Category Archives: Social Advocacy / Justice

How You Can be an Ally in the Fight Against Racism

I want to start off this blog post by saying that I am White and could never begin to understand the struggles that Black people face everyday. It is my responsibility not just as a White person, but as a human being who believes people should not have to live in fear because of the color of their skin, to educate myself on the struggles of black people and learn what I can do to help. I may not be able to share the experiences of Black people, but I can learn about their suffering, stand with them, grieve with them, and fight for change. Being an ally means struggling with others, acknowledging the issue and drawing attention to it. I want the Millersville University community to come together and support our Black brothers and sisters by being allies. By recognizing their suffering and suffering with them. One of Millersville’s EPPIIC core values is compassion. Now more than ever members of the Millersville University community must show compassion and demonstrate leadership to bring about positive change. Here’s how you, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, can educate yourself and become an ally in the fight against racism: 

  1. Visit this link to check out anti-racism resources including articles and books to read, videos, TV shows, and movies to watch, organizations to follow, and more: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcp7Zjak*JaTmVVS2r9dqi2IRgtTFHg
  2. Learn about how to show support by reading this article: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcp7Zjak*JaTmVVS2r9dqi2IRgtTFHg
  3. List of books you can read to learn more about racial justice: https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/project-collection/racial-justice 
  4. Click the link to learn how you can support Black-owned businesses: https://refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9849096/find-black-owned-businesses-online-apps
  5. Here is a resource with links for places and organizations you can donate to, petitions you can sign, and representatives you can contact: https://www.slamonline.com/the-magazine/where-to-donate-support-black-lives-matter/
  6. List of bail funds: https://bailfunds.github.io/
  7. Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund to support his family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
  8. Another good resource showing different ways you can help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
  9. Text “JUSTICE” to 55156 to join Color Of Change, a nonprofit organization, in their efforts to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot on February 23rd, 2020.
  10. Text “ENOUGH” to 55156 to join Color of Change in their efforts to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home on March 13th, 2020.

Millersville University is proud of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are using their voices to promote positive change in society and are doing what they can to educate themselves about systemic racism. We must remain compassionate and be allies. We must support the Black community and those who are suffering. We must fight for freedom. We must do better. Remember to stay aware and active, but also be sure to stay safe. If you are going to protest, protest peacefully. Continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect yourselves and others from COVID-19. Head over to https://linktr.ee/thevillecounselingcenter to visit Millersville University’s virtual calming room to deal with any stress, anxiety, anger, and so on that you may be feeling. Remember that you are not alone. Millersville University is here to help all members of our community in any way we can. Together, we can educate ourselves and support each other, and hopefully make this world a better place for everyone.

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Fall 2019 Disability Film Festival

Every semester Dr. Thomas Neuville organizes the Disability Film Festival. This semester there are three full-length films and five short films being screened. Each screening is held in the Myers Auditorium in McComsey Hall from 5:30–8:30 PM. There will be a post-screening discussion following all screenings. All screenings are free and open to the public.

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 with a screening of Raising Faith: Stories about Dyslexia. The film documents the experiences of nine young people and their families. The primary subject, Faith, shares wisdom about the way she learns and how she negotiated her education through middle and high school, and now college.

The second screening on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 consists of five short films: “Ian,” “The Right To Be Rescued,” “The Interviewer,” “The Best and Most Beautiful Things,” and “Awake.” “Ian” documents a boy with a disability who’s determined to play on the playground despite his peers bullying him. “The Right To Be Rescued” tells the stories of people with disabilities affected by Hurricane Katrina. “The Interviewer” focuses on Thomas who gets more than he bargained for in his interview at a prestigious law firm. The film was devised with 12 people living with a disability, all of whom actively participated in the development of the film. “The Best and Most Beautiful Things” highlights the relationship between Brandon and Emily, who are, respectively, learning sign language and trying to speak. “Awake” follows Miles, who is traumatized by his father’s death and is cursed by his own subconscious. He is taught a lesson by his subconscious through repetition of dreams.

Pennhurst: They’ve waited a long time to tell their story is being screened on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Pennhurst is a documentary chronicling the stories of people whose lives were irrevocably intertwined with the history of the Pennhurst State School and Hospital. Pennhurst was a massive institutional home for the developmentally disabled and closed in 1987.

The festival concludes on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 with the screening of 2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional. The sequel to 2e: Twice Exceptional follows teachers of a school in Los Angeles dedicated exclusively to educating highly gifted students with learning disabilities or differences.

Thank you to Dr. Neuville for organizing this educational opportunity for our faculty, staff, students, and community members! We appreciate the work you do here at the ‘Ville.

Glowing Through The Darkness Event

The Center for Health Education and Promotion will be partnering with the Social Advocacy Living Learning Community and Lambda Chi Alpha to host Glowing Through the Darkness. This event supports mental health awareness and participants will be able to walk, roll or run around the quad in the Mental Health Awareness Mile. The event will also have information and activity tables. By participating in the event, you will be supporting those who are affected by suicide and mental health. Engaging in the event will also take the first steps towards breaking the stigma around mental health. Mental Health is very important and affects many people here at Millersville, so it is crucial that we acknowledge it and support those who are affected.

 Glowing Through the Darkness will take place on April 25th from 7-8pm. Check-in will start at 6:30pm on the quad. After the Mental Health Awareness Mile, there will be a glow party for students which will celebrate life in the SMC MPR starting at 8pm. To sign up for the event, there is a link below or you can register at the MU ticket booth.

Make sure to come out and support those affected by mental health and suicide.

Register through this link ! For more information on the Social Advocacy Living Learning Community click here. We hope to see you there!

 

 

Social Advocacy Living-Learning Community

Located in West Village Suites on Millersville’s campus is the Social Advocacy Living- Learning Community, which engages 20 undergraduate students. A living-learning community, also known as an LLC, is a group of students who live together in the same residence hall and share similar academic or other interests. These communities are designed to encourage student engagement through designed co-curricular learning activities.

Each community is themed and groups students with similar majors or interests together to create an environment that helps students gain skill sets such as effective communication skills, and networking skills among many others. These communities offer these students a unique residential experience that can provide them with skills inside and outside of the classroom. Within these living-learning communities, students may take advantage of tutoring, guest speakers, cultural programs, career workshops, community service, and research projects.

The Social Advocacy  Living-Learning Community that we have here on campus was created for Anthropology, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology majors. According to Dr. Karen Rice, Department Chairperson for the School of  Social Work and adviser for the Social Advocacy Living-Learning Community, this LLC is centered around social advocacy and empowers students to be aware of  cultural and social diversity within our society. Students who participate are passionate about advocacy, equity, social justice, and inclusion.

Dr. Karen Rice has provided some information about the program and activities her students have been participating in . She said, “Since our inception this fall, our students have engaged in team building exercises learning ways to communicate and enhance trust. They have explored their own identities and that of others and identified ways to foster change and build capacity. ”

She also touched on the specific activities her students are participating in. “Some of our students participated in the United Way Day of Caring.  Additionally, our students had the opportunity to learn, first-hand, from a Syrian refugee the challenges faced in obtaining employment and ways others are assisting in overcoming those hurdles. Our students participated in a cooking class led by one of the Syrian refugee women. This experience not only fostered compassion but allowed our students to explore their own assumptions by trying something new and hearing personal stories .”

Overall, this program is very important and is a great way for students to be able to build a positive community, and positive social change. To find more information about living-learning communities, check out our website .

5 Faces of Oppression

Oppression, as we define it is—prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. Of course what we might start to realize is oppression can take on many forms. It can affect many dimensions of society and social life. Oppression can attach itself to the workplace, within institutions, possibly within homes, in the realm of education, and occur between person to person.

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On Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 at 6:00p.m. in the South Village Great Room, a discussion will be held observing oppression. It will not only talk about how we define it, but also how oppression itself has five (5) faces. These faces are: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, violence, and cultural imperialism. Through this discussion we will be looking to expand on ideas such as these:

  • Discuss what racism can be and how it can take many forms. 
  • How to confidently respond to acts of discrimination. 

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The goal of this event is to not only facilitate a dialogue, but also affirm with a “call to action” identifying oppression as a whole and its associated umbrella terms. More so to that, inspire students who feel lost about how to approach these conversations. What we are urging is that students come to this event looking to learn and respond affectively and actively to halting oppression. Students have a role that determines the success of the program. Not only will you be asked to generate a willing participation, but also to ask questions. The idea behind this event is to show how students can carry this information into tense situations. It encourages a stronger,   more positive approach to impacting negative ways of thinking.

If you are willing and able to commit to this event, not only for your benefit but for others as well—we would to have your company. RA LaChaun Freeland and RA Eugene Thomas will be hosting this event. Be sure to bring your friends who may have a passion for justice or just has trouble helping others. See you there!

 

 

What Does It Mean To Be An Ally?

What does it mean to be an ally? What does it take to become an ally? Does the word ally mean just wearing a pin to show solidarity? Does an ally mean being a good citizen as well?

What would it take to think an ally is more than that—to think it is more active work and not passive work? An ally can be as simple as calling someone out on their oppressive behavior, stopping someone from making hasty generalizations about someone who is trans, disabled, racially different, affected by stereotypes, or being a victim of any form of abuse and mistreatment. An ally can simply just mean being able to not be a bystander—to be engaging and informed about what’s going on.

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“If we tell ourselves that the only problem here is hate, we avoid facing the reality that it is mostly nice non-hating people who perpetuate racial inequality.” —Ellis Cose, 1997

“As racism has become less visibly obvious since the 1960s, it has become easier for those not directly victimized by it to ignore it.” —Clarence Page, 1996

“To those who believe the battle against discrimination has been won, I  say, look at the realities of paychecks and power.” —Linda Chavez-Thompson, 1997

How can we come to the conclusion of what an ally is? Maybe we can start a conversation about what is really going on in the world. We can start listening to others and their perspectives—we can remain open-hearted and open-minded. If we see how useful working together is, we can find a way to accomplish more goals. The goal itself is to be active; to make sure that we call out injustice, unfair treatment, and the barriers we seem to think are invisible. Once we realize the bridging the gap will not work—we fill the gap. If we are conscientious and committed to the work we do as a society, as individuals, on the local level, on the regional level, on the institutional level,  and beyond, we can define and even reify the essence of what an ally is, can be, or should be.