An Overview pt. ii
As mentioned in my prior blog, and an underlying theme was perspective. It’s important as a global citizen the we try and understand different points of views. It’s hard to assess someone’s struggle of you can empathize with them and only look at their situation from your own lens.
Look at the Syrian refugees for example, how they’re were forced out of their own country due to civil war. Many families’ homes were destroyed, giving them no choice but to take shelter else where across Europe. As you may or may not no, most were not welcomed and seen as deadweight.
Let’s flip the script. Let’s say the U.S.A., France, Switzerland, etc was attacked, leveling most of the county and giving the occupants no where to leave…wouldn’t you want a neighboring country to take you and or your family in, to get away from the terror you’ve just been involved in? Yes, I thought so. So why turn your back on other human beings going enduring the most devastating and trying times of their lives
Another thing we did at the seminar was unpack or breakdown certain terms to have a deeper understanding, during lectures and small discussions. We started with:
The movement of people that may be temporary or permanent; voluntary or forced; and dependent on both natural and man-made actions. In thinking about migration, it is always necessary to consider “push” and “pull” factors – and the differences there are between immigrants and refugees, the latter generally referring to persons forced to flee. N.B. In International law, refugees are those who cross borders seeking asylum. Internally displaced persons while also having “well grounded fear of prosecution” are not officially called refugees
Fear of others. Often but not always the fear is placed on certain racial, religious, or ethnic groups and manifest in such phenomena as targeted racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia
Multicultural & Multiculturalism
The former is an adjective, another way of saying “cultural pluralism;” the latter is an ideology, closer to the narrow idea of corporate pluralism which emphasizes group rights.
A term with several meanings. To respect and/or accept others. To put up with others.
A controversial term that either connects or separates various ethnic minorities in any society. According to John Dewey for pluralism to be viable, it is essential to assure that “the hyphen connects instead of seperates.”
A third topic we discussed was that of unlearning what you already know, to rid oneself of misconceptions and biases. Although it’s “impossible” to truly unlearn something it’s important to be aware of them and be able to put ourselves in check.
Once we’re able to be more conscious about our thoughts, view situations from multiple lenses, then, we can make more conscious decisions and take actions to help those truly in need.
To help shift our perspectives and gain a better understanding of situations around the world, we had the privilege of hearing from several lecturers to share their perspectives and to help us open our minds, creating a dialogue in the large groups, as well as smaller discussion, between lectures, meals and breaks.
Stay tuned for lecturers and topic discussions in part three.