In my WGS classes I’m the first to point out that in order to affect change you do not have to do direct like hands-on service.
Let me explain.
Some people will try to tell you that you are the wrong kind of Feminist, Social Justice advocate, Black person etc. if you’re not giving back to your community in some way. While I do feel that it’s important to give back, not everyone can do this. I believe there is privilege in being able to attend a march, rally, sit-in etc. For instance, if you attend a rally or march that gets out of hand how with the police respond to you as a person of color? Are these areas, organizations wherever you’re volunteering accessible for the differently abled? What if that’s not your personality (i.e introverted, shy, anxious)?
Today we talked about the CPS school closings etc etc etc. Obviously there are a trillion reasons why schools and students in Chicago are not reaching their full potential. There are issues surrounding allocation of resources, the teachers may be burn-out, you might have teacher’s coming and going frequently who may not be as passionate (read: teach for america), there is the issue of parent’s involvement, there are student’s economic barriers (students who do not have clothes for school may not want to go or may be subjected to bullying), what about how Blacks are supposed to view education (I remember being called an Oreo for loving school) and trying to avoid that torment. There’s the school to prison pipeline with Black students being suspended much more frequently than White students for similar offenses, the Prison Industrial Complex sweeping up parents and students alike,hunger (can’t concentrate if you’re hungry right? Might be sluggish and tired as a result of poor nutrition), and what about the preconceived notions held by educators about students of color being lazy, unteachable, unreachable?
This list is not exhaustive. But when you think about ALL those factors impacting the lives of people of color, specifically looking at Chicago, there are SO many areas from which to work from. First, I am a huge proponent of internet activism if you have access, and just talking and dialoguing about these issues because a lot of people don’t know about them! If you just have someone who’s like “black students ain’t shyt that’s why their schools suck” and you drop knowledge on them, that can enrage them and stir them to action. Also, you can’t just start talking at people about “fixing” and “helping” without them having background information! That’s privilegy on your part.
Then if you have timmmeee you can intern or volunteer with say an organization which provides healthy food options at affordable rates in predominately minority neighborhoods. That helps CPS students/families eat and be healthy. If you have the ability to buy from Black owned businesses: do that, because that goes to a family who’s student is probably in CPS. Educate someone you know about transformative justice who can in turn tell someone they know. And if you like hands-on go tutor! Mentor!
I just don’t want anyone to be alienated or feel that they’re not the right kind of this or that because someone is dictating what it is they feel you should be doing. Do what you are able to and comfortable with doing even if that’s sitting on twitter forcing your tweets upon your unsuspecting timeline.
You’re already awesome!
Vision- Know what you want.
Decide- Choose consciously.
Act- Move forward with enthusiasm.
Persist- Continue until you succeed.
I recommend that you listen deeply to what you desire for you.
Listen for the highest outcome, rather than searching for the details.
I legit get nervous when I think about our generation ruling the world. I want to be the change the world needs, but at the same time we can’t change other people. The future is a scary domain for the mind to speculate and imagine about.
I love reading books about the demise of society, and films such as I Am Legend stimulate great thought about the what ifs. Freshman Year for HON 101 I read a book named Blindness by Jose Saramago where the whole city is struck by sudden blindness and the blind were quarantined in an asylum and social order crumbled from within, which in my eyes paralleled the the crumbling of society and government in modern times. It seemed to say either the people of the world were blind to the issues surrounding them or it commented on the ineptitude of perfectly fine people to maintain a world free of violence, crime, poverty and frivolous inappropriate behaviors.
If there was a disaster would people be able to put aside their selfishness and come together as one in order to survive? What is the true capacity for which we can care enough about others where our own desire for gain can be put aside? I wish I could have more faith in society, but i see everyday the cruelty and inconsideration people have, and i highly doubt social order would be maintained in wake of a tragedy.