"My name is Gwendolene Mugodi and I am a writer and the founder of Paivapo Storytellers, a movement that aims to provide better access to local, good quality literature to the children in Zimbabwe--and eventually beyond. Our work would not be complete without the help of local artists like Abel Zvorufura who I met through the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. As two different artists we spent about a month and a half going back and forth on this book until we got to a place we were both happy with. I look forward to sharing that full book in a few months, but for now here's a little bit about Abel and why he does what he does."
Opportunities, Outputs, and Outcomes
I moved to Washington D.C. a week ago, and every day has been equally as different as it has been exciting. With every passing hour, I fall more in love with the city and I feel more grateful for the opportunity the Starr Fellowship has given me to pursue my work with the Food Recovery Network (FRN) this summer. FRN is a national student led non-profit that empowers university students to rescue surplus edible food that would have otherwise been wasted and donate it to those in need. This summer is so exciting because it is the first time since the organization’s founding that multiple FRN staff members and interns are working together, full time, in the same location. Our home for the summer is a decked out space called the Startup Shell, a shared co-working space for student startups at the University of Maryland.
As we plan for the summer, knowledge I gained through the Starr Fellowship is having a substantial influence on my goals. I learned much more from the Starr Fellowship than I could express in a single blog post, but one of the most important things I learned was the importance of logic models. A logic model is a framework used to analyze the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of an organization’s work.
I plan on working with the rest of the FRN team to critically analyze the difference between the outputs and the outcomes of the work we do. While we can easily quantify the pounds of food we recover and our number of volunteers, how do we quantify the impact this food has on the people we serve? How do we quantify the impact this food has on the community organizations we partner with? How do we quantify the impact this work has on the student volunteers in our organization? Moving forward, our team will critically challenge assumptions we have made about our outcomes and we will challenge ourselves to innovate over and over again.
My first week in D.C. has already been full of opportunities to think about outputs, outcomes and how to address them. In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, “opportunities are rarely offered, they’re seized,” and I plan on seizing as many opportunities as I can in the coming weeks. Last week, I was a judge for Banking on Youth, a social entrepreneurship competition co-hosted by Ashoka Youth Venture and the Consumer Banker’s Association, which I won last year representing FRN. This week, I recovered hundreds of pounds of food from both the University of Maryland and a local farmers market. Yesterday, I attended the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge Launch Event. As my team and I seize opportunities this summer, I am confident that we will better understand the difference between the outputs and outcomes of the FRN’s activities, all while increasing FRN’s impact in fighting waste and feeding people.
August 11, 2016
June 13, 2016
Lauren Maunus '19 is starting a bold new venture.
Its goal: To help eliminate food waste and bring healthy, affordable food to "food swamps" in Rhode Island and beyond.
March 15, 2016"If little girls like me were saying Barbie is the pretty one and the brown one is the ugly one, that's a problem."
Yelitsa Jean-Charles studies Illustration at RISD with a a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She identifies as a visual activist, and believes that artists have a responsibility as society’s image-makers. Her doll company and book series, Healthy Roots, combats internalized racism and colorism by getting to the root of the problem: altering beauty standards and cultviating self-love for young girls through education, diversity, and positive representation.
March 12, 2016An Excerpt
Mina is a Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellow. She traveled to her home in Iran last summer and brought back a cultural souvenir: the book she wrote, Taste of Culture. She explores Iranian families, streets, stores and the stories and spirit embedded in the recipes of Iranian food. She hopes to start a conversation about the benefit of knowing cuisines of different cultures to connect societies.
This year's class of Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellows have just begun their yearlong foray into the world of social entrepenuership. Check out their projects here.
December 16, 2015
Ria is a 2015 Social Innovation Fellow and co-founder of No Country for Women (NCFW), an internationally-recognized gender education initiative that aims to combat systemic gender-based discrimination in India. Ria and her co-founder, Shreena Thakore ’16, who grew up in India, were awarded the Projects for Peace fellowship and used this grant to launch the project in May of 2014. NCFW was set up to educate the people in India on gender, rape culture, and misogyny through a series of workshops and initiate informed discussions about social change.
I was inspired by Ria’s story because she was determined to start a conversation about an issue in a country that fights hard to keep such issues silent and hidden. We reflected on Ria’s experiences, her interactions with young people, most of whom had never thought about this obvious form of discrimination before, and her moments of self-doubt and extreme conviction.
October 2, 2015