The Notebook (Issue 6)
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The week of January 11, 2021

THIS QUOTE FROM Pope Francis resonates, as we are all feeling shaken, in one way or another at this time. That feeling unites us in our common humanity, and it is what we do with that feeling that will determine how our families, communities, and our country moves forward from here. 

It is not easy to act in the face of such complex times. As we know, all of these symptoms of our suffering world are interconnected. As HRH Prince Charles recently said, "Planetary health and nature's health is intimately linked to our own health." Paralyzed by inaction from this daunting task of considering the world's Health – not knowing exactly where we fit in and struggling to upkeep our own individual Health at the same time. If we look close enough, inspiration is everywhere. 

People are stepping up to be a part of the solution all around us! Family members who check in via FaceTime, our neighbors, those in our community who are stepping up to care for one another, some of our public servants and elected officials. We invite you to share with us who is inspiring you. Is it your child’s daycare worker? Is it someone from your congregation? Is it our incoming political leadership? Respond to this email and share with us, and then consider sending them a note as well! 

Outgoing Interim Chief of Policy Yvette Gentry is inspiring us today. Yvette Gentry stepped up when her community needed her most, with an extremely challenging job ahead of her. Selfless public service may not be the norm, but Yvette exemplifies what it means to be a public servant and leader in our community. Thank you for setting the model for us all, Yvette.
WEST LOUISVILLE will soon be home to the city’s first Black business tech incubator, an organization with the goal of offering entrepreneurial resources to those “too often shut out of such business opportunities by a lack of support” (Courier Journal). The Russell Tech Business Incubator will provide a physical space, business education and resources, and access to seed funding to residents, with the hopes of combating racial disparities in business ownership and generational wealth. The project is being spearheaded by local entrepreneur Dave Christopher, perhaps known to you from his work founding the AMPED music program in West Louisville. With nearly $3 million in funding from companies such as Humana, Yum!, Brown-Forman, and The Rockefeller Foundation, the incubator will move forward with its first group of 10 entrepreneurs this month.


Mark your calendars! The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute is hosting a webinar on surface water research and water monitoring, related to the spread of COVID-19. The webinar will be held on January 19 from 3 to 4pm and you may register here. The research, conducted by Kentucky Waterways Alliance and UofL’s School of Urban and Public Affairs, monitors sewer overflows into two sections of Beargrass Creek. The goal is to assess how much viral material can be found in surface water and sediment near these sites. For further reading check out this piece, highlighting the possibility that future plans might allow this technique to find the Vaccine Desserts as we must constantly be improving on the vaccine distribution process. 
The University of Louisville’s mindfulness initiative kicked off this week, featuring Owsley Brown III. Click here to watch the recording of this virtual event, designed to teach participants about how to practice various mindfulness techniques that promote many forms of Health through decreasing stress and anxiety, improving concentration and compassion, and promoting well-being.

METRO UNITED WAY (MUW) has joined a growing list of partners to launch Liberation Identification, a campaign advocating for a statewide program that provides state-issued photo IDs to all people leaving incarceration in Kentucky. The program’s purpose is to educate the community on this issue, as well as to advocate for public policy. Please do watch their micro-documentary linked here: "Liberation Identification -- A Key for Reentry."

In addition to this project, they have recently been able to deploy $2 million of Jefferson County CARES Act dollars to support the survival of more than 200 local child care providers during the pandemic. This act of support has provided essential PPE and sustainability stipends for providers who have faced a positive case of COVID-19. Metro United Way is proving that what we need as a community is A New Vision of Health and through their interconnected approach, they are distributing resources and building a more resilient community. Join me in supporting these projects that promote partnership and leadership. 

PLEASE JOIN US on January 26-30, for a Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms: Reshaping Kentucky with Organics virtual conference hosted by the Organic Association of Kentucky. OAK Conference 2021 is a must for farmers, agriculture professionals, home gardeners and those passionate about building more resilient food systems in Kentucky. You may register for the event here


We are thrilled that the COVID-19 vaccine has finally reached Kentucky and will enthusiastically be recipients when it is our “phase.” We found these two tools helpful in determining when that may be: 

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