Today marked the beginning of the last five days of class! I am not looking forward to leaving, it went by way too fast. Anyways, I'm sure I'll be writing more of that kind of stuff later on this week. Class started with some guest speakers from Media Mobilizing Project. Because the media often sends out negative messages, this organization turns the tables and uses it to tell inspiring stories regarding poverty. This offers an alternative to mainstream media. We split into groups and made a short video about what we've learned in the last three weeks. My group decided to take a different stance and make a video about contradictions we have found in our class. Some people talked about how our professors are two white males around the same age, others found it interesting that most of the topics we cover are involving the United States even though there are people from all over the world in our class. My contradiction was that while a lot of us came here to learn how to fight the system, we created our own social hierarchy within our class. In other words, we have cliques and students who are more "popular" than others.
This project was very appealing to me because I want to major in Media/Communications. Often when I say this people assume I want to pray on consumers through advertising. This organization is a perfect example that media can and should be used for good, which I intend to use it for. I've been thinking about doing advertising for nonprofits all over the world to get their name and cause out there. I still have plenty of time to make a final decision on my career plans, though.
In the afternoon session, we had two more guest speakers, Steve Honeyman and Andres Freire. They were to give us a workshop on how to organize communities. We began by discussing the characteristics of social change and giving examples of when we had personally seen change in the world. Some students shared movements they were involved in that made huge changes and others shared stories of making differences within one community. They told us how to know when the changes were significant. We then talked about self interest. Some people do service to make themselves look better or to improve their own lives and don't actually care about the people they are making a stand for. In other words, sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reasons. We agreed that this is okay, as long as the movement benefits more than JUST the organizer.
There was another optional documentary we could come watch with Professor Nairn tonight. It was called "Paris is Burning" and was about transvestites of color in New York. There was a great quote about the struggles that these people have to face. A lot of them got involved in prostitution and many illegal activities, probably due to the oppression they faced. The whole movie was very interesting and eye opening. Today has been another inspirational day to add to the long list!