SIFE stands for “Students In Free Enterprise.” (Recently, SIFE changed its name to ENACTUS, though it’s still common to read about SIFE/ENACTUS.) North Central College’s club started with mainly business students whose main concern was the U.S. deficit. Then they started investigating free trade. It wasn’t long before the group transformed into one of the college’s great social change organizations. Competing against all colleges and universities in America, North Central College’s SIFE team has established itself as one of the nation’s best with their committed, innovative projects for economic growth and justice.
In 2012 they again won first place in the Midwest Region and are again off to national finals, this time for an innovative mix of projects, including starting a community garden at one of our family’s Emmanuel House sites.
*** Read about the Emmanuel House project Here.
*** OVERVIEW. Go Here to read about the total mix of SIFE projects and the names of some of the students involved– as well as SIFE’s dedicated, inspirational faculty advisors.
*** TV SERIES. Go Here to see SIFE’s MISSION COFFEE CAN internet TV show, a series of 14 episodes documenting one of its most important ventures: the establishment of a coffee business which, in paying Guatemalan farmers more than fair trade prices, has helped turn around the fortunes of an entire town and surrounding region. Though the series is probably no longer on the original hosting site, you can get most of the episodes on YouTube. Start with the Trailer for the whole series.
*** SIFE & The UNION. Go Here to read a short article giving an example of SIFE’s partnership with another of the college’s important social change projects: The Union. Besides holding concerts in support of SIFE, The Union sells SIFE’s gourmet coffee (The Conscious Bean), and clothing and other items from SIFE projects.
THE FUTURE? One of the projects I’m most looking forward to is with the Hopi on their mesas in northeastern Arizona. For many, many years I brought Hopi elder Ramson Lomatewa to North Central College to teach and to do special lectures and community outreach. Now, with Ramson as our main contact on Third Mesa and anthroplogy professor Matt Krystal and accounting professor Jerry Thalmann in the lead for the college, a project—parts of which I had imagined for a decade—is now actually taking shape in new, exciting ways. We hope it leads to more cultural exchange and educational opportunities for our students, and more wide-spread, systematic support for teaching, making, and marketing Hopi art.
√ Go to the SOCIAL CHANGE page on this site.