As the programming co-chair for the Petey Greene Program, we held biweekly meetings with the rest of the student leaders to organize and work on events and logistics for the GW Petey Greene Program. I also organized and put together a panel on DC Grassroots Activism where representatives from Stop Police Terror Project DC, Black Lives Matter DC, Black Youth Project 100, Showing Up for Racial Justice and former juvenile lifer, Halim Flowers, came to speak and answer questions from GW students and faculty.
Lunch Session: Arts has a critical role in creating social change. It can allow individuals who have a passion for art to advocate on a different platform. It also allows for new and a wider audience to be reached through this platform. It is also a distinct way to bring an issue to light through creativity and imagination. My service experience tutoring incarcerated individuals has led me to advocate “Banning the Box.” Not requiring prospective college applicants to disclose their criminal history and preventing them from pursuing higher education in order to help decrease recidivism.
Showcase Session: My favorite showcase session was the video presentations SMPA 4190 Senior Capstone: Online Journalism Workshop. This presentation was very interesting to me because it talked about social change through videography. We watched several short documentaries about different issues surrounding DC that students made. Students interviewed people and put the video together. A topic I was not aware of was the racial discrimination that happens in maternity wards in which a video was able to explain in a couple of minutes.
Panel Session: I chose the session on missing and murdered indigenous women. They discusses the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and how a fellowship winner is planning to address it. An interesting point was how they captured whales to be able to eat them. Then whale hunting became illegal so they could no longer eat whales. Their culture was slowly being taken by Western culture. Most people believed they were just killing whales for no reason and did not listen to the fact that this is their culture and how they are able to survive. In my community-engaged scholarship course I learned about the importance of listening to others. Something that can be so easily forgotten about. If others were to listen to the need to continue their culture, they would not be so quick to label.