The beauty of a humanities education lies in how many times you're forced to think about current events based on something you've been taught.
Challenging our background is an essential part of a liberal education; many people have been socialized into believing the world works a certain way, much like how at one time people believed the world was flat.
Through my multicultural education seminar I've been challenged to revisit common beliefs I've held. Through this education I have been able to evaluate social movements and current politics.
One of the most recent topics in my seminar addressed racial inequalities in health. The beauty of these discourses is manifested in the challenge of socialization that is presented. The ideas addressed in this article helped to change how I view poverty: locally and in general.
The idea of an ""American creed"" really hit home. Essentially this creed socializes Americans into thinking individual outcomes should be based on individual responsibilities, or in other words an imaginary society of seekers of the American dream have been united into thinking the only way to do so is through individual gain and advancement.
This isn't to say everyone thinks like this, but it did strike me as interesting because when I revisited my beliefs about what makes one successful I found a little bit of this philosophy nestled in my own.
I'm asking students to realize that there may be another answer to growing economic disparities. Maybe individual achievement shouldn't be as important in economic outcomes, perhaps the group should be held more responsible for ensuring human success.
Interestingly enough, these ideas were presented to me when I was formulating my opinion on the proposed changes to Peace Park on State Street, an area frequented by the poor and homeless.
As many of you may know, $1 million would be spent to renovate the park. Among the changes are a small police response station, an ATM and a set of bathrooms.
I disagree with the proposed changes in a few respects. I would argue that there are already plenty of ATMs on State Street. The money spent on adding a police workstation and bathrooms should be used to deal with the causes of what is making our people homeless; I don't necessarily mean solely providing them with services, but directly allocating funds to combat poverty.
I strongly believe a successful education is grounded in an understanding of past and present social movements in order to understand how the world functions. One becomes an activist when they understand movements of the past and apply the foundation to a movement of the present or future. Find an issue that appeals to you and become educated and active!