Here are some ideas that we have generated in response to requests for some concrete examples. These examples serve only to help imagine some of the many ways that service and support can look like, to think about the meaning of service and support. They should not be considered as the only “valid” forms that service can take.
Those who serve and support their communities might be broadly characterized by their roles, which may overlap and are not mutually exclusive. Your may play several roles in your service. There may be more roles than just these. And applicants do not have to use these terms to describe their own service.
Mentor - Someone who advises and guides
Connector - Someone who builds and maintains community
Leader - Someone who drives change
Caregiver/Healer - Someone who focuses on health/well-being of a group
Here are some ways Mentors serve their communities.
Serving as a mentor individually or within an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Volunteering on regular basis in schools or libraries in BIPOC communities. For example, reading to students for story time.
Here are some ways Leaders serve their communities.
Organizing concerts or events that raise money to support those in need, for example those who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey.
Building or maintaining a community garden where the harvest (or profits of the harvest) is shared with community residents.
Regularly participating in, delivering public comments for, or joining or leading meetings of local school boards, city councils, neighborhood associations, community organizations, and so on.
Organizing children’s clubs - for girls, boys, or both - in the BIPOC community that promote learning, pride, confidence, advocacy.
Organizing Indigenous practices for the community, like sweat lodges, planting or harvest ceremonies, and so on.
Here are some ways that Connectors serve their communities
Creating spaces to organize artists and arts collectives.
Organizing exhibitions of different artists’ work in a community space or business.
Participating in family-serving or community-serving organizations, like parent-teacher organizations, booster clubs, mutual aid organizations, legal aid organizations, and so on.
Participating in a community-serving collaborative or coalition, like Asian Americans Attaining Awareness, My Community Connect, Babies in Baytown, and so on..
Hosting or participating in a regular book club or study group, write-in, or other form of collective participation in creating or discussing art and literature.
Addressing social concerns to communities within your creative practice, integrating community participation, and integrating solutions within the process of making the work.
Participating actively in collaborative projects within your community, like theater, music, film/video, and so on.
Volunteering in international festivals in schools in BIPOC communities.
Creating ‘ephemeral art’ and sharing your practice with the community.
Here are some ways that Caregivers serve their communities
Participating regularly in food programs in BIPOC communities, for example Blessings in a Backpack. Facilitating cooking classes, volunteering at food banks, teaching about nutrition and health.
Organizing and participating in farmers markets for the community.
Holding regular mind-body-centering practice for the community in local parks or service centers.
Leading nature walks within a community to activate access to nature, trees, waterways, and wildlife.
The categories of service -- can one discuss how one is more than one of those categories?
Excerpt from the Information Session Jan 26.
The categories of service offered by BANF - Mentors, Connectors, Leaders, Caregivers - are only to generate ways to think about what service and support can look like, not to create rigid definitions or requirements.