I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in two local community-based service learning projects this semester for my social studies methods class.
The first one was at a town called Rendville. You can read more about its fascinating history here.
Our service at Rendville was in conjunction with their Emancipation Day celebration. I really enjoyed the speeches from the President of the Rendville Historic Preservation Society, when he talked about how he and his friends used to “run these hills” and play Batman and Robin and baseball in the street where they kept their own statistics. There was also a speech from a representative from the Communications Workers’ Union that was very powerful, especially the way she connected her work as a woman of color in the labor movement to Richard L. Davis. His example of the power of unity helped him recruit over 20,000 to the mine workers’ union, which is still an incredible number. The great-great-grandson (I might be missing a great) of Richard L. Davis who gave a speech from his writings was also incredible. It was such a powerful connection of the past to the present in that place.