Mar 25, 2010

Tuesday Morning session

The first morning was hectic with loading/unloading the bus, finding your baggage, and meeting as a group. Our first official meeting was at 1, and we had arrived roughly at 10, so our group decided to stay back in order to organize our thoughts. We began with sitting all together in a circle on the rug. Sitting in a circle symbolized everyone being on the same level. First we gathered each person’s view of what they thought "racial profiling" was. After hearing each persons answer we gathered that racial profiling is actions or accusations against a person based solely off race. Everybody in the group had mixed views on how they felt towards the issue. Is it bad to racially profile people? Is it a safety precaution? Is racial profiling similar to stereotyping? Is it affective? We also discussed how we were going to confront these questions.

The group came up with a short, yet extremely compelling activity. We all placed each other into stereotypical categories based off of what we saw at first glance. The answers were revealed at the end. Many people expected to be placed into their categories, but there were several people who were completely shocked at the image they gave off to people who did not know them. Some people took it personally however it was only to get a complete understanding of our major issue. For the exercise, we all wrote down all 13 group members name. We then sat off by ourselves and wrote an adjective that described the individual as if we were to see them on the street. This was difficult because most of us knew each other. Most of these adjectives were wrong, however it gave us an outside view of ourselves and the way people portrayed us. After all adjectives were read out loud, we each went around in a circle and aid one true adjective and one false adjective, explaining why we understood that people had portrayed us that way. We also explained what people did not know about us, understanding that everyone has a story to tell which creates his or her background, and it is difficult to know that story just from looking at someone. This activity speaks to the fact that perhaps judging a book by its cover is not an affective form of judgment or accusation. Hopefully as the trip goes on we will learn a lot more!

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