Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Elaine Jerome and Steven Earl Salmony

Auction to help youth

It is often said that youth in our community are our most precious commodity. The Youth Community Project (YCP) is at the realm of promoting this, highlighting the importance of understanding and recognizing the needs of adolescent social development and how it is impacted by the current radical changes and lack of healthy outlets.

In the last year YCP has made tremendous progress toward creating teen-driven, teen-oriented events, spaces and programs in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. We have expanded our partnerships to over 20 teen-driven programs/organizations, including most recently the Chapel Hill Youth Council, as well as launching a new program, Fluid Revolutions, which began a five-day camp to provide LGBTQ youth with access to arts-based expression and physical activity, enhancing self-esteem and empowerment. This has been followed by an ongoing program which offers classes in aerial dance to teens.

Currently, YCP is working with art students from local high schools to put on our second annual Silent Auction Youth Art Fundraiser to be held at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on the 2nd Friday ArtWalk Friday, April 8, reception, 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit and bidding will be ongoing throughout the month of March. Proceeds from the auction sale of youth artists’ work, will go toward art supplies for each of the high schools, as well as toward YCP. The high schools that are participating are Carrboro, CHH, ECHH, and Emerson Waldorf High School. Local business donating to the benefit are, Mama Dip’s, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods Market, Balloons & Tunes, Mariakakis, The Poster Guys, The UPS Store in Carrboro Plaza, The Frame Warehouse, Framer's Warehouse.

The ultimate mission of the Youth Community Project is to establish a Youth Cultural Center where youth have access to a safe space to socialize and engage in meaningful and creative pursuits of their own choosing in an empowering and supportive environment. Much needed services such as guidance and job placement would also be available.

Cash donations to support us in reaching our goal would be greatly appreciated at The Youth Community Project, PO Box 915, Carrboro, NC 27510

Elaine Jerome

Chapel Hill

Immutable limits

I want to speak out but first I need to pick my jaw up off the floor. How can we who live so well in the Chapel Hill environs and everyone else on the surface of Earth be in the global ecological predicament in which we find ourselves now and here?

The colossal civilization that human beings have haphazardly designed, organized and maintained worldwide cannot much longer be sustained on a finite planet of the size, composition and ecology of Earth. The air we breathe is being infused with our pollution. The water we drink is contaminated. The oceans are filling up with our solid waste products. The land is being plundered for the non-renewable resources it provides. We are approaching immutable limits to such massive and unbridled growth in our planetary home.

If this perspective is reality-oriented, then an obvious question is posed to us. What are we gong to do about it? So far our response to the question has been more of the same business as usual activity, full speed ahead. To stay this business as usual course is patently unsustainable, and yet today's leaders and followers alike refuse to make necessary changes.

Perhaps the superior forces of Nature will provide a swift kick to our “all too wise and civilized” derriere, a kick that will shock and awe us to do things differently while there is still time for human action to make a difference, to save the world we know. That is to say, make changes in behavior while a window of opportunity is still open to transition to a new, restorative way of doing business in the world. We are all in this together. Young and old, rich and poor, good and bad are members of one community, one species of the tree of life on Earth.

But where are we to find those among us who will provide the leadership for such collective actionable change toward sustainability? It appears that new way forward will not be spearheaded by my generation of elders. Perhaps we elders are too certain that what we are doing is altogether good, that business as usual is the one and only way to live. That the endless pursuit of the American Dream is not negotiable. That what is being done now is somehow preferable to doing the right thing: to change course.

The required change of course will have to come from the bottom up, as it were. Young people will have to lead their elders because their elders are dead set on pursuing a path to a future that could lead to unimaginable destruction and degradation of the Earth upon which life as we know it is utterly dependent for its existence. Young people, do not go down the path that your elders are dead set to have you follow because to continue this way in all likelihood leads to perdition and destruction. Find another path fast and fare forward.

Steven Earl Salmony

Fearrington Village

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