Program Feature - Ecolibrium3
Ecolibrium3 provides distinct VISTA experiences as a non-profit organization working in northeastern Minnesota. Ecolibrium3 worked with the State of Minnesota to define a 'Community Resilience Framework' which identified core community functions that need to be advanced in order to make a community more resilient after catastrophic flooding in 2012. The Framework focuses on economic development, housing, energy, natural resource management, and health.
The Ecolibrium3 VISTA Corps began in 2017 and currently has sixteen positions working around concepts of community resilience and poverty. VISTA Program Director and CEO of Ecolibrium3, Jodi Slick states, "Each position in our VISTA Corps is unique. We have built our program around identifying strong partners and understanding individual organizational needs for capacity building."
The Ecolibrium3 VISTA Corps reflects the organization’s priorities by establishing mini-cohorts that are tackling different challenges. For example, members are currently serving at Ecolibrium3, the Duluth Community Garden Program, Zeitgeist Center for Arts and Community, the Damiano Center, the Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which all focus around food security and sovereignty. "Some areas of our community face a health disparity where residents in one census tract die, on-average, twenty years earlier than adjacent tracts." Slick said, "It is all related to the social determinants of health and access to things like healthy food and healthcare. Each VISTA member is building community capacity to create a collective impact to address these difficult challenges."
Additional examples of sites and local issues addressed by the Ecolibrium3 VISTA Corps are positions at the City of Duluth on planning and equity, the Duluth Children's Museum on STEM education, Life House on social enterprise development with homeless youth, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation on disaster resilience, Habitat for Humanity on housing, St. Louis County Public Health on opioid reduction, and Ecolibrium3 partnering with low-income providers on energy poverty.
To learn more about the Ecolibrium3 VISTA Corps and positions for 2019-2020, please contact Jodi Slick or Roger Jones at 218-336-1038 and check out www.ecolibrium3.org/Americorps.
photo "Ecolibrium3 VISTA Corps members completing a joint day of service to clean an abandoned property in Duluth, MN."