By: Ana-Paula Monteiro
Q & A With Tarshire Battle:
-Master’s in Public Administration—Northeastern University;
-Master’s in Art in Mental Health Counseling in Behavioral Medicine - Boston University;
-18 years in human services, addressing addiction, psychiatric issues & homelessness;
-Works as Mental Health Discharge Planner in an Adult Correctional Facility, ensuring inmates’ psychiatric needs are met post release.
1. What is your role with CAPP?
I’ve been involved with the CAPP Board of Directors for two years, most recently serving as the board’s Secretary.
2. What makes you unique?
I am also an artist and use my artistic platform as a social justice vehicle to create dialogue. I examine racism, injustices of the criminal justice system and issues that homeless people face on a daily basis, like the lack of health insurance, food and descent, affordable homes.
3. Why did you choose CAPP?
The reason why I joined CAPP’s board of directors is because over the years, CAPP has shown that they care about the people in Providence. CAPP’s values also align with mine as a human service professional, which is “to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income individuals.
4. What motivated you to pursue the Little Free Library at CAPP?
I started the Little Library initiative at CAPP because I saw that there was a need to create an avenue where people could have access to books. This initiative would make books available to budding readers and give neighbors who don’t know one another a reason to connect, particularly in a rural setting or an urban location where there just isn’t the quantity or variety of books needed. This initiative is about sharing books, bringing people together and creating a community of readers.
5.What impact do you expect the Library to have and on whom?
I hope that this initiative will ensure access to books at any time of the day, increase literacy rates for the youth and enhance community engagement. I hope that that over time, the community will engage by donating and exchanging books. In an era of e-books and other digital entertainment, the Little Free Library movement, a community exchange program involving traditional books, is important because books invite a physical person-to-object relation, lending more “realness” to the characters and stories. Books enable emotional connectivity, where eBooks do not. It’s about connections!
6. What have you learned through your involvement with the agency?
I’ve learned that people don’t necessarily want handouts, but want services and programs that will allow self-determination to increase confidence in their ability to have resources, value and a voice in the communities that they live in.