Group Homepage

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

UMpetruski's picture

Hello!

        My group dealt with the blight decayed homes, churches, and buildings throughout Flint and how those decayings affected people’s perception on the city. In order to understand our purpose in this project, we decided to do some research. We learned that one in fourteen houses in Flint are vacant. And that there is a substantial amount of 9,800 homes empty and blight decayed within the city. This large amount makes Flint the second city in Michigan with the highest number of abandoned and blight decayed homes. Flint’s struggle with blight decayed homes and buildings ultimately drags on home prices and values. Along with the Flint Water Crisis and the General Motors Plant shutdown, Flint’s reputation fights to remain as the strong “Vehicle City.” That is where our group will come into play. We are the Blight Theatre Organization.

        Our Blight Theatre Organization is located in the heart of Flint, Michigan. We strive towards helping our city and community become one whole again. Since we are so motivated in fixing the abandoned homes in our beloved city, we have thought to use our performances as a way to collect money to put towards home revamping. By hosting small, weekly performances, we will use a percentage of the profits made and use it in compliance with the Mayor’s donation of $2,500. Since money is a contributing factor, we planned to host our performances on Sunday’s at 1:00pm. This time slot is perfect for families and individuals in Flint to attend because it is right after church and lets out right before dinner time. During those performances, we plan to place donation boxes around the vicinity and plan to mention our organization’s plan in between the performance’s intermission.

         Our biggest issue is getting support for our organization and supplying the tools necessary for fixing the blight decayed homes and buildings. For funding our organization, we plan to communicate with the Mayor for possibly a higher grant of money. Also, we plan to reach out foundations for grants such as, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Greater Flint Art Foundation, and the Community Foundation. We also plan to set up a donation page online through GoFundMe, so people can access our donation boxes virtually or in person at our performances. In addition, we want to reach out to the public. By making advertisements and communicating personally with the citizens of Flint, we can get volunteers and donors to support our organization. We also plan to address people from local colleges, such at University of Michigan-Flint, Mott Community College, Kettering University and Baker College. As well as, local stores, restaurants, churches, new stations, and most importantly social media. As a side note, since there is a television show on Netflix called, “Flint Town,” we could reach out to Netflix and see if they would sponsor us in some type of way. On the other hand, for obtaining the correct supplies for our organization, we plan to politely ask local hardware stores for donations and assistance. Places such as Lowes, ACE hardware and Home Depot would be perfect for supporting our group’s plans. Since we may not receive a ton of supplies, our group plans to fix the exterior of homes, so they will begin to have beautiful portraits again.  

        Once our funding and supplies fall into place and we have raised a substantial amount of money for our organization, we plan to host a Fall Volunteer Program. Our program will consist of community volunteers helping to fix the blight decayed homes in Flint. In order to get volunteers, we will have used our advertising and communication efforts as mentioned earlier. Such as posting flyers around town and communicating to citizens in churches, restaurants, hardware stores and local schools. This program is perfect for children to become active in their community and restore their city’s portrait. It is also beneficial for students to earn volunteer hours. In order to host our event smoothly, we plan to have construction workers or home improvement employees supervise our efforts and guide us for fixing the blight correctly. As for getting our workers and volunteers there, we plan to have assistance from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, to transport the people from the closest pick up, to the  neighborhood we are fixing.

        Overall, our Blight Theatre Organization wants to help our community’s neighborhoods become cleaner and appealing to our citizens. By having clean-cut, and desirable homes, the people of Flint will feel more comfortable about their city. It will also replenish that feeling of home once again after seeing the revamped houses our organization and volunteers will fix.

UM Wilhelm's picture

I love your group's idea to apply for grants in the Flint area. Your plan seems well thought through and includes great details on obtaining money and supplies to follow through with your project. I agree that blight is a large issue in Flint, and it is one of the key factors that some people see if they decide not to move to Flint. Repairing the outside of abandoned houses will provide Flint with a better image and encourage others to beautify the area, as well.

UMbradstreet's picture

Problem: My groups problem was homelessness in Flint, which seemed like an impossible task to fix but my group and I have come up with a pretty solid plan of how to at least help homelessness and maybe even prevent it.

Process: Our group is a movie production agency, and our plan is to have showings at local movie theaters. There would either be a ticket fee, or the people would be able to give a donation such as food, clothing, or some other type of essentials in place of the ticket cost. That is the main part of the process, it is really to help us with funding so that we can get the right equipment and materials to build a half-way house. Another part of that is we would be going to local wood shops and even big chains like Home Depot or Lowe’s to ask and see if they would partner with us and donate lumber and or tools to help us build the half-way house. This program relies heavily on volunteers, since our budget is so low volunteers are a necessity. Our plan was to go asking local community service organizations, churches, school organizations, and even asking the mayor of Flint to donate some city workers to help build the house. We were also talking about going to the MTA and asking of they could either make a bus route to the half-way house or give us a good location to where the house is accessible by bus. Since we do not have a lot of funding to make a commercial or advertisement, we will rely heavily on word of mouth and maybe even flyers to hand out and give to local businesses to pass out.

Program: Our Program is mainly made to rehabilitate the homeless and to help them get back into the community and back on their feet. The half-way house is a major contributor to our program. It will be like a safe haven for them, we will have a couple rooms, a dining hall, and more essentials. We will have a garden that will have produce to feed the homeless and to provide them jobs, either in the garden, in the house, ect. Our goal is to give them a helping hand and to get back on their feet, and maybe even get them a job in the community and just help them with life. We will partner with medical groups to provide medical attention and to just make sure that they are healthy. We really wanted to shine a light on homelessness and to bring awareness to homelessness. We really want to make a difference and to spark some kind of change and to help them. We are giving them a place to start new and to clean them up getting them ready for a new chapter in their life.

Projected outcome: I think our program and process is pretty solid and I believe that they will bring a lot of homeless people to us. I think it will be difficult in the beginning, but once the word spreads I believe that it will explode and there will be many people coming to the half-way house and many people we can help. I think the local community will be willing to help and even support this movement. If we can get the entire community to help us and to support us we can really make a difference in the Flint community and really fix the issue of homelessness.

Problems: I think a lot of our problems would be due to funding, I have high hopes for donations and profits from the movie showings and also from local companies. But there is always a chance that we could not get the funding. Another problem would be finding a neighborhood where we could set up the house, and not make the neighborhood upset or feel uncomfortable with us being there.

 I have learned a lot from this group project and it has taught me how to work better in a group setting. I really have to give a lot of credit to my group, they really came up with brilliant ideas. I could not have done this without them. We all came together and put our minds together and we came up with a really good plan. This group really showed me what teamwork can do, and if you get good people together than you really can take on any task.

 

UMcalhoun's picture

For my UNV 100 class, Let’s Go Arts, we’re working in groups to come up with a solution to our problems. I’m in group 3 and our problem is blight homes in Flint. Each group has to address the 4 p’s, which is the problem, process, program, and the projected outcome. 
Blight homes are what some may called abandoned homes. They’re deemed unfit due to the lack of care provided, which leaves them vacant. Flint has so many vacant homes and my group is figuring out a way to fix this problem. Our group decided that we will be a theatre organization for this project. For our process, our theatre organization first step was to have a board meeting to discuss what we can do in terms of the abandoned homes, and how we can help our community. In order to fix houses, we need money and tools. We came up with the idea of hosting weekly performances to raise money. We will also set up a go fund me and spread the word throughout town. We were going to get the word around by telling friends, family, posting on social media, and posting flyers at places such as school and church. Not only do we want people to know what we’re doing, we also would like them to know that giving us volunteers, tools and money would be much appreciated. With help with gathering tools, we were going to go to stores such as Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Menard’s and Lowe’s and ask them if they can sponsor us and/or donate anything to help. Before the donations come in, we’re given $2,500 from the mayor to start. Since it takes way more to fix a home and make it fit for people to live in, we will focus primarily on the exterior of the house and the landscape, to make the neighborhood look cleaner and nicer.
We plan on getting the word out as soon as possible to collect as much money, volunteers and tools that we possibly can. Then, during the summer of 2019 we will host a 10 week program that consist of us and our volunteers working on these blight homes. Our program is the Blight Theatre Organization and our focus is to help make Flint better. We will use a certain percentage of our weekly performances profits to help in the renewing of our Flint communities. Our projected outcome is to make our community’s neighborhoods cleaner and more appealing. A clean feeling will help the community feel welcomed at home and it will make them proud of where they live instead of feeling ashamed or disgusted.
    With this group, I’ve learned that a successful group depends on every individual that’s in the group. In previous groups, there would be either one person doing all the work, one person contributing nothing, or other scenarios that leads to an imbalance of work coming from each individual. In my group, I would say that we all contribute. Although one group member takes the initiative and do things such as write out our ideas, I don’t believe we’re putting the weight on her shoulders. We all share our ideas and discuss them. We haven’t really faced any problems throughout this project. We’ve all been on the same page with the road that we wanted to take.

UMerlenbeck's picture

        This community project was a long, tough process, but it was also a very good learning experience. I was able to learn to listen to other people’s ideas, have patience with understanding other, and figuring out how to take on leadership roles. Listening to other people’s ideas was something very easy for me to learn. I liked being able to listen to my group members ideas and then was able to generate ideas of my own. Being able to take notice to what other people are saying is key when communicating.  You need to understand other people’s perspectives in order to have an understanding relationship with people. This is especially important when working with a group on a common project so that there are not frustrations or tension between group members. Patience was another quality I had learned throughout this process. I am usually a person that likes to control the way things are just so that projects can run smoothly; however, for this project I had made myself take a step back so that my group members could contribute to our project as well. Patience was something that helped me be able to make our group work together a lot more smoothly. Finally, I had learned some leadership roles while doing this project. Before presenting to the class about our project, I helped assign roles for people to take on so that everyone could contribute. I think having a leadership quality is important because not only are you stepping you to help group, but you are also helping role model to other people how to do different tasks. These three qualities I learned, listening, patience, and leadership, are things I can take to help me in other aspects of my life as well.

            A problem that my group faced was that not everyone was always at our community project meetings. At times, it was difficult to be able to come up with ideas with not all our brains together at once. Other times it was hard to make sure that everyone was making equal contributions to the group. The way we overcame this obstacle, however, was communication. We were able to text each other things people in our group had missed so that they could catch up. The people who missed were still able to contribute ideas via text. We also had created a document so that everyone could have looked at and edit our ideas to help out with the project. This obstacle helped make me understand that not everything works out perfectly, so you just have to make what you have got work.

        At the very beginning of this process at our first meeting our group had to create an idea of what kind of art company we wanted to be. My group tossed around a couple of ideas, but we came to the conclusion that we wanted to be a dance company. Once we were given our problem, racism in the community, my group started right away with coming up with ideas for our community project. Our process started out with brainstorming ideas as to how we use dance to end racism. We considered ideas such as fundraising, events, volunteering, and many more to help solve our problem. We then categorized our process into different sections. These categories include spreading the word, fundraising, purchases, and other necessities. My group then generated ideas to put into those categories. The process was the longest part of this project.

        The next step in our project was creating programs. My group had come up with five different programs; flash mobs, classes, volunteer work, recitals and dance-a-thons. With each of these programs we had to figure out specific what was going to happen in each one. For the flash mobs and the volunteer work, we had to figure out the different members. For the classes, we figured out that we wanted to have classes held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 4 p.m., and Saturdays at 9 a.m. We also wanted to have many different styles of dance for our classes to help bring in diversity. For our recitals, we decided we wanted to have one five weeks into the project and one the very last day of the project to showcase what the community has learned. Finally, for the dance-a-thon, our group wants to have three of them. We had to figure out all the things that we need for our event as well. These five events are programs that we think will help being the community together and set aside their differences in order to end racism.

        Our projected outcome for this project was that although it would be very difficult to end racism in a community, we believe that have a common place that community members can go to will help bring people together. In our programs, we want to bring in as much diversity as possible in order let people meet their community members and learn about each other. We also wanted to make these programs assessable to everyone in the community so that there are no exclusions in this project. Our hope is that through this project people will learn to accept others for who they are.

UMBushre's picture

The problem that my group had to resolve and find a solution for, was the issue of racism in public schools. There are many dangerous situations that kids could be ending up in because of this issue. This probably results is several cases of bullying and harassment among the students of these schools. Our group was tasked with finding a way to solve the growing racism issue, so we began thinking of ways to promote and encourage diversity, and also teach students and adults about different cultures. Our group decided to create a program entitled “Dancing Towards Equality”, a dancing program that encourages diversity and learning dancing from cultures all over the world. The process for the program to come to fruition involves a lot of time getting the word out and raising money. Knowing that our funding was not immense we had to think of more ways to raise more funding for the program so that it was actually able to be executed. Our hope is that people not just from schools but from all over the city are interested in joining and being part of the program. We reached out to various locations alongside schools such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens, hoping this would provide more awareness of our cause. We also plan to do community service for places around the city, in the hopes that they will support our cause and maybe even provide a sponsorship. Fundraising is another route we plan on taking to obtain more funding. We will be selling various types of “swag gear” and clothes that anyone can purchase who are interested. We also hope to gain community sponsors as previously mentioned, and give the option to offer donations to anyone who is willing. The money that we raise will go fully towards the program. We’ll be using it to hire more professional choreographers, transportation, flyers to help spread the word of the program, and food for participants of the program. As for the program itself, it is a series of dancing classes that span over 10 weeks. The classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and also Saturday mornings. This is so the program does not conflict with the schedules of students who are in school. The class will cover a variety of different types of dance. Ballet, tap, hip, hop, and bollywood are some of the various forms of dance that we plan to teach to students of the class. After 5 weeks a recital will be held for the class to perform in front of an audience. We will also be hosting a second show at the end of the ten week program. Our projected outcome of this program is that the art of dance shows the beauty of diversity and learning about other cultures. It’s important now more than ever that people of the next generation and the current one understand the importance of embracing diversity and being able to come together as a community. We hope that this provides and artistic outlet for students who are struggling in school, and also provide them with a chance to meet new people and gain new experiences. Participants willingness to join and participate in the program are what’s going to keep it going and what will make it thrive. This is our way of pushing the end of racism, and bringing a more culturally diverse community as a whole.

UM Wilhelm's picture

In this project, my group decided to be a movie production company tackling homelessness in Flint. Our main goal was to develop a process and program to provide shelter and rehabilitation for homeless people using a limited donation of money from the local government. We were originally gifted $25,000, which quickly shrank to $2,500. We faced many challenges and overcame several obstacles throughout the process.

Our original steps were to identify several issues with homelessness and determine ways to help solve them. Some important problems are a lack of shelter for homeless people, finding volunteers, communicating with homeless people, and having enough funding to follow through with our plans. Our initial idea was to use movies that our production company would have made as a way to raise money and collect donations from the community, and then use all of the collected money and items to fix up an abandoned house in Flint to provide a homeless shelter. We also talked through the identified issues to develop ways to overcome them.

After coming up with these initial ideas, we dove into outlining the four P’s associated with the project: problem, process, program, and projected outcomes. The problem, as previously stated, is finding ways to help the homeless in Flint. Our process is to use movies to fundraise and obtain donated items that can be used to help our program. Our program is mainly buying a house to open as a homeless shelter and finding ways to provide healthcare and jobs for the homeless. Our projected outcomes are to provide a place for homeless individuals to live and helping them re-enter their daily lives in society.

In order to raise funds, obtain materials, and identify volunteers for our project, we want to host movie showings for reduced price at local theaters. Instead of requiring a paid ticket for entry, guests can either purchase a ticket that will donate all proceeds to the shelter or donate supplies to help build the shelter and provide belongings for the homeless. This would also help spread the word about the initiative and help gain volunteers. The event would be advertised with local news stations, the city council, churches, social media, flyers, emails, and student volunteers from local colleges and high schools.

After holding these fundraisers, we would begin our program to build a homeless shelter. Our goal would be to buy a house in Flint along a bus route, which would provide transportation for tenants, and fix it up to be opened as a homeless shelter with a community garden. We would also like to partner with a temp agency to help find jobs for tenants, as well as with a local hospital to provide health screenings and medical attention to those that need it. In addition, we would like to hold events to prepare care kits and blankets to pass out to the homeless that cannot come to the shelter. In order to get the word out to the homeless people of Flint, we would visit soup kitchens, food pantries, Salvation Army locations, and other establishments, as well as post flyers around the city.

Our projected outcomes for this project mainly include providing a place for homeless individuals to live. This would also potentially provide job and transportation opportunities for the tenants. We would also like to have a community garden on-site that the tenants could help with in exchange for food from the garden. Another hope for this project is that it would improve the stereotype of homelessness by showing the surrounding community that they can rise above their circumstances.

As we worked through this project, we went through a few difficulties of our own. We had a couple of days where we had to continue working on the project while one or two of our group members were absent, which was difficult at times when addressing areas of the project that they developed. We also had to find ways to overcome funding cuts, which included finding ways to do our own fundraisers, discussing ways to get grants and find support through local businesses and community organizations, and partnering with other groups. We found a different group that is working on blight in Flint, which would work nicely with our idea to fix up an unwanted home in Flint. This would be a great way to combine resources such as funding and volunteers. This was a wonderful learning opportunity to learn more about tackling problems as a group, identifying sources of funding and resources in the community, and discussing difficult issues in a delicate manner.

UMMeade's picture

Good afternoon,

I find your topic of homelessness in the Flint community to be a very real and serious issue within the community and admire the plan you have put together. Your plan is very detailed and organized and I can tell your group thought very hard about how to resolve the issue. Your plan to reuse a building that is already existing would lower costs as well as beautify the community. Working with a local hospital and temp angency is a very insightful way to generate growth in the community and allow your tenants a chance to better their lives and move up economically. Overall, the concepts behind your plan are sound and focused strongly on improving the lives and situations of the homeless in your ccommunity.

UMMowl's picture

Including myself, a group of six students were given a problem to solve. The problem presented to us was blight; abandoned and decaying houses in the City of Flint, Michigan. Blight effects more than house livability, but it impacts communities as a whole. Abandoned and destroyed homes create feelings of disorder, consequently impacting people’s sense of safety and connectedness with their community. Often times, abandoned homes are linked to the belief that the area in which these homes are found have high crime rates. However, these houses are more closely related to crime-related fear than actual crime incidences (Brunton-Smith & Jackson, 2011). In order to rebuild the famous Motor City, it would be crucial for Flint to address the issue of Blight. By cleaning up and creating more visually appealing neighborhoods, a sense of safety, security, and wholeness may result. As a way to address this issue, my group created a theatre company that could use its skills and efforts to help solve this problem.

Our group of six students created a theatre organization and designed a blight reduction plan. We have named our organization the Blight Theatre Organization, which is dedicated to the restoration of abandoned houses in Flint. Our process included the discussion of project ideas through a board meeting format. With limited funds and resources, our organization’s goal is to clean up the outside of houses and make them more visually appealing, we would do this by focusing on the exterior by working on landscaping and painting the outside.

In order to accomplish this plan, the community must first know about our efforts. It is crucial to get the community and others outside the community involved for support, so that we may accomplish our goal of house restoration. We would create a Facebook page to share our efforts, make flyers to post at businesses, schools, and organizations, and make announcements at places like local churches, mosques, and other community centers. Local news stations would be contacted to help spread the word of our efforts as well.

 To gain funds, our organization will host weekly performances where the money raised from ticket sales would go towards the renovations. Along with this, we would place donation boxes at our performance center for more financial support, where we would also make announcements about our plan. A GoFundMe donation page would be created that would be open for public donations as well. Local companies would be asked to sponsor us for extra funds and supplies for our efforts. Companies like Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, and Menards would be great local resources for us. We would use funds from the ticket sales, donations, and government funding of $2,500 to purchase inexpensive supplies, such as painting and planting material, to carry out our exterior renovations.

To carry out our restoration plan, a 10-week volunteer program would take place through our organization during the summer of 2019. This is when our weekly performances for funds would occur, which would be held Sundays at 2:00pm. The work days would be scheduled Monday-Thursday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm, with a 45-minute lunch break. During this program, the volunteers enrolled would take part in restoring the homes. They would plant flowers, trees, and shrubs, along with painting the outside of the homes. For some volunteers may be artistically gifted, murals may be painted on some of the houses. Trash and other miscellaneous items that have made their way on to the abandoned properties would be removed and cleaned up by the volunteers as well.

The projected outcomes for this program would be cleaner and more appealing neighborhoods in the City of Flint. By doing so, an increased feeling of safety and connectedness would be the result. There is a hope for a more positive outlook and improved reputation for the city. Replenishing the houses of Flint supports the movement of revamping the city, keeping the famous Motor City legacy.

This group of six students, which includes myself, that created this plan ran into some problems with the logistics of it all. However, we have brainstormed and easily came to productive agreements. When coming up with how to get the word out about our program, everyone contributed excellent ideas about how to do so. The same goes for figuring out how to gain funds. The group brainstormed how to receive more money and supplies and agreed on a plan with ease. One problem that we foresee occurring that is mostly out of our control is gaining support from the individuals who live in the neighborhoods that the house restorations would take place. If a neighbor to a home we plan to work on opposes the restorations and the noise that it may cause, there is not much we could do besides further explain how the abandoned homes affect the entire community along with keeping the noise minimal. Besides this flaw, our group has created a realistic plan of how to help fix the City of Flint’s problem of blight.

 

Reference

Brunton-Smith, I., & Jackson, J. (2011). Urban Fear and Its Roots in Place. The Urban Fabric of Crime and Fear, 55-82. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4210-9_3

UMCurtiss's picture

        Dancing Towards Equality is a group that was designed to help end the problem of racism in a community. The idea behind the group is getting as many people as possible together to learn about each others cultures not only though dance but through getting to know one another as well. The main idea behind the group is to try and diminish racist thoughts in our community.  We plan to do this by using the people in the community to create our dance program; the program is strictly donation based and is open to everyone in the community. Everyone is welcome, no matter their age, race, gender, where they live in the community etc. We will be learning and teaching many different styles of dance that include but are not limited to African, Bollywood, and Ballet.

            Before our program could start we had to think of how to promote it, what our programs would be, and how to bring people closer together. We thought that it would be best if we did promoting all around the city. We planned on posting flyers all over the community; bringing in celebrities to help support our cause, and create “swag gear” which consisted of shirts that promoted our dance company. Our promoting would also happen through our recitals that we would be performing, our outdoor and indoor dance classes, and our flash mobs. To keep the company in good conditions we needed to raise money, to raise this money we decided to sell our “swag gear” to both members of our company and those in the audience. We also asked for donations at all of our events including our classes held on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s. Along with these ideas we thought it would be beneficial to ask community sponsors to help promote and give money to our cause.

            After promoting and figuring out finances we thought about how important it is to have many different types of people and how to bring them together. We thought it would be best to hold classes at different times on different days to help get as many people together as possible. We thought Tuesday’s at 7 p.m. Thursday’s at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. would be good times to get all different kinds of people together. Also we had two dance recitals scheduled, flash mobs, and our dance-a-thon. All of which were open to the public regardless of being in the show or not. These performances were well thought out and were used to bring in even more publicity to our program and more diversity. The programs were strictly donation based and would bring not only our dancers closer to our community but the community together as a whole. Everyone who came to watch our performances were around people they may have never met before. They would be around people of different cultures, genders, backgrounds etc. Thus promoting the entire idea behind our project, which is to bring different kinds of people together in hopes of ending racism in our community.

        While figuring out how to help end racism in our community though dance I learned a lot. I learned that in group settings not everyone plays an equal part, sometimes people do not express their ideas and they go along with what others are saying. Also I learned that working with others can be challenging when coming up with ideas for things, such as a name for our group and what classes we would provide, how we would transport people to our events. All of these challenges came up in discussion in our group and some had a lot to say about these challenges and others did not say anything.

        Our projected outcomes for our program is what gave us the most trouble in our discussion, for the sheer fact that we had no idea what could come about from our program. We all agreed that we hoped it succeeded to bring people together but with the thought of our whole dance company relying on donations was a little scary. We had the money that we started out with but that would only get us so far in our program. Also we had to be careful of how much money we spent before the program was underway, in the sense that if we didn’t have participants our ideas and message would not be spread throughout the community. However in the end we all decided that our ideas and willingness to help solve the problem of racism would in part work out. Our group members are ones that value different opinions, are helpful and most of all committed to ending racism.

        Overall the experience with this group assignment was very beneficial. I learned a lot about myself in a sense that if need be I can be persuasive and a good listener. I also learned to be a leader and lead different discussions and also I learned that working with different types of people happens in everyday situations not only in the classroom. 

 

UMerlenbeck's picture

I was in a group with Izzy and I agree will everything she was saying. It was very diffcult for our group to come up with ideas on how to end racism through dance, but we tried the best we could to dimish racism in our community. I agree with Izzy that the projected outcome was difficult to come up with because you cannot really accurately predict how people are going to react to the situation. We tried to think of different scenarios of what the outcomes would be like and then we concluded on what our project outcome would be. I think our group worked really well together and we accomplished all the tasks we needed to for this project.

UMmoore's picture

The group I was assigned to is a local theatre company that hopes to develop and program to try and tackle the homelessness problem in the city. The process portion of the program my group agreed upon is to show old films that were created previously for a small monetary or nonperishable donation at local theatres. The showings will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings. The program will be to use the items and money received from the showings, towards buying an abandoned home that is close to bus routes and downtown to get the homeless off of the street. We hope to get other groups involved that can help us with fixing up the home and provide medical and financial needs for the citizens that will be visiting the shelter. The projected outcome is to hopefully provide a place for the homeless to go and to be able to provide for them the tools they need to make a lasting change in their lives. We hope to partner with local hospitals to provide medical attention and temp agencies that can help them to find jobs. We also hope to incorporate a community garden at the shelter to provide healthy and sustainable food.

When working in a  group setting, it is important to learn to listen to the ideas that each individual person has because issues can arise when each person does not have the opportunity to express their ideas. It is also important to find a way to incorporate the ideas that each member of the group may have. This was a small issue that the group that I am apart of ran into; while each idea was great some were too broad to go along well with the vision we saw  for our overall program. Luckily these issues were easy to work through because we all get along and were able to calmly come to an agreement. Another large issue was budget cuts that lead us to having to find partnerships and think of ways to get donations.  Overall I think that my group was able to work together very well to develop and program that has the potential to help a lot of people in need.

UMwhite's picture

Goodafternoon, 

       I loved the way you and your group came up with the idea of having a theatre company show old films to help the homeless in the area. I think this is a great idea and very well thought out. I never would have thought of having a community garden at the homeless shelter, that would go so much more than just provide food and thats amazing. I also really liked the way you thought about their need for transportation to the jobs they might aquire while staying at your shelter, not many people would think about such small details like this. 

UMMeade's picture

Racism has been a pressing issue in the community of Flint for decades, however, this does not have to continue. As tensions between races build, the gap between cultures seems to grow with no middle ground of similarity or understanding. That’s where our organization, Dancing Towards Equality comes in. Dancing Towards Equality is a dancing organization with a common goal to put a stop to racism in our community, through teaching and learning different cultural dance to generate a common understanding among ethnicities. As a group we have spent much time discussing how the issue of racism can be dissolved, and the gap between cultural differences closed. This task, if undertaken, will be difficult and prove to be trying to those in the community, but with a four-step program, our organization hopes to see a lasting result in the community of Flint. The first step is to understand the problem at hand and address racism in the community. Following that, is a very detailed process of acquiring funds, spreading the word, and making it a safe and controlled environment for all those who wish to take part. The third step, is to put together and enact the program that will take 10 weeks to complete. The final step, is the projected outcome; being, if not a total end to racism in the community, at least a common understanding and friendship with those of different ethnicities and race. The overall goal of Dance Towards Equality, is to spread a common community awareness of different cultures in the city of Flint, allowing its citizens to gain experience, as well as create friendships with those one typically wouldn’t due to a racial barrier.

The first step to dissolving racism, is to first understand what racism is, and accept that it is present in the community. Racism can be acted out in many ways and take many forms, but initially, the act of racism is targeted against a person(s) of a different race from an individual or group and is meant to cause physical or mental harm. Racism is acted out by those who believe their own race to be superior to that of another and thus leading to the subtle acts and gestures in everyday life to the violent and harmful acts portrayed in the nightly news. Being an urban city, Flint is home to a plethora of different cultures and races, and with the city’s minimal job market and generally low-level income residents, Flint has become a prime target for racism of all forms. Therefore, requiring a common ground to be met between the different cultures, to create a respect and understanding that will hopefully lessen and eventually eliminate racism in the Flint community.

The second step, is to put together a well-organized, and detailed process of how to tackle racism. To begin, to undertake a task so large and with little city funding, our groups first priority is to raise awareness in both the community as well as nationally in hope of sponsorships and donations. To do this we will create and provide merchandise such as a draw-string bag filled with a t-shirt and hat to give out to those who are willing to take part in our community event. The idea behind this is to fill spots on the merchandise with company or private sponsors, both rising money for our organizations campaign as well as generating a form of advertising about the event itself. On top of this, Dancing Towards Equality plans to reach out to charitable organizations and celebrities both locally and nationally in hopes to spread awareness as well as gain further sponsorships. We will reach out to organizations such as The Greater Flint Art Foundation and The Haggerman Foundation and powerful individuals such as Opera Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. With the Mayor of Flints permission, our organization will aim to get the use of the public bussing system to transport those who would otherwise not be able to attend out events to and from the locations, free of charge. The locations of the events themselves will be hosted in centrally located and public areas such as parks and school gyms with permission from the city to use these spaces, which leads into the third step.

The third step, which is to be enacted after the funds and sponsorships have been secured, and that is the program of Dancing Towards Equality itself. The program is geared towards community involvement through cultural dance to bring the citizens closer, and generate friendships and a mutual understanding between cultures. The program will span a total of ten weeks and is aimed to draw in people of all ages from the community of any race. These events will be volunteer based, reaching out to dancing instructors as well as dancing teams from the local community to help instruct. To bring in children, Dancing Towards Equality will have flash mobs at the schools to spread awareness to students and trying to get the parents involved as well. The events will be held three days a week, Tuesday and Thursday evening as well as Saturday mornings, making it available for those who are in school as well as those who work. The events will teach those in the community the different dancing styles from a variety of cultures in a fun and safe environment, to promote a cultural understanding and communication. At the five-week mark of the program as well as the ten-week mark, Dancing Towards Equality will host a large community event to honor the hard work everyone in the program has achieved. At these two special events, Dancing Towards Equality will allow our sponsors to come out as well as any celebrity endorsements, to speak and promote the work being done. At the end of the ten-weeks Dancing Towards Equality hopes to reach the goal of better community understanding which leads to the final step in the program.

The last step in the ten-week program, is the projected outcome Dancing Towards Equality hopes to achieve in the Flint community. With the community involvement of both those participating in the event and those sponsoring it, we hope to see racism in Flint decline. This project will not eradicate racism off the streets of Flint over-night, but the hope is that it sparks a change of hope for the middle aged and younger generations who are, or will be the future of the community. The overall goal of our organization, is to show the community that no matter the color of one’s skin, underneath everyone has the same compassion and understanding and deserves to be treated equally.

Creating a program to end racism is not an easy task, for it is not an easy problem to get rid of. Racism is not something that can just disappear with the snap-of-a-finger, as much as we wish it could. The main concern our group faced during the planning process, was how we can get a full community involvement within the program. The best outcome we could find is to focus on the younger generations and target the schools and parks in forms of flash-mobs to get the attention of the younger minds. From there the hope is that word will spread to parents through word-of-mouth and reach older generations as well. The goal is to end racism in the community of Flint and our ten-week program could be the spark that lights the fire for Flints brighter future.

MMmcgrath's picture

You have presented an outstanding detailed program and brief backgroung of the city of Flint, regarding racism. I believe bringing dance into the community will be beneficial. There are many ethnic dances and opportunities for individuals to coninside with one another, hopefuilly as the people of Flint participate in this program and the city's economy gets better, so will its racism.

UMwhite's picture

The four P’s from the Ecology of Democracy are something we use daily, but we don’t realize it because its not on such a large scale as this was. The use of Problem, Process, Program, and Projected outcome can be found in almost every day activities such as what to make for dinner, or the clothing outfit you are going to wear that day. Although we use this process so often the group of individuals I worked in a group in which we used this method to try to help solve the problem of violence within the schools and children joining gangs and being forced to commit crimes since their time in jail wouldn’t be as long as an adults would be if they committed the same crime. We had a few struggles while we were trying to come up with the best solution for our problem that didn’t create more problems with parents or with the staff at the schools. Our problem, again, was the violence in schools and the young adolescents joining gangs and being encouraged to commit the crimes for the gangs. Our process was we were going to take a portion from our ticket sales from our art sculpture gallery and use those proceeds to go towards funding our program. We would also host art sculpting classes for both adults and children to learn about art and how to put your emotions into it and we would take donations from these classes and is would also help fund our program. Our program is quite simple we would have art classes at the school after hours when detention would take place and we would allow the kids a choice to come to our art classes in lieu of going to detention. These art classes would allow kids to release some of their anger in a nonviolent way while making a piece of art that tells about their feelings or something they are passionate about. We would also have art classes at the local detention center providing the same thing as the classes at the school, a way to release built up anger and tell their story of hurt and pain since most of these kids probably came from a rough home life and want someone to talk to. At the end of the 10 weeks, once the program was over, we would host an art showing of all of their art work at our buildings and if they don’t want to keep their sculptures we would sell them and use those funds to go towards the next program we did the following year for the same 10 weeks. Our projected outcome is that we will raise awareness about the violence in the schools as well as young adolescents joining gangs and committing such awful acts of hatred. We also hope to give these kids another way to release their anger and have someone to talk to bout the things they went through or are going through, these kids just want someone to listen to them. Throughout this process I learned a lot, about both working in a group with people who I am unfamiliar with and about hoe difficult it really is to try and help solve such a common everyday occurrence that is ruining so many lives. It gave me a new perspective on troubled kids and how most of the time it’s not their fault, they didn’t have anyone growing up and this is the only way they know. This project we did in class was one of my favorites and will be for a long time. It taught me how to not judge others as quickly as I usually do and to be patient everyone has an opinion and deserves to be heard equally.  

MMJohnson2's picture

Hello, I love the direction that your group used to approach a topic like this. My group also had gang related violence within our youth and there wasn't an easy way to approach a situation like this one. We had the same idea as your group as using their emotions to create plays and shows that they will be proud to show their family members about how they feel on the inside and will have the chance to witness what they are truly capable of if people actually tried to put their time and effort in these children. I can tell by reading your reflection that you guys if you could, would try to really create something like this for our community. Not only is it a great way to introduce these children to the arts it will open more door for them in the future and give them a chance to become the future artists that everyone can look up and admire. Thank you for sharing this with us and I hope more creative ideas like this can happen in the near future. 

MMHolmes's picture

The problem that my group worked on for my theatre 100 class was on the problem of racism in the community. Our first step as a group was to brain storm the process in which would allow us to improve the community. We thought that the best way to improve the situation of racism in the community was to focus on the younger generation rather than the older generation of people, to making the most long lasting impact on the community that we could. In order to inform the younger generation we thought to push anti-racism content to local schools. We would give presentations that would look at the issue and hopefully change the opinions of the younger generations and show how much of a problem racism has been in communities. The next thing that we thought ask local theater groups to make content that is focused on the problem. Additionally, we thought to promote awareness of the problem by hosting a concert. During that concert we could ask various famous artists from different ethnic backgrounds to appear to play and to talk about problems that had that are related to racism. In order to promote his concert we would give this information to the local news and other facilities to promote this anti-racism concert.

However, a problem that we countered was the that lack of funds to do the concert. So, in order to get around that problem was to sell ads to local businesses to help pay for the expenses, along with asking local grants that would be willing to support us financially to combat the problem of racism in the community, additionally asking already established social groups for assistance.

The Programs that we decides to push in order to solve racism in the community was to put out content that was focus on anti-racism messages. Programs such as encouraging theatre productions that have similar messages as Hair Spray. In addition, putting an a concert that helped put the message out their about racism.

The project out of doing these programs would be more awareness and tolerance in the younger generation members in the community. If the program and messages continue thought out the generation hopefully a longer decrease in racism would ensue, because if older generation taught younger generations tolerance and understanding the message would permeate throughout the younger generations of people.

This project has thought me that fixing social issues is difficult and uncertain procedure. Because, not only do you need to get the message of problem out to a large portion of the public, but they also need to understand and take that message with him. I also learned that Media is the best way to get a message out to the public and have the public understand that message, because not only do they see the problem, but you can change the story to see what happens if the problem is not fix and see how bad that outcome can be. Additionally, I learned a little bit more about team work and cooperation during this project, which, allowed me to see that everyone has a different perspective on things and both perspectives may be right, but it is best to understand both parties before making any judgments.

MMMadar's picture

There are four P’s to use when trying to solve an issue and they are problem, process, program, and projected outcomes. The problem is what the issue is mine was racism. The process is the meat of the four P’s, this is where you figure out funding and what the program will be. The program is what you planned to do in the process stage an example is a festival. The final P is projected outcomes which is what you want all your work to lead to an example of this can be raising awareness of racism.

The way my group and I navigated through this process is we first stated our problem which was racism. Then we talked about if we needed more money or not and how to get it. We came up with asking local businesses to donate and we would advertise them on a poster or some sort of banner, and also asking any local YMCA’s for donations or volunteers. We then went on to what we wanted to achieve from doing this which was to raise awareness of racism and show how we are all equal. The program that we came up with is a Hairspray style of play at the Swartz Creek High School and would ask famous musicians such as Big Sean and Eminem to come and play since they are both from Michigan. The only challenge my group and I faced was figuring out where to do the play. We overcame this challenge because two people in our group went to Swartz Creek High School and knew we would be able to use it.

Some things I learned from this was teamwork, problem-solving, and how to think outside of the box. My team and I worked together bouncing ideas off each other in order to come up with our four P’s. We found a place to hold this event because of two teammates going to the high school. I also thought out of the box in asking two famous musicians to come and perform.

After we did our solo group we came together as a class to try and see if we could come up with something better as a class and I think we did. The Problem that we had was everyone’s problems put into one so racism, blight, battered women, abused children, homelessness, and youth in gangs. We then went on to the process in where we had the most difficulty because everyone had a process and so we tried to put them all together which didn’t work. So, we then started pitching ideas. We came up with a new program and process. The process consists of asking local news stations to cover the event and to promote it as it comes up. We would also ask for donations from local businesses and volunteers from the community. We aimed for the volunteers to be from the NHS (national honor society) as they would need community hours. We also got access to parks from the mayor as long as we handled the clean up of the park. We would also promote ourselves on social media.

The program was a music festival that would be held in the summer and would have multiple different days and two locations, so we can have the most people show up. We would have an open mic and ask famous musicians to show up and sing. We would sell lot spaces to restaurants, so they can sell food and we would ask them to donate some of their profits to the event. Another idea for this was to have it hosted at individual colleges and have them compete with each other to see who could raise the most money. Which would make our lives easier since the students would be doing most of the work instead of us. We would also ask busses to drive people to the place for free if possible. Our Projected outcome would be to raise awareness of all of our issues and to help people who are in any of these issues (racism, blight, homelessness, battered women, abused children, and youth in gangs.

            I think that the four P’s that the entire class came up with together is the better one because it is a bigger scale and allows us to reach more people. I think that if this did happen it would help a lot of people and raise the awareness of these issues.

MMAlmatrook's picture

 In the ecology paper, we are supposed to complete a project as a group. Each group was to have at least five members, from which all members should have different personalities and characters. The requirement for each of the group was to be tasked to choose a topic in the art institution to which they would work on together. As said, the members of the group were carefully chosen from different personalities so that we could collectively bring the unique skills and capabilities towards the project. The main idea was to pick a challenge that affects the society in general and using the skills gained in the skills and knowledge we formulate a solution to it.

After forming our group, we had the introduction so that we know each other as a team. We had one of the members who was taking lead for the introduction and members agreed he should take control as team leader onward. We agreed to work on topic “ Ubarn Blight” which describes a process in which a very clean and functioning city later fall into disrepair. In this project, we were tasked to handle the topic in which a city which was functioning well later had many of abandoned buildings which pose a threat to the community. These building which is left unattended not only do they increases chances of insecurity In flint community but also are bad for ecological health and therefore there is need to address the issues within the shortest time possible. We had to come with a process, program and projected outcome on how we could handle the problem in our topic. We were given ecology of democracy materials that we would help each team to work clearly on their topic before starting.

The first step as a group was to identify the problem. As stated above, our topic was about the increased rate of abandoned houses in the city of Flint and dangers they pose to the community. After identifying the problem, we designed the program and how successful our project will so that we would complete on time. Created the campaign program so that we kick-start by creating awareness to the community around flint on how dangerous these abandoned buildings are risky to them. As a group, we decided to use local mainstream media as the first form to create more awareness to the society. We know that most of the household in the region are connected to TVs and with this we would reach many papers. In addition, with increased social media in modern days, we couldn’t ignore the power of these are thus our team leader tasked us to create hashtags on our Facebook and Twitter account to create awareness on our topic.

In order to facilitate our project, we decided to have some budget. The funding would be used in printing campaign T-shirts and pay the promotion fee to the local TVs ads. Since the topic greatly affects the entire community in Flint, we decided to reach out the wealthy families to support the idea by giving small funds. Moreover, we also reached to corporate brands such as Goodwill and requested for funding, these companies have some annual budget set aside for corporate social responsibilities activities and they responded positively to our proposals.  We also got more volunteers to help us in the program.

The third step was our group program and we dubbed it “operation occupy a house” the program was designed to increase the occupancy of the building which is abandoned. With the guide of material in the ecology of democracy, we were able to select the program name which connected well with our program. This came after deliberation from the team members and we came up with that name. We needed the locals to occupy the vacant rooms so that there will some neighbors. We also needed them to each other as a community.  They would also give some security money from each household which would improve the security in the area.

Our fourth step was our project outcome. As stated, our main project was to reduce the number of abandoned houses and thus we needed to raise awareness on the need to have the houses which are left alone to have some tenancy. We hoped by increasing the awareness on the importance of having good neighbor would increase security and ecological health issues in Flint.

In summary, I was able to make more friends from the team as well as community engagement. There was a great opportunity for us to seek attention from online tools and visiting the companies looking for funding. We also bonded well and it has helped our class to work in more comfortable manner. I really enjoyed every task and even though we are working for the grade, I feel like we grew together.

MMWaters's picture

            In our Theatre 100 class, each group was given a problem to fix using the four P's. These are problem, program, process, and projected outcomes. For the Four P’s group project, our problem was homelessness. In order to reach our end goals, which was to help these people directly and get them back on their feet, we came up with some programs. These programs were to hold plays for the public, using the homeless people as our actors, and if they did not want to act, we would let them work on it some other way. We wanted these people to make their struggles more personal for the audience to influence them into donating what they could, like food or clothes. The way we thought we could do this by making the plays about their stories, how they ended up here and where they wanted to go with lives, like their hopes, dreams, and ultimately where they wanted to end up in life. In order to do this, we needed to think of the first steps.

How do we find these people, and how do we get the word out? We were going to contact the Department of Social Services and homeless shelters around the city to help us locate those that are homeless. We also thought that since the city of Flint has many homeless, we could also roam the streets. And we considered putting up flyers around the city to catch the attention of those who walk and to inform any people who are homeless roaming the streets of our intentions. We were also thinking about using public transportation and some private, like busses and shuttles, to transport the homeless to where we needed to be. In order to put on plays, we need a space to do it that would get attention. We were hoping that we could perform in public spaces, which we would need permits to do. While performing, we would have either volunteers, other homeless people, or ourselves handing out flyers and information about the problem. We would also ask for donations of any kind, be it food, money, or clothes. We would use the money given by the government to buy our supplies for the play. In order to raise further awareness, we would post about it on social media, as well as use the news and radio to spread the word, as decreasing the amount of homeless people would be beneficial to all who want to better the city. Lastly, we were thinking about the limited amount of money we were given. We were hoping to go to crowd funding sites to raise extra money and awareness for our cause. This extra money, as well as what is gathered from donations will go to the homeless themselves, buying them food and clothes, and getting them cleaned up so that they can get back on their feet by themselves.

            While working on the project, not all of our members were there at once. At some point, everyone did contribute and made valuable suggestions to our overall progress with the project. In the final outcome of our groups problem, everyone had worked on it and made their voices heard, having something from them in it. One problem we faced was communication. Sometimes it was hard to properly get a point across at first because of language barriers and some members being naturally quiet. But I do not regret letting others’ opinions be heard. The next problem was expanding on what we had. Some people did not know the area well, or what it could contribute to our goals, me included, so it was hard to come up with more ideas. Even though we tried to expand and come up with more, we could not, so our list, to me at least, seems a bit empty. I ultimately wish that there was more that we could do to help these people without expanding into other groups’ problems and solutions.

UM Khobeir's picture

Hi, 

I was also in a group where our problem was homelessness in Flint. I think you have some great ideas and perspectives that would have gone great if we were collaberating. For instance, getting the word out through the Department of Social Services. Also, you took on a diffrent approatch through live theater and I think that is awesome. I liked how you wanted to go around Flint and preform to the people. You were bringing it to them instead of making them come to you. We also shared the same ideas like fundrasing, public transportation, etc. Overall, this is an awesome plan and would have been great to collaborate!

UM Khobeir's picture

Hi, 

I was also in a group where our problem was homelessness in Flint. I think you have some great ideas and perspectives that would have gone great if we were collaberating. For instance, getting the word out through the Department of Social Services. Also, you took on a diffrent approatch through live theater and I think that is awesome. I liked how you wanted to go around Flint and preform to the people. You were bringing it to them instead of making them come to you. We also shared the same ideas like fundrasing, public transportation, etc. Overall, this is an awesome plan and would have been great to collaborate!

UM Khobeir's picture

Hi, 

I was also in a group where our problem was homelessness in Flint. I think you have some great ideas and perspectives that would have gone great if we were collaberating. For instance, getting the word out through the Department of Social Services. Also, you took on a diffrent approatch through live theater and I think that is awesome. I liked how you wanted to go around Flint and preform to the people. You were bringing it to them instead of making them come to you. We also shared the same ideas like fundrasing, public transportation, etc. Overall, this is an awesome plan and would have been great to collaborate!

UM Khobeir's picture

Hi, 

I was also in a group where our problem was homelessness in Flint. I think you have some great ideas and perspectives that would have gone great if we were collaberating. For instance, getting the word out through the Department of Social Services. Also, you took on a diffrent approatch through live theater and I think that is awesome. I liked how you wanted to go around Flint and preform to the people. You were bringing it to them instead of making them come to you. We also shared the same ideas like fundrasing, public transportation, etc. Overall, this is an awesome plan and would have been great to collaborate!

MMyambrick's picture

I would like to say that I see how your group truly wants to help this people. It seems genuine and not forced as some other groups may have seemed. Along with your groups authentic plans, I think it is amazing how you guys could still come up with this plan even though most of your group members were missing. I also had this problem in my group; however, our turn out did not seem as precise and clean cut as yours did. The last thing that I would like to say is, I appreciate how you said something about not wanting to interfere with other groups plans and ideas. This is also very proffesional and well done. Great job with your attempt to solve this problem.

UMcalhoun's picture

I like how your group came up with several different ways to involve homeless people. Although some people may not pay them any attention, at the end of the day they’re still people and by them being able to show that, that’s amazing. Throughout your group problems, y’all managed to create an amazing solution to this problem. 

MMschipansky's picture

Problem

The problem that my group was responsible for fixing was battered women. With this, there were mixed reactions within the group. Some nodded their heads while others furrowed their eyebrows. At the time, I thought of my mother; a survivor of domestic abuse. So, from my personal experience; I knew this was a problem. Others in my group, may not have a personal connection. We looked between each other but didn't dare to ask one another. Some were curious if there was a difference between domestic abuse and being battered. We discussed but didn't really come to a conclusion. In the end, we ended up looking for the exact definition of what would be considered a “battered woman”. The question then arose of: “Who do we help?”. Meaning do we choose to help women who are currently being battered or women who have been battered but escaped. We even considered women who were at risk of being battered.  After some discussion, we agreed that the problem was not only women who were currently in their violent situation, but also those who had escaped with nowhere to go. We also agreed that the problem was the lack of awareness for battered women and we also should consider “at-risk women”.

Process

With the problem now recognized, we started to plan or process on how we could help these women. We needed to evaluate our options and figure out what needed to be done. In order to see what was important to each member of the group, we went around and shared our thoughts. Some spoke passionately about the issue as others just shrugged and nodded. When looking at the elements of a group, it's essentially the same with every group. There are those who contribute, and those that do not. From kindergarten to graduate school, no matter the level of education, there will always be those who are silent. Yet, through the sounds of silence and passion, arose the true concerns of the group. We concluded that since we were a theater company, we should utilize this strength and produce a program. With this program, we could help battered women and raise both awareness and funds. Essentially, those are the three goals that our group wanted to accomplish to assist in the problem. We wanted to relieve battered women, raise awareness for battered women, and provide funds to a charity for battered women.

Program

Now that my group had established the key goals that would be a part of our program, we needed to find the means to accomplish them. Through almost equal contribution of ideas, NY group had successfully created the ideal program that reflected a majority of our own thoughts and decisions. We had decided to create a theater program that would put on a show, mainly focused on domestic violence or subject related to it. An example of this play would be “A Streetcar Named Desire”, as this would be considered both a classic and ideal in displaying a dysfunctional relationship. Through this program, we could provide opportunities for previously battered women in both the show or the tech background. Either route could provide an outlet or purpose to these women. Before and after performances could be centered around discussions and material being accessible to those who are at risk for being battered. As for those currently being battered, my group decided that a foundation centered on assisting these women would be better suited. So, my group decided that half of the proceeds from all plays would be directly donated to the YMCA, an organization that assists battered women. The reasoning behind the split proceeds is for the donations and the funds to continue the program, as my group planned for this project to continue for as long as it is needed.

Projected Outcome

With the program discussed above, my group expected a positive outcome to reflect the community of Flint. As the program is utilized, we suspected that more previous/current battered or abused women would take advantage of the volunteer/employed work at the theater. Meaning that more previously battered women could find a purpose if they felt lost or alone. The awareness raised by the discussions or material from the shows will provide a knowledge and greater understanding of the signs and how to prevent a battered woman situation. As a group, we all strongly agreed that funds being donated to the YWCA, was quite possibly the best that we could offer for currently battered women. As a group, we concluded that the once weakness was the failure to assure the safety of current battered women through our own means. However, where we found weakness, we also found strength; the ability to raise funds for an organization that could assist in solving this problem. Essentially, my group concluded that this was the best projected outcome based on our  resources and materials that were available.

MMWaters's picture

So, I would first like to say that I loved that your group took the time to discuss with each other what your actual problem was so you could more accurately address it. I also liked your projected outcomes, where you thought of the future with using the YMCA. You took the time to find an organization that deals with this problem and chose to support it, knowing that they could continue this work if and when you had to stop. I also admire how you turned that weakness, your "failure to assure the safety of current battered women" by yourself, and as you said, turned it into a strenght using the YMCA.

UMharris's picture

I love how deep your group went into this assignment. You guys came up with not only a plan but,  a name for a play you would preform for the cause. I can tell that this was a hard subject to speak on. No one wants to be rude but being silent isnt always the best. I like how you explained that the group had mixed feelings. It shows that your showcasing everything not just what seems to be perfect. The effort that you guys put into this project is amazing and hopefully someday this can become a reality for the women who need it.