The Chipotle Cultivate Festival this year drew thousands of visitors to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, City Park in Denver, and Lincoln Park in Chicago for free celebrations of all things sustainable, including food, ideas, and music!
Southwest Airlines joined other corporate leaders in sponsoring the 2013 Cultivate Festival, which highlights everyday ways people can positively impact the environment. By engaging the community, the festival was a fun and tasty way to educate on how to live and eat in more environmentally responsible ways.
Attendees tasted their way throughout the festival and enjoyed each of Cultivate’s six fun “experiences” such as Farm Facts, the California Avocado, Fresh vs. Processed Foods, the Tabasco experience, and the Cinema experience presented by Southwest Airlines. Southwest Employees who support our Green Team’s efforts passed out peanuts and pretzels and spoke to people attending the festival about our shared commitment to the environment and sustainability while introducing them to our short film, “From the Heart.” Throughout the day, attendees were able to visit with Southwest’s Green Ambassadors in the parks and learn about how Southwest encourages recycling.
At the recycling and compost areas throughout the festival, which Southwest sponsored, we were able to highlight the great work and responsibility we take in our own successful co-mingled recycling program.
More than 100,000 people attended the 2013 Cultivate Festival in San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago! This great event allowed us to engage with the community and our Customers and let them know about all the great things our green-minded Employees are doing to foster environmental stewardship in our Company and in our communities—and, that we do it all from the heart.
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“I moved here from Malawi, and when I first came here, I was very bullied for my accent. I think this made me work harder on my English and also know how important it is to put a stop to bullying.” There was a sympathetic silence that fell across the room full of kids ages 12 to 17 when Muhozi shared his experience. Muhozi was one of the teens I was so fortunate to interact with during Usher’s New Look youth leadership conference in Atlanta. The organization’s mission is to help ensure the success of young people as leaders throughout the world by giving them the right tools to identify issues in their community where they can make a difference and implement a solution. Muhozi spoke with me candidly about moving here so many years ago and what his experience had been like. I asked him if he missed Malawi, and he responded with a smile that it was more that he missed his family. He went on to explain he had not been back to visit in years because of the unrest and danger of traveling there. Muhozi was sitting with an equally charming and bright teenager named Fatmata. Like Muhozi, she had moved to the United States years ago from Sierra Leone. Fatmata also mentioned she missed home, but had been back to visit a few times. Both of these teens were smart, kind-hearted, and so open to sharing their experiences with me. I soon found myself wanting to hear more and even take a picture with them so I wouldn’t ever forget meeting these two special people! On the second day of the three-day conference, Southwest Leaders, Captain Rob Amsler and Southwest Board Member and Atlanta-native Veronica Biggins, hosted a training workshop to show nearly four dozen youth just like Muhozi and Fatmata how to identify their special talents, pinpoint issues within their community (such as Muhozi’s example of bullying), develop strategies to address those issues, and then find ways to implement a solution to help others. As I observed and interacted with all the kids that day, I felt very humbled by their eagerness to share their personal stories and show us their hidden talents like singing, performing cheers, rapping, or just volunteering their personal views on various subjects. Each teen in the room was unique and shared different views. One thing they all had in common is the confidence to be leaders and look forward to a successful future. I left Atlanta that day with two new friends—Muhozi and Fatmata—who left a lasting impression and reinforced how proud I am to work for a Company that supports an organization like this that mentors, empowers, and uplifts children and teens—helping them recognize their strengths and giving them the confidence to become fearless leaders of our future.
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