All aspects of PUC’s organization and the physical landscapes of our projects, as well as the energy, perspectives, and experiences of our participants, are vital components to the diversity that shapes our mission. Everything that you see, smell, taste, hear, and feel once entering our spaces are utilized as teaching tools, and every person or organism that enters our space contributes something new to this unique mosaic. Examining the bio-diversity and ecosystems in and around LDG (our crops; the trees; the air we breath; the water around us; the waste we generate; the insects, animals and people in and around the space; and the interaction between all of these factors) can help us to more deeply understand our roles in our ever shifting environments on a local and global level. And every interaction that takes place within this space opens our minds to entirely new perspectives as to what those roles mean within the context of our social systems. Together, these experiences help us to analyze the relationships between ourselves and our communities, society and the environment, food and identity, and privilege and oppression, ultimately liberating us so that we can unleash our full potential and learn to control our own environments and sustain ourselves.
PUC’s ultimate goal, then, is to empower our neighbors and young people throughout Philadelphia, through meaningful, hands-on, educational experiences and group-facilitated workshops, so that they can harvest their own visions for the redevelopment of their environments, of their communities, and of themselves, and become pioneers of innovation and true “urban creators.”
Our curriculum is composed of a series of interactive and experiential workshops focused on both social, and environmental subjects relating to the lives of our constituency. These workshops challenge participants to draw connections between environment and society, resources and identity, and community and self, and are designed to motivate participants to begin devising and enacting local solutions to the global issues that face us all.
Workshops subjects include; ecosystem patterns, systems thinking, survival strategies, cycles of composition and decomposition, bio-diversity, sociocultural-economic diversity, urban/rural dynamics, evolution and development, community building, consensus decision making, self-awareness, and physical/sexual/psychological/spiritual health.
Inso doing, we can use our physical projects, particularly our farms, as hands-on educational tools in conjunction with our curriculum for our neighbors and for students of all ages throughout Philadelphia. This way, we can all have opportunities to personally experience various aspects of the subjects discussed in our curriculum.
We are using our curriculum to work with local teens, both on our land and in their schools, and will begin hosting various volunteer groups from throughout the nation, starting with other Youth Coalition branches.
PUC also has an Urban Innovation Program designed to teach young people the skills needed to become young organizers within our organization, as well as young leaders and agents of change in their own communities. These skills include: facilitating meetings and debriefs, leading workshops, farm/market management, volunteer management, service-learning trip planning, event planning, fundraising, community organizing and networking.
In addition, we can use these sites, and the curriculum designed around them, for job training programs in fields concerning: urban agriculture, community organizing, community development, and small business management in order to empower people of all ages to start becoming more and more self-reliant and locally active.