It has been a busy semester for the Fundraising group! We have been able to apply for 5 grants so far, and have two more grant applications in progress as well! Additionally, the Fundraising team spent October and November preparing for the Fall Donor Update and Report, as well as Give to the Max Day (GTMD)! We were able to raise $3,705 dollars, and $2,000 will be matched, making a grand total of $5,705 raised on GTMD. Thank you to everyone who donated and/or contributed to EWB’s efforts this Give to the Max Day. If you were not able to donate, don’t worry, EWB accepts donations year around! If you are interested in donating, please click on this link. Coming up next semester is another round of grants to apply for, as EWB will have two teams traveling next year as well!
The Context Committee had an eventful semester! In our meetings we discuss topics and skills that help our chapter have a more thoughtful approach to our projects. We lead discussions with our three project meetings, covering topics such as voluntourism, the language we use, power dynamics, and the historical background of our projects. In a recent presentation, we explored where power dynamics exist and how they may impact our project relationships. Psychologists John French and Bertram Raven proposed six types of power (link) through a publication in 1959. Most relevant to EWB are their definitions of legitimate, expert, referent and informational types of power. When considering interactions between a community member and EWB volunteer, what power dynamics may be present? Between a community leader and EWB volunteer? Between two engineers? Between a student and a mentor? What impact do these power dynamics have on the relationship or work? Are people afraid to give input? Do they feel respected and listened to or dismissed? We compared this framework to ideas from Eric Liu, an American writer who focuses on civic life. His proposed three laws of civic power (link) suggest ways we can harness our power in the civic arena through “reading and writing power”. Power dynamics can be viewed from many different perspectives so we found it interesting to think about whether all sources of power are valued equally and how we should change our behavior based on perceived power dynamics.