Building a healthy framework for social justice is more than just a notion. It takes time, dedication and understanding. This chapter begins forcing me to look at my experiences in social justice involvement. I had to consider my emotions as I was going through the activities, protest and other outings. Well, the "educators journey" can only be described as growth both personally an within the communities that you serve. That is; if you are serious about building this safe place for social justice to flourish. These grass root issues are about forcing yourself to be valuable know that the process of teaching others will be the plot form which you are taught.
Looking at my experiences as a facilitator, I see a few of my major flaws in my thinking and reaction that can only be addressed by really submerging myself into the core components that govern social justice education. Before, I was a participant. I could just listen or ignore other people's opinion. I was more concerned with others hearing what I had to say and changing their opinions to mirror mine. it never really occurred to me that their narrative reflected who they were and where they stood. Now, I have to listen. I have to be impartial and I have to genuinely care about what is being said and in what context is it said. I use my own education and my own experiences to be transparent and open enough that other feel like they can learn in a safe environment.
Before a conversation can occur; everyone must be on the same page (i.e define key terms in Social Justice). Some may say that this is a given but this one of the most important things we are fighting for and what concepts we are fighting against.
There are three types of oppression:
- Institutional: Social institutions such as education, politics, media,economy, healthcare, religion, family etc.
- Cultural: Societal norms, values, icons, ideologies, aesthetics, lore, jokes, music pop culture and shared beliefs.
- Individual: Personal beliefs, behaviors and interpersonal interactions.
Without this knowledge; it is hard to gage if the conversation is progressing successfully or are tensions rising.