Summer CSGC Grant Update: Increasing Civic Engagement and Financial Literacy in New York’s Inner Cities

Throughout the summer, I spent time distributing pamphlets and building awareness (by word of mouth) around politics (particularly voting) as well as finance (particularly credit and cryptocurrency). Throughout August, Zhexuan Li ’23 and I began to coordinate with regional community centers about starting an inner city youth advisory board — one dedicated to researching and raising awareness about social, political, and economic issues in New York’s inner cities– from housing problems like lead and rats to grander issues like food insecurity — and giving local community members in the Bronx the drive and intellectual resources needed to properly advocate and lobby for change in a grassroots way.

A second part to this board is starting mentorship/advisory/educational forums where local kids have safe-spaces to vent and be vulnerable and grow mentally as underprivileged young adults. This would also run as a part of the programming for a Bronx Community Center I connected with over the summer. My vision for this board is quite expansive with respect to topics, forms of communication, potential formats of community discussion, and many other logistics. That’s why Zhexuan and I, along with other board members we’ve recruited, are trying to take this seriously and day-by-day. My leveraging of the summer grant has opened doors in the form of networks I never knew I could reach. For that, I’m all the more appreciative of the Workman grant and Deerfield’s immense help this summer!

Alioune Dia ’22