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The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website http://ecologyofdemocracy.org/.

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Best

Comments

zbrez0011's picture

For our group project, we had the subject of racism in high school and how it affects the people involved and the community by the school. I, personally went to flushing high school, and in my case, we never really had an issue with this, but that is not the case for everyone, which I know. You see all of these reports on high schools about bullying, and never really about racism, even though it is a major concern in some areas. I am not sure if it is because people are uncomfortable about talking about race and racism, which still exists in today's world. It is not something that has just vansished and is in the past. Anyways, for our group, we focused on how to bring attention to the situation and bring in the whole community so we could shed some light on this problem and try and solve it. We are going to set up a play were students past and present can come and speak about how they are affected by racism, and maybe offer up some solutions. We would also like the teachers to speak and maybe with everybody taking part in this, we can bring an end to this. Students should only have to worry about their grades, not anything else, especially something they have no control over. We are also going set up a fundraiser type of program were you can donate some money and we would put it towards a non profit organization that helps with racism within schools. Also, we are going to take some of the profit that the football and basketball teams make off of their tickets for games and also put towards the same organization or find other ways of bringing light towards the situation. What problems that we might run into would be that people might not take this seriously if it has nothing to do with them. What we are considering is that, for the play that we are going to do, we might offer up extra credit if you attend, so that might entice the students to go. The main part is trying to get the community together because if we get more voices heard and just by starting the conversation, it can go a long way into helping the cause. Some problems with working within groups, is that you have multiple voices all trying to help with the same thing, and sometimes people might try and take over and want all of their ideas to be the ones that are heard and not listen to anyone else. You might have more than one strong personality in the group and you are going to have to compromise. Why is it so important to get the community involved is because when people come together, it makes so much more of a stronger point than if just a handful of people are the only ones that are concerned about a topic. When you bring more people into the situation, it helps with getting it into motion and maybe having some solutions take place and making a difference other than like two people going and complaining. The issue is that some people don’t get involved unless it directly affects them personally, so that is why it is important to get everyone all in right off the bat. For our project, I believe we are given a certain budget, and what we our going to end up doing, is joining with another group that is also performing another play of some sort and we are going to be promoting their issue as well as they are promoting ours. Our overall end goal is to finally get rid of racism in high schools because at this point in the world, we shouldn’t have to worry about this. People shouldn't have to worry about getting bullied or not getting the same opportunity because of the color of their skin. It is absurd and needs to end and if we can bring awareness and solutions to a few communities, it could have a ripple effect and start to happen in more areas and we can just have the students going to school worrying about their grades, not anything else.

Ulambert's picture

In our UNV-100 Class, we did a group project and every group was given a current problem and an occupation to try to solve it. My group was given the occupation of a film production team and the problem of racism. My initial reaction wasn't a very positive one, because I couldn't see how we could solve racism with a movie, but once we started collaborating as a group the ideas started flowing easily.

We decided to create a hard-hitting documentary on racism. Our film company was going to walk the streets of Flint, Michigan and interview people of all all kinds of ethnicities to get their view and their own personal experiences with racism. Once we got these individual stories, with the funding that we were going to receive from sponsors and donations from anti-racism organizations, we would piece them together into one big movie. We also partnered with another group that owned a theater to showcase our film. The money raised from the ticket sales would go towards their cause and ours. With this film being shown we hoped that it would spread awareness of racism and how it's still a problem today. So many people like to believe that racism is a thing of the past, but with our film we could show how people of every age are facing racism at school, at their jobs, and just out in public.

Overall I really enjoyed this class project, because it allowed us to think critically about a real problem we're facing. We got to collaborate with each other and with other groups and it was really fun. 

Ulambert's picture

In our UNV-100 Class, we did a group project and every group was given a current problem and an occupation to try to solve it. My group was given the occupation of a film production team and the problem of racism. My initial reaction wasn't a very positive one, because I couldn't see how we could solve racism with a movie, but once we started collaborating as a group the ideas started flowing easily.

We decided to create a hard-hitting documentary on racism. Our film company was going to walk the streets of Flint, Michigan and interview people of all all kinds of ethnicities to get their view and their own personal experiences with racism. Once we got these individual stories, with the funding that we were going to receive from sponsors and donations from anti-racism organizations, we would piece them together into one big movie. We also partnered with another group that owned a theater to showcase our film. The money raised from the ticket sales would go towards their cause and ours. With this film being shown we hoped that it would spread awareness of racism and how it's still a problem today. So many people like to believe that racism is a thing of the past, but with our film we could show how people of every age are facing racism at school, at their jobs, and just out in public.

Overall I really enjoyed this class project, because it allowed us to think critically about a real problem we're facing. We got to collaborate with each other and with other groups and it was really fun. 

Ulambert's picture

In our UNV-100 Class, we did a group project and every group was given a current problem and an occupation to try to solve it. My group was given the occupation of a film production team and the problem of racism. My initial reaction wasn't a very positive one, because I couldn't see how we could solve racism with a movie, but once we started collaborating as a group the ideas started flowing easily.

We decided to create a hard-hitting documentary on racism. Our film company was going to walk the streets of Flint, Michigan and interview people of all all kinds of ethnicities to get their view and their own personal experiences with racism. Once we got these individual stories, with the funding that we were going to receive from sponsors and donations from anti-racism organizations, we would piece them together into one big movie. We also partnered with another group that owned a theater to showcase our film. The money raised from the ticket sales would go towards their cause and ours. With this film being shown we hoped that it would spread awareness of racism and how it's still a problem today. So many people like to believe that racism is a thing of the past, but with our film we could show how people of every age are facing racism at school, at their jobs, and just out in public.

Overall I really enjoyed this class project, because it allowed us to think critically about a real problem we're facing. We got to collaborate with each other and with other groups and it was really fun. 

USiminski's picture

From the Ecology of Democracy group project that our class was assigned, we were presented with different scenarios that our group was to solve. My group, group eight, was assigned the problem of increased amounts of people facing drug addiction. We were given a limit of money that we were allowed to use in order to create a solution to slow/ stop the increased amounts of drug addiction. My group began with brainstorming numerous ways that we could create a way to help put drug users through a rehab program that one could afford, or have a way to afford. Soon enough, my group had decided to create an amusement park that allows for those with drug addiction to attend rehab as well as have the option to pay for their treatment through working at the amusement park if they are unable to pay for the rehab clinic.

The process that our group planned out was to obtain some funds through famous icons who were willing to donate to the rehabilitation center, advertise on radio stations, recruit volunteers to work at the rehab center, as well as "employee" those who need assistance to attend the center. The problems that were faced during this project was our funds being cut so dramatically, and then having to collaborate with other groups to make the entire class involved. The projected outcome that our group came up with was that we would collaborate with other groups, such as the theatre and film groups by creating a documentary over the drug abusers that the rehab center has helped to overcome their drug addiction. In return, our group would assist the theatre/film groups with designing props and sets for their group to use in their productions.

In chapter 6 of Ecology of Democracy, it mentions "Becoming involved is only half the battle", this quote, I believe plays a big role in those who suffer with drug addiction. Many people who are drug users do not wish to seek help or admit they have a problem. With this program, we would house approximately 40 people at a time who can receive the benefits from the rehabilitation center. Those 40 who enroll in the rehab, we assume are going to want to end an addiction considering that the chances to get in the rehab will be rather limited. Being that, we hoped that there would be a high success rate of ending an addiction.

USiminski's picture

From the Ecology of Democracy group project that our class was assigned, we were presented with different scenarios that our group was to solve. My group, group eight, was assigned the problem of increased amounts of people facing drug addiction. We were given a limit of money that we were allowed to use in order to create a solution to slow/ stop the increased amounts of drug addiction. My group began with brainstorming numerous ways that we could create a way to help put drug users through a rehab program that one could afford, or have a way to afford. Soon enough, my group had decided to create an amusement park that allows for those with drug addiction to attend rehab as well as have the option to pay for their treatment through working at the amusement park if they are unable to pay for the rehab clinic.

The process that our group planned out was to obtain some funds through famous icons who were willing to donate to the rehabilitation center, advertise on radio stations, recruit volunteers to work at the rehab center, as well as "employee" those who need assistance to attend the center. The problems that were faced during this project was our funds being cut so dramatically, and then having to collaborate with other groups to make the entire class involved. The projected outcome that our group came up with was that we would collaborate with other groups, such as the theatre and film groups by creating a documentary over the drug abusers that the rehab center has helped to overcome their drug addiction. In return, our group would assist the theatre/film groups with designing props and sets for their group to use in their productions.

In chapter 6 of Ecology of Democracy, it mentions "Becoming involved is only half the battle", this quote, I believe plays a big role in those who suffer with drug addiction. Many people who are drug users do not wish to seek help or admit they have a problem. With this program, we would house approximately 40 people at a time who can receive the benefits from the rehabilitation center. Those 40 who enroll in the rehab, we assume are going to want to end an addiction considering that the chances to get in the rehab will be rather limited. Being that, we hoped that there would be a high success rate of ending an addiction.

Hualhuss's picture

the project under discussion is domestic violence.  we plan on using the community around us to fund and promote our idea. We plan on getting more funding from local colleges and community schools either through a monetary donation or through a donation of materials. Additionally, getting involved with a local film company to create a television ad or some sort of short film that could air on the television would also help promote this idea. 

We will start by creating a support group, hosted at colleges, that is dedicated to art and offers support for those who have suffered abuse. The showcase night would feature a staff of people who are victims of domestic abuse. The night would also feature short films, theatre performances, and an art gallery in which all dedicated material would be shown at this time. 

We expect that those affected by domestic violence have new jobs so that they might be able to find ways to get out of the situation. The community is more understanding and vigilant about domestic violence. Additionally, the proceeds from the auctioning of the art the women made in the classes will go towards building a women’s shelter.

We plan on setting up programs for women that suffer from domestic violence. We are going to hire some of the women to work at the museum so that they can make some money and try to get out of their situations. Apart from providing job opportunities for the women, we are also going to provide them with day care services and different classes for them to go and make art. The art is going to be auctioned and the proceeds taken to build shelter to those affected.

Ubarasheed's picture

In my concern, the project is well planed on. I have noted that the group members have made a clear place on where the project will be carried. Domestic violence is a long-term violence that has affected a high number of people more so women in the society.

Apart from that, the project is well organized, and one understands it well. The group has started by spreading the word and making people know their intention. Notably, the aim of the group is not only raising awareness concerning the issue of domestic violence, but also people that the affected by domestic violence are humans also as well letting prejudice and blind judgment does not result to people being domestically abused.

Furthermore, the group has clearly indicated how they will get enough funds for their project. The group has properly planned for the money they are going to get because they plan to aid the shelters for the abused as well as other activities involved. The other good thing about the project is that the projected outcomes are well explained showing that after carrying out the activities, it will be easy for the group to assess what they achieved and what was not attained. However, the group participants ought o make a clear timeline on when they want to achieve all that they plan to do.

According to me, the project is completely okay, and they should continue with the selected topic.

Ubarasheed's picture

 

The problem discussed is homelessness in the Flint community. The material has begun by accepting that homelessness is an issue but has not been taken as a significant issue. Therefore, the team starts by spreading the word about the challenge in various public points in the community, for example at the bus stops. Since the issue is new to the people, the group has to inform people exactly what the documentary is about, the reasons for its production as well as the location of addressing the issue. As it is well known, funds are always needed while creating awareness. The money is required in designing flyers and also to support other groups like those fighting racism because most of the homeless people are made of a particular race indicating that discrimination is rampant.

Giving funds to the homeless shelters is also essential as it shows care. The money mostly is taken from churches and other organizations that are not after making profits. The material has proceeded to the aspect of conducting interviews and showing of films. This is to take place at two points which helps in reaching many people. The aim of holding interviews usually is to gather more information about the problem being addressed. It is not apparent that the people addressing the issue have all the data involving it but rather need to get what other people have to say about the topic. Conducting interviews is not enough because it does not cover as many people and therefore the group had to show the film. The other benefit in showing the film is on ensuring that people enter using tickets where the money from the tickets is used in funding homeless.

Hualhuss's picture

In my point of view, the project is well done and direct to the point. One of the things I have noted is that the chosen area is important to address. The reason for this is because homelessness is always not taken in the right way. Some people think that the homeless find themselves in that situation due to being lazy or as a result of addiction that it is not the case. Some suffer from prejudice and blind judgment. For example, African Americans are prejudiced to be thieves and drug addicts who lead to them being homeless. Therefore, selecting this project is important as it makes people know the truth and understand how other people suffer.  Apart from that, the project is well organized, and one understands it well. The group has started by spreading the word and making people know their intention. Notably, the aim of the group is not only raising awareness concerning the issue of homelessness but also people that the homeless are humans also as well letting prejudice and blind judgment does not result to people being homeless.

The group has also planned well for the money they are going to get because they plan to aid the homeless shelters as well as other activities involved. Stating how the money will be used in the plan is useful as it ensures that all money is used in the right direction. The other good thing about the project is that the projected outcomes are well explained showing that after carrying out the activities, it will be easy for the group to assess what they achieved and what was not attained. Therefore, the project is completely okay as the main aspects of a project are evident.

UACollins's picture

My name is Andrew Collins, I'm currently a student here at U of M-Flint, and I want to discuss my group project that I did. My group and I solved this problem by deciding who was going to be the group leader and deciding on ideas for the process and how we were going to do it. I thought of doing rock paper scissors with my group to decide on who was going to be group leader, but that didn't work out. I'm also 19 years old and a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan was another thing I forgot to mention as well.

The group project was about gang violence which I will explain the 4 P's on how my group used it. We had to decide on our art idea which was to be a movie theater and to figure out which gang movie to show if it was going to be Straight Outta Compton or 8 Mile. Our group leader also talked to other group leaders about it and their ideas to answer a couple of questions about their projects and figured out how to do it. My group leader put this project on a PowerPoint presentation to show the group project in order of the 4 P's.  

The first P was the problem which was Gang violence. We also needed to think about how we were going to help them young men get out of the gang and getting them back home and in school where they belong so they can get a good education too. I also suggested to my group about asking the young men in the gang a few questions by interviewing about their problems and tell us what they want to do. Mayors Jones and May came over to my group and asked us how we were doing on our projects and how it was coming and we told them about it. We had to find a location in Michigan of were to locate these men and help donate for the young men to get back on their feet.

Process was using the money that was giving to my group by the mayors Jones and May in order to help young men get off the streets and back into their homes and schools. My idea was to be like Captain Underpants by going "Tra la la!" and helping them be safe but I thought nope, that wouldn't work. I agreed with whatever my group said about their ideas for the project and I was in for it. I also took notes on it so I could know what to do and we had to have my group leader do the post on Blackboard while the rest of my group thought about our ideas. I also thought of giving these young men food, and clothings to look better. 

The program was a movie theater and the movie we chose was Straight Outta Compoton.

The final P is the Projected Outcome which was to get young men in their teens off the streets and back to their homes safely and school so they don't drop out off school or run away from home again. 

UGarza's picture

Currently, I am a student at the University of Michigan, and in my UNV 100; Let's Go Arts class with Dr. May and Dr. Jones, we read and discussed chapter 6 of Ecology of Democracy. After our class discussion, we were then split into different groups, each tackling some type of problem in communities all over the world. Each of the groups chose to become some type of pillar in the community that would provide some type of art related service, with a budget of $5,000 to fund our projects. In my group, we chose to be an art museum, and we were assigned the problem of domestic abuse being any room in shelters. 

To help solve this problem our group came up with the process of using the community surrounding us to fund and promote our idea. Our plan on getting more funding from local colleges and community schools either through a monetary donation or through a donation of materials. We then plan on finding out if there are already bus routes that go to the museum, and if there is not already finding ways to get a route to it. Promoting and putting up flyers around at local business promoting a night of art created and inspired by the woman who suffers or has suffered domestic abuse would be our way of introducing this issue to the community. Getting involved with a local film company to create a television ad or some sort of short film that could air on the television would also help promote this idea. 

We came up with the plan to create a support group, either at that is dedicated to art and offers support for those who have suffered abuse. The showcase night would feature a staff of people who are victims of domestic abuse. The night would also feature short films, theatre performances, and an art gallery in which all dedicated material would be shown at this time. 

Our projected outcome is that those affected by domestic violence have new jobs so that they might be able to find ways to get out of the situation. The community is more understanding and vigilant about domestic violence. Also, the proceeds from the auctioning of the art the women made in the classes will go towards building a women’s shelter.

Our plan is to help set up programs for women that suffer from domestic violence. We are going to hire some of the women to work at the museum so that they can make some money and try to get out of their situations. The money that they would be being paid with is the profits that the museum makes from museum admittance and profits from the cafeteria, classes, and daycare services that the museum provides. Along with providing job opportunities for the women, we are also going to provide them with day care services and different classes for them to go and make art. After they have made the art, we are going to then hold a gallery for the art that the women made and also auctioning it off as well as posting it around the community. The proceeds from this auctioning event will also go towards building a shelter specifically for those suffering from domestic violence.

 

UAldahammin's picture

Problem – Child Abuse

Child abuse is a major –problem in modern schools. It may be from peers or adults, such as teachers and other subordinate staff. Consequently, schools would change their practices and policies to abolish child abuse, but have cordial relations with the learners as the latter also become pro-adult staff, within their precincts to the benefit for the student.

Process

            The project team will secure permission to carry out the production at Flint Community District School. The choice of this schools in its accessibility and convince for the project team. Then, the team will focus on the elementary students who are the subjects of the project. The team will, afterwards, talk to the head of administration and the principal as well as other staff to ensure that support and collaboration is initiated that enhance success. Moreover, the team will engage the social workers and the other professionals such as counselors so that the multidisciplinary approach to child abuse in schools can be achieved. Still, the demographic and baseline information would come from the professionals and the school’s staff.

Production

The production features will involve subjects chosen by the school staff, such as counselor and the teachers, among the students. The participants, students, will be taken to a special room within the school in which they would try the equipment available for the production. The students will, mainly, focus on how to produce a piece of art using the equipment. During this time, also, the students will create rapport with the project team and the other involved parties. All these will take about half an hour to one hour.

Projected Outcomes

            We expect this project to act as a means of improving the relationship between the students and the other school staff. Particularly, fear among the children will be replaced with friendliness and trust. Volunteers will help improve the relationship between students and the teachers through active engagement and talking. Any aspect of child abuse from home will, then, be easily brought out by the child for proper interventions. The intervention would be carried out by the competent social worker and counselor. Play and equipment handling will also reinforce the feeling of sense of belonging among the children. The project would be scaled up to other schools if successful.  

UHohman's picture

For my group project we were tasked with finding a way to reduce teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is an issue that is not solvable like other more tangible problems. With Teen pregnancy the issue arises after a simple choice whether or not to have sex. Most kids in our area already go through sexual education and learn about how babies are made and what the organs and stuff do. After sexual education there is not a whole lot of information you receive regarding sex and pregnancy. In my personal experience I can only recall talking about it in a health and wellness class my first year of high school. It’s because of this lack of information that leads teenagers to practice unprotected sex and this is the problem our group was tasked with solving.

We were a community theater organization that thought it would be best to put on some skits at the local middle and high schools to ultimately display the struggles and hardships of being a teen parent and then encourage students to practice absence. For older teens we wanted to not only show the difficulties of being a young parent but after those skits discuss with them the importance of protection. We recognized that you cannot stop older teens from having sex but you can explain to them how easily accessible protection is. With this in mind we had our program down.

Our process to fulfill our program was to schedule times with the local middle and high schools to put on these skits and have these discussion points. The schools would be tasked with handling of permission slips if need be, and we would use our own company transportation to move and items we needed to put on our skits.

Finally our projected outcome was through educating the students around us we would see a drop in local teenage pregnancy. The process could be repeated every couple of years so new and more students are able to receive that education thus the likelihood that our plan would work.

hunter.ludwig's picture

I believe one of the biggest issues in our society today is child abuse. Unfortunately, it’s only getting worse and a lot of people don’t have the right resources or knowledge to handle it… or they’re too scared. The issue is getting worse with children that are being abused and being bullied into not telling anyone with threats from the abuser.

 

In my UNV 100 class at University of Michigan-Flint, we split up into 5 different groups with 4-7 random classmates. We were each presented with a problem (child abuse and not knowing how to handle it) and a budget and had to come up with a way to raise awareness to issue and display different methods to resolve the issue and place children into the right hands. We started with $25,000 and then our budget was cut which originally led to some complications. However, we quickly found a resolution to the money situation.

 

As I previously stated, the problem was child abuse. The director and I immediately went to brainstorming and remembered the assemblies we used to attend in middle school/high school that would raise awareness and provide resources for the children to get help and be protected while they went about it. We decided to put on a play to show a scenario of child abuse and how the child in the play went about getting help in a safe and effective manner. Seems how we decided to put on the play for free at the schools, we decided to put it on at the local theater as well and charge a small ticket fee to raise a little bit of money for the props and resources we acquired.

 

Our projected outcome was the children that are experiencing child abuse or know someone that is, acquire the proper knowledge and resources to get help and make sure the children stay safe while they are going through the process and also know that it’s okay to get help no matter what anybody says.

 

After solidifying the plan, our team leader Megan had to collaborate with all of the other groups and compare our program. As I wasn’t the team leader I didn’t participate in much of it, but I really liked how our class came together and took the project completely seriously.

 

After this project, I learned a lot about the stand I could take against child abuse and how when you and a group of people put your heads together you can really make a change. Not only that, but I learned that I work well with other people. I’m used to being on my own when it comes to projects, and collaborating ideas and comparing situations with other people can even make for a better outcome when you have more than one person working to solve an issue. I really enjoyed partaking in this assignment as it taught me many new skills I can use later down the road.

zbrez0011's picture

I thought your group did good, and I agree with you completly about how it is getting worse, and I agree with the fact that some kids might be too scared because they will not know what will happen to them if they come forward.

Uduarte's picture

         In class, each group was assigned a topic that was occurring in the community. In my class there were eight different groups. My group was group four and our topic was racism. I think that we had a more difficult issue because it is very difficult to stop racism. Racism has been going on for years and it was difficult for us to think of solutions to stop it. Our group decided to pick a film production to help us send the message. We were going to create a documentary that showed how people are affected by racisms in Flint, Michigan. I really enjoyed my group, we all had similar ideas.

         When we received our topics, we then had to come up with a process, program, and a presentation on the outcome of the problem. Whenever we would meet in our groups, we would have to deal with another issue. For example, one day we would have $25,000 and the next day we would go down to $5,000. After we came up with a plan on how we were going to display our film, we had to pick a director in our group. Our director had to tell everyone what we were going to do and how. We also had to explain our money situation.

       After each director explained there issue, we then had all eight directors from each group and combined all of our ideas into one. Now I was not a director, but I was listening to what they were all saying. They took a while to come up with an idea. After the directors finished, they then picked one person to present all of their ideas combined. I really enjoyed this project. It made me realized that we have so many issues and ways we can solve them. It also made me realize that working together is very important to solve an issue.

UParsian's picture

I agree that racism is something difficult to stop. I think that your group made a good choice by choosing to do a film to raise awareness for your topic. I also enjoyed this project because it allowed us to collaborate on something important. I agree that it was difficult to make a good plan while our money was constantly being cut short. I think all groups did well with what they had and were able to put their differences aside to make a good plan.

aliciahinojosa's picture

I completely agree with you when you say racism is a difficult issue to tackle and solve. I believe racism will always exist in our world, as you simply cannot please everyone. But I also believe that there are more good, kind-hearted people than there are mean, close-minded people. It isn't easy to talk about racism with other people, especially when that other person is not the same race as you. Even talking to someone who is the same race as you about racism is difficult as well. Racism is a sensitive topic, but the more we talk about it and acknowledge it, the closer we get to resolving the issue. I think it would be very helpful to talk about issues of racism in our country that is going on right now, right here, today as it is still a very current and very rising issue. A film about the current issues of race going on today would be interesting, as most films about race are focused on the times of slavery or early to mid 1900's. I also agree that even though it seems like there isn't much we can do to help, there are actually so many little things that we, as normal everyday citizens, can do to make a difference as long as we work hard, show empathy, keep an open mind, and show everyone kindness. 

UAldahammin's picture

I totally agree with you that racism is hard to stop. It happened to me a lot, sometimes some people look at me with weird look in their face just because I’m from different country. Anyway, you and your group did a great job.

zbrez0011's picture

i agree with the fact that racism is hard to stop, and I like the idea of a film to try and bring awareness to the situation, it is important that we get everyone we can to help get involved, but sometimes it is challenging becuase people don't take it seriously unless they are directly affected.

UParsian's picture

The Ecology of Democracy Project proved to be an eye-opening group project. This project allowed our five group members to collaborate and share our ideas while having to make decisions about our final project. Group projects, in general, can be something difficult to complete when people are not contributing all of their ideas all of the time. Cooperation is key for making group projects work, and I am very pleased that my group was able to come together to complete our project smoothly. Although at times some members did not contribute as much as expected, we were able to complete the project with ease.

Our group was assigned to address the issue of gang violence. All members thought that we all knew a good amount of this issue; however, I believe that some of us may agree that we did not care about this issue personally. Because of this, I believe that our plan could have been lacking quality. I believe that if our group was given an issue that was significantly meaningful to us, then maybe we would have created a better project. In this project, our group needed to create a process, program, and a project outcome.

We all collaborated well together for what we wanted our process to be. We all agreed that we were going to have/having several meetings in class to discuss our topic and how we were going to execute our plan. We also planned to continue to meet with the mayor to discuss our group program as it continued to develop. In order to create awareness throughout the community, our group planned to advertise on local radio stations, and social media sites. All of these actions would then help us in the development of our program.

Our program was something that continued to change more than what we would have liked it to. With our professors constantly reducing the amount of funds our group would receive, our group needed to continue to think of ways to to make a meaningful program with the little money we had available to us. With $5,000, our group decided to rent a movie theatre that would play the movie “Straight Outta Compton” because we felt that it is a movie that could help raise awareness about our problem. We would price the tickets at $10 which would help generate money for existing gang rescue and support programs. Also, if any money remained, our group would use the money to help advertise on radio stations and social media if it were needed.

Our goal from the beginning was to prevent gang violence. Our program is designed to have all proceeds go towards already existing gang rescue and support groups in hopes to remove people from being associated in gangs. We thought it was appropriate to give our proceeds to these programs because we believed that by helping removing people from gang, we will be able to prevent other people from joining gangs. I understand that gang violence can be something that cannot be stopped completely; however, we have hopes that our program could help reduce violence.

From chapter 6 in Ecology of Democracy, the very first heading reads “why get involved?” This question was also brought up in our group discussion. We all kept wondering why were assigned to do this project. At first, I truly did not see the point in doing this project. I found that gang violence did not impact my life personally; however, as I write this paper, I find that gang violence does impact my life indirectly. Gang violence is always around us, and since our school is located in Flint, gang violence can be closer than you think. I may not be affected by gang violence, but people that I care about may become involved, or victims of gang violence which is something that I want to prevent.

Overall, I found that this project was something that benefited our class. Some group members are just starting college, and this was a small insight to the many group projects they may face throughout their college lives. We found that were were able to work together to create our project in a timely manner. I am very pleased at how this project turned out, and I hope that my future group projects can run as smoothly as this one did.

USoukamneuth's picture

As a group, we were assigned the issue of racism. We decided that we would tackle this issue in an artistic way of film. For this task, we were given a little amount of money and a little amount of guidance of how we could resolve this issue. Creating a short documentary that would highlight the prevalence of racism within our community is what we thought would be the most impactful. We knew that we could not impact such a topic alone, nor did we need to. We wanted to collaborate with production teams, local theatres, businesses, and other activist groups to help us spread our message to combat racism. In our class, we had a movie theatre and film production crew that we would work heavily with. 

The film would include clips of real people giving their opinion about racism and how it has affected them in their own life. Our group wanted to emphasize this aspect in the documentary, because real experiences are what can change individuals. Our intentions were to showcase this film to a younger crowd. If we can change young people's mind to never accept racism, then that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Schools and youth groups would be encouraged to watch this documentary so less people would have to face racism in their lives. 

The projected outcome for our film is tough to figure out. At almost every point in mankind, racism or at least dominance over another race has always been around. At first I thought, how could one film possibly change an issue that has been around for thousands of years? We soon realized that we cannot completely eliminate this issue in the world. However, we knew that this film would spread awareness of the issue and help combat it in our community. If this film could change another person and help them empathize with another human being, slowly but surely this issue of racism will resolve itself. Empathy is the quickest and most human way to understand how another person feels. Seeing how real people are hurt by racism can quickly change someone's perspective on the issue. That is what our goal of the film would have been. To help people connect with one another to bring us peace and to become closer as a community. I also believe that this is a focal point in Chapter 6 of The Ecology of Democracy. To solve the problems in our world by making real human connections with each other. 

UParsian's picture

I think that your group made a good choice by choosing to collaborate with other groups to raise awareness for your topic. I think having people share their personal stories is a great idea. I agree that racism probably won't go away, but I the raising awareness will help reduce it. I agree it is good to teach kids at a young age to not engage in racism. I think this project was good for all of us to collaborate and share our ideas. Great post!

UHohman's picture

I like how you saw that you cannot have a tangible goal when trying to fight against racism. Just by using empathy to even open the door for discussion is a step in the right direction. I think a great follow up to the film would be having a discussion after several showings possibly at a town hall or something simaliar, to bring people together to have that discussion about race and racism. That way you might be able to see more tangible results.

aliciahinojosa's picture

For most of our young adult lives, we have grown up to understand that drugs are not good for you and can cause many problems for your body, mind, and life. Many of us have also been trained to not "hang around" the people who incorporate drugs in their daily lives and in their priorites. With this mindset, most of us have become ignorant of people who struggle with drug abuse and actually need to receive help. Many of these drugs abusers who need help either want help but struggle to get back on track with their lives or find help, or may not want help but are in desperate need of someone to support them and show them a new path to a better, healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

In class over the past month or so, our groups have been assigned different issues that many people struggle with in our community and it is our job to brainstorm ways to help solve these issues. I was apart of group eight, who was assigned to help solve the issue of drug abuse in our community. Our group was really ontop of things and did not have too many contrasting ideas, it seemed. We came up with the idea fairly quickly, to be a design team and to create an amusement park to help out as a rehabilitation center. Our idea was to spread the word about our program, by using flyers, websites, radio commercials, TV commercials, and more to let people know about our idea and to help donate to our cause. As our group was given 5,000 dollars to start off with, we also planned to team up with other amusement parks, such as Cedar Point, and for a fundraiser take half of the proceeds from ticket sales and use it towards our rehab program. Now the rehab program would consist of our company creating an amusement park, where we employ the people who enter the program to resolve their drug issues and in return we help them get community service hours by volunteering in the park, help them practice good communication skills, give them a place to stay, and also receive rehab therapy after their volunteering.

Our group also decided to team up with one of the other groups, a filmmaking company, and who was assigned to the issue of homelessness. We thought this would be a good opportunity to document and inform the public of two different issues that can go hand-in-hand with each other. After doing a little research, our two groups found that it is very common for homeless people to have had previous (or have existing) drug addictions or experiences with drugs that impacted their lives very negatively. Coming together in our groups also would help my group spread the word of our rehabilitation program as well, which is an added bonus, along with adding more creative minds to the planning process and the execution of our ideas.

Overall, the planning process was stressful at times, but quite successful in my opinion with my group and with the joined groups together. The only stressful part was trying to fit all our ideas in our budget and also trying to understand what it takes to go into a rehabilitation program as my team members and myself really were not educated in that topic as it is not something we have had to deal with in our lives, fortunately. But this project had opened our eyes a bit about the struggles our community and many other communities face when it comes to issues of drug abuse as well as others, such as homelessness. This project also made me very grateful for my situation and what I am blessed with in my life; I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about whether or not I will find shelter, and not have to spend a night on the streets because I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head, food on the table, clean clothes, a support system, and I don't have any negative addictions like drug use. Realizing this is very important if I were to try and help out someone who has these day-to-day problems as I would want that person to have the same opportunities that I have. This project was also very good for my communication skills when it came to working in group settings and trying to piece together a well thought out agenda/plan. Overall, this project was challenging but a good team-building and thought-provoking experience.

aliciahinojosa's picture

For most of our young adult lives, we have grown up to understand that drugs are not good for you and can cause many problems for your body, mind, and life. Many of us have also been trained to not "hang around" the people who incorporate drugs in their daily lives and in their priorites. With this mindset, most of us have become ignorant of people who struggle with drug abuse and actually need to receive help. Many of these drugs abusers who need help either want help but struggle to get back on track with their lives or find help, or may not want help but are in desperate need of someone to support them and show them a new path to a better, healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

In class over the past month or so, our groups have been assigned different issues that many people struggle with in our community and it is our job to brainstorm ways to help solve these issues. I was apart of group eight, who was assigned to help solve the issue of drug abuse in our community. Our group was really ontop of things and did not have too many contrasting ideas, it seemed. We came up with the idea fairly quickly, to be a design team and to create an amusement park to help out as a rehabilitation center. Our idea was to spread the word about our program, by using flyers, websites, radio commercials, TV commercials, and more to let people know about our idea and to help donate to our cause. As our group was given 5,000 dollars to start off with, we also planned to team up with other amusement parks, such as Cedar Point, and for a fundraiser take half of the proceeds from ticket sales and use it towards our rehab program. Now the rehab program would consist of our company creating an amusement park, where we employ the people who enter the program to resolve their drug issues and in return we help them get community service hours by volunteering in the park, help them practice good communication skills, give them a place to stay, and also receive rehab therapy after their volunteering.

Our group also decided to team up with one of the other groups, a filmmaking company, and who was assigned to the issue of homelessness. We thought this would be a good opportunity to document and inform the public of two different issues that can go hand-in-hand with each other. After doing a little research, our two groups found that it is very common for homeless people to have had previous (or have existing) drug addictions or experiences with drugs that impacted their lives very negatively. Coming together in our groups also would help my group spread the word of our rehabilitation program as well, which is an added bonus, along with adding more creative minds to the planning process and the execution of our ideas.

Overall, the planning process was stressful at times, but quite successful in my opinion with my group and with the joined groups together. The only stressful part was trying to fit all our ideas in our budget and also trying to understand what it takes to go into a rehabilitation program as my team members and myself really were not educated in that topic as it is not something we have had to deal with in our lives, fortunately. But this project had opened our eyes a bit about the struggles our community and many other communities face when it comes to issues of drug abuse as well as others, such as homelessness. This project also made me very grateful for my situation and what I am blessed with in my life; I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about whether or not I will find shelter, and not have to spend a night on the streets because I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head, food on the table, clean clothes, a support system, and I don't have any negative addictions like drug use. Realizing this is very important if I were to try and help out someone who has these day-to-day problems as I would want that person to have the same opportunities that I have. This project was also very good for my communication skills when it came to working in group settings and trying to piece together a well thought out agenda/plan. Overall, this project was challenging but a good team-building and thought-provoking experience.

Usearcy's picture

The ecology of democracy project, gave our classroom an outlook on how hard it actually is to bring about change to problems in our community. This group project allowed each of my group members and I to think about and elaborate on how we could bring about a solution to our problem.  Our project was based off the four P’s, the Problem, the Process, the Program and the Projected Outcome. My groups problem was drug abuse and we had to come up with a plan or a solution to decrease the drug abuse in the flint community. My group and I were a design company and we had built cedar point. Part of our process was the government had first given us a $25,000 amount to work with. Our group had to make sure we had a solution to every problem that could be thrown at us. As we were working and putting together ideas for our problem the government soon cut our budget to only $5,000. Now we have to come up with an plan that fits within our budget. Our initial plan was to build a rehabilitation center and we were going to use the profits from selling Cedar point tickets and we were going to get sponsors and we had other connections, like one of our group members new a well-known football player and he could also get the word out. We were thinking of getting all the connections we could to get the word spread about our rehabilitation center. We were allowed the chance to work with other programs, we chose to work with a film company who were making documentary on homeless people. We were thinking that we could have a few features in their documentary or use there resources to make our own documentary in return we would allow some of the people who were homeless or less fortunate to be in our rehabilitation center under the assumption that a lot of less fortunate people have abused drugs. Now that we had the chance to work with another company our budget was $10,000 but would we still have enough. Our group came up with the plan that we could have volunteers work at the center like retired nurses, then we would have some sort of persons who knew about medicine. The government then allowed each company to work together, so our company director met with the other directors and came up with a plan together to work with one another and use what is now $40,000 for a total of 8 companies. Concerns that I brought up were, what if no progress was made and what if there wasn't enough money. Our solutions were to give them a 2-3 week period final chance to try and get better or they could no longer attend the center also alot of what we did was have alot of volunteers and others to help with the center. Our overall projected outcome was to decrease the amount of drug abuse in the flint community and spread awareness. 

USoukamneuth's picture

I think that using Cedar Point to raise awareness about drug abuse is a great idea. Thousands of people will go in and out of Cedar Point in a day and this would raise so much awareness about the issue. From that, the individuals would be able to contribute in their own way. Showing that such a large business like them is willing to contribute to resolving such a huge problem is amazing. Working with the film group who was addressing homelessness was also a good idea. By collaborating you guys were able to combat multiple issues and spread awareness about both so much more.

ukelsey's picture

Citizens get involved in the community in so many different ways. In group seven, our project was over Blight. We as a team first wanted to fully understand the situation of what we could do with Blight. After doing that we came up with the idea of putting up an exhibition for purposes of restoring abandoned homes with public participation and ideas. In doing this project we expect that many improvements will be made with the both homes and the community to come together more.
With every project, there is always money needed and with saying that we were able to have the government credit us with the money to enhance our chances at making sure this gets done for the housing projects. There are a few things that are important for this Blight project. Those things are our exhibit and especially decision making. Without having these we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere or get anything done. Blight project wants to create a better environment and to give the homes that were abandoned a new look again to create safety, health, and jobs for a local community.
We first would create our exhibit and have the community donate pieces of art work. Then we would auction all of our pieces off to get money to put towards our project. One thing that is good about having this exhibit take place is that we would have high schoolers run it so we wouldn’t have to pay them because they need national honor society hours. So, after all that takes place we would then collect all the profits that we made even including donations and then start our revamping of the abandoned homes in the community.
Some struggles that we as a group faced was the attendance of the group. When a member of the group missed we would either have to fill them in on what happened or do their part to make sure it wasn’t late or marked down. Another issue that we had was when our professors had to make our ideas more challenging and tell us that we had our money reduced. This I feel was the hardest part for my group because who wants to hear their money is reduced.
Overall, what we wanted in the end for the project outcome was for the community to come together and create an exhibit that would in the end make money for creating an environment that had less abandoned homes and more potential.