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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cooperation Without Borders

Today was a day full of enlightening lectures, discussions, presentation, etc that just totally blew my mind. I couldn't believe what I gaining through everything. This has made me think of not just America, but also my home country, China, in a different limelight. The perspectives of everyone inside the room was so different yet so similar simultaneously and I was able to get so much out of everyone's input on the subjects of discussions. 

I woke up a little after 7AM and met up with Elexis and Joanne for breakfast at the Commons. As we were walking towards the dining commons, we've reflected on how common we have been eating the same foods so under democracy voting, we decided to not go there and instead buy sandwich at the local food trucks. It was so much better than the Commons foods. I think that for the last few days I'll be trying more of the breakfast sit-ins and enjoy the last of what Philadelphia has to offer.

Our class started at 9AM today and it just started with a bang with our returning guest speaker, Cassidy! She was inspirational yesterday and phenomenal today. The topic of discussion for the morning session was White People Against Racism. Often times we look at white supremacy as a subject to blame, and every white person is at fault. That's not necessarily the case, however. Dating back to Anne Braden's time, she was an advocate for equal rights of men and women and of race. The times she spent notifying white people of how they can stop racism in the community by doing things little by little. Her footsteps were brought on to today's conversation about how peace brigades are active all across the country, all fighting for one thing: equality. Just as how there are Confederate parties and KKK still in existence today, there are also many anti-racial segregation parties coming together to promote love and actively participating to cohabit with one another, regardless of one's skin color. As Cassidy talked more and more about racism, it hits right at home because I was raised in a neighborhood of diversity. As my stomache convulses, I recalled those memories of which I have been called names and people beating up my friend yet I did nothing to help her because I thought it was okay for kids to beat up kids. I'm still cringing as I type but I understand that in order to delve deeper, you must let go sometimes in order to take in more things. 

The morning session was really great and I just went to lunch mainly talking about what we had discussed in class today. During the afternoon, I joined into the conversation with Professor Tony as he described today's situation on Contemporary Social Justice Theory and Practices and his viewpoint on his ideology of what makes a better system than what America currently runs on. It was never too clear as to what side Professor Tony was one, but I made one point clear for sure: he was in favor of black lives matter. And I think its a good thing because a lot of people do not understand how simple and literal that phrase is. I may know about this since I grew up in Oakland, California but people in Cleveland, Ohio wouldn't. Having access to these information is definitely eyeopening and worth all the time to invest in. I would never had picked another session to go to. One doesn't have to agree with another wholeheartedly, and that's totally okay. It's the differences that makes a conversation and a community of diversity.

I really loved today's class so we celebrated by going to a nearby Pho restaurant and ordered some grilled pork with rice. It was by far one of the most close-to-home dishes I've eaten for the past three and a half weeks. I just can't wait until I'm back in California enjoying the delicious foods, but before then, I'd like to feed my head with some awareness of social justice that I can't get back home!

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