I often note to others that being surrounded by and talking about so many sad, frustrating, and infuriating examples of hate can make one start to feel hopeless about the world around us. One common theme that comes up with the class discussions and papers is the feeling of wanting to do something to change or help but also feeling overwhelmed with the scope of the problem. I get that. The issues at hand are enormous and incredibly complex to try to solve. Does this mean that we should throw our hands up in the air and give up that easily? If we do that, won’t every step we’ve made toward progress just simply be revoked? In fact, are we starting to see that with the recent changes in policies and laws? It’s important to remember that every small step toward change or helping matters! After all, I started with just teaching a class to you all, and now I have more voices and agents of change than we did in the beginning! So, yes, YOU can make a difference in someone’s life and that can ripple out to have a huge impact on your community!
However, we need to move out of the abstract and move more into a concrete planning phase. Thus, as your final course discussion, let’s start to really look into ways that you can make those small steps and make a positive change in your community!
Read through the instructions below carefully to be able to complete this discussion.
(1) Your initial post (40 points). In order to earn the full points, your post must:
• consist of at least 250 words generated by you (prompts will not count),
• effectively use college-grammar and writing constructs, and
• thoughtfully and meaningfully respond to all prompts fully.
(2) Reply to TWO posts from your classmates (10 points). In order to earn the full points, each reply must thoughtfully and meaningfully respond to two posts using the prompts and instructions below. Replies that do not contain the prompt information will not earn points.
Initial Post Prompts (250+ words):
(1) Identify two issues or concepts discussed within the class that made the biggest impact on how you see the world now.
• Describe how each has changed your perspective and why.
(2) What did you learn in this class that has spurred you to want to share/discuss with others outside of the class?
• Describe why you feel that it is important to share this information.
• Who will you share this information with and why?
• Are there some that you might hesitate to share this information with? Why or why not?
(3) Identify one positive change you could make to your daily life that will help make a change in your friends and close peers.
• Describe what that change is and how it can make a bigger impact moving forward.
(4) Finally, identify and discuss a concrete plan for how you can make a positive change in your community.
• Search online for and identify TWO specific local organizations or opportunities where you would like to volunteer to make a difference.
• Describe what the organizations do or their mission and how you could help.
• How do you get involved? Is there someone who may want to get involved with you?
• What small impact could your action make, and how could that small impact ripple out to possibly have a bigger impact?
• Could you plan to get involved soon? If so, when and now?
Required responses for the two reply posts (reply prompts):
(1) Suggest ways to talk to those they identified as being hesitant to share information with as they may be resistant to the information. Suggest ideas of how to better present the information in a way that may be more likely to lead to listening and understanding.
(2) Add to places they can volunteer or how their identified volunteer ideas can work to create a bigger change in the community.
** Note: Your responses must be different and uniquely tailored for each post **
For this discussion consider each question below and choose TWO or more to respond to. Then take a moment to tell us about your plans for the summer and to say goodbye. Finally, as usual respond to at least one classmate.
• What was the “BIG Picture” for this course?
• What information was most surprising?
• If you were to tell a friend or a family member one thing that you learned from this course, what would that be?
• What areas need further research?
• How did your view of gender and psychology change over the semester?
(1) Two issues or concepts discussed in this class that made the biggest impact on how I see the world now are privilege and intersectionality. Before this class, I had an idea of what privilege meant, but I never fully grasped the extent of its impact on individuals and society as a whole. Learning about intersectionality also opened my eyes to the complexity of various identities and how they intersect to shape experiences and privilege. These concepts have changed my perspective by making me more aware of my own privilege and biases and how they can influence my interactions with others. It has also made me more conscious of how certain policies and societal structures perpetuate inequality and how we can work to dismantle them.
(2) This class has made me want to share and discuss the importance of intersectionality and privilege with others outside of the class. It is crucial to have these conversations to promote understanding and awareness of these issues, especially since they can impact our interactions with others and society as a whole. I plan to share this information with my family and friends because I believe that they would benefit from learning about it. However, I may hesitate to share this information with some people who may be resistant to the idea or dismissive of these issues.
(3) One positive change I could make in my daily life to help make a change in my friends and close peers is to actively listen and validate their experiences. By doing so, I can create a safe and supportive environment where they feel heard and understood. This change can make a bigger impact moving forward by promoting trust and communication within my social circle and promoting a culture of empathy and understanding.
(4) Two specific local organizations or opportunities where I would like to volunteer to make a difference are the local food bank and a youth mentorship program. The local food bank provides resources and support to those in need in my community, and I could help by volunteering my time to sort and distribute food. The youth mentorship program provides support and guidance to underprivileged youth in my area, and I could help by volunteering to mentor and support these individuals. To get involved, I would contact the organizations directly to inquire about volunteering opportunities and attend any required training or orientation. By volunteering, I could make a small impact by providing resources and support to those in need, and this impact could ripple out to promote a stronger and more supportive community.
Reply Prompt 1:
In order to better present information to those who may be resistant or hesitant to learn, it can be helpful to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. It is important to acknowledge that learning and growth can be difficult and uncomfortable, and that it is natural to feel resistance or hesitation. It may also be helpful to provide examples or personal anecdotes that relate to the issue and make it more tangible and relatable. It can also be helpful to encourage questions and discussion, as this can promote understanding and engagement.
Reply Prompt 2:
Another opportunity for volunteering that could create a bigger change in the community is to work with local advocacy or activism groups. These groups work to promote change and progress on various issues, such as social justice or environmentalism. By volunteering with these groups, individuals can work to create systemic change and promote awareness and advocacy within their communities. Additionally, volunteering with local community centers or organizations can provide resources and support to underprivileged individuals and promote a stronger and more connected community.