Butterflies and the Universe!

By: zehra imam

As the founder/director of the Illuminated Cities Project, here is a personal update: I am off to Pakistan this month after seven and a half years of being away. During my visit, I will be drawing upon inspiration from educators, community organizers, and those working for youth and women’s empowerment. I hope to bring back what I learn through my exchanges with the community in Pakistan and share it with students with whom I work in the S. Bronx, New York. Before I take off, I wanted to share something that the Illuminated team did with our youth this past November:

Over Thanksgiving break, we decided to surprise our high school summer 2013 interns and panelists from our event Educated in America: Voices from a Broken System with a treat as a way to express our gratitude! We took them on an adventure – and kept it a surprise until they arrived there – to see the Butterfly Conservatory, the Hayden Planetarium, and then to taste many, delicious desserts!

While our students had previously visited the Natural History Museum through a school field trip, they had never been inside the planetarium or to see the butterflies. It provided us all, especially for whom these trips are a rare treat, with an opportunity for community building and appreciating the smaller things.

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