Save JBOLC gardens!

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Who we are: 

JAMES BALDWIN OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER (JBOLC) was founded by Raymond Pultinas, DWC teacher since 1992, along with hundreds of students and volunteers. Our story began over 12 years ago with the drive to transform DeWitt Clinton (DWC) Educational Campus into a hub for sustainability, education, environmental stewardship and community building. In 2018 JBOLC became a 501c3 whose mission is to strive for project-based solutions at the juncture of food, environmental and social justice.  We honor the legacy of the great American writer James Baldwin (DWC ‘42).


The Problem: 

JBOLC is being evicted by the DWC Campus Council. 

After being issued extended use permits for over a decade, we have been given less than three weeks to vacate the gardens, remove our equipment and never set foot on campus again. This decision is unjust, unfounded, abrupt and disruptive.  In their letter to us, the D.W.C Campus Council cited that their refusal was rooted in “concern for the well being of their students and the campus”. The JBOLC Board has since then reached out in an attempt to bridge the gap and understand the specific issues they have found with our operation. Unfortunately the Council has been uncooperative and unresponsive. It appears that they have no interest in continuing our long standing relationship or rectifying the matter.

 

Our Demands:

  1. Immediate resumption of the JBOLC’s Extended Use Permits on the DWC Education Campus.
  2. Negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the corresponding campus entities, overseen by DOE District and/or Executive Superintendents, explicitly allowing JBOLC’s continued stewardship, programming, and access on DWC Educational Campus while recognizing the JBOLC as an autonomous organization by and for the broader community.
  3. The establishment of a clear means of communication between the JBOLC and the DWC Campus Council that ensures our inclusion in planning, negotiations, and decision making.
  4. Recognition and respect that our 12+ years of effort and success at community building and student engagement are crucial elements of sustainability education, especially during this era of climate crisis that disproportionately affects communities like ours.
  5. That, in realizing this set of demands, we continue our efforts to expand the sphere of ethical concern to all other-than-human beings that find home at our gardens on the DWC Educational Campus.

 

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

- James Baldwin 



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