Urban Farming with Infinite Zion
With pure passion and a plot of land, Raymond and Cherette Warthen at Infinite Zion Farms have built an innovative urban farm that serves Orlando’s underserved Parramore community.
We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to tour Infinite Zion’s main farm and learn about Raymond’s journey in this endeavor that provides fresh, organic produce to Parramore while promising agricultural opportunities to the local homeless population.
We were thoroughly inspired and impressed by Raymond’s efforts to uphold Infinite Zion as the community’s gem, and are excited to share BitGarden with him. We are honored to work with Infinite Zion!
Nico Betancur — a Computer Science student partnering with FCI to work on his senior project — and Delanie Monroe — an Environmental Engineering student interning with FCI as part of the Bob Graham Center — are building BitGarden. BitGarden is a voice-assisted farming app that guides and educates users through the gardening process for a variety of crops.
With the Warthens’ collaboration on our BitGarden project and agreement to host the finished product as a public education tool at Infinite Zion, we can promote agricultural education initiatives and emphasize the growing importance of minority-led urban farms in Florida.
Follow FCI on social media for more updates on BitGarden! We also urge you to visit and donate to Infinite Zion farms if you are in favor of fighting food insecurity and empowering communities.
Strategic Planning for Social Media
Studying Abroad Without Breaking the Bank: Advice from Erika and Aimee Clesi
Enhancing Stakeholder Participation
Municipal Outreach and how Municipalities in Florida Help Beneficiaries Access Resources
The Needs of Social Workers in Florida
Identifying Gaps in Resources Provided by Nonprofits to Beneficiaries
Through the University of Michigan’s School of Information, in Fall 2021, FCI partnered with undergraduate researchers from the University Reach Consulting Group. These students worked with FCI to investigate the distribution and accessibility of resources throughout the Central Florida area. Through a survey drafted and dispersed by FCI and the Central Florida Foundation, Reach compared the concentration of active resource providers across over fifteen counties in Central Florida.
It was found that education and disability resources were especially sparse across almost all counties, with the exception of Orange County. From there Reach concluded that proportional funding for such resources based on population size should be implemented. Explore their results online.
This project is led by Chloe Dill, an FCI student. It began in Fall 2021 and is expected to run for up to two years. Chloe is working with Dr. Ron Chandler, a product partner Commutifi, and other FCI volunteers on a interdisciplinary research project, developed in partnership with Florida Community Innovation, and supported by a Haskell Grant. The study will compare types of messaging that aim to drive sustainable behavior change, using psychological theory and an environmental topic.
Specifically, the study will focus on the role of self-efficacy, the belief or perception that one can accomplish something. This research could inform future messaging campaigns, and be applied to a broad range of topics, including science communication, community psychology, sustainability, and public health. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traffic Safety Data Visualization Project
Led by Shawna Dean and Maddie Kuennen, two FCI students, this project is under development, with an anticipated release in Fall 2022. The question this project is attempting to answer: which locations pose the greatest safety threat to Gainesville pedestrians and how can we help people avoid those areas? To answer this question, Shawna and Maddie are mapping instances of traffic crashes reported by the city’s police department, with the goal of providing a public data visualization and education experience on FCI’s website for the Gainesville community.
Historical Education in Miami
GoBituary is an app that FCI is building for City Cemetery in Miami – 1800 NE 2 AV, Miami 33132 – that walks the community through history at the level of individual lives, by prompting park visitors to scan QR codes on specific graves, thus engaging with multi-media histories about the individuals commemorated in the cemetery. This project leverages the power of the arts (specifically storytelling) for community building, with the hypothesis that educating community members about history could prompt them to feel more connected to Miami and more civically engaged.
This project promises to build high-quality tech product that makes history accessible to people of all ages in Miami and honors the individual lives that compromise Miami’s diverse and rich history. The project draws upon the expertise of City Cemetery staff and expertise from History Miami.
Domestic Violence Survivor Language project
Although in its earlier stages, FCI is also hoping to increase resource accessibility for some of Florida’s most vulnerable communities with the Domestic Violence Survivor Language project. This project aims to address the barriers present for and resources available to Spanish speaking victims of domestic violence by conducting research on accessibility issues and creating beneficiary-facing resource guides to address the issues that are uncovered.