Today, we visited OPAL (Organizing People Activating Leaders), a nonprofit that focuses on environmental justice. We began our day by walking to a small park and doing an icebreaker to get our blood pumping. Then, we came back to the office and got to learn about what OPAL does. We first watched an animated video of a young woman of color that organizes her community because changes are being brought to her neighborhood that will negatively impact it. It was an inspiring video! The youth organizers for the organization led a discussion where we learned more about East County and the work they do. It was nice hearing about the place that is most familiar to me since I live in East County. We also learned that the youth organizers go out and talk to transit users to hear about their experience using TriMet, so that they can then report it in the TriMet board meetings. Overall, being able to learn about the significant work OPAL does was a fun and educational experience! Some of us will keep on touch with them to work with them in the future.
After lunch we got to visit the site where we will do our project. This was the very first time we had been so it was really exciting! Like yesterday, we got assigned a card to focus on a certain aspect of this area. I had the “people” card and was asked to look at how people interacted with the space. I noted that not many people were there, except for a few waiting for the bus or walking by. After we were done going through the site, we went back to our home base and got assigned to different groups so we can finally begin our project!