I woke up again this morning to gorgeous, foggy, Bay Area weather. I was expecting it to be in the 90's every day here, but surprisingly the weather has been really pleasant. The readings assigned to me last night for homework were incredibly powerful, so I was really looking forward to class. I arrived at around 9:25, with Kelsey, Esmeralda, Bianche, and our friend Thea.
The focus of today was intersectionality, which is what our assigned readings were about. Intersectionality is the overlapping of various social identities: race gender, sexuality, class, religion, and age, and the theory that these groups contribute to a specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual. These categories can also be broken down into dominant and subordinate groups. We called them the "Big Seven". We were then told to choose which 3 categories relate to us the most, and I chose race, religion, and gender. I am a Punjabi, Muslim American, female. Those are the categories that I deem to be most prevalent within my current life. We were then asked by Mary Grace to switch papers with one of the members of our group and they had to cross one of the categories out. Religion was crossed out for me. Now putting it into perspective, I do not think I would be the same person that I am today. Islam has played such a large part in my upbringing, that my mentality and many of my views on certain issues would not be the same. If I lost that category, I would lose a part of my identity; however, I would be able to live without the fear of facing discrimination. It was really interesting to think about.
We then took a little field trip to Congdon Street Baptist Church. This was the church where the African Americans of Brown and Pembroke had multiple walkouts for the betterment of their educational opportunity. Mary Grace emphasized how the people at the time didn't think how these walkouts would be the perceived in the future, they faced an issue and chose to push for reform, which they eventually did receive
Our class was then dismissed for lunch and we were told to meet at the Sarah Doyle's Women Center. I took my first step inside and was taken aback by how cozy the place was, and how much it felt like home. We all ate lunch together and discussed the history behind the house. It honestly was so soothing to be in that house, I'm definitely going to drop by again before the program is over.
|At the women's center|
After lunch, we had a listening workshop with a wonderful instructor named Robin Rose. She is the woman who started the Leadership Institute here at Brown back in 2002. Her personality was a bit quirky, which made it quite enjoyable to listen to her speak. She explained how listening is one of the foundations of leadership. Without listening to one another, leadership would remain ineffective. Rather than preparing an argument with someone with conflicting beliefs, you should take the time to understand them first. It's like one of the rules within our class, "Seek first to understand, and then to be understood." and I couldn't agree more. Taking the time to listen makes all the difference. We asked Robin if we could take a picture with her for our blog, and when we mentioned we were a part of the ILC, she grew ecstatic. She began asking questions about Don, Ms. Kroenenberg, and even Mr. Ramsay. I definitely enjoyed speaking with her.
|With the lovely Robin Rose|
After this workshop, we had another back in our classroom with our TA's. This one was all about leadership style. It was divided into 4 categories: North, South, East, and West. North was assertive, while South focused on emotion and empathy, while east was all abouut dreaming big, and west was very detail oriented. I was a mix between north and west. If there isn't a time constraint, I will take the time to create a proper plan and execute it accordingly; however if there is a time constraint, then I push and urge my team to get things done.
I thought it was really interesting that Kelsey, Bianche, Esmeralda, and I all ended up in different groups. We're all quite different from each other, but somehow we manage to complement one another and work well as a team. A good team definitely needs to be diverse. I didn't necessarily agree with categorizing yourself within a specific style, since they were all extremes, but nonetheless it was a fun workshop and I really enjoyed and learned a lot today.