Week 7

This week’s readings consisted of a variety of different articles and video regarding social change and activism. Grace Lee Boggs is a name that will be remembered throughout history alongside many other great activists and revolutionaries. I began to learn of Grace and her activism in my undergrad through my Africana Studies program. Since I’ve began my placement at the Boggs School of Detroit, I’ve sought a deeper understanding of who she was, and how her social change ideologies shaped her life’s work.

In the video, Grace says that a movement was coming, and spoke of how hope trumps despair. What really resonated with me though, was when she said that “We have to become the leaders we are looking for, in relationship to our local, and daily circumstances. This to me was a profound statement, and reminds me of the old saying, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”. Too often, we look for a leader, someone to guide us in our quest for social justice and equality, however, oftentimes we fail to realize that the quest begins with the self. It is true, those leaders that we wished we had right now, in our communities, our schools, our governments, we must become them. Admittingly, I am guilty of venerating our great leaders of the past to an almost God-like status, and that can be dangerous. Because these extraordinary people, were indeed ordinary people, and we can be just as extraordinary if we pursue our dreams of seeing an equal and just society.

The article Networking Minds, Creating Meaning, Contesting Power, was inspiring. I enjoyed reading about United for Global Change. Just to think that people can unite globally around certain social issues is powerful. Challenging authoritative systems of power and wealth is no easy task. However, a redistribution of power, is both possible and necessary. The article talks about Counter Power, the means by which change agents can challenge the power embedded in the institutions of society for the purpose of claiming representation for their own values and interest. While we all operate within our own self-interest, a morally just, and equal society should be in the interest of everyone, and is one point that we can all organize around.

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