Social Practice & Community-Based Art

Community Leadership Award - Second cohort of community leaders awarded

CSEwL announces the second group of local recipients for its Community Leadership Award – Isaac Etter, Dr. Sharee Livingston, and Witt Welch.

Each will receive funding for a self-designed, four-month-long project focused on helping to alleviate problems and address issues affecting Lancaster. The proposed projects will be implemented through the Fall of 2022.

The Black Artist Waystation works to amplify the visibility and support of Black artists in Lancaster. Presented by YWCA Lancaster, their aim is to build a community-led platform for artists who create works that define the movement toward freedom and recognize the many efforts that brought us to this moment. Black Artist Waystation celebrates the link between Lancaster as a waystation on the Underground Railroad, the struggle for freedom that continues today, and the rich tapestry of artistic expression that propels us forward.

Isaac Etter, an activist and social entrepreneur, is collaborating with YWCA to lead Black Artist Waystation. Passionate about racial justice and creating a better child welfare system, he is the founder of Identity and  Etter Consulting. Etter also co-founded an education and advocacy organization, SafeHouse Lancaster, where he was the co-executive director. SafeHouse Lancaster merged with YWCA Lancaster in July of 2021. Etter has also served on the board of directors for several local nonprofits.

The CSEwL Leadership Award will support Livingston with the Diversifying Doulas Initiative (DDI), a Patients R Waiting program that addresses the Black maternal mortality crisis. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die during childbirth than white women, and Latinx women fall closely behind this alarming statistic. The DDI, launched in 2020, connects Lancaster expectant people of color with Doula support.

Dr. Sharee Livingston began practicing in 2006 as an ob/gyn at UPMC Lititz, where today she serves as the Ob/Gyn Department chair. She is also a member of the UPMC Lititz Board of Trustees. Livingston is a founding board member of “Patients R Waiting,” a non-profit organization very dear to her, and founding board member and vice president of FLOW (For the Love of Women). FLOW aims to eliminate period poverty by providing free menstrual hygiene products to vulnerable women in Harrisburg and surrounding areas. She is one of the founders and president of MOKA moms (Moms of Kids Advancing – mothers of color in medicine).

Witt Welch is a senior at Franklin & Marshall College majoring in government with a minor in music. Since he started college, Welch has shown a passion for working with Lancaster youth. He worked at one of F&M’s mentorship programs, Squash ACEs, which allowed him to connect with the Bench Mark Program, started by F&M alum Will Keifer ’14. The CSEwL Leadership Award will help Welch on a new educational program within Bench Mark to support court-adjudicated youth in the Strength-Based Skill Building (SBSB) Program. The new program’s purpose is to continue all-day learning of highest-risk students, those most likely to experience academic learning loss. This program serves a core group of 10 students by pairing them with one-on-one mentors, providing 28 hours of programming each week, and setting SMART goals with other evidence-based programming.

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