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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

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.

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.

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.

UHohman's picture

I like the cleverness of having high school students volunteer their time to run the auction so that way you can save as much money as possible for when you want to remodel the houses. I think another thing that might be helpful would not only reach out to the community for artwork but the country or other muasems and look for them to donate as well. The logic thats behind is you never know who will sympathize and help out to your cause. Plus it doesnt hurt to ask!

abbas alnasser's picture

in our class, we have problem give to us need to be solved as group. we divided to five groups. each group have four people in it. our problem was women with drugs and children. they are living in street and we need to take care of them. we decide that we are movie company and we will help women and children. the women have a drugs problem and we need to figure out a way to help them
we found some process that will help us to solved the problem. we will start with getting donation from people and, we will look for sponsor to be able to start the business. Also, we think about creating movie talking about this women and children who need to take care of them. we will try to found people who like to help us in our movie. after we found people we will create the movie to help us to get money to help women and children.
when we get money we will start the next step in our project. the next step is to find a facility where the women can work with their kids. then we will use the rest of the money we will use it to create movie and to help the women with their drugs problem.
in chapter 6 of ecology of democracy that we read it in the middle of this project. it is about make some people different than the other group and this is what our group want to do. our goal is making money to help women and children and the people who have money will help more.

UAldahammin's picture

I like how your group solve this problem. Nowadays, a lot of people lost their money and their life to drugs. People must understand that drugs not a solution to their problems. It seems to me that your solution well work and help a lot of people.

Uparker's picture

            Hello, I am a student at the University of Michigan-Flint. I am taking the UNV-100 course named Let’s Go Arts. My teachers Dr. May and Dr. Jones had us read chapter 6 of the Ecology of Democracy and do a class project to apply it to real life. They gave us the task of working in small groups of about 5-7 students to find ways to solve major problems in Flint with an arts organization of our choice. The problems that our groups had to solve included Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Blight, Teen Pregnancy, Racism, Homelessness, Drug Addiction and a few others.

The first thing that the professors had our groups do is to decide which arts organization your group would represent. My group chose to be a film production team. The professors then went around to each group and assigned them a problem that we face in the Flint community. My group was assigned the problem of child abuse. When I heard that we got child abuse as a topic I was nervous because I knew it was going to be a hard topic to discuss and find a solution to. The parents are the one causing the problem and the children are the victim of the problem. I knew this would be very hard to find a solution to because it involves two completely different demographics. Our professors gave us a very short amount of time and told us that we needed to propose a problem, process, program, and projected outcomes. My group decided to work with the children in schools to provide a program where the students would we would teach them how to use film equipment and they could help us film movies. This program would be held during and after school where any children could come and talk about their issues with us (the program directors). We would be more than willing to talk about their abuse and get them help from professionals if they asked for it. We would want teachers to send students to this program if they saw visual signs of abuse like bruises or blackeyes on students or thinks their might be some mental, emotional, or psychological abuse going on in their home. So our problem was child abuse, our process was to help the kids by counseling them and helping them learn about the arts by being educated about film equipment and film production by our team. Our program was a film production workshop for students who volunteered to come or students that were recommended by teachers to go. Our projected outcomes were that the children felt included and loved and not like outsiders because of their home situation. We want to educate and spread awareness of the problem of child abuse in our community. We will provide counseling services or anything else including reporting incidents if the child would like to do that. We had a budget of $25,000 but then we were cut to $5,000 by our mayor and we were told to collaborate with all of the other groups so we had a program director mix all of our groups ideas into one big proposal and present it to the mayor. He approved our project but lowered our budget to $5,000 total so we reassessed what we needed money for and figured out ways for our groups to work together to save money. Our group didn’t need any funding because our film production team are volunteers and we already had our equipment from filming and are going to continue to film.

This project was very beneficial for me as a student, my group, and the class as a whole. It helped us to think outside the box, work under pressure because we had a short amount of time, and overcome problems like a decreasing budget. I learned to figure out how to contribute when I didn’t have much to say and my group learned how to take everyone’s opinion into consideration and compromise on our final decision of our project. The class learned how to collaborate and bring 8 very different problems into one large program on a small budget. I really enjoyed this project and I think it helped me to understand the importance to being an involved citizen.

Chapter 6 of “The Ecology of Democracy” dives into the topic of social change, politics, and being an involved citizen. The main problem of America’s democracy is that many citizens sit on the sidelines of political conversation so that makes them not get involved or have any interest in changing things and realizing that things don’t have to be the same as they always were. There isn’t a better time to change than now. The chapter discusses that many people’s primary motivation for getting involved is their values. Many American’s only get involved in issues were they have strong values for or against that problem. Not only must a citizen be involved but they must be informed so they can make sound decisions. People have to ask questions of judgment, not questions of fact. Having a sound judgment “is said to be sound if it is consistent with what we consider most valuable in a particular situation” (“Ecology of Democracy” Chapter 6). Americans must learn how to discuss and debate things in a respectful, effective, and progressive way if we ever want to produce change and move towards a better Democracy. This directly relates to our group projects that we did in class because we had to use the many skills of getting informed, involved, listening with sound judgment, and collaborating to create one large group project. That program had the projected outcome of changing the community into a better and safer place for the entire community.

zatavia11's picture

In my experience, it's very hard solving a public problem. People have the different point of views on how the project should be presented. Some people are more motivated to help with cause if its something that they can relate to, such as it said in chapter 6. But some people need an extra push to help with the cause. Although it was going to be difficult to get people involved and willing to support our cause so we sailed out for the task.

My group was faced with the problem of racism within schools.To get the community involved the process was to make a play addressing the issue. We've ran into issues with our funds. We were only granted $1,000 from our mayor, our project that we were trying to pursue cost $15,000. although these problems were brought up that wasn't stopping us we had to get back to the drawing part and figure out a game plan. We were going to hold dodgeball competitions at the high school in order to raise money to support this cause. We also were going to have donation boxes and lots of volunteers. It was very difficult to come up with these ways to raise money. Everyone in our group was so different, had different backgrounds and come from different countries so everybody had their own point of view on how we should do things. So after that, we had to get people informed about the situation such as in chapter 6. so we were going called upon student volunteers to help make flyers to promote our racism is a problem. In efforts to keep the community involved and to also let them know they have a voice, we decided that we were going to let victim speakers come up and share their stories.

Our program was the play. Knowing that we didn't have much money we had to have volunteer actors and stage crew. Hopefully having the community involved in the play would bring them closer together. We were hoping that our play will show students to other students that racism was not okay. We hope that our play would bring positivity to the entire community a 

and not just the schools.

The probable outcome that we wanted to achieve was let people know that racism is not okay. Hopefully bringing the community together, so it can be a positive place, and the kids that are a victim of racism feel comfortable going to school. In chapter 6 it mentions that citizens take pride in their community, we hoped that this will give citizens of the community a chance to take pride in helping to solve a problem within their community as well. What do you guys think do you think that we took the proper approach to the situation?

Ualsalmi's picture

 

            Ecology of democracy project is a group project that each group is assigned to solve a social issue. My group and I were assigned to solve the blight homes problem in Flint, Michigan. We have some instructions and processing to follow and we have little amount of money to use. We decide to make it as an exhibit to show the past, present and future of Flint.

            The processes of this project are problem, process, programs and projected outcome. The problem is the abandoned homes in Flint and what we can do as a group to fix the problem and make the city look better. The process is we come up with some ideas to make the exhibit and some ways to get donations from others. The programs, we would have some volunteer to help us run the exhibit. Also, we have some organizations that can help us like Keep Genesee County Beautiful and Broad, and The Blight Elimination Division. Also, we would ask some exhibits or museums to donate some items that we can use in our exhibit. The projected outcome, our goals are to have better city and more community involvement. We hope also to see improvement environment.

            The chapter six of ecology of democracy was like a guide on how we do in our group project. Also, it discovered and discussed about making decisions and people involvement. When we read this chapter, it helped us to come up with some ideas of how to get people to volunteer. It also helps us to know different kinds of people who like to cooperate and who are not.

            Overall, I enjoyed discussing with my classmates about solving the issue. In addition, our group was cooperative in this project. We all work together to think about the problem and find some ways to solve it.  

 

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.

Unorris's picture

I really like the idea for you project. The whole plan of showing the past, present, and future of abandonded buildings in flint is very interesting and done the right way, I think, can make a big impact on the community and it's people. I love anything art because I grew up with it. So showcasing art to present a problem will definetly bring more people in and aware of the issue. Working with different organizations that are already established will up credibility and make the issue even more known and make the project have an even bigger impact. Overall, I really like the solution.