"what do you do? (activism, update)" Mon Oct-28-02 04:24 AM
good day, good old board.. (good ol' changed board!)
I dont ask this typical question to be arrogant and to prove that we're nothing but big words, instead i do it because reading what others do can be good inspiration to those who currently don't do much for a cause they support.
no need to write too much (edit: hehe and then i wrote a big rambling piece about what i do!), but at the same time it is good to let your thoughts behind what you do shine through.
1. "reception centre for asylum seekers" In response to Reply # 0 Mon Oct-28-02 04:36 AM
Norway receives a large number of refugees, immigrants and other asylum seekers, like all other wealthy western european countries,.. from africa (somalia, morocco, sierra leone, etc), iran/iraq/kurds/etc, eastern europe (bosnia, kosovo, serbia, romania,etc) and also asia (tamil people ++). Basically all local counties have at least one reception centre for asylum seekers, where people have to live while they wait for the bureaucracy to process their applications. Some have to spend 5 years or more, just to "finally" get a rejection. Others are lucky and can enter the norwegian society after 1-2 years. (Fact is that more and more are rejected, and hostility towards immigrants is said to be increasing)
Because of that, plus the different backgrounds (sometimes war/persecution), different beliefs and different customs of the 100+ people living almost on top of eachother (usually the centres are old hotels, sometimes with families of 5 living in rooms for two and so on), those centres got a tense athmosphere. and norwegians got many prejudgements towards them.
one day i visited the local one and asked if they needed help. now i teach computers two nights every week, and even if i'm no professional teacher, the course is extremly popular.. There are more people who ask to join the lessons than there are people who i'm currently teaching (i cant teach more than 4 people per night, and there are perhaps 10-20 that want to join)
i understand the situation and people better now (many stereotypes and assumptions had to be erased!), considering that i am ethnic norwegian and the limitations that comes with it in such situations. ive gotten some friends (somalis, bellorussian and a kurd), even if it is purposely on a superficial and shallow level (because of the differences between an experienced norwegian and people who are "newbies". some even intend to stay here only for a short while, until the situation at home has settled and improved).
the manager of the reception centre is extremly grateful, because obviously there are very few who even think about getting close to one (ironically, most norwegians have a strong opinion about these centres). i dont get no pay, but the government will cover my traveling expenses.
now, because of my visit to the asylum centre one day, many girls from my college are going to be tutors for some of the 40+ children there (i asked one girl, and soon there were about 10 volunteers). my initiative also resurrected an ageold co-operation between the asylum centre and my college. they are inviting people from the centre to the college's "open day", and my college is also offering ceramics courses to women at the centre. They're even trying to let a 19 year old boy at the centre enter my college, working hard to get him a scholarship.
2. "started an ACLU at Univ. of Central FL" In response to Reply # 0
signed up 110 people so far! we've got alot of support from the Central Florida chapter of the National ACLU. Our main goal is to promote awareness among the college community, influencing them to do the same. It's been surprising to see how ignorant people are of our government's repeated violations of our civil liberties. We've had a small meeting with some of the more active members, and hope to have a large meeting within the next two weeks.
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3. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 0 Mon Oct-28-02 10:04 AM
LIKE A LAMB,LIONESS WITH CUBS WHEN NECCESSARY!
I lend myself trying to create a better environment of education,housing,interstate,median landscaping and other issues in between.
Education~~~The underpriviledged children who are cast aside because they have behavioral problems.
Yes,separate them for the good of other students,but provide for their needs,however it is they can learn.
Little Johnny(ie) may not can learn from the book along with the class,but allll too often Lil Johnny(ie) does have a talented gift from God and need coaching,bringing out that talent,keep the focus on education at his(her) pace of understanding,not just sitting up in a room all day under detention! While the studious,ability to learn from books children receive much attention.
Bring in the vocational skills,often times Lil Johnny(ie) can draw,paint amazing pictures,quite skillful with tools and may not can even read!,and more,but give him(her) hope!
The children who can steal your car and 1 mile away it come from wherever and you cannot even recognize that car.
Maybe some type co-op within the schools that just might make the children think before they go out and steal a car,but learn everything,inclusive of the "business side".Future productive children.
Yes,we want children in school,graduating with knowledge to be productive citizens,even furthering their education,but it is time to work with students for who they are,learning capabilities and stop claming it as a cop out in society that they do not want to do anything in life.
Or,just keep trying to make them be who we want them to be,instead of working with and developing who they are within by what they see and live!
It is not pandering to bad behavior,but recognizing the need to trainnnn these students!
Or we,just continue to be victims,or reduce victimization.
Tax dollars will be spent one way,or the other.Prison,or training to keep from prison and grow to be productive citizens.
Affordable Housing,as many children as possible need to live in a house/w a fenced yard! Recreational goods! and more!
I do it my way,often times great results for the people.
Someone should have read a letter today!
I love to "ride out" looking at some results!
I love to read and see some results.
I love to watch the news and see some results.
I love to see news .coms results.
I give the Glory To God In Jesus Name.
Still works to be done!
I love to watch the results because first and foremost it make others lives better.
*********************************************************** NELLY: I'm Humble In Life Taking Nothing For Granted
4. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 3
i feed my child and not hope not to make his mother my "baby momma".....thats hard enough for me..
_________________________ Life is but a dream, Drifting on a stream, a stream, Consciously it seems, All of what remains, Ego Brain, And they shame, Shame, love after it rains, You see my pain is real, Watch my world dissolve, And pretend tha
At the moment I just want to finish my Masters but next year I'll get more active. My problem is finding a cause I'm passionate about that isn't being organised by people in to it more for their own self-interests rather than a desire to be genuinely altruistic.
I am seriously considering going to Africa and doing humanities work after I graduate college. There is so much that I have to offer Africa. There is so much were all have to offer Africa, but the motherland is constantly being ignored. I am looking for a legitimate organization to join that has to ulterior motives. If you have any suggestions,please let me know.
"Mother Africa, Mother Africa, Where are you? I need your love. I look fo you, but you are not near, and so I fear."
10. "If you're in the states" In response to Reply # 9
why not stay here & do some work?
On this note...I AM giving ALL that I have & ALL within my Power to Live a Righteous Life In The Name Of Allah!
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“...You can’t even absorb the rhymes I record, or resolve the deep laws of the physics involved. I travel to the edge of the universe & beyond, parsecs I arranged from a cellular star-tech, from the galaxy of andromeda; I puzzle brothers like crop circles & other unexplained phenomena’s.” – Can-I-Bus
11. "RE: Go back to Africa" In response to Reply # 9
but the idea of going "back/somewhere/anywhere/ancestral homeland" to "help" "them" or the "land" is pretty condescending. it is no different than the white man going to africa/asia/americas and saying, we the "enlightened/advanced/civilized/educated" are here to help/educate/civilize you because you yourself cannot do it.
the color of your skin makes no difference. the priviledge that you have of being born/raised/educated in the first world, having basic amenities, state repression (although vastly different), etc etc. (YES, even if u colored and broke)
i cant suggest any organizations of the top of my head, but i can give some ideas for truly transformative work:
- if you have a particular skill that is uncommon in X (part of Africa) and that cant be easily taught, THEN it makes most sense to go over there, spend a long time transfering those skills to local people who could use it
- ONE PERSONAL IDEA I have had for a project is to get all those white missionary/student/save the world organizations to give STOP GOING TO AFRICA and instead GIVE THEIR money to local organizations that already do the same work. (EX: spending $6000 in travel and other expenses to build a school building that would cost $2000 for local workers to build AND PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT) THAT TYPE OF SHIT IS MORE ABOUT FEELING GOOD BOUT YOURSELF and being able to say I WENT TO AFRICA...and all other condescending, patronizing, racist shit that they always say....
-figure out ways to provide SKILLS AND RESOURCES, RESOURCES, RESOURCES to people there already doing good unduplicated work...
- AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, no true social change can be brought about without direct and active decision making of people who AFFECTED MOST....dont be like whitey and say THIS IS WHAT U NEED....people know what they need, some may need some education/awareness to other options/alternatives, but in the end, only the oppressed truly understand their oppression and ways to change it...
Especially this... >but the idea of going "back/somewhere/anywhere/ancestral >homeland" to "help" "them" or the "land" is pretty >condescending. it is no different than the white man going >to africa/asia/americas and saying, we the >"enlightened/advanced/civilized/educated" are here to >help/educate/civilize you because you yourself cannot do it.
This.... >the color of your skin makes no difference. the priviledge >that you have of being born/raised/educated in the first >world, having basic amenities, state repression (although >vastly different), etc etc. (YES, even if u colored and >broke)
And this... >>- ONE PERSONAL IDEA I have had for a project is to get all >those white missionary/student/save the world organizations >to give STOP GOING TO AFRICA and instead GIVE THEIR money to >local organizations that already do the same work. (EX: >spending $6000 in travel and other expenses to build a >school building that would cost $2000 for local workers to >build AND PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT) THAT TYPE OF SHIT IS MORE >ABOUT FEELING GOOD BOUT YOURSELF and being able to say I >WENT TO AFRICA...and all other condescending, patronizing, >racist shit that they always say....
This last point most of all, I know too many people who talk about either going to or just getting back from "3rd World" missions talking about how it gave them (or will give them) a sense of real accomplishment...they're doing it for themselves as much as anything else, otherwise why not help out locally and donate abroad?
21. "RE: Go back to Africa" In response to Reply # 11
I understand what point of view you are coming from; however, the point of view I am coming from is different.
There is so much that we can offer people who are being oppressed, people who are starving, and people who are dying of diseases that we have cures for. I'm not saying that all of Africa needs help from America, but these things do exist in some parts of Africa, and they are being ignored. I'm not going to Africa as the fortunate American who wants to help the people who are different. I'm not going there to solicitate American culture and politics. I respect the differences. I'm going as a person who cares for humanities all across the world. Food, water, shelter, health care, these are basic. The people who have plenty of the basics should help the people who are suffering without the basics. Africa isn't the only place that has these problems. America still has these problems, but I believe it is time to stop ignoring Africans. You may write your checks and send you money to organizations that claim they are fighting againt aids in Africa or genocide, but I would much rather be the person delivering the services. I will make sure my contribution makes it to Africa. Money is constantly circulating in America, but how often does it leave America for the good? You may feel comfortable writing your checks, but money isn't the solution, it is just a resource. Furthermore, I think you shouldn't dis the missionaries who want to share their views with people across the world because althought they might push their views on other cultures, I'm sure they have done more humanity work than your dollar has ever done.
22. "RE: Go back to Africa" In response to Reply # 21 Fri Nov-08-02 09:39 AM
the point was never NEVER send your meney or thsat money is more important...
point is that if you gonna help (WHICH IS WHAT WE ALL WANT) , help in a way is MOST SOCIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE....THATS INCLUDES critiqueing yourself for the power and privilidges you have and how they can BEST be put to use....
there are better ways to DIVERT MONEY, to REAL PEOPLE ON THE GROUND WHO ARE DOING THE MOST SOCIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE WORK (which in my opinion has to be from WITHIN the local community)
you, me, missionaries, etc may come and go, the people and their problems stay.....
>I'm not going to Africa as the fortunate American who wants to >help the people who are different. I'm not going there to >solicitate American culture and politics. I respect the >differences. I'm going as a person who cares for humanities all >across the world.
its not about what your feelings/attitudes are (though that is important). its what your power/priviledges are compared to the average african, and how those POWER DYNAMICS CAN BE FLIPPED....all im adding is that you should choose the most effective method, strategically, monetarily, and morally...
>Money is constantly circulating in America, but how often does >it leave America for the good?
THAT IS POWERFUL...getting money to PERMANENTLY LEAVE THE US and INTO LOCAL HANDS who can put it to good use....
>Furthermore, I think you shouldn't dis the missionaries who >want to share their views with people across the world because >althought they might push their views on other cultures, I'm >sure they have done more humanity work than your dollar has >ever done.
first, i never claimed anything bout my money...i AINT GOT MONEY to send nowehere cept my family....im not that privileged...
yes, missionaries do some good work, LIKE democrats do some good things for black/brown/imigrant/poor people....
BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER is that they are PART OF A SYSTEM THAT SYSTEMATICALLY OPPRESSES africans (read your history, and read current news about roles of missionaries...) they work WITH and IN CLOSE CONJUNCTION with "outsider" NGOs, IMF, World Bank, foreign govt/churches, etc etc
thas why i WILL KEEP criticing them, cuz their work, though helpful, is not transformative....
23. "RE: Go back to Africa" In response to Reply # 22
Okay I feel what you are saying, but not everyone who wants to help humanities contains the leadership skills to be the next MLK or X. One person can touch many lives. When people set realistic goals they are able to achieve more. No doubt that their needs to be a tranformative movement, but I can only contribute what i can during my time here to that movement.
<BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER is that they are PART OF A SYSTEM <THAT SYSTEMATICALLY OPPRESSES africans (read your history, and <read current news about roles of missionaries...) they work <WITH and IN CLOSE CONJUNCTION with "outsider" NGOs, IMF, World <Bank, foreign govt/churches, etc etc
And you don't think that local groups are part of the system? If you stay here and do your work locally, well then you are still playing within the system and you still have to follow the system's rules. Take it out abroad and you have less constraints.
18. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 0
I aggravate people on the internet.
"There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see someone white and feel relieved." -Jesse Jackso
19. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 0
i'm the outreach director for an emergency school for homeless children in sacramento. i try to connect parents, who have kids at our school, to resources in the community that will help meet their needs. the kids attending our school are sleeping in cars, camping out on one the rivers here in sactown, staying in rundown motels, or they're from either of the two emergency shelters, one of which is only open seven months out of the year.
the organization i work for has for a number of years solely concentrated on providing services for the poor and homeless, but in past three or four years we have become very active in advocating for the needs of our guests, (we don't call them clients), such as the need for more affordable housing, and converting the present winter shelter into a year-around shelter. I LOVE MY JOB!!!
20. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 0
i teach in the inner city (compton, CA), travel and dialogue in the philippines, do photojournalism- one project being filipino vets of ww2 who are being shafted by the us government, participate in community arts, build with activists, support artists and political figures with their efforts, among other little things.
"I'm never hesistant to say- fuck the president!!" -Akil, J5
25. "volunteer-work for..." In response to Reply # 0
Hi Federisco! Good to see you back! Hope all is well with you and with college.
I work as a volunteer for a site elaborated by my Psychology teacher, Ismar Olive, and by the University of São Paulo - USP, considered the best University in Latin America -'s Educom project (which is aimed to increase awarness of social issues and enhance the ways of teaching in public schools in Brazil - it's only working for the Statae of São Paulo, but they're planning to extend it to the rest of the country, SOON AS THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDES THE MONEY THEY PROMISED...).
The site is intented to study the relationship between TV and kids, how one is influenciating the other. Based on the results, we suggest and redirect the children's interests and invite them for a more detailed, deeper analyzis of the bad aspects of Tv and how information can be manipulated by the media. It's a very rewarding job, even though i don't get paid for it, but it offers me fullfilment to know i might be helping to make a difference in the way kids percieve what's being offered to them as the truth, and, corny as it sounds, if i'm able to help ONLY ONE KID, that will make me extremely happy!
I'm also in contact with the NCN - Center for Black Counciousness (Núcleo de Consciência Negra, in Portuguese) to see what i can do to help there.
Of course i'd be doing a lot more if i could, but college's been keeping me real busy lately. I'll keep trying thouhg, long as i'm useful, it's all good.
.:: It's a struggle to be kind in a world that seems so blind ::. - Alana Davis, "Save The Day".
.:: i'm glad you're on my side...still ::. - Tori Amos, "Taxi Ride"
26. "RE: what do you do? (activism, update)" In response to Reply # 0
Lately I've been participating in IAC/ANSWER actions.
e-activism like writing articles and diseminating information and starting websites and all that.
lifestyle activism like rocking a bicycle since I don't really need a car, being vegetarian, leaving the gas off and heating the house with electricity and then switching my electric to wind/hydro, shopping at the food co-op and all that other hippie junk.
.•°O• Read, Black & Green •O°•. .•°•.•°- GreenEarthAl -•.•°•.