Rubi Vergara-Grindell is the Research and Development Coordinator with SEEDS. She is a junior Spanish major. In this post she reflects on how SEEDS has facilitated her connection to the greater Portland area.
“Through SEEDS I have been able not only to engage with communities beyond Reed campus but also to learn about them. Absorbing and asking for knowledge about a place is incredibly important before being able to engage critically and respectfully in it.
This past Fall I was a leader on the SEEDS Odyssey and we got a walking tour of the Albina District from Know Your City, an organization that works to center histories and realities that have been marginalized by dominant narratives. Learning about the concrete effects of redlining and gentrification gave me a new map of the neighborhood that changed my previous framework. This informed me of both the systemic injustices that I must be cognizant of (and of the ways I can diminish my participation in them) as well as the resistance and building that has been going on for a long time and that I can intentionally support.
SEEDS has helped me see my place in Portland not in a service/consumption dichotomy but as an opportunity to listen, imagine and create in community.”