Sunday, August 30, 2015

A new foumd interest

I never considered social justice as something I would be interested in, but now I am a strong advocate for it. I always used to think that social justice was just gender rights for women and to not be racist. 

On the first day of class my original definition was shattered by my peers definitions. Professor Lamas had us to write what we thought or felt social justice was. The definitions ranged from male and female gender rights to equity to sexual representation. Just from those three definitions my mindset was deepened. From that moment on I dedicated my time to trying to learn why my peers felt the way they did. 

Professor Lamas, Michael Nairn, and Dr. Anthony Monteiro were excellent teachers. They taught in a way that was completely different from what I'm used too. Obviously, the difference was in the fact that they are college professors and I've only received a high school level teaching. But, they taught with a dynamic that  was confusing but made us think. They would say certain things that to me were a contradiction. But, now I see  that through that technique I was able to develop my own tailor made definition of what social justice is with a deeper understanding. 

I feel like in the three weeks of taking the course I developed a more open mind. Some of the topics we discussed in our teaching fellow groups were very sad and disheartening but through those conversations we found ways to make changes. One of the topics we discussed was human trafficking. We had an extensive conversation do to the fact that one of my group members did a research project about it when she was 14 years old. She became really invested and knew it was a very important aspect of social justice. We all knew that we would not be able to completely stop human trafficking on our own. But, we can help the human trafficking organizations out there. 

This experience gave me the opportunity to gain an understanding of the "world" people in other countries live in. For instance, two of my fellow students taught about the little known "Palestine-Israel war" that is taking place right now. They were able to teach on it because they have family there and have visited many times. They were each able to share with us the encounters they had as Palestinians traveling through Israel. One of them was spit on by a Israeli checkpoint officer. From that alone I learned that all of us have different struggles but we should be understanding.

I really enjoyed my time in the Social Justice Research Academy. Each and every person I met within it had, a compelling affect on me. My definition of social justice is now, the right to receive the same opportunity as another, regardless of social status, sexual orientation, sexuality, gender, race, culture, or religion. To make it short it is basically equity. I learned that equity is very important in our society and in any society. 

I also learned that I do enjoy social justice efforts. I have received a deeper connection with advocacy through this program.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Professor Lamas, Michael Nairn, and Dr. Monteiro for everything they taught me. And also, to Dato Aronia my teaching fellow and my entire teaching fellow group. But, most importantly to Don Gosney, the sponsors and contributors or made this possible for me.

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