Social Justice: Taking on Different Perspectives and Creating Solutions
I have always been passionate about equality since I was a child. The Bonner Leader Program has watered this seed and it grows more and more each week. Working at the YWCA of High Point has allowed me to help my colleagues combat systemic social issues. Our discussions during our Bonner meetings also allow me to voice my opinions and experiences and even propose certain ideas that can blossom into a solution. Also, the MLK Day of Service projects that second year Bonners plan definitely have expanded my horizons on social justice issues.
I am settling into my job at the YWCA. I have been given a lot more responsibilities, which include planning Women in Transition Workshops and other empowering events for women of the community. In these workshops, we like to target systemic social issues such as poverty and unemployment and create programs that will help women get to the next level. We host resume workshops that will help women get a job, and we also host budgeting workshops that help women learn how to budget their expenses.
Through working at the YWCA, I have encountered individuals who are victims of systemic social issues. These issues had to be faced and solved. I am constantly trying to find ways that I can advocate for fairness and equality for all. I am always searching for ideas that will help the YWCA members and I am currently in the beginning stages of planning a donation drive for the Career Closet and Baby Basics Closet. By helping other women with basic need for herself and/or her child, we can slowly make an impactful difference in the community.
During our Bonner meetings, we typically talk about important social issues that we are all passionate about. Our Bonner Coordinator VISTA has workshops to help us find ways to advocate for our passions, and we share them if we so please to. Whenever Bonners share their passions and ideas for change, my horizons broaden. I begin to learn about other social justice issues that intersect with each other. It is mind opening and it helps me look at things from another angle. Perspective is incredibly important when it comes to coming up with solutions because it allows you to step outside of the box and look at all of the components.
I was inspired by completing social justice workshops. For the 2016 MLK Service Project I hosted a documentary screening and discussion panel. This was my way of promoting awareness of poverty in the High Point Community. Through the discussion panel, I even learned a lot about the burdens of poverty from community members. I learned that there are houses that people live in that don’t have running water. I learned that some people on the discussion panel have relatives that are affected even though they have a college degree and full time job. I learned that almost everyone struggles on a daily basis, even though they work hard.
By learning so much through all of my experiences as being a Bonner Leader, I am able to take all of these perspectives and create programs that advocate for social justice. I know that I am only one person, but all it takes is one person to create change, and inspire others to join in on combating systemic social issues.