Monday, December 14, 2009

Diversity Scholars: Final Projects

The entire semester, the Diversity Scholars have been working on projects all semester about various aspects of diversity that intrigued them. Using the world as their laboratory, each one of these students developed a thesis, and supported it, not only through the scholarly research required in most undergraduate studies, but also with real-life interactions and experiences. The projects use a variety of media including video, text, pictures and performance.
Two students have agreed to share their projects, not only with the rest of the shipboard community, but also the extended community of those that read the blog. The first project below was submitted by Jennifer Carcamo, who is also one of the official student bloggers. Her project combined text and pictures, and a short excerpt from her introduction has been included below. The second project is a wonderful video about how the voyage is enhanced by the presence of the Life Long Learners. It was created by Terrance Smith.

Minorities of the World: Chronicles of a Youth’s Perspective

My goal upon embarking on this voyage through Semester at Sea was to learn as much as possible and to interpret what I learned so that eventually I could share my experience with everyone back home. When I get home I want my cousins, my siblings, my friends, my family, and my community to feel as if they were on this voyage seeing, hearing, and experiencing everything with me. I am committed to my family and community back home enough to want to make this trip as much theirs as it is mine.

Needless to say, what I did not expect to change on this trip was my motives for wanting to tell my family about the world. Initially, it was because I wanted them to be aware and conscious about what is going on in the world. This is now only partially my motive for wanting to share my experience. In the process of trying to understand the world, I actually got to know the people from the communities we visited and came to the awkward realization that my commitment to my community no longer extended to just my family. Rather, my community now encompassed every individual I had ever met on this journey plus their community. This implies that my commitment now extends to the populations of Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

What I wanted was insight into the world, and what I got was a new found commitment to the world at large that I did not foresee as a part of my journey. What I internalized turned out to be so much greater than I had expected. I am a minority back home (and in the world) and I have made it my obligation as such to make sure that I represent not just my family, but everyone who also lacks representation around the world—because that is what diversity means: tolerance and representation of and for other peoples.

The stories I wish to share are those stories depicting the lives of our world’s young people who, as I have come to realize, make up the most “disadvantaged” group in each country. The world’s youth is left with the responsibility of providing for our world’s future and, in this time of rapid change, nothing is really secure. The way young people perceive themselves in this world varies per country from negative to positive, yet overall our generation continues to move forward with hope instead of wringing its hands in resignation. This hopeful inclination is more important than ever as my generation readies itself to lead a world that is changing faster than we can comprehend.
--Jennifer Carcamo, Fall 2009

Waves of Wisdom

To find out more about all of this semester's Diversity Scholars or to learn more about applying for the scholarship, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment