As a human being, we all bring something unique to the table. With that being said we are all diverse and come from several different backgrounds and upbringings as well. Although we may all have these differences, many of them are oppressed. With in HDF, Oppression: Roots and Impact, we jumped around the many tough topics that make us the people we are today. Those are containing gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion and sexual identification and not limited to only these. As we surveyed these categories in which we identify ourselves in society, we were challenged multiple times to dig into these areas and discover why some have negative connotations and how one thing can govern and identity of one whole group of people. For example, race is a huge identifier in the world and the fact that just being a certain race brings up other controversy among others shouldn’t be a thing.
One big learning project we did in this class was called the SNAP challenge (click to learn more) which is a challenge that allows people to experience what its like for many people to live off of the average daily allowance of $4.40. In my case of being in the dorms and not having to buy food, my project was taking a current government aid family program that gave me a certain amount of money per week for food. With that I had to make a week of meals and a grocery list with prices while staying within the budget and meeting dietary needs. I also had a partner and 2 other children. Within this program, it was interesting to see how little of money you are given for the amount of food the government is saying we need to eat to have a balanced diet. It was also extremely hard to go into general stores and get food as well since things are so over priced. It also makes you think of places that have food deserts and how it can really take a tole on a family when in that area. This allowed me to have a sense of empathy for families that have to go through this because you want your children and family to be happy, but if you’re not given enough to provide how can you?
Going on in the future, this class has allowed me to see how the world may identify others and myself. As leaders we need to be able to break these boundaries and cross the barrier of social construct. All too often others let stereotypes and misconceptions of others control their minds on how they see other groups based on social identity markers. If you are wanting to play a significant role in others lives, you have to cast this boundary away and find ways in which others can work across these difference. Once this is able to happen, growth is able to happen amongst the group. This class has not only given me the knowledge of oppression and the ability to respect others pasts, it has allowed me to gain skills by creating an open environment where others can feel accepted for who they are and where they come from.