Sunday, June 04, 2006

Revolutionary creating a revolution

Revolution: The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another. 3. A sudden or momentous change in a situation (Definition provided by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company).
In order for one to create a revolution it must, base off of the above definition overthrow and system of power or create some kind of momentous change (example given: the revolution in computer technology.) I think to myself if this is what it means to create a revolution, then how easy is it to be a Revolutionary in this day in age. Most of the revolutions that are in place right now to me are more like fads then anything else, nothing that are long lasting and seem to be really beneficial to anyone in the long run. This new eating right trying to stay healthy to me is a fad that if disguising it’s self as a revolution. The reason why I say this is because, so many people want to be healthy it is causing for business owners to open new shops (Example Jamba juice, whole food supermarket, crunch gym, etc) This to me is a momentous change in society because people are starting to eat differently, they are trying to eat healthy so all these healthy businesses are popping up all over the place and helping to change McDonalds and other fast food places popularity decrease. I feel as if people are only doing it because no it’s the cool thing to do because with the eating style comes a clothing style and vise versa. Do to this it proves that no one can really become a revolutionary because if your revolution and you aren’t cool then it won’t even be around long enough to see the light of day. I believe that most people don’t have the drive that is necessary to put in the work to start up a revaluation that will matter, we are taught to go with the flow and follow a leader, not become our own leader. We are taught to question but only in a way that will cause no trouble, that won’t rile up any people. If one looks and person who try’s to go against a leader who is doing wrong, will some how mysteriously disappear.
We are in a day and age where leaders are not born, and followers are raised. In this day in age we are taught that it’s ok to get with a couple of protest groups even trying to start our own, it’s the cool thing to do. As long as we don’t step out line and try and start a revolution, then we are harmless.

To me Revolutionaries don’t exist in 2006, they are a thing of the past.

creating Soical Change

I was once on the road to creating social change, I was trying to fight for the rights of the students in the New York City public school system. Traveling that road I came a pond many troubles trying to recruit people, finding the time, space, energy, as well as people to back us up in our fight for equality. During this process I felt as if I was taking all the necessary steps that needed to be taken to successfully fight for our issue. I made sure I didn’t work alone so that way I wouldn’t become so overwhelmed with my issue, I was able to cover almost all problems that may arise because there was more “problem solvers”, I was also able to come up with more ideas because I wasn’t the head of the operation. I liked the fact that there was no head in our operation because to me it left the floor empty, no one felt as if there was one leader so it was easier to share ideas, gives input, and the workload was easily shared between us. I was extremely happy with what the group was putting together as well as what we as a whole were accomplishing. Together we made flyers and posted them around the school, we came up with an plan of action, and guidelines for how we wanted our protest to run, we even planed a workshop (which helped to inform students about the scanning program that was implemented, what we as students could do, we went over The plans that our small group (of seniors) came up with, and it was a way to recruit more people to our group).
As I sit here and think over my journey from beginning to the end? I feel as if I have failed and let down my group, my fellow peers, and myself. An issue that I was once so passionate about no longer crosses my mind. Walking up my school steps and seeing the posters that I proudly put up I shamefully bow my head, because I’ am no longer so “gun ho” about the issue. I realize that the lack of followers and drive that people have for this issue had put a damper on my parade and stop me from continuing my travels. My problems were I was to focused on recruit more people (I wasn’t satisfied with the number of believers that were already there) I was so sadden when the people that this effected directly didn’t care enough to attend one meeting or just couldn’t sit quietly in the workshop it stole away my drive for fighting for the people, When I witnessed my poster being ripped down by and 11th grade peer it broke my heart and I saw that I’m fighting for people who don’t give a “damn”, and that’s when I began to think like my fellow peers in the 12th grade , “I’m leaving soon, I don’t have to deal with these metal scanners, and everyone in the grades below me aren’t worth the fight.
My change in interesting in this issues is one that I am happy that Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, etc didn’t have the same change of heart that I had, if so African Americans would not be where they are today. I wonder what kept the drive so strong for Martin Luther King Jr when he was being beating; thrown in jail, etc what help him continue his fight for hi fellow people even though some openly disapproved of his doing? How did Malcolm X continue to fight for African Americans when the group that backed him up in everything he did, backstabbed him and left him in the cold? I wonder where these leaders for social change found the drive to continue to fight for there cause when times hit rock bottom?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Assignment 8: planning the action, and Carrying it out

The action that our group took was we planned a workshop for the student symposium that SOF (school of the future) had on may 16. 2006. The goal of this workshop was to 1) spread awareness of our issue to lower grades (6-11th) 2) Gain new ideas and insight of how to plan the protest (more ideas on what we should do), and 3) recruit people for our cause. The people in the group where Henry, Shawn, Emily, Kathy, and I. Our plan for the workshop was as follows

1) Introduction (name and grade)
2) What do we know, what do we want know, and answers
3) Handouts (regulations A-432 print out, John Jay High school protest article, & 4th Amendment)
4) Plan a type of protest, and what the guidelines for the protest are
5) Share ideas (questions and answers)
6) Show our plan for protest and guidelines (question and answers) (combined if needed)
7) Collection of Email addresses (to keep updated)

We decided that it would be better to first have everyone go around and tell us what they know and what the want to know so we could answer any questions that they have would, as well as it was a good way to guide the workshop (by using what they already know and don't), it got more people interested in the topic (certain answers to some questions), it also help us to see the concerns of our fellow students, and help us to see what we still needed to research. The handouts where planned to both close one and activity and open up another. Reading the articles (regulations A-432 and 4th Amendment) were ment to answer any questions people still had that they couldn't ask, we didn't have enough information on, as well as for one's own personal knowledge. The article about John Jay High school’s protest is to also answer any questions about what can students do, what have they done, as well as what worked and didn't work, but it also gave the students in our workshop an idea of what kind or protest they could do and, what could be some possible guidelines could be based off of John Jay High schools protest. We decide that it would be better for the people intending the workshop to plan there own protest before they see ours so they wont feel were pushing our ideas on them, and they might come up with a better protest plan then ours or good alternatives. When we showed the group our plan it was to make them aware of what we were doing so they could take part, have them help us improve it, fix it, or create a new plan. At the end we decided to collect email addresses of fellow students who were interested in what we were doing so we could keep them up to date.
The reason why we chose this action was because we wanted to get our idea to the masses of our school, we saw that this was the best opportunity to talk to as many students in all the different grades. The idea of doing the workshop was brought to us by teachers in our school, and we realize that this was exactly what we wanted to do, to spread awareness.

I was very nervous before doing this workshop one because I didn't think allot of students would show up because we had to compete with basketball, baseball, women’s self defense, and martial arts. So we already knew that most people were going to flock to theses workshops even though our workshop may have been the most important (I feel). I was also nervous because I had to speak publicly and I wanted to address the student in a way that will keep there attention as well as get them to stick with our cause and help out. During the workshop I felt sum what frustrated because allot of the students weren't taking our workshop seriously, I felt as if they were just in our workshop by force not by choice. I also felt as if not an enough time was given to actually let people know how serious our issue is. After the workshop I felt very drained, I didn't want to do another workshop, I found a newfound respect for teachers. I was also left with emptiness and hopeless. I realize after the workshop that trying to get students in School of the Future to fight for our rights, the greater good is pointless.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Assignment 7

My issue is Protesting against the metal detectors that are being place (randomly) inside all New York City schools. Some of the important aspects of this issue is that, Chancellor Joel I. Klein backed by Mayor Bloomberg, and Police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Launched (April 26, 2006) A mobile” unannounced" Scanning program that is suppose to help provide a safer environment for students to learn in. The Mobile scanners are suppose to stop weapons (knives, box cutters, and guns) from getting past school's doors. This system is supposed to “Thanks to the Mayor’s new scanning program, students who are thinking about bringing a weapon to school will have to think twice.” (John Feinblatt). A school that have already protested are John Jay High school in Brooklyn, They had 200 students protest, five students were arrested in a clash with cops, La Guardia high school students plan to protest if the scanners show up at there show. Another important aspect is that these searches clearly violate our rights, which is stated in Regulations code A-432.
What I would like to change is, putting a end to Police officers coming into schools with there metal detectors and searching students, whether it be permanently placed or randomly for one day. I believe that an alternative needs to be thought up, instead of treating students like criminals. When the Chancellor Joel L. Klein and Mayor Bloomberg decided to go head with the scanning programs, that is when they decided that students should be treated like prisoners, and schools are prisons. I want to help schools become schools again.
Key stakeholders are Chancellor Joel l. Klein and Mayor Bloomberg, and possibly the Board of Education. Students, Parents, and teachers could also be Key stakeholders, if they all band together they can put an end to the scanning programs.
Opponents are Chancellor Joel l. Klein and Mayor Bloomberg, and the Board of Education (as well as some teachers).
My opponents will respond by saying that the Scanning programs are in place to provided a safer environment for students, there in place for us. They will also say "While overall incidents involving both weapons and dangerous instruments have fallen 4% so far this year, the number of illegal weapons confiscated has increased 5%. For that reason, programs to ensure that weapons do not get past the school door must not only be continued but strengthened." (NYC DEPT.OF ED). Outside people will believe that we (students) have no rights, and we cannot bad together to end this program, and we should just deal with it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Assignment 4: Techniques

The techniques that I have used from our list of the most common techniques in creating social change are: Demonstrating\protesting, Flyering, and currently trying to put together a public workshop. The reason why I chose these techniques because protesting\Demonstrating gets your point across, it shows the people that whatever your issues is effects the masses, instead of a select few. By protesting you show that you and others what to make known that you strongly object to a certain action that is forced on the people. By protesting the unreachable searches we get to show the chancellor how we strongly object to the searches and how an alternative needs to be implemented. Trying to implement this technique is very stressful because we have to figure out ways that will ensure safety, keep people out of trouble, as well as effectively get our point across. I will not know completely how this will feel until the actual protest happens, but so far we just have plans & guidelines of how we want everything to look, and run. I'm very proud of that, it makes me feel as if I am doing something that will help to make a difference. Making the flyers and posting them around the school was implemented into creating change with the searches, because we weren't reaching enough people and informing them about what we were doing, so we had the flyers to just spread awareness of what was going on, and to grab others attention. This was enjoyable because I was able to be some-what creative, and I felt like the posters did grab most people’s attention even though it wasn't for long periods of time, or enough to get them to attend our meetings. So this is why we are implementing the Public workshop, this is so we can 1) get more people to attend our meetings (because most people could be interested but not willing to give up there lunch time) 2) It is another step to spread awareness 3) It's to inform people of our plan, and how they can help to carry it out. To me our meeting will be like a "meeting of the minds".

The promises of the current repertoire is that they help to keep\make people aware of what’s going on, it helps to get the masses to join your protest against unfair actions that are forced on the people (puts the power back in the hands of the people). Like I said before I believe that creating the public workshop, as well as having a protest #2. I don't believe that there are any limitations of the standard repertoire in creating significant social change, I feel that are methods are useful as well as helpful if you use them in the case that will best fit your social change issue. The only was I see the standard as setting any limitations is people may feel that these are the only methods that work, when it isn't true, one would need to find what best suits there issue.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Assignment 3

I don't think I did the assignment technically, I instead of going some where to volunteer my time, or give money to a cause, came into school at the exact time of the Social Change class (which is 8:40) I took the flyers that me and Shawn typed up and printed out and made multiply copies of and posted them around the school. My goal for doing this is to spread awareness to my fellow students that were wondering about the searches, and wanted to do something about it but didn't know what. The group had deiced that it was a must for us to put these flyers around the school because we weren't reaching enough people, so I volunteer to be the one to make the flyers as well as poster the flyers. I also volunteered to talk to some of the students in there class. After putting up the flyers I went into Ms Gils classroom and talked to two of her classes. I enjoyed talking to her class even though I was nervous (I don't like public speaking), I wish I had more time to talk to the students and ask question to get there interest even more.
I feel like the promises of volunteering to creating social change is that it helps to get work done, goals are easily completed when people volunteer to help groups trying to create social change for example my situation above, if no one didn't volunteer to do the work it wouldn't have got done, philanthropy goes the same way I believe that if someone is giving there money to help a cause, with out expecting anything back, they are helping the cause buy necessary things they need, that they weren't able to get (because they may be a non-profit organization, or a bunch of students who I trying to make a change) .
I agree with both President Clinton and Bush I do feel like volunteering will help to make society better, due to the fact that many things that people can volunteer for are for cleaning the community, help do work for non-profit organizations, give out food in soup kitchens, work with students in after school programs, being a mentor, etc things like these all help society to become a better society. If volunteering is consintley pushed it might become an everyday thing.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Creating Soical Change One meeting @ a time

You can say that I have "started" a group that has been trying to, together protest against the searches that have been forced on New York City schools as of April 26, 2006. This fight for social change has started out as a conversation in the hallways with me and a couple of students, it then moved to me talking to a teacher about the situation and what could be done, from there it was presented to the class, and Then the first meeting of many was set up on the Friday of 4\28\06. For it being our first meeting it went surprisingly well, we talked of our ideas as well as possible solutions. I came with background information about the topic so people could be fully aware of what's going on and what we can do; we also planned for what the agenda for the next meeting would be. With every meeting we found that it would be beneficial if we focused on what we have done, and what we need to do. Such as for our most recent meeting we saw that we had a plan for what was going to happen the day of the searches, we had guidelines for how we wanted everything to go but we noticed that lack of spreading awareness was really hurting the cause, so we then came up with ways to spread awareness. People volunteered to talk to students in their classes, make poster\flyers and hang them around the school. In my opinion one of the hardest things to do for creating social change, is spreading awareness, and getting people to care and see the importance of the issue. Friday I noticed that some how many of the flyers a couple of students and I put up where taken down, and replaced by the schools spring dance flyers. This upset me because I believe that there was enough space on the walk for both flyers as well as the fact that our issues is way more important then getting a bunch of "horny teenagers in a room to "grind" on each other", so I put our flyers back up, because I cant deny the people the right to stand for a good cause. Later on in the day I was sitting in the hallway, and an llth grader by the name of Brandon ripped down one of our flyers that was on the 7th floor I didn't confront him then I just sat and thought about why would one do such a thing. I’m still trying to figure that out why would someone do that....

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Man IN THE Mirror (assignment 2)

Working on myself will help to change society. I believe that if I want to change something that is wrong with society I need to change that which is wrong with me. I feel this way because if I see a fault in the world I should fix the same fault I have in myself so that way I could accurately tell people why it is wrong and why it's better for them to get rid of the fault. As well as I don't think it's would be possible to change society once they find out that I have the same fault that I’m telling them to get rid of. This is because most people want\choose to follow a leader who is rid of faults (imperfections) that they have, an example of this is Jesus. If Jesus had the same imperfections that we did I doubt he would have as many followers that he had then as well the followers that he has now. People follow Jesus because he was free from imperfections, as well as the simple fact that if Jesus says that someone would need to starve, in order to be closer to god, he would starve as well (right along with that person). I feel that people feel more comfortable following or taking instructions from someone who they feel is "better" than them, another example is when people what to change there look either, if it's by getting plastic surgery or it's by working out. They are not going to allow the ugly fat person to tell them their over weight or they are ugly, they want the "perfect" person to tell them what's wrong with them and how they should change, most people are going to say (believe) that ugly people don't have the right to say what's wrong with them because they are fat and ugly themselves.
An issue were I believe that I would need to work on myself in order to help change society would be when fighting for women's rights. I believe that if I'm telling woman that it is important for us to stand together be unified to help change peoples views that woman are catty, backstabbing. Then I should make sure that I'm trying to engage in more positive engagements with females, as well as not get caught up in the catty, backstabbing ways that woman are so infamous for. I shouldn't be trying to cut down the next woman’s right's group but I should be trying to band with them to be a stronger force. I feel that if I'm trying to push other people to doing something that I feel is right I should be doing the same thing. This is because of the simple fact that if I feel so strongly about an certain issue that I’m going to try to change society on a whole, then I should feel strongly enough to follow the same idea, then no one else would\should follow me just on the strength that I don't believe in it enough to follow my own game plan. I just believe that one should practice what they preach, if I believe that no schools should be allowed to search students and I'm trying to get people to protest against it with me, when the day comes and people are search us, no one should see me on the line ready and willing to be search.

The promises and limitations of self-work in creating social change is that sometimes\ most of the time it is hard to completely change yourself for the betterment of your cause. This is sometimes due to the fact that we are mentally chained into a certain thinking process that trying to do the opposite is a slow or somewhat impossible process. An example that was giving in class was woman who fight for woman right and say that there are problems with self image by the hands of males, fail to realize that females are harder on each other because they have been mentally branded with what females should look like. Promises is that even if you can’t change society you have changed yourself and even with that you can reach someone, and reaching at least one person is better then reaching no one.

The words from a Famous music artist is :
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change