Meet Evelyn Van Til, as many of you already have, as she has been a long-standing Columbus community activist.
As a resident, along with Woody, of the Weinland Park neighborhood, she’s active in the community discussions, as well as social & racial justice, food justice, and the free dissemination of information.
We agreed to hold our interview at Franklinton’s newest coffee shop, Stauf’s, inside the Columbus Idea Foundry, Wednesday, December 6.
Although I developed a standard set of questions to start off these CAFFEINE COMMUNION interviews, with the intention that exciting details will follow, organically, as per the nature of each interviewee, Evelyn soon grabbed the wheel and swayed my format up onto the curb, metaphorically tearing across a vacant Franklinton lot, as it were. And that was perfectly OK by me!
Evelyn’s VALUES: To “not leave a mess, make matters better than when I found them.” For instance, sidewalk cutaways, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), provide transportation access for people confined to wheelchairs, yes, but so much more, exponentially encouraging walkability for people with strollers, bikes, even big-wheels. And this builds neighborhood cohesion, and improves safety.
These core values help drive her current MISSION: “Opening doors through open source.” It’s her belief that we all benefit when there are more diverse users at the table, and her current position with Tech Talent South, housed at the Idea Foundry, enables her to expand the viability of her mission. Tech has the potential to democratize the accessibility to information, communication, education and the election process in United States. Everyone would live at a certain level of basic decency and the ceiling opens to opportunity. Tech Talent South holds classes and provides events to bring people and neighborhoods together.
We talked about the proverbial “box” that we’re often advised to work outside of. What is this box? I posit that it’s our comfort zone, the space where fear is kept at bay, where we must invest in risk in order to rise to our next level of development, transcending the fear of scarcity with the confidence of abundance. She tells me of her “Date Night” game she plays with her partner, going out to try new restaurants, new cuisine, meet new people, in order to keep things fresh and keep growing.
WHERE/WHAT WILL COLUMBUS/US/WORLD BE IN 5 YEARS, 2022? We arrived at no clear idea here, but agree, we want people to watch out for others, engage in their neighborhoods, organize groups to work with city council, United Way, the Columbus Foundation, Smart Columbus. Keep the voices pushing to be heard by the power structure.
And here are upcoming events at Tech Talent South in Franklinton to extend tech-savvy stuff in Columbus.
Thanks for your time, Evelyn.
Now how about YOU?
Let’s get together over some steaming cup of caffeine and see what your buzz might be.
Hit me at jim1coe@gmail or text/phone at (614) 440-1445.