Education is a journey that begins at 4 years for many while earlier for a few people. I would like to build a career in gender studies and social justice which are very instrumental career paths towards making a difference in the community. Minoring in gender studies and majoring social justice will play a significant role towards equipping myself with the skills and competency I need to help people in the community acquire social justice through advocacy as well as understand the role of gender and social justice in community development. All my life I have always wanted to be part of something that is greater than myself and my education path is a means towards achieving my philosophy of life in my community and the world at large. My education goals have been shaped by my experiences while growing up as well as the people I have been able to interact with in my growth path. As I grew up, I witnessed people go through social injustice as the community is segregated along racial, ethnic and economic lines that are clear and have a significant impact on the livelihood of many people. For instance, social injustice has significantly led to the sustenance of poverty and economic stagnation for many families because they are unable to take their children to promising schools. On the other hand, those of high social class could be able to get all the good things in life and position them at an advantageous position compared to those from poor backgrounds. These experiences in the past have significantly shaped my desire to work in gender and social justice areas of the community.
In high school, the school environment gave me a chance to interact with people from all walks of life. High school Education in America provides children with many educative and learning experiences as well as practical situations to understand community dynamics. While in high school, I joined the debating club which challenged my thinking about gender equality and social justice. By participating in debating club in high school, I was able to discern the challenges faced by women and the less fortunate in the society and my responsibility to address them through advocacy for gender equality and social justice. However, my greatest motivation was my daily experiences in the community and through reading journals and newspaper articles which highlighted the plight of the less fortunate in America and the world as a whole. In the community, the gender roles and restrictions against women are evident even in my own family where women are discouraged from pursuing more complex careers as well as participation in active politics. Majority of the leaders in my community are men, and this has led to the sustenance of a male-dominated culture. Women businesses and engagement in business also is very poor which is a question of gender equality and lack of women empowerment in the society. Upon asking myself in high school what I can do about it, I actively involved myself in the debating club where most of my topics were oriented towards creating an ideal society where everybody was equal, and people could equally benefit from the opportunities within the community. Therefore, I vowed to do more research on the root cause of social injustice and gender inequality. In college, my goal was to pursue gender studies and social justice which could help improve my understanding of the gender inequality underpinnings and different approaches to ensure social justice in the society.
Currently, the University of Minnesota Rochester has given me an opportunity to make real my goal of being part of something bigger than myself in the community by advocating for social justice and gender equality. In school, the library has plenty of books on social justice and gender equality which will enrich my understanding of the problem and enlighten me on the approaches through which social justice can be achieved. The University environment provides practical lessons through observations of what causes social injustice and gender inequality in all levels of the community and government institutions. In the University the courses are oriented towards practical student involvement in the society to improve social change. I have learned that how college studies portray social justice plays a significant role on the student's perspective and the University of Minnesota has conceptualized social injustice as a problem that needs a holistic understanding and approach to solving it. The University of Minnesota offers experiential activities of investigating social issues and the current strategies employed to promote social justice as a means of preparing students to play their roles in the society (Picower, 2012). I have taken the school approach and lessons seriously which has significantly improved my attitude and conviction that I can make a difference in the social environment. I have identified the experiential method of social education learning in the university as a key to future competence in handling social injustice in my community. The school environment has also played a significant role in developing community conscience thinking which ensures that the ideas and opinions of the students in the class are valued and critically reviewed both in class and group-based discussions. As a result, the University of Minnesota has created an environment where students view each other as co-learners to remove the adversary mentality which reduces social progress and can be applied in the community as a means to promote social justice (Picower, 2012). The University of Minnesota has challenged the current social environment which facilitates social injustice and gender inequality by ensuring that all the students view each other as equals. When disagreements occur, the institution encourages the affected individuals to approach the problem constructively to increase their knowledge and arrive at an agreeable solution by all the parties involved.
My social justice and gender equality philosophies are anchored on empathy, personal awareness, and social action. My philosophy on social justice borrows from Plato's argument that justice should reign supreme. Justice is the remedy to all evils and injustice in the world but should be approached from a moral point of view (Hamedi, 2014). Enforced justice is not sustainable and cannot achieve social justice and gender equality because many people will look for loopholes to exploit. Therefore, educating the society on good morals of what is right and what is wrong and to have empathy on each other can significantly eliminate social injustice. Policies of social justice are incompetent in handling the current social injustice and gender issues due to lack of social action and individual initiative which can be encouraged by educating people. Young children should be taught of good morals and equality because that is the time that social-based perspectives are created and when they grow up its difficult to change an adult's mentality. I will continue to work towards attaining a BA in gender studies and social justice because I believe they are necessary tools that can be used to make a meaningful social change in our societies today.
Hamedi, A. (2014). The concept of justice in Greek philosophy (Plato and Aristotle). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(27 P2), 1163.
Picower, B. (2012). Practice what you teach: Social justice education in the classroom and the streets. Routledge.
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