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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

ULeflore's picture

I agree, teen pregnancy is a very serious topic that needs to be approached delicately, as Ms.Jones said we do not know the story behind the pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a difficult and strenuous process and the way that her group chose to go about approaching to issue is smart. Those within her group are in their late teens to early twenties would be able to provide stastics, information, and personal stories to reach out to the students. Also changing the speaking style with middle schoolers and high school would have a significant impact as high schoolers and middle schoolers have different troubles, lives and mental states. So a more severe presentation may be needed for the high school students than their middle school counterparts. The way her group is approaching the subject is from an understanding perspecitve and would be very helpful to those listening and would most likely have a lasting impact on the students.

Nhawk's picture

I agree, everyone that is part of a community is responsible for making the issues that plague their community heard because if no one in a community fights for the changes that need to be made, the whole community suffers. It is our duty, as part of a community, to help better our community and work to ease any suffing that is going on in our community. All it takes is one person to decide that their voice, on important issues in the community, should be heard. If people see that someone isn't afraid to stand up for what they believe in, then more people will likely follow that person's example and stand up for any issue that they feel is plaguing their community.

UJohnson's picture

I liked how your group put themselves in the shoes of the teens in order to decide if the presentation would have any impact on the teens. Additionally, I think talking to the teens directly is definitely a good choice. Although, I do agree that it is difficult deciding on the best approach to take with the students. Unfortunately, parents or students may feel religious rights are being violated or feel they are being accused and ignore what is being said. Perhaps, the best method would be to make the children attend a class that shows exactly what it feels like to be a parent and show them just how much responsibility it takes. It definitely is a tricky topic and I think group did well considering the practicality of their ideas. 

NAlshaer's picture

The students have worked on one of the most important and crucial issues in modern world that is related to teen pregnancy. It is estimated that the United States is ranked on number one position in terms of teens getting pregnant from ages 14 to 18 years. Teen pregnancy is not only harmful for the health of mother but also for the infant child. In this context, the steps taken by the students to raise awareness about this problem and start initiatives to control this problem were very impressive. I am sure the planned strategy will be successful since the participants have proposed a feasible plan to counter these challenges.

ntay's picture

In my UNV 100 class we were challenged with figuring out how to help out our community in a positive way as a collective group. We also read chapter 6 of “The Ecology of Democracy” which talks about helping out people in the community, and if we should get involved with other people's problems or not. My group #3 was challenged with the problem of homeless women and children who are on drugs. We had to figure out a way to help them. We chose to be a movie company which means that we had to help them out in a way that supports our company. As a movie company we decided that we would make a short video for the time being. This short video will spread some awareness for these women and children, and find people who are willing to help us. Eventually we plan to make a full length movie so we can reach an even bigger audience and can use the profits from the movie to help them out even more. Chapter 6 talks about giving a problem a name, and to get involved so that you can solve it. Page 70 states that “naming holds a key to countering a serious problem of Democracy” this is what I feel like we did in our group. We first came up with a movie company name which is “ZART” a combination of initials in our first names. We gave our problem a name then we found a way to help them. The way to help them is by making movies and using the profit from it to give back and help them.

As a group we decided that we need to get them off the street as soon as possible, we need to get them in some type of facility that will help us for a short amount of time until we can get our own building together. We also have to get them off drugs, with the help of small businesses we can accomplish that. We are going to have to find someone to sponsor our project (small businesses, and big companies such as Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart) Just to get the word out about our business, and to promote theirs as well. Especially small businesses, if they help us we're going to help them and more people will want to support them after finding out that they are willing to help the less fortunate. The reason we need sponsors, volunteers and donations is because we don't have enough money to cover everything we're trying to do. We don't have enough money to renovate a building and still have money to help them get off drugs and to fund the movie so we need the help of others to make our dreams come to life. We first need a place for them to stay until we make our movie and can use the funds from that to find a permanent place for them to stay. We decided that our short video is going to be posted on every social media account such as; Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. Just to spread awareness. We all know that social media is a big way to reach a huge audience because almost everyone have some type of social Media accounts we hope that a lot of people will see the video and will instantly like to help us.

My group main focus is helping these women and children and how we can make their lives better. Ways we can find somewhere for them to live and how we can get them off drugs. My group decided on things pretty quickly. We didn't have much trouble deciding on how to help them. Only challenge we came Across was deciding what our big movie and short video would be about. We didn't know if we wanted it to be about the women and children or a different type of movie off topic as long as we can use the profit to give back. Eventually we decided that both of them will be informational almost like a documentary.  We plan on describing the problem, how we plan to help and how we will need the help of others to make this project come along well. After figuring that out everything else was pretty easy because from the start we knew what our main goal was. We all worked together evenly to figure this all out, we all put our input on how we should do things, and everything turned out well.

After finding Sponsors,volunteers and people willing to donate. Our first order of business is to renovate an old building because it's cheaper than building a new one from the ground up. We have to Renovate a building that can accommodate everyone in the facility, in our building we will also have a drug prevention center that will help those who are on drugs to get off, and to prevent others from getting on drugs. As for everything else about the project, the big movie will be made not too long after the building is up and running. We plan on showcasing our movie a few places. Theaters, dinners, auctions, etc. Movies take a while that's why we couldn't do the big movie first, after it's made we will use the funds from it to keep the building going, and hopefully we will get more sponsors, volunteers and donations to make this business bigger and bigger that way we can help everyone not just our homeless women and children. One day our project can be a community thing that everyone can help out with.

This was a great project in my opinion, it taught me to appreciate the things that I do have because one day I could be in their situation and I'll need help from others, and hopefully people are willing to help, the way my group is willing to help. I've always loved helping people in any way that I can, whether it's giving money to homeless people or donating food to places who need it to give back to the community. I wish this project was real that way the dreams my group and I came up with could come to life. I enjoyed this project and Chapter 6 as well, influencing me to get involved in things instead of wishing things were better I can actually go out and change people's situation, and hopefully make their lives better.

USymons's picture

I really like that you talk about finding volunteers, sponsors, and people to donate. So many people are too afraid to ask for help or think that no one will, and because of that, they never ask for help. However, its the people in the community that truly make these nonprofit organizations come together. These are the people that support it financially. These are the people that spread awareness. These are the people that participate in the events. We need to ask for help because people are always willing to help and support causes that help our community. 

Xaphier's picture

It facinates me how we, as a group for this project, were able to come up with similar ideas and ways to solve the problem. There were many ways to go about something like this, but for the most part our group had the same general plan. While there were some differences, there was also a lot of symmetry in the way we worked and in the ideas that we all had. 

NAlshaer's picture

I extremely agree with this project because it makes me appreciate what i have in my life such as my family, house, and job. In my opinion, there are a lot of people like you who are willing to give a hand and help people with thier life.  although there are some official organazation that are helping people in certain ways, they cannot communicate with all the homelesses over the country. Therefor, my suggustion is that small groups of people can do a lot to these needy people.

Uwilson's picture

In our “Let’s Go Arts!” course, myself and my classmates  were split up into groups and  each group was told to pick an art institute we would like to be represented as. We were then assigned an issue within the community of Flint, such as domestic violence, gang violence, and teen pregnancy. Next, we were given specific instructions to explain our problem, create a process that would help solve the issue, determine what programs we could use to help us with our project, produce a projected outcome, and explain how chapter six of The Ecology of Democracy related to our project. My group decided that we would be an art museum, and we were given the issue of blight, which is abandoned buildings and vacant lots in neighborhoods.

 

In my group, our first step was to figure out a process that would help solve our blight issue. This proved to be difficult due to our limited budget, which shifted our main focus into how we were going to earn more money. We were talking about hosting an exhibit where we show the history of Flint through paintings and sculptures, at our museum. We would charge people a small fee at the door, and all of the money earned from the event would go towards our project. In addition, we were thinking about setting up a go fund me account to earn more money, or doing a fundraiser where we go to local stores and ask for a donation of their merchandise. We could then organize a public auction where we auction off the things that we collected from the local stores. The next part of our process was how to deal with blight.  Our plan was to have volunteers from the community help us mow lawns, pick up garbage, and managing the renovation, or demolition of the houses.

My group was able to find two organizations that could help us with our issue; The Blight Elimination Division and Keep Genesee County Beautiful. The Blight Elimination Division deals with blight daily, they work with residents to clean up garbage, demolish vacant buildings, and mow grass. The reason why we chose this organization is because their values align with what we are trying to accomplish and because they believe that community alliances are vital in building a sustainable community. The second organization that we found was Keep Genesee County Beautiful. They believe in encouraging people to play a role in bettering their communities by making neighborhoods and parks clean and beautiful. They were chosen to help us because they are heavily involved with the community and they organize different events in the community such as recycling days and community clean ups.

 

Our projected outcome was to have less abandoned homes in Flint and have more community involvement. In addition, we were hopeful in projecting that the number of our supporters would grow immensely. We would accomplish this by continuing to host exhibits to educate people about the seriousness of blight and encourage people in the community to help us with our goals. Furthermore, we projected that as a result of the positive changes in our community, we would likely see more people move to Flint as a result of getting rid of the garbage and abandoned buildings.

The chapter that we read to aid us in our process, The Ecology of Democracy, was helpful when we had to think about how we would get people to volunteer to help us with the abandoned buildings. Abandoned houses are potentially dangerous to people who live in the neighborhoods where blight occurs, so we determined that because of that reason, people would be willing to help us. This is related to The Ecology of Democracy because, in the chapter it explains that people are motivated to be involved when they can advance their well being or when they are personally being affected.

 

The project was a lot easier said than done.The hardest part of this project for me was convincing the people in my group to agree with my ideas and trying to organize all of our ideas together to make a cohesive process. Although it was hard, it was interesting to work with people who had different opinions and ideas than I do. It helped changed my perspective on certain things and forced me to be open minded. This project also helped me realize all of the problems that Flint has and that we could be doing a lot more to be involved in the community to help solve these problems.

Umorrow's picture

I agree with what you are saying 100%! So many people only decide to take a stand when it is something that you as a person, believe in. I would like to say that I am not like that, but I am. I think it is something that is just human nature, because we tend to speak up more when we are passionate about something. I also agree with the way that you guys approached the situation by having fundraisers and asking local supermarkets to help out with the extra costs. It is a great way to stay within the budget. I also agree that it is important to have the ability to work with other people because everyone has diffrent views, and it is important to bring our creative ideas together to solve an issue.

Nwalker's picture

You had mentioned that in Chapter 6, of The Ecology of Democracy it had stated that people are motivated to be involved when they can advance their well being or when they are being personally affected. I agree with this so much, if someone is not being effected by something they are less likely to care. When it involves them they would want to help out more to solve the problem. I could see this being a bit challenging considering the money budget that we all had, but it seemed that your group did a well job of figuring out what to do. Getting the community to be involved in such problems is so important, especially witht he fact that we lack public involvment, trying to push it I feel is best. You would think that people would want to be involved especially when things go successfully, I know I would atleast. 

Nhawk's picture

I agree, it was interesting to work on a complex topic with people that were from different cultural backgrounds. I feel that this project helped me see things from a new perspective and it helped me realize that we should be more active in our community because if we are more active in our community, we can, hopefully, help solve some of the problems that plague our community.

N Alarfat's picture

I totaly agree with you about how it intersting to work in this project with group that has diffrent backgrounds. each students in the group had diffrent ideas and thoughts which makes it more interstind to adress out thoughts in a differnt way together as a group. 

Udotson's picture

I agree with you, it was a harder project but in the end, it taught us a lot. It made me think from different perspectives and it did make me more open-minded. I completely agree with you on that, I also think it showed us that different experiences come with different ideas. I also thought that we could do be doing so much more as groups around the community. I really like your group's ideas and I think you guys did well overcoming the obstacles. 

UDerry's picture

The part where you stated that people only stand up a or get motivated to be involved when they advance their well being or if they are personally affected could not be more true. People tend to ignore what is going on in the world unless it directly has an affect on them. I personally know I am  like this mostly due to the fear of backlash from others. I support a movement that gets a lot of remarks, so I hide my thoughts. I'm not directly affected by the issues like many of the others who started the movement, so I am not motivated to get involved. If I was direrctly affected, I know I would have the motivation to get involved. I know what I'm doing is not right since I am not helping the situation get better, I'm sitting back and just wathcing instead of getting involved and helping. 

Nhawk's picture

For our group project, my group was given the problem of racism in schools. We had to work together and figure out how to solve this problem together. Our group was a theatre company, so our first thoughts on addressing the problem was to go to high schools and put on a play and after the play we would have victims of racism tell their stories and we would have counselors available for people to talk to if they needed someone to talk to. For the play, we were thinking that putting on a performance of Remember the Titans because Remember the Titans focuses on high school students, which is our target audience, and it focuses on racism, which is our problem. So, Remember the Titans was a perfect play for our problem. Our group wanted to travel to various high schools in our community and perform the play, we felt that it was best to reach as many students as possible through this method. We were also hoping that teachers would make it a grade requirement to come see our play, so that students would be more aware of the issue and be more open to discussing the issue with others. Our group decided that admission for students would be free because we want to reach as many students as possible.

In order to begin solving our problem, our group needed money to enact all of the things we wished to achieve. At the beginning of the project we were given $25,000 by the “mayor.” Our group decided that this money would help purchase costumes, scripts, and a bus that could be used to transport students to our theater or to transport things we would need to put on our production at schools. At this point, my group was pretty confident about our solution, but we were then told instead of $25,000 dollars, we now have $5,000 to work with. To raise enough money to cover costs, my group decided that we should use some of the proceeds from our theater company’s other plays to help cover costs. Another way to earn money for the project was to have 50% of the profits from football games cover the costs for the community. Our last idea for earning cash to get the project going was to host a dodgeball tournament comprised of 16 teams with 10 players on each team, and the cost per player is $100, and admission would be $5 per person and concessions would be sold, to help raise funds. These ideas were helpful when the money we received from the government was cut one last time to $1,000. All of this is based on community support for the project.

My group felt that we had a solid plan for our problem. We were all in agreement about our plan and were ready to present our ideas, but the “mayor” told the class that we had to come up with one plan for the whole class. The whole class had to come together and think of one presentation that could be presented to the “mayor” and the “governor.” This task seemed like it was going to be very difficult because each group had a different kind of art company and issues that didn’t seem to go together. Each group sent their group’s leader to another part of the classroom to discuss the issues, while the rest of the group members stayed back in their groups and discussed the issues. I wasn’t a group leader, so I stayed in my group and discussed our original issue and our plan for dealing with our issue. This was important because some of my group was absent for some of the planning, so they needed to catch up on the details of our project before they could assess our new problem. After a short time, the group leaders went back to their groups to discuss with their groups how all of the groups would come together for one presentation. The ideas that were shared sounded smart and well thought out, and I felt that the plan that was brought forward would work because the leaders were confident about the plan and the plan seemed logical.

At the end of this project, I learned something from this whole experience. I learned that if people come together and care, even a little bit, about a problem, the problem can be solved. All the groups in my class were only allowed to discuss the problems for a few minutes at a time over a span of a few days, if I had to guess we most likely spent less than 2 hours on this project and we came up with a solution that would benefit the community. If a whole community could come together to solve problems like the ones each group was faced with, the problems that plague our communities could be solved because if projects get the support of the community, they will be more successful. In order to solve problems, people need to work together because if people don’t work together not many problems will be solved.

Ugoodheart's picture

I enjoying reading your group’s process because it was far different than my own. We had to create a documentary about homelessness, whereas you decided to play an existing movie that well encaptures the message of racial issues. Having the movie played in schools and using student testimonies would definitely be impactful, because others can hear someone’s real struggles and perspective. I feel like our topics can be related because there is a wariness and misunderstanding about homeless people, and many have a stereotype of being lazy. In a similar way, white people form unfair stereotypes about people of color, such as black people being rowdy or Asian people being geniuses. I also found your means of collecting funds interesting because I would have never thought to use a dodgeball tournament as a resource.

N Alarfat's picture

I totaly agree with you about if people come together and care about the problem even if it was a little bit it can make the problom solve. Sometimes people do not try to make effort to come and disscuse and solve the problem. but of course we can not say that all people do not come and try to solve problems as there are people trying there best to come to a selotion to the problems and they try to angage as much as they can. 

Xaphier's picture

I find it to be very interesting how people, who don't even know each other, can come together so quickly and solve a difficult task. I also found that all of these groups that participated were able to complete their tasks in the short time period of 2 hours, which I think is quite intriguing. It is amazing to me that people can do these things so easily, yet it is with people that we don't know.

Nwalker's picture

In our University 100 class we used the four P’s to make the best possible outcome for our community. Each P stands for Problem, Process, Program, and Projected outcome. Everybody in the class was split into different groups, and was instructed to pick an institution, my group decided to be a theater. Then we were each given a random problem, and had to think of a way to solve them. My group was given child abuse. Children were coming to school with bruises on them, and we needed to think of a way to inform not only the children, but the community. Something that could get everyone involved, without singling out certain children.

 

We had a budget of $25,000 which was well enough for the program we decided to go with. Being that we were a theater, we started to think of different things to do to get the word out. The first thing that came to mind was a play. Put on plays at the schools around the district to help inform others on child abuse. Not only would we do the plays at the schools, but for the whole community as well. Since we had a theater, it would be rather easy to use our actors for the play, as well as the stage props that we already had. We knew that to put on these specific plays there would of course be traveling costs, as well we wanted to be able to give the community resources to go to for help. We started talking about getting sponsors to help out, asking local restaurants, even the big Universities in the district. We started thinking even deeper, and began to research other non-profit organization that have helped out with child abuse events or donations in the past. We happened to find organizations such as The American Academy of Pediatrics and Childhelp an online non-profit organization. We wanted to put out donation boxes at the local play, as well as put on a 5k at the school tracks to help raise money. Of course after the funds, which we wanted to try and use as little as possible, we wanted the money that we raised to go to child abuse awareness. As well as we wanted out outcome to be that anyone being abused should know where to go for help. Giving them an opportunity to talk to the school counselors, or C.P.S, as well as having speakers come in who have been through child abuse. To let everyone know that they are not alone who are being abused, and what to do about it, and be afraid.

After figuring out everything we thought was perfect, the “mayor” had came into the room letting us knowing that he would cut our funds from $25,000 to $5,000. At first I was thinking this would be difficult, but looking back at everything we had already accomplished I knew it would not of been a problem. Which I was right, we had already thought of so much fundraising the cut in our budget did not make a big difference. Being a theater we already had the actors, moving from different schools to perform the plays, we were just going to ask someone to donate a trailer for us. We were planning on having good outcomes from our 5k”s as well as hoping the bigger universities would help out. Even with the bigger sponsors, I had good faith in our program and money funds.

We never seemed to struggle, we all came together as a group and threw ideas out there for the best possible outcome. In Chapter 6 of David Matthews, “The Ecology of Democracy,” he focused on the lack of public involvement. This is something that a community can struggle with, people don’t get involved even when they should. Most of the time it can benefit them, and they do not even see it. Being able to take a problem in a community and making it something so much bigger to benefit others was a great feeling. There was four people in my group, and we came up with this program, and that is amazing how we used our imaginations. Coming together not just as an institution, but a community as a whole to help others who need it. It made me feel like we were actually going to do this. We had everything planned out in every little detail, and it felt like real life. Like we were about to actually put on these plays, as if I was a real director for our theater talking to the community and the mayor. As a community people really should get more involved, because it is a great feeling to not help yourself, but others. It is something someone can always reflect back on as well.  

Nwalker's picture

In our University 100 class we used the four P’s to make the best possible outcome for our community. Each P stands for Problem, Process, Program, and Projected outcome. Everybody in the class was split into different groups, and was instructed to pick an institution, my group decided to be a theater. Then we were each given a random problem, and had to think of a way to solve them. My group was given child abuse. Children were coming to school with bruises on them, and we needed to think of a way to inform not only the children, but the community. Something that could get everyone involved, without singling out certain children.

 

We had a budget of $25,000 which was well enough for the program we decided to go with. Being that we were a theater, we started to think of different things to do to get the word out. The first thing that came to mind was a play. Put on plays at the schools around the district to help inform others on child abuse. Not only would we do the plays at the schools, but for the whole community as well. Since we had a theater, it would be rather easy to use our actors for the play, as well as the stage props that we already had. We knew that to put on these specific plays there would of course be traveling costs, as well we wanted to be able to give the community resources to go to for help. We started talking about getting sponsors to help out, asking local restaurants, even the big Universities in the district. We started thinking even deeper, and began to research other non-profit organization that have helped out with child abuse events or donations in the past. We happened to find organizations such as The American Academy of Pediatrics and Childhelp an online non-profit organization. We wanted to put out donation boxes at the local play, as well as put on a 5k at the school tracks to help raise money. Of course after the funds, which we wanted to try and use as little as possible, we wanted the money that we raised to go to child abuse awareness. As well as we wanted out outcome to be that anyone being abused should know where to go for help. Giving them an opportunity to talk to the school counselors, or C.P.S, as well as having speakers come in who have been through child abuse. To let everyone know that they are not alone who are being abused, and what to do about it, and be afraid.

After figuring out everything we thought was perfect, the “mayor” had came into the room letting us knowing that he would cut our funds from $25,000 to $5,000. At first I was thinking this would be difficult, but looking back at everything we had already accomplished I knew it would not of been a problem. Which I was right, we had already thought of so much fundraising the cut in our budget did not make a big difference. Being a theater we already had the actors, moving from different schools to perform the plays, we were just going to ask someone to donate a trailer for us. We were planning on having good outcomes from our 5k”s as well as hoping the bigger universities would help out. Even with the bigger sponsors, I had good faith in our program and money funds.

We never seemed to struggle, we all came together as a group and threw ideas out there for the best possible outcome. In Chapter 6 of David Matthews, “The Ecology of Democracy,” he focused on the lack of public involvement. This is something that a community can struggle with, people don’t get involved even when they should. Most of the time it can benefit them, and they do not even see it. Being able to take a problem in a community and making it something so much bigger to benefit others was a great feeling. There was four people in my group, and we came up with this program, and that is amazing how we used our imaginations. Coming together not just as an institution, but a community as a whole to help others who need it. It made me feel like we were actually going to do this. We had everything planned out in every little detail, and it felt like real life. Like we were about to actually put on these plays, as if I was a real director for our theater talking to the community and the mayor. As a community people really should get more involved, because it is a great feeling to not help yourself, but others. It is something someone can always reflect back on as well.  

Ntedesco's picture

I thought your group did a really good job and was really well organized! I can vouch for the lack of public involvement, I volunteer at my church all the time and we are constantly looking for volunteers and coming up short with having enough volunteers. When we do get enough volunteers though its amazing and personally for me the feeling that I get knowing that I am working along side my peers is amazing and just helping people is a really good feeling. 

Nvanvliet's picture

I tought your group did wonderful and had tons of good ideas that greatly impacted our final powerpoint and helped to make everything run smoothly beetween the groups.

Ugoodheart's picture

Homelessness is not a new phenomenon, it is an epidemic, which means that people are living without a home across the globe. Homelessness especially occurs near cities, so it is no surprise that this issue is here in Flint. We were given the task of drawing attention to, and possibly helping, homeless people by using our resources as a film production company. The project challenged our ability to communicate with each other and devise a realistic plan of action.

The process of how we would raise awareness for this issue revolved around creating a documentary that showcases who these people are, meaning their identity and story, and how they came to be in their situation. First we would post fliers around town, which contain information about our need for interviews with homeless people and where these interviews would take place. We thought that a positive incentive to get people to come would be free pizza and drinks. We wanted to focus questions on showing the character and forgotten dreams of the homeless, and since we are centered on Flint, we thought two meeting locations could be the Flint Church of the Nazarene and outside the University Pavilion. We are trying to show the humanity of the homeless because there seems to be a stigma about those who are homeless and live in poverty. Chapter 6 in The Ecology of Democracy touched on this when it talks about how giving a name to an issue determines who is to blame, and who is responsible for fixing the issue. People have a tendency to blame homeless people for their predicament; for example, homeless people might be labeled as lazy or addicts. While the addict stereotype might be true for some people, it is far more common for these people to become homeless due to a mental illness, layoffs, divorce, or a family death. This is the purpose of our documentary, to show that these are real people with problems, and to help the community stop their quick judgements.

Since the amount of money provided was continuously reduced, we needed another means of raising funds. My group decided to start a GoFundMe page and become active on social media, because it would be an easy way for people to donate to our cause. People are not blind, they know that the area is rundown and consists of many homeless people, and I believe that the community wants this issue solved. Finally, we want to ask nonprofit organizations and churches for money. I think asking churches for help is beneficial because I personally attend three different churches, and all of them do community work, like donating food or money to those in need, and one of them actually goes into rough areas to build or repair houses. We are hoping to raise enough money to produce the documentary and have enough left over to donate to existing shelters.

I think my group worked well together to create this plan. Initially it was difficult to get people to talk, but once an outline was formed, we were able to bounce ideas off of each other. Communication was difficult because everyday, at least one of our group members were absent. We did not agree on everything, and I think that is okay, because we were able to then think of a new, more realistic idea. For example, originally we wanted to build a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, but after some debate we realized that we did not have enough money or concrete way to do that. Also, after the documentary is played at other groups’ museums and theaters, we had varying ideas about where any leftover money should go, because we feared some homeless people might spend it unhealthy substances. In the end, we decided that our proceeds should be given to an existing shelter, so that we know the money is directly benefitting the homeless.

Ugregor's picture

I like your group's outlook on the homeless epidemic.  Every homeless person has a backstory of how they became homeless, and you never know what that story is.  I think it is awesome that you are going to be interviewing homeless people to see some of the reasons these people got in the situation they're in today.  And the fact that your group wasn't just going to interview them, but also offering pizza and drinks is a very kind gesture, and it's sure to get you lots of people to interview! It was a great idea to start a GoFundMe page to help out the homeless in your community.  Shows that you actually care about this epidemic, and don't just care about getting a paycheck.

trmgr's picture

I thought that the idea of educating the public on the identities of the homeless is both a great idea and one that would yield considerable benefits. I think that two primary reasons why homelessness is overlooked by the rest of the population is because of both stereotypes and the perceived lack of relatability between the two groups. By creating a documentary that showcases the stories of people who are homeless, stereotypes for why those people don't have a home would be reduced and a portion of the audience would be able to find some commonalities between the stories of the homeless and their own lives. Through educating the public as to why certain people are homeless and what their lives were like before they lost their homes, it is likely that far more people will donate and aid in the fight to end homelessness.   

Tom Ermiger

Ugregor's picture

Paul Gregor

UNV 100

Let’s Go Arts

27 November 2017

                                                                              The Ecology of Democracy Reflection

            In class I was in group 5, our group was a community theatre company.  We were originally offered $20,000 from the mayor to spread awareness about an issue that has started becoming more and more prevalent in our town.  This project is a way to show how you could get involved in your community.  Getting involved and being active in society is crucial to you as a person.  It gives some people a sense of security to know what is going on in the world of politics, and how their lives are going to be affected by it. That is just part of our DNA as humans.  In Chapter 6 of “The Ecology of Democracy” it talks about how lab results show that we as humans valued freedom, and safety even dating back to prehistoric times. 

With the $20,000 that our theatre company was offered to spread awareness about teen pregnancy, we felt that this was a substantial amount of money, and we could easily reach our goal.  We had planned out everything; the problem, the process, program, and projected outcome.  Everything was all set with our budget.  The problem was obviously teen pregnancy becoming a larger issue in the community.  Our process was to go out and buy props and small set pieces, and to rent a vehicle to carry everything in while we are traveling from school to school.  Our program was to go around to different schools in the area, and perform skits that deal with teen pregnancy, and then have a talk back with all of the students afterwards. The projected outcome was to help teens become a little more knowledgeable about teen pregnancy and the risks, and to help any teens who this might have already happened to cope with anything they are dealing with.  And to ultimately lower the rate of teen pregnancy.

            After we had figured everything out, we were told that our budget was lowered from $20,000 to $5,000 which wasn’t a huge deal for our group because our project required minimal props and set pieces.  But then, we were told that we had to combine all of the different problems from each group in our community into one large project that covers every issue presented.  It was decided that all of our groups were going to work together to create a large film that would talk about every issue that was given to us by the mayor.  This project was definitely a way to show how people in an actual situation like this are faced with a problem or road block along the way, and how these companies and people work to still reach their goal.

Ntedesco's picture

I like how you made sure in the beginning with your group that there wasn't going to be a big issue with the funding. My only question is did your group have a form of profitable income? Whether it be donations or charging the schools to come in and do the skits for the students? Were your actors volunteers or people that were hired? I do like how your group just came together as a class to do one big thing. In my class every group decided to stay with what they originally intended on doing and somehow join at least one other organization and do something together. It was really hard for everyone to communicate with each other because there were so many things happening at once.

Udotson's picture

I really like how your group went about trying to help the situation! Going to local schools is a perfect way to educate a lot of kids at once. I also feel like if kids don't get the knowledge about it at home or other places, they don't know how to prevent it. Skits can also be a fun way to get people involved and informed in solving the problem. I think your group brainstormed really well and I really like your ideas.

Ugoodheart's picture

I liked how your plan did not involve much cost, which meant that you could focus more on the substance of your skits and messages. I think showing these skits within schools is highly impactful, because teenagers seem to have the mentality that a pregnancy could never happen to them, but evidently the statistics do not lie. Another harsh truth is that many teens either have a hover or absent parent, meaning that some teens behave this way because their parents are too controlling while others might get pregnant because they do not have an attentive role model. Obviously, there are many other reasons why teen pregnancy has increased, and I think raising awareness through assembles and skits will be beneficial to helping teens deal with these problems.