Introduction to Global Justice and Change
This program is based on the idea of self-guided learning. How you engage with the content, in what order, and at what pace, is all up to you. While we include recommendations of what we think may work well, it is up to you to determine what is the best method for you as an individual. Depending on your social location, lived experience and disciplinary background (area of study), you will engage with these materials in different ways.
If any of the ideas feel new or difficult to grasp, ask yourself why. We encourage you to take your time and explore the content at your own pace, as you are able. Consider where you may need to dive a bit deeper into a particular idea in order to strengthen your understanding. Is a specific concept new to you? Maybe you need to back up a bit and consider some of the foundational ideas (like, what is capitalism anyways?).
If any of the ideas feel familiar, take some time to consider why. This may be an opportunity to explore the additional resources section in more detail and challenge yourself in the reflection questions. How are these ideas present in your own lived experience, individually and collectively? Consider what may be missing from this content. Do you feel like there are any gaps or a particular area that just isn’t clicking for you?
It is always helpful to dive deeper into an idea, regardless of how familiar we think we are with a topic. You can read or watch something 10 separate times, and each time learn something new or different. The idea that learning never ends is an important aspect of this project, in addition to the idea that learning is non-linear. The goal is not to read or engage with content once and then close the book and move on to something else. We encourage you to engage in multiple and diverse ways with a variety of content presented in this project.
The additional resources provided throughout the modules are meant to support further learning. Pay attention to what feels confusing and move towards it, instead of away from it. Does something stand out to you? Are you intrigued for some reason? Does something trigger complex or contradictory emotions? Explore further and dive deeper! Determine your own path based on your individual needs and interests.
We ask you to engage with additional resources and further learning with both your heart and critical eyes open. There is a lot of content and knowledge available in the world (and some in particular that we have selected for this project). The intention of this project is not to create more sources of knowledge and content, but rather to engage with what is already out there as a tool to begin to practice self-reflection and individual and collective change.
However, in this world of extensive knowledge and information about the challenges humanity is facing, it can be difficult to identify the intention, perspective and lived experience of those creating and producing content. Discernment starts with considering:
- who created the content
- why did they create it
- what is their personal/collective lived experience
- what are the relationships they have with those whose lived experiences is a central focus of the content itself
When diving deeper into news articles, YouTube videos, blogs, scholarly research, etc., exercise your critical thinking alongside a sense of intellectual generosity.
Identity and Social Location
As mentioned previously, who we are affects how we experience the world. How we interpret and understand ideas and information. Our social, cultural and individual frames create different lived experiences and realities. While our frames are constantly changing and evolving, whether as an individual, community or society, it is essential that we are aware of their existence. We ask you to consider how your frames of reference, your personal perspective, shapes your relationship with the content of this program.
For example, you may feel connected to the content. This may be because you yourself or those within your lineages have experienced what is described. This may feel validating or it may feel painful (among many other emotions). Intergenerational trauma runs deep, while individual and collective healing is an ongoing process. Please pay attention to how this content makes you feel and ensure that you are taking care of yourself appropriately.
Alternatively, this content may make you feel uncomfortable. This may be because it is uncomfortable to acknowledge how individuals and societies (how yourself and your lineages) have benefitted from and continue to perpetuate harm caused to others. It is common to react from a place of denial. There is as much to unlearn as there is to learn. Everyone living today, in societies based on oppression and violence, are harmed by these systems (while of course the degree of harm varies greatly).
Facing the harm required to sustain the comforts, securities and entitlements that so called modern life provides requires humility, strength and courage. In order to steward genuine change, we must hold ourselves and one another accountable, while centring love and care. We must maintain a sense of discernment alongside the ability to face that which we are taught to avoid or deny within ourselves and within our society.