We said goodbye to NYC this morning and arrived to Philadelphia for Tour adventures in a new city.
Our first stop was Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Though they sadly did not have a home game for us to see, we got a VIP tour of the ballpark. Highlights included a walk on the field and dugout, an inside look of the clubhouse and the media room. We even accidentally ran into a bride and groom getting married that day at the stadium! A special thanks to SquashSmarts Board Member Tom Mashek and Executive Director Steve Gregg for coordinating the visit.
We then traveled to Chinatown for an authentic meal at Lee How Fook restaurant and explored a different part of the city. With full stomachs, our tour of Philly naturally landed us at SquashSmarts where late-night squash and a sleepover at the facility awaits us.
On to DC in the morning!
Inspirational. Once-in-a-lifetime. Unforgettable.
These are the only adjectives that seem fitting to describe today, the day in which the 2016 Citizenship Tour met Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. In a nearly hour-long meeting with our group of 24 students and staff, Justice Kagan spoke with us about her role as a member of the Supreme Court. She spoke candidly about her position on the Second Amendment, about her relationships with her fellow Justices and openly answered our questions. It was an extraordinary meeting and all students left with wisdom to take back to their home cities and programs.
Prior to our trip to the Supreme Court, we visited the Department of Justice to meet with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and Assistant to the Solicitor General Ilana Eisenstein. We learned about the work of the Justice Department and heard about the challenges and rewards of providing justice for all Americans.
Later in the evening, we had a fun hitaround at George Washington University, hosted by Coach Wendy Lawrence. It was a perfect way to cap off a historic day for our students and for urban squash.
Check out the Baltimore Sun’s feature on the Tour through the perspective of SquashWise student Kamarra Richberg.
Baltimore Sun Article –
“Baltimore’s Kamarra Richberg embarks on Urban Squash Citizenship Tour”
After a fun sleepover at SquashSmarts and Independence Hall tour in Philadelphia, we headed south for the Baltimore leg of the Citizenship Tour. Our arrival was highlighted by a meeting with Baltimore-native D. Watkins, a writer and Johns Hopkins professor whose articles have been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Vice, NPR, and Salon. Watkins spoke about his personal journey from former drug dealer to respected author and gave an honest glimpse into the recent events in Baltimore. We walked away feeling inspired!
With such a jammed packed schedule, we’ve barely had any time to relax. Thank you to the Mandels for helping us fix that problem. Squash, tennis, basketball, swimming, and lots of yummy vegan snacks. This was exactly what we needed!
Fred Krupp, CEO of the Environmental Defense Fund, spoke to us about his journey, passion for environment causes, and how we can join the fight.
Thank you, Fred Krupp!
After 2 hours of driving from Walden Pond to Greenwich, CT, we stopped to stretch our legs, enjoy the sun, and do some reading. We read a piece on the moral reasons for veganism. The readings sparked a great conversation amongst the group.
Before we headed off to Greenwich, CT we stopped by Walden Pond, 30 minutes away from Boston. We stopped in for an “usie” (think selfie multiplied by 24) in the replica of Henry David Thoreau’s 10×15 home.
Today the Citizenship Tour began with an exciting visit from Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Michael Dukakis. The tour, along with SquashBusters’ students, staff, and alumni, came together to play the game we all love and then participate in a question and answer session. The students asked an array of questions about the Governors’ passions, inspirations, and experiences in public service.