Alternative pediatric health care consulting . Houston, Texas.
Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy (H.E.A.L.)
Move One, One MoveA Four Part Project for ChangeIntroduction:The following proposal is about empowerment. It is about the need for community and connection. It is about change at a grass roots level that can spread and reach out indefinitely. The proposal describes a village that includes a learning community that seeks to redefine education, a healing community that focuses on wellness, a gardening and sustainable lifestyles community that helps us learn how to live connected to the earth again, and, finally, an art and spirit community that celebrates creativity, communication, strength and hope. Each sphere seeks to nurture and support both the individual and the collective and to find balance between them. The analogy is that of a compass; four points, each with its own focus, but simultaneously interdependent; self-contained yet a source of direction in the world around us. The four points on the compass are learning, healing, sustainability and creativity.Collective action is needed, and individual will is required. We are powerful alone; each of us can and does create change. We must move one. We are powerful together; as a group we can move mountains. We can be one move. The Philosophy and Content:Learning points east.This component is already born and growing. At it’s core is The Real School also known as Dragon Valley (www.therealschoolhouston.org). The Real School is a non-hierarchical learning environment, free of coercion or control that intends to build a community of trust and liberation through education. The school is founded upon principles of consensus and cooperation. Conflict resolution replaces punishment. Students pursue their own self-created learning path motivated by passions instead of rewards and praise. The Real School is a self-described un-schooling co-operative. We began our first school year in September 2006. We are a solidly planted seedling at this point, experiencing lots of growth and reaching out for support. Our intention is not only to provide a learning space for young people, but to engage the larger community (city, state, country, etc.) in a conversation, a dialog about the need for radical educational reform. We would eventually like to create a network of apprenticeship opportunities for students throughout the area as well as within the village, and we would like students of all ages, birth to death, to be able to attend. A school for all ages would honor the belief that we are all lifelong learners and teachers as well.Healing points south. This component will be broadly defined. The intention is to bring together a myriad of folk from the alternative health and healing community including but not limited to midwives, physicians, naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, doulas, to support people in unplugging from the disease and profit driven model of health care that predominates in the United States. The village would allow use of our physical plant by practitioners to do workshops, retreats and consults. The village would not regulate, employ or even advocate the use of any specific practitioner, but rather would serve as a place for alternative health practitioners to network and provide services and information to the greater Houston community. One practitioner, pediatrician Krenie Stowe, is already deeply involved in the project. Her consultancy, Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy, Inc. (www.healthedadlit.com), intends to lease space from The village and provide a variety of services. In addition, there are plans for a healthcare collective that Krenie would help to design and operate. Students at The Real School would have the opportunity to apprentice with some of the practitioners and certainly in the collective as well.Sustainability points west. The village intends to develop the sustainability component from a variety of angles. We plan a fairly large, co-operative organic garden. Participants in the garden co-operative would help to create and maintain the garden and could harvest as needed. Others could harvest for a one time fee, or on an ongoing basis by becoming members. Participation and co-operation are central to the philosophical underpinning of the sustainability projects, and certainly the term membership will require further definition, balancing access (everyone can come get good food) with long term survival (it requires work and money to continue to provide food).In the long term, the sustainability component could include building of basic shelters, perhaps yurts, and the production of textiles, probably wool or cotton based. While the sustainability component will benefit participants or members directly, the larger goal is to teach and empower. Long term goals include workshops and demonstrations open to the public, and mentoring folks in other communities who want to start similar projects.The sustainability component will be closely connected to the learning piece. Sustainable lifestyles may become a matter not of choice but of necessity for the children of today. Real School community members will have ongoing opportunities to be involved. Outreach to young people in other educational settings is a long term goal as well. Creativity points north. Creativity has long been a force for change, reflection and discovery. Artists are often on the forefront of breaking boundaries, redefining expectations and questioning the status quo. The final quadrant that completes the circle is about art and spirit. It would both nurture the creativity in each of us and encourage local artists, folk who make art their life’s work, to teach, display, perform and share their creations. Creativity can also foster community and connection, becoming a kind of spiritual force. Thus this fourth component is also about spirit and soul; giving those who chose to a way to connect through meditating, singing, chanting, praying, drumming, dancing together. Raj and Kim Pickens are already involved in growing this component of the project. (www.myspace.com/sonicvisionshouston). Raj is a musician/songwriter; Kim is a spoken word poet. Both perform frequently in Houston. The Structure:Very briefly, I envision the structure as follows. Each of these components will be both distinct and interdependent. A non-profit corporation with a board of directors will provide the legal umbrella under which the four parts operate, but it will not have a role in day to day operations or control over management of the component parts. Participants in each of the four components will make a binding agreement to honor the mission statement which will include a commitment to some kind of mutual support and cooperation between them. Each of the four components will be free to create its own administrative structure but will remain in some way fiscally accountable to the village as a whole. This will allow components of the village that are more economically viable to subsidize those that are not with an eye toward long term economic sustainability. Developing a solid system for bartering of both goods and services will be a central component of long term success.Anyone with an interest in this project is encouraged to contact Krenie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-20106704.
Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy (H.E.A.L.)