buildOn Chapters Roadshow: Washington, D.C.

By Tom Silverman, Global Chapter Manager

Read about buildOn Chapters!

Read about the Chapters Roadshow and the first stop in Pittsburgh !
Stop #2: Washington, D.C.

With all the newspaper and blog headlines focusing on the corrupt and partisan culture of our nation’s capitol, it was relieving to visit Washington D.C. and experience the goodness of people in that city. I had many meaningful and inspiring conversations with folks in various D.C. Universities and throughout the wider community. But while D.C. is truly internationally minded, global endeavors often lack a service component. Our Regional and University Chapters in D.C. are looking to change this by introducing buildOn to their city!

I started my trip to D.C. by paying a visit to the newly erected Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with buildOn’s Development Director on the East Coast, Skyler Badenoch. I often think of buildOn as a continuation of Dr. King’s vision of service and global brotherhood. As the full moon lit the memorial that autumn night, I reflected on what an opportunity we have to continue that vision. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to serve through buildOn and to meet so many amazing people who share the belief that we have the power to positively change the world forever.

Our D.C. Regional Chapter is aiming to spread this message throughout the city! Led by Jailan Adly, this group is determined to keep Dr. King’s dream alive through service and education!

[pullquote]Our D.C. Regional Chapter is determined to keep Martin Luther King’s dream alive through service and education![/pullquote]

In addition to our D.C. Regional Chapter, there are two buildOn University Chapters in our nation’s capitol. It was an honor to meet with our Chapter leaders from American and Howard Universities. The Howard Chapter is led by two buildOn Alumni from Philadelphia, Nykia Sizemore and Natasha Graves. While they didn’t know each other back at home, they have found family in one another and their shared buildOn experience. Together they are engaging the community at the historical Howard University to help others in the D.C. area and provide educational opportunities to children and adults across the globe through buildOn’s school construction program.

buildOn’s American University Chapter is also led by two buildOn alumni: Monica Floyd (Oakland CA) and Shikha Gurung (Philadelphia PA). Monica and I served many hours together in the Bay Area and Shikha and I met during a school building trip to Mali in 2009. Meeting these women in D.C. was an inspiring experience for me. Both of them are very strong leaders and I look forward to seeing buildOn thrive at American University.

After great adventures in Pittsburgh and D.C., I’m now headed to Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to visit our Chapters there. I’ll keep you all posted as to the progress we make and the stories we create!