Here’s a guest blog from our BH2O+ City Center Mentor, Janet Checkley:

I love cities so much that I went to college to study them.  I regularly read journals with titles like, “International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.”  I love observing the human relationship in a city: what separates us, and what unites us?  How do we share our human experience?

There is an amazing amount of potent energy contained within cities – felt in the constant hum of activity and in the diversity of the city dwellers – that is rarely fully realized.  I fantastize about how the world could change – swiftly, immeasurable – if that energy were turned loose.

When I learned that Nuru International was going to hold BH2O+ “City Center” events this year, I immediately began to envision the potential impact of a city event and was thrilled to be involved.  Being the “City Center Mentor” for BH2O+ 2010 has been one of the most exciting roles I’ve ever taken on because I get to see the issue of water accessibility opened up.  We’re opening doors between a nonprofit development organization and the schools, neighborhoods, businesses and communities which populate our cities that have never been opened before.   This is an urban studies geek’s dream come true!

BH2O+ in Pittsburgh, Seattle and SoCal – our city center events – will create a truly incredibly opportunity for sharing our human experience with one another; people who previously had nothing in common will join together to understand a few moments in the life of a woman in Kuria, Kenya.  

In each city event, everyone – and we mean everyone: youth, parents, teachers, businessmen, grandparents  – will have the chance to discover what it is like to “walk in her shoes.” Participants might be from the wealthiest zip code in the county or from the most disadvantaged slum neighborhood of the area, but everyone will feel the effort it takes to lift a bucket to their heads, and the dignity it takes to walk with one.  

This is an opportunity for us to discover connections between those who walk the paved streets of our cities, and those who walk the dirt tracks of rural Kenya.  Join us as we turn the energy loose, and watch the possibilities unfold!