doesn’t want to just
tout his programs; he gets the people in the room talking to one another about their
involvements, to get connections going. You connect the dots (err, people), and then
you’ve got a solid network going on.
The farming, the aquaponics. They’re not just to feed people well, although that’s a
good part of it. Pratt ’s trying to get kids and others to see the money-making
possibilities in green initiatives, to turn them into “eco-preneurs.” And why not?
Remember, Whole Foods is coming to 63rd and Halsted. Connection made.
Pratt doesn’t have trucks to haul the produce grown here around. Ah, but Washburne,
the culinary school at nearby Kennedy-King College, does. And there are connections
there. Who knows what’s next?
Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done. But Pratt and the Sweet Water Foundation can
see ways to bring people together and get things accomplished. Being able to see
solutions; why, that’s half the battle.