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The Philanthropiece Youth Global Leaders continue their Insight Trip around the Southwest. The purpose of this trip is for the YGL group to strengthen their capacity through witnessing external leadership within the context of the most pressing issues of our own nation and, in doing so, to better understand the connection between social and environmental justice issues facing the communities and lands of the Southwest US. Below is the latest update from the group!

Nikola Rattlesnake KebobHello again! This is day 10 of our YGL Insight trip. We have spent the last four days in Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona.  The drive here was filled with bumper to bumper traffic and lots of soulful singing. Throughout the week we have met with amazing community leaders and activists at Northern Arizona University. We have discussed a variety of issues such as climate change, mobilized sand dunes, water rights, Uranium mining and American Indian History. We’ve also broadened our cultural horizons beyond what we could have imagined, including trying a culinary treat of the region: rattlesnake kebobs (see Nikola’s reaction in the photo!).

Our time in Sedona and Flagstaff has been a blend of hiking, learning, and laughter. The Sedona sunsets are some of the most extraordinary we have ever seen. The town is beautiful and bustling. On June 10th, we had a celebratory dinner in Sedona for Alicia and Nikola’s 23rd and 17th birthdays, respectively. YGL Volunteer extraordinaire, Lisa Wertz, was also able to join us for a lovely Chinese dinner.

The YGLers have each chosen one word to describe our time in Sedona and Flagstaff. Here are some of those words: reflective, refreshing, exposed, adventurous, resources, energy, inspirational, awareness, enlightening, and authority.  As is notable through these words, Sedona and Flagstaff have fostered growth for us as individuals and as a group. We have learned a lot and can take our knowledge into the next leg of our trip. Everyone is very excited to continue our journey into Tuba City and the Hopi Reservation where we will be staying with a Navajo family and exploring the Hopi-Navajo land dispute.

Until next time!