Thursday, August 8, 2013

Farewell to a great summer intern!

Summer Intern Mervin Davis
My name is Mervin Davis, and I hail from the beautiful archipelago of the Bahamas. I am a graduate student at Shaw University in Education. One may ask, What attracted you to Toxic Free NC? Well, having been a Health Officer for a number of years, I developed a consciousness for the protection of the environment and those who live in it.

During the preparation for summer break I decided that I would not take a trip home to my wonderful country, but instead would seek an internship here in Raleigh. I was delighted when I saw a post at Shaw’s Career Center advertising Toxic Free NC’s need for a Community Leadership Council intern. I eagerly started my research on the organization, which described itself as a mover and shaker for social justice in North Carolina. Having always been driven by a desire to campaign for a healthy environment and the creation of healthy food systems, I determined this was a fantastic opportunity.

I consider the environment my first love, which was developed through thirteen years of professional service with the Department of Environmental Health of the Bahamas. During this time I petitioned to have not just political and governmental entities determine best practices, but to have truly concerned citizens join the movement to create proposals for best health practices. I found this at Toxic Free NC.

During this summer internship I looked forward to my days at Toxic Free NC. Eager to assume all duties as outlined in my work plan, I knew that every time I completed a task it was supporting those at the forefront of the fight for health justice: the members of Toxic Free NC’s Community Leadership Council.  I have developed a great respect for every CLC member – they work tirelessly to promote best health practices for their communities.

The Community Leadership Council is a group of exemplary and upstanding individuals throughout North Carolina who campaign in different ways for healthy food, water and pesticide-free environments in their communities. CLC members all give of their time, talent and energy in spite of busy schedules, family and miscellaneous duties for a cost that counts: food and health justice. One member I have gotten to know well is Connie Schultz, who works with NC Community Garden Partners, among other organizations. Connie has been exceptionally friendly and always eager to be of assistance to me. Connie has a strong desire to educate and share relevant information, and thanks to her I learned about the Endocrine Disruption Exchange. Thanks Connie for being such an ambassador for health justice.

I am exceptionally grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a part of the movement that unselfishly educates and empowers the community for health justice with no ulterior motives. Toxic Free NC in her quiet yet strong stance acts as a watchdog; and exclaims to all systems that affect the environmental health of those in North Carolina, “You are accountable and someone’s watching!”

Special thanks for the donors who made this internship possible; it won’t be forgotten. To Toxic Free NC’s staff members, “you guys make it easy to fit in.” Last but not least the Community Leadership Council, thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Toxic Free NC's Community Leadership Council is taking applications for new members through August 13th! If you're a local leader for Food Justice, please apply!

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