education

Solidarity Share- Intersectional Poverty

This "Solidarity Share" was presented as part of a Keynote Plenary at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference. Solidarity Shares were created by pairs of Delegates from different communities across the globe, finding shared points of struggle, joy, and connection. We hope their stories inspire you to connect across borders, to see the ways that struggles in your community might benefit from solidarity with others.

Mia: My name is Mia Lei, and I am from North Carolina, USA. In my community, poverty is a challenge for global health.

In developing nations, 90% of health care expenses are paid out-of-pocket - the cost burden falls overwhelmingly on the poor. North Carolina paints a similar for the 450,000 people who do not have health coverage and cannot afford basic health care due to politics. Poverty affects health the same everywhere- global is local and local is global.

David: My name is David Maduri, and I am from Kenya. In my community, poverty is a challenge for education.

Poverty is a barricade to a education. Forty two percent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa will drop out before graduating primary school - this leads to unemployment, which affects their ability to afford education for their own children - it is an endless cycle.

M: Poverty is the underlying determinant of all of our issues - it affects and is affected by health, education, environment, and technology. It makes our issues intersectional. And that intersectionality requires solidarity from us. By addressing poverty and addressing our issues together, we can create a stronger movement for development and equity. Just imagine if our movements worked together - think how much stronger we could be.

D: Imagine if there was an initiative to support rural children around the poor Lake Victoria region to get an education and make a difference in their own communities. That is my non-profit - educationHOPE. Imagine how children can make better decisions about their own health and their own lives once they´re educated.

M: Now imagine that there were student organizations that educated us not only about partnership-based service models and health inequities, but also empowered us with the strategic negotiating skills to create health policy change in our own communities. Those are my organizations - GlobeMed and the American Mock WHO.

D: Change is not necessarily the huge expectations of the world today , but the inconsiderable shreds of motivation that one puts on another´s life to make them realize their purpose. The foundation of the better world we want for a tomorrow is the action we take today - we are the future of the world.

 

M: As the future of our world, it is up to us to make the world the better place that we imagine. We can make the choice to fight for the right to not just survive, but thrive. We fight for change for with those in poverty.

And while we may fight with the poor, we are rich in so many ways. Change does not happen without power – and we are rich in the power of our experiences. Change does not happen without determination - and we are rich in our passion. And change does not happen without people - and we are rich in our communities.

D: Yesterday, many of our discussions focused on knowing the community we work in and listening to them before acting. Thus, solidarity is required not only between our issues, but also within our communities. When we work in solidarity, we will get more done, but recognition is shared.

M: So the question that I have for you today is this – why are you here? Are you here to feel good, or do good? Because they’re not always the same thing. Let us be students that do good and fight for change in solidarity with our communities. We challenge you not to focus on being heroes and changeMAKERS, but servers and changeAGENTS that work in solidarity with one another.

D: Our issues require action. Our issues require intersectionality. And our issues require solidarity. Our challenge is to work together.

M&D: Our struggles are your struggles.

 

Solidarity Share - Cultivating Empathy

This "Solidarity Share" was presented as part of a Keynote Plenary at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference. Solidarity Shares were created by pairs of Delegates from different communities across the globe, finding shared points of struggle, joy, and connection. We hope their stories inspire you to connect across borders, to see the ways that struggles in your community might benefit from solidarity with others.

Marie-Esther Buh and Kei Pritsker

East Orange, New Jersey, USA and Weston, Connecticut USA

 

My name is Marie-Esther Buh and I live in East Orange, NJ. In my community, literacy is a problem. Literacy is literally the possession of education. For most people in my community, a High School Diploma, GED or some college education is their limit and this affects their level of understanding.  

My name is Kei Pritsker and I am from Weston, CT. Empathy is a challenge in my community. Weston is one of the wealthiest towns on the planet. My community does not empathize with struggling people because issues like poverty and war only exist within our textbooks; none of it is reality.

Marie: The biggest worries in my community are what people decide to eat and looking fashionable. People only care about what Chinese restaurant to buy from or what weave to put on. Important issues like keeping the environment clean or teaching the young falls through the cracks.

Kei: There are members of my community who participate in charity and I’m sure they do so with good intentions but charity is not solidarity. Charity removes the top from the struggles of the bottom. Solidarity respects people. Solidarity emphasizes mutual aid instead of dictation. My community is privileged because we can allow global issues to slip through the cracks without facing the consequences. However, issues like poverty, climate change and armed conflict don’t cease to exist because they’re out of sight.  

Marie: Issues like poverty, climate change and armed conflict are a reality for my community.Without empathy, understanding and solidarity, these issues will remain unresolved.These issues don’t respect borders; they will spread from one corner of the planet to another. Nobody is safe until everyone is cared for.

Kei: Solidarity requires communities from all different walks of life to unite for a common struggle. We cannot do this alone. We want to work with you to explore the possible solutions.

Both: Our vision is your vision.

 

Solidarity Share - Education

This "Solidarity Share" was presented as part of a Keynote Plenary at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference. Solidarity Shares were created by pairs of Delegates from different communities across the globe, finding shared points of struggle, joy, and connection. We hope their stories inspire you to connect across borders, to see the ways that struggles in your community might benefit from solidarity with others.

Photo by Lishabai Yi, Li Sun and Zhiyue Wang

Junyang Yin and Andy Jean


Yunnan Province, China and New York, USA

My name is Junyang Yin, and I am from China. In my community, education is a challenge. I was lucky to be born in the capital city of Yunnan Province. One day I was complaining about the bus commute from my home to high school. My Dad looked at me seriously and said, “Come here... Let me tell you something...” You know when parents are going to start the “When I was your age...” lecture, (sigh...) I volunteered in a hope primary school as a teacher in China. If it was not told by these kids come from remote villages as I saw their worn shoes with mud, I would not have never recalled my dad’s words: “When I was your age, I have to take care of 3 siblings and walk 3 hours on bumpy mountain road to school.” Yunnan is situated on the southwestern frontier of China. We have the most ethnic minorities, and they make up a third of Yunnan’s population. Those ethnic minority people live in valleys or hilly areas. For various historical reasons, they are economically and culturally backward. Therefore, to promote education in Yunnan is to focus on the education of the minorities.

My name is Andy Jean, and I am from New York State. In my community, education is a challenge. Education in New York City, whose public school system is the largest in the world, the most postgraduate life sciences awarded, with some of the best and worst performing public schools and the second largest recipient of funds from the National Institute of Health amongst universities, is plagued with problems. My experience with NYS education has more or less been satisfactory, however statistics beg us to “regress to the mean”, acknowledging that cognitive biases (Rèn zhī piānchā; Ren­G­pin­cha; 认知偏差) will skewer our perspectives about the problems of education in general. It seems that NYS’s urban minority schools in low­ income communities uniformly perform poorly. We also have the most racially and economically segregated schools in the US. Solutions are varied for many aspects would be needed to be taken into account.

Our challenges are your challenges.