by MADALYN JOHNSON, Staff Writer
This past Sunday, Oct. 14, several freshmen from the Arches program, and other MC students, took part in the Bronx Green Fair at the Church of the Mediator.
The event is hosted annually by the Church of the Mediator to educate Bronx residents on environmental issues such as urban farming, food consumption, and climate change. The fair was a successfully planned and fun event with activities for adults and children, like those of the Bronx Children’s Museum, and demonstrating cooking ideas for the public to see and observe.
The process of advertising and setting up for the event was not an easy task for the church. Manhattan College Arches students played a significant role in informing many about the event by putting up posters and flyers, specifically ones for the food drive. The fair accepted donations for the Kingsbridge Riverdale Marble Hill (KRMH) Food and Hunger Project.
Unfortunately the school did not reach its goal of 200 items. Arches freshmen Jana Clark and Priya Varanasi put up posters and were huge contributors for the setting up the fair.
“Preparations for the Green Fair have been such as success so far thanks to the hard work from the Publicity Team and other collective efforts,” Clark said. “I collaborated with Priya to create the flyers for the public and MC students to advertise the canned food drive that we had throughout Lee Hall.”
David Shefferman, associate professor of religious studies, and his Arches students were also participants and had other jobs as far as organizing the fair including cleaning up and pulling out weeds on the grounds of the church and building composting bins.
It was only a year ago Manhattan College starting teaming up with the Church of the Mediator’s annual fair. The event offers a variety of ways students can make an impact on the Bronx community.
“Roberta was a founding member of that ‘Bronx Community Coalition’ and volunteered to serve as Project Manager for Green Fair,” Shefferman said. “They needed volunteers, and during the summer of 2017 she contacted Margaret Groarke from our Political Science department. Roberta knew Dr. Groarke, who is very active in social organizing in the Bronx and is also the college’s Faculty Coordinator for Community-Based Learning, and Dr. Groarke put me and Roberta in touch. That’s when we really went to work to get ready to involve students from my two Arches RELS 110 sections.”
Arches students also have recently been involved with the Marble Hill Housing Project, an organization that works on cleaning up the housing project to create a more healthy and clean environment for Marble Hill and other Bronx residents.
Roberta, one of the main organizers of the Bronx Green Fair Project, is a huge believer in the causes and effects of climate change. Her along with other volunteers hoped their contributions would bring attention to Bronx residents about the dangers of food waste and environmental destruction.
“Our goal is to help people in our community make connections between food production, environmental destruction, and climate change,” Roberta said. The project also had the ambition of creating an environment that was educational exciting, and impactful. “We want to create an atmosphere of learning and excitement on the day of the fair and long-term individual and collective action and empowerment after the fair.”