Friday, July 28, 2017

Intersectionality was Interesting!

We began by reviewing what we learned in the challenge course. I learned that depending on the situation we face, leadership styles could change to make the end product better. I was surprised to hear that some groups couldn’t work well with others, because I thought people in our class got along with each other well. My team wonderful time experiencing a group connection and overcoming obstacles from various challenges we faced.

Following this quick review, Grace talked to us about the importance of intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is the involvement several other types of prejudice, and empowering the people who are minority groups that intersect.

Grace also taught us four different stories society and the media give: stalk story, concealed narratives, resistance story, and counter narratives. The stalk story is where things are told by the dominant group repetitively, and usually have the reputation of being lies. The concealed narratives are the minority’s view on the issue or history, this provides more accurate and realistic depictions of what the stalk story tells. The resistance story is the marginalized communities forming a story that could influence others to stand up against the dominant group and raise awareness of the issue at hand. The counter narrative is the dominant group making a new story that would go against the minority, and help them stay in power. Some students gave examples they thought would fit into this category, such as Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving, the founding fathers, and Winston Churchill.

Maden's lecture was very informative.
Our class moved on to the Public Speaking workshop, which was hosted by Jennifer Maden. Maden received her PhD and Master’s at Brown, she teaches public speaking to college students and politicians. I absorbed more information from her than the rest of the other workshops I’ve had with guest speakers, I also think this is my favorite one so far. During any public speech, Maden told us it was key to focus on persuasive communication and confidence. She made an overview and several tips on how to maintain eye contact, how to speak efficiently, make the proper posture of confidence, and many more. By the end of the workshop, I ended up having four pages filled with notes that will definitely save me from public speaking embarrassment in the future.

During lunch, Grace directed us to create a poster for feminism and ask people several questions about feminism before taking their picture with the poster. When lunch started, Esmeralda, Kelsey, Zunarah, and I shared one poster and went through the dining hall asking people those questions. I asked three girls about their views on feminism, and they replied with the belief of making men and women equal. After getting their permission, I took a picture of them with the sign and it looked absolutely flawless.
From left to right: Tiffany, Melanie, and Naye.
When we returned to class, Grace taught us more terms to add to our dictionary: tokenism, equity, institutional discrimination, and womanism. Even though colleges and companies have opened up to hiring more women and people of color, they usually do it in order to fill in the percentage to make their institution seem more “diverse”. In reality, those institutions are still being controlled by the dominant group, white men. This is one of the main intentions for tokenism, which is the practice of recruiting underrepresented groups in order to make it seem like they value equality.

After class, the four of us took some time to head back to the dorm to get ready for the dinner we’ll have with Kendra. We had a blast catching up with her after not being able to see Kendra for a couple of days. Our whole group talked about everything we did during the week. It was hilarious seeing Kendra’s reaction to all of Esmeralda, Kelsey, and Zunarah’s complaints about their group. I was the exception, since I was assigned to a different group instead of being in theirs. Compared to their experiences, I had a relatively fun time being in my own group and left the course in good spirits.

During our little trip to the mall, I had an unexpected encounter seeing Ernestina, one of my classmates and also an ILC Brown alumni. We were both shocked to see each other, I still couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her walking as I stood on the elevator. It was very unexpected and I couldn't stay for long, but I felt happy seeing a familiar face despite being so far away from home.
I have no idea how I found Ernie in the mall, it's almost like she magically showed up.

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