Today was a bit different structure wise in my social justice class. Instead of having lecture, speaker, lunch, small discussion groups, field trip we had lecture, lunch, guest speaker, and small groups. At the beginning of our lecture we talked about mother Bethel again as a recap because the museum was very cramped and some of us didn't get to fully get immersed in the experience. We watched a video that focused on the life of Allen and his contributions to society that are embodied in Mother Bethel. After this, we went to the library to talk about our capstone projects for which we have to pick a social justice question and come up with a format that accommodates that question and provides the up most information. We learned about the database that we have access to through the University of Pennsylvania. We can access the vast amount of books and scholarly articles that are not available anywhere else. After the info session, small group lead gave us a small tour of the facilities and taught us how to move the automated shelves to get to the books in between them. Shortly after, it was time for lunch.
As per usual the Houston Market was very full but I was early enough that I only had to wait 15 minutes. I decided to get a bacon cheese burger. It definitely wasn’t healthy but it sure was delicious. After lunch I walked back to the classroom with Kamillah, Chris and their friend Sam. Our guest speaker was Chris Rabb. I didn’t know much about him except for what I got from one of his TEDtalks. He seemed very professional but at the same time very charismatic. Our professor told us how he was running for state representative here in Philadelphia and against all odds won even though he was going up against a political machine.
He began his talk by asking us how many languages we knew how to speak. At the time I thought this was just small talk like in some of the info session we had with the university. Then he stated that language is currency. When I think of currency the first thing that comes to mind is money and wealth. Other people mentioned status and exchanges.From this he went on to talk about things that have a value but are not material like education, freedom and love. He brought up a really good point that wealth is not only material or monetary. Then he began talking about how difficult it was to be a person of color in this country.
He also talked about heritage. He comes from many generations of many types of abuse including sexual abuse. This, he said, might have something to do with his lighter skin complexion. He also brought to our attentions the difference between coming to terms with a harsh past and forgetting history. I though that even if one does come from a very difficult background such as slavery, it is important to acknowledge the history behind who we are but at the same time differentiate our values from that of those people that at the time thought that what they were doing was right and just. Mr. Rabb’s talk was amazing because i could identify with what he was coming from since in Richmond there is a ton of violence and young people feel unsafe in the streets and even in their homes. He gave us his email so I will definitely be following up and using him as a resource like he said.
When the talk was over, we headed to our small group discussions in College Hall. We talked about the documents that diamond sent us the night before. Ou debate got a little bit heated when we were discussing whether the american dream was real for everyone or not. Many people thought that depending on the level of privilege that one person had, it would shape how easy it was to achieve the american Dream. Someone made a comment that religion didn’t really matter in that context and this brought about a lot of disagreement about perceived religion and how that person’s statement sounded like people should keep their religion hidden. Unfortunately, it was time to go so that discussion was cut too short.
I headed to the dorm and later went to dinner with Therese. I had some pretty amazing nachos from the commons. We hurried with our meal because we had to go to an admissions office meeting at 6 PM in the archaeological museum of Pennsylvania that is a 7 minute walk from the quad. Everyone kept saying that the room was going to be very hot and we would all have heat strokes but when we got there it wasn’t cool but it wasn’t hot either. The dean of admissions talked more in depth about the holistic approach to admissions they have. Something that stuck with me was that he said that they might take the most two minutes looking at someone's transcript but the rest would be recommendations and what other arts of that person are important. In no time it was over, so we came back to the dorms
They had ices there. I got the mango flavored, it was really good. With this our day was over and the only thing that was left is to read the articles sent and be prepared for tomorrow.