We have all come a long way since we signed up for this alternative assignment back in September. The road to the benefit night was a great and exciting journey, which we all learned from and gained valuable life lessons. Through individual and group participation, we all worked together to create a successful event, which not only raised funds for rural Ghanaian students but also raised awareness. Furthermore, through the engagement of this social justice event we made a difference in the lives of the many deserving brilliant, under privileged Ghanaian students.
We started off by communicating with Ms. Gifty and other members of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of British Columbia (GCABC). After acquiring information of the cause and the event, we began taking initiative by going out into the community to seek donations and raise awareness about the upcoming event. We contacted all of the African businesses listed on the GCABC list, however only one business was able to provide support: Taste of Africa was able to donated delicious donuts for the night. We proceeded to delegate tasks to individual group members, which included: the distribution of posters, tickets, promotional water bottles, and the creation of a promotional facebook event. Furthermore, through contact with Ten Thousand Villages, three group members participated in an awareness event at the store, which lasted 4 hours. It was a successful in that Ten Thousand Villages donated 15% of the total profit for the day to our event. When we received notice that the premise of the event had been changed, we need to re-strategize to ensure that the event would be entertaining. To make the event more enticing we included prizes that would be worthwhile for people buying raffle tickets. Some of the group members were able to have prizes donated, and we also had to purchase the prizes as well. Also, we contacted many musical acts, and were successful in booking one band. After everything was finalized, we met up at both the Langley and Surrey campuses to promote the event through a second round of ticket pre-sale as well as raising awareness by handing out flyers and more promotional water bottles.
On the day of the event, we met up early at the conference room to set up for all aspects of the night. We assigned roles to each group member to ensure the night would go as smooth as possible. As a last minute addition we were lucky enough to have Bonnie Sutherland as a guest speaker at the event to educate the crowd about the work that Afretech does. We felt that this was the most valuable part of the event because people got to see what is happening in some under developed parts of Africa and how they could contribute. We appreciated that this organization was strictly non-profit, and had little to no overhead to ensure that every dollar goes directly to improve African communities.
To us, social justice means raising awareness of inequalities, injustices, and being active in the community to help take a stand. The important thing that we took away from the event was the positivity associated with getting involved in social justice events for a greater cause. We learned that it’s possible to make a difference to matter who you are. As we learned in class, silence is deadly, everyone’s voice counts. Motivation and dedication leads to a change and if we all participate, then we can see great progress.
This is the second time I’ve seen Chimamanda Adichie’s speech about how where she lives and grew up in Nigeria is commonly associated with negative things and how her community isn’t well projected to other countries. She continues to say how we can no longer base all of our opinions about an entire nation from selective sources that cherry pick through the information that gets shown. Of course parts of Africa aren’t as fortunate as others but we don’t usually think for the higher comminuties to be even remotely similar to the way of life we have here in Canada. Adichie’s speech left a very strong impact on me even for the second time around because it reminds me to the time that I believed that all parts of Africa were the same until my Grandpa went travelling to many different parts of Africa, and came back with amazing stories and photos of the country that changed the way I saw this country. This reminds me of how some of the brightest indivuduals come from countries similar to where Adichie is from and how you must gather information from many different sources before you can make a collective idea of such a large nation such as Africa.
When we watched the video a few classes ago about the different Races I didn’t think my perception would change very much because at a young age in society today we are taugh and educated about the different cultures and races. What surprised me in the video was the lab experiment when all of the students took a sample of their blood and predicted who they thought they would share the most similarities with based on skin colour, eye colour and hair colour. Many of the students predicted that they would be most similar to the students whos backgrounds were located closer geographically because this ususally meant that their skin colours and hair colour were closer than a student who was geographically located further. The outcomes were rather surprising, and most if not all of the predictions were wrong, and students were shocked when they found out which apperance they shared more characterisitics with. This got me thinking about if we were to do this same experiment who would I predict is the most similar to me and I wonder how accurate my predictions would be.
When I watched Dr. CQA’s video about cocoa beans for the second time, it made me think more about how things that happen in other countries no matter how far away effect the activity and economy in Canada. We generally don’t give the amount of thought that is necessary when we go to the groccery store and buy products that are imported from other countries. Of course when someone asks us what countries all of these goods come from we generally guess right, we often forget to awknowledge the goods that aren’t locally grown or made. Same goes for products that we see in stores such as a store that I visit quite often called Ten Thousand Villages. This store is a fair trade store that imports goods from many different areas of the world. These items are often looked up upon as having cultural value to them and are meant to be sold and kept in safe places. This all goes back to how the goods and items that are made in other countries effect sales in Canada and how another countries artifacts are appricaited all over the world and are cherished amoung many.
How do majority racial groups benefit from minorities?
Today in class we discussed the few reasons why elite groups in society gain from the existence of minorities. We talked about the most common and most often discussed way which is cheap labour and slavery. Although it is not as common and in your face as it was during the slave trade, it still goes on in a more secretive manor. Minority groups are also rented and sold appartments and houses at very high prices and are tricked because the not being able to sell them back to prices anywhere close to how much they bought for. We also talked about how they are good scapegoats for the elite groups in society because they enjoy believing that people in the minority racial group are inferior to them.
Weber, Cooley, Mills, and WI Thomas were all very different sociological figures that all contributed in shaping the view of sociology we have today.
Weber, still known as one of the few primary founders of sociology helps us in understanding the nature of society. He is most known for his term “Verstehen” meaning “Understanding”; to understand the core of social interactions and putting deep emphasis on the reasons why certain things happen in societies. Cooley on the other hand is most known for his concept of “the looking glass self”. This belief is that people shape themselves and their behaviors on different views that people have on them. For example if a person is constantly being told how smart they are, they start to believe and and act as if they are smart whether they are or not. Mills is know for coining the term “sociological imagination” stating that although we are all individuals, our actions impact others living in our society. This means that although we are all our own person with our own set of beliefs and values, we still have to act according to others that we live amongst. Lastly WI Thomas is noted for his ”Thomas Theorem” in which he states that an individuals actions are a direct interpretation of how they see a given situation. WI Thomas uses this idea to more clearly understand concepts such as family and education in society.
These four sociologists all contribute large ideas and concepts that help understand and study how we view society in the modern day.
Today in class we split into groups and discussed somethings that we have done in our lives that affect other people in other countries. At first you think “well what could I possibly do thats significant enough to affect the life of someone in a different country” but as you get thinking and talking you come to realize that we are all interconnected with each other. For example my group came up with a few things we do everyday that affect people in different countries such as buying foods that are imported from other areas of the world. Many of the fruits and vegetables we see in our supermarkets are not locally grown unless specifically indicated. Us buying these products influence the economy in other countries and enriches thier value of life.
There were a few more specific examples that we though of that we don’t do as often but they still exist. An example of this would be if you have ever travelled to another country or even city you are encouraging tourism when you stay in their hotels. This past summer like I mentioned in a previous post I travelled to Mexico. When I was there I bought many things from vendors such as braclets, coffee, vanilla, blankets and silver which is what Mexico is most known for. By me and many others like me purchasing these things we influence the way some of these people can provide for their families and live their day to day lives.