41 thoughts on “Support Communities, Civic Engagement, Justice

  1. I lived on a long street in Dorchester. This street wasn’t pretty. It was uneven, with its unique grooves and lazy road work. The neighborhood was just the same with its own unique blemishes. However, it was my neighborhood. When something is yours, you have to be proud of it or proud to fix it up. And there was very little I could do to fix it. When I shared where I was from, people reacted with, “Oh…Dorchester,” with shady expressions. A familiar reaction, if you were raised in Dorchester, Roxbury or Mattapan. The ‘holy trinity’; where you couldn’t tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. Or police, from the bad guys. My family was proud to be raised in such a tight-knit community. At the time, my family was battling our disruptive “upstairs neighbor lady”. Dorchester didn’t have any kind of relationship with law enforcement, so whenever she threatened to call the police, we weren’t taking her seriously. One day, our apartment was broken into. For the first time, we went to a neighborhood residential meeting. They discussed anonymous tip lines and other ways to report issues without causing a stir. This changed everything. The neighborhood seemed to have more eyes. With all these changes in place, Dorchester became ‘safer’. In actuality, it became safer to complain. Obstructions in the neighborhood were getting repaired. The property value of apartments increased. The road to recovery of Dorchester became the road to gentrification. And the support turned into venom.

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  2. I believe in people in our community to help those younger or misguided to learn. There are different people in the world but those that will help us grow, are the ones that will shine brighter than the sun. They are the ones willing to stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. Those who do random acts of kindness and ask for nothing in return and don’t care if it’s filmed and posted to social media, because it’s about the kindness not the attention. Those who will help those less fortunate just because it’s the right thing to do not because it will make someone like them for it. Those who will look at others on the street and smile just to try and make someone’s day better because it could make someone’s’ worst day a bit better. Those who believe that it really is the little things that make life great and try to give them to others. They will offer a helping hand to those in need and think nothing of it because their soul just wishes to help others. Those who see the darkness growing in the world and do one small thing a day to try and combat it. They are the ones who will influence and change our world.they don’t fear the darkness in the world. They may only fear that they can not reach everyone to make the world a little brighter. I believe these people will make the world better and give me hope for the future they can bring.

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    • I agree with you that people should help one another, for reasons other than personal ones, and that the people who do help from the kindness of their hearts have the greatest impact on those around them.

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      • I absolutely feel the same way. The only way for a community to get better is if everyone helps. But also, the issue is whithin Doechester so everyone gotta adjust themselves and how their living.

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    • i agree with your essay. We have to be able to help children grow into upstanding citizens, that is why i volunteer at my local Boys and Girls Club. I can see when i break up an argument between two children, I always try to explain to them why arguing will never truly solve anything.After if I see even a little change in their attitude I believe I aided in them in their path of becoming a upstanding citizen.

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  3. I Believe in Ketchup
    Ketchup- defined as the hero of American condiments- represents more than a tasty sauce to go with French fries. It has become the symbol of freedom, as it can be found on nearly every picnic table on the Fourth of July. Ketchup has become the example of unity as it is shared between family and friends enjoying a cookout. Although ketchup is a fundamental aspect of the American life, numerous countries neglect the knowledge of its existence. Though this point may seem arbitrary, think about it: ketchup has helped shape the culture of the United States through the food we eat, the plants we grow, and more.
    I believe in ketchup because something so simple, and a part of our everyday lives, can be oblivious to those around us. In today’s world, countries are fighting, not just over power, but over changing each other’s governments, religions, and ways of life. They are looking at the big picture of gaining control, rather than understanding and focusing on the little details that make up each and every country’s way of thinking on global issues; in all essence they are ignoring each other’s version of ketchup.
    I strongly believe, as the next generation to take over the workforce and government, it is essential that we begin to reveal our “ketchups” to those around us. By revealing the small aspects of our upbringing and cultures, we can begin to understand one another, and only at that point we will be able to make real changes. So, what’s your “ketchup”?

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    • This is a fantastic metaphor. This spin is a much more creative look at what the importance of unity really is. Unity is small, but it makes us feel complete. Just like ketchup does to fries.

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    • I really like this analogy, yes Americans share many things in common. But sometimes it’s important to remember that some of the most insignificant seeming things can mean quite a lot.

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  4. I believe in social justice. Growing up in this generation, I became an active Twitter user starting in middle school. On Twitter, I not only found funny memes and gifs, but was also exposed to social activism especially after the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson. I learned about the dynamics of privilege and the ways it affects our society. I also learned about the importance of intersectionality. This was especially important to me as a black person who also happens to be bi and have a learning disability. As I became more aware of how social justice issues affected me, I also examined the ways I benefit from my male privilege. It is more important than ever that everyone fights against oppression wherever they see it whether or not they are affected by it. Personally, I only came out less than a year ago. My sexuality was something I tried to struggle with for several years. Whenever I heard my friends saying things like “no homo” I put up with it because I was tired of talking about how it was wrong. Also, I did not want to raise any suspicions about myself. I am in a much better place now but this is an example of why more people need to speak up for marginalized people instead of staying silent.

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    • I agree! It is important for us not to stay silent while others are being oppressed. It is also so important for us to not only see how issues affect us, but to see the benefits of our own privileges, acknowledge them, and use them to help those without the same privilege.

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  5. I lived in Avon for four years. Avon is a small, quiet town near the City of Champions, Brockton. The surrounding communities look down on Brockton because it’s the second most dangerous city to live in Massachusetts. The close knit communities aren’t recognized because the crimes in Brockton gain more attention. More recognition needs to be given to the historic parks, museums, and other sites. In every city, there are hidden gems that are overlooked by their bad reputation. D.W. Field Park in Brockton is a beautiful place for a walk or run, biking, and exploring. Unfortunately, some people misuse the park by leaving empty bottles in the water, moldy food for the birds, and unwanted items in the woods. For three years, I’ve volunteered at the D.W. Field Park. Working in a small group made the long hours of community service fly by. We collected trash and recycle items throughout the park. As people passed by, they thanked us for making the park cleaner and more appealing for the community. Some shared their personal experiences with volunteering in the park and gave us advice on how to expand our project. Some students from my high school were influenced by this project and committed their time to the park. More people were involved with outdoor activities in the park when we finished cleaning. D.W. Field Park is a refreshing place to reminisce the historic roots of Brockton. People shouldn’t degrade a city based on its reputation.

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    • I’m from Brockton so I think its really great that you volunteered to clean D.W Field Park! I agree that people shouldn’t degrade a city based on its reputation, Brockton is my home and it really is a beautiful city filled with beautiful people.

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  6. I believe in the importance of keeping promises. Promise is a simple word, yet with an enormous value.
    When I was a little girl, I was extremely close with my uncle. It was not only due to my stubborn thoughts of us being twins because we shared the same birthday, but also because he was a father figure to me. One day, he promised me he would take me to an amusement park. I waited for him for hours, but he never showed up. I felt like a fool. I was vexed and irritated. However, I never had the audacity to tell him how much he had hurt me.
    Most of us do not realize the importance and the effect of keeping our promises. Promises are like a contract, an engagement or a pact. It is an obligation for us to take our responsibilities and keep the promises we had made. If we know we are unable to preserve them, then we should not have made them in the first place. People must likely trust blindly when they know we honor our words. But at the second they catch us lying there is no more trust. My uncle apologized and I forgave him. Nevertheless, my faith in him became trivial. I never trusted him anymore; now, I always doubt everything he says.
    I believe in the importance of keeping my promises because it is the base of confidence and trust. If I do not, then I am a traitor.

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  7. I believe in speaking out against oppression and using any privilege you may have to make a change. If you stay silent or neutral during times of oppression, you are only helping the oppressor. The United States of America is known as the melting pot, and for good reason. We are such a diverse nation filled with so many unique people. Unfortunately, throughout our nation’s history there has been consistent oppression of minorities. Bigotry has been displayed for centuries and is still alive here in 2017. We have a president that will enforce a Muslim ban due to Islamic terrorism, but won’t call white supremacy exactly what it is. It is important that we speak out against hatred to protect those being oppressed. I understand as a white woman that I have privileges over women of color just for the color of my skin. I understand that I have different opportunities and chances that others may not have because they are not white. It is important to me that I stand up for others when needed. Whenever hatred is being spread, I intend to speak up. I tend to be timid and not confrontational, but not anymore. I will not stand for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other form of bigotry. In order to make a change, this sort of hatred needs to be called out. Our diversity is a strength and it needs to be treated as such.

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  8. This I Believe

    Society gives us many stories, people, and causes to believe in. They wish for you to believe in the laws, yourself, your government, your family, the girl who is volunteering her free time to help children in need, and so on and so on. While all these ideas are the right thing to put your faith in, there is one thing that people undoubtedly should believe in and have veered away from; respect. This isn’t a new concept, and might be considered a cliché. Respect is defined by a feeling of deep admiration elicited by abilities or qualities. This is not always the way people perceive respect, as a society we have modified it to simply being pleasant and to be courteous to everyone we meet even if we disagree with them.
    I find that the true meaning and feelings behind the word respect are reserved for those that earn it. The more revised version of the word is saved for everyone else we deem unfit to even tolerate in a conversation outside of pleasantries. Even today, this knock off version of respect is left behind by everyone. Understandably fakeness isn’t attractive and doesn’t make for an outstanding conversation but a little bit of it saves face, spares a conflict based on petty notions or even abstract ideals that have been cultivated for centuries. Being proud of values is a good thing but as we have seen in history and in works of fiction, humility and respect for higher powers always has the greater advantage.
    I believe that respect, whatever version you wish to practice, is needed to maintain order and a sense of humility. I have only been alive for eighteen years, yet the length of time doesn’t matter in relations to experience, as long as you use that time wisely. I have observed protests, both peaceful and violent, both resulted from the belief in or lack of respect. I have always tried to emulate the idea of respect in my life, because it is necessary when working with others in any situation. Group projects, jobs, sports teams, and such, only function when there is some level of politeness and respect between people. Respect to me should make an appearance in all conversations because you never know the struggles people have gone through and still go through. This may not always be a reality, showing respect and getting it, but it should be the distillation we all strive for. We must start to try and have a renewal of respect towards people. The world would benefit from a little bit of respect and civility, it might allow for the people to move on and get some work done.
    All that is needed for change to start is for respect to be shown from the divided sides the world is seemingly falling into. As we all know, a house divided does not stand, and respect for different ideas might be a value that could lead us to the right direction. Respect for the ability of mankind to bounce back after a tragedy. Respect for the progress of society and for those that wish to remain loyal to their traditional values. Respect for the freedom that comes with a hefty price tag. Respect for the idea that there is such a thing as common ground and compromise. Respect for people’s ability to disappoint you and the fact that they can also impress you. Respect for the idea that it may take doing a little bad, to do some good. Respect for the ambitions of your peers and the lengths they will go to achieve their goals. Respect that people come from different walks of life, but can always turn out to be good. Respect that you may not always be given the full fledged version of respect you wish from everyone, because that’s not life. But, above all respect both, the way the world is, and how it could be.

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  9. Justice Kills
    Over the course of history, society has punished crime severely. People believe that they are simply serving justice, and are doing the right thing to discourage a specific behavior which society will not tolerate/accept. Due to this, people have been hung and/or burned for practicing witchcraft, and many have been killed for homosexuality; crimes against humanity, and many have also been killed for religious reasons which have been tainted by culture and society. Startlingly however, many of the perpetrators of such justice believe they are simply doing what is best for society, and what they believe is for the greater good.
    But however, what gives them the right to take away a human life? As for the people who masquerade justice as religion, is life not a gift of god? What gives a mere human a right to another life? Many will answer society has elected us to positions of power, and someone has to ensure the people are safe. Will these people bring these positions before god, and since when has society ever been correct? We know today that the Salem Witch Trials were merely the results of two children panicking; and we also understand that people have mixed culture and their own practices with that of religion. People felt they had a duty to protect their children from witches, while witchcraft was banned by God. Based on this, they had a right to burn these witches at the stake.
    People create solutions to what they do not want to see in their society, for example; the English used drawing and quartering for crimes of treason up to 1870’s. Today however, people have realized that such practices are not true justice, which is why such cruel methods have been outlawed. Or have they merely taken a new form, what if death has simply become more modern, profitable, and just as controlling. The most common execution method today is lethal injection in the United States, it is a practice that commonly fails to be the “humane” method of ending a human life. Although it was touted by politicians as such, botched injections are an all too common occurrence despite the cost of the drugs and the reluctance of even the most corrupt drug companies. One would imagine that if the very people who rake in trillions from drugs deem it unethical and illogical, society would take notice. But that is not the case, people love revenge and this goes back to Hammurabi’s code. Similar to how some cultures in the East masquerade justice as religion, the West masquerades revenge and barbaric tendencies as justice. This is evident in the use of the prison systems, firing squads, electrocution; gallows, and the gas chamber as well. One of the most startling things however is who is subjected to “justice.”
    Racial discrimination has been outlawed and abolished since 1865. Or has it, what if similar to methods of execution, slavery has evolved. It has become modern, just take a look at the prison system. The clear majority of people imprisoned by the system is of course, people of color, as well as Hispanics. The failure of the system begins from a lack of education among people of color, and less opportunity. Stereotypes have led to a more modern form of oppression and the beauty of it is that it is merely “justice.” At what point is it enough? People are taking each other’s lives legally, and judging a person based on what they believe they know. Is it acceptable to lethally inject/stone people when there is a major risk of killing an innocent man. Are crimes really worth the time? Whether or not you believe in god, no one has the right to parade around handing out life sentences and death.

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  10. I believe Immigrants matter. As an individual who is working towards assisting those who the United States has targeted inhumanly, I choose to believe all human lives have a purpose. As the U.S. President targets immigrants based on his belief that they are a danger to the people of America I come to say why I believe in the target. For centuries, the riches of America did not occur by the hard work the people who claim to call it their land. America’s land is rich because just like myself, many other believed foreigners brought an advantage to our society. Today I believe immigrants matter because they are the hard workers, who settle for minimum wage and do the dirty work the white male/female who believes they are too good to do any low-level jobs. I believe immigrants matter because without them America is not the world’s greatest melting pot. America is only America because of its people, Americans do not all share the same beliefs, they do not share the same culture, they bring diversity for the world to understand union ship. I believe immigrants matter because they make the world function. They introduce new ways into their foreign home, and teach others a variety of things we may use on our day to day lives. Immigrants should matter not just to the United States but also to every place in the world as we collide to understand humanity. I believe immigrant matter because they are humans too, our morals and beliefs should not affect how we treat a human.

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  11. The world that we know has endured a great many changes in the last few months, and that scares many of us, I understand this fear. And yet as we scream for independence and peace we use our words to take down those who do not share the beliefs that we do, and personally I think this is wrong. As I watched the election unfold last November it amazed me how easily my peers were angered by the opinions of others and who they would chose to vote for if they could. As the days passed and the votes came in students actually feared to come into school, due to the verbal attacks many faced due to supporting their candidate. And now months later we are watching our great country fall into old patterns, I believe that we have the power to bring back the ideals that our country was created from along with changes that we have learnt from past mistakes. From the ashes of the great injustice that have become part of life for many we have the ability to recreate the image of the United States. I believe that as a nation we are capable of changing the lives of many in order to benefit the nation as a whole. In light of the great changes that are coming for the United States they can either continue to be the changes that affect all and hurt most, or they have the capability of helping all Americans no matter where they come from.

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  12. I believe that treating other humans in a decent manner should be a mandatory virtue in all human beings. Whether that is targeted at opposite genders, or races, or social class, people shouldn’t act condescendingly towards others. At the end of the day, mistreating others does not help anyone gain experience points in the game that is life.
    As a woman, I’ve had my share of situations in which men speak to women as if they are objects. In fact, just today in a group chat on Snapchat, a man-boy spoke to the women in the chat asking for pictures as a “pretest”. Don’t ask me what a “pretest” could mean in this situation because I’m not entirely sure. But I do know that it didn’t feel great being talked to like property. I told this man-boy that he would have better luck with women if he treated them like real human beings.
    With the recent events in Charlottesville, it appears as though we’ve made no improvements in racial justice. As a nation, we are still struggling with racism everyday. And did these neo-Nazis gain anything by bringing violence to the peaceful protest? I did not interview them personally, but I can say with confidence that their joie de vivre most likely did not rise a smidgen.
    At my job over this summer, as with most minimum wage jobs, I’ve had to work in customer service. I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about when I mention those who look down on employees as if we owe them something just for being blessed with their presence. They gain no respect for that behavior. They think they are entitled, but that does not make them any better than anyone else.
    It doesn’t matter who you are, in my opinion, people are people are people. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

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  13. I believe in the future. For me, the future holds the capability for change. Today, we live in a world that emphasizes the importance of money and greed instead of the importance of love and helping others. The future represents hope that instead of being separated by race, religion, or political ideology, everyone will come together as a united group to thrive. The future is a scary thing to think about. No one knows what exactly will happen and I know for myself, being someone who loves to be able to plan what goes on in their life, that is terrifying. Although when I think about all the blessing that may come my way it allows me to expand my mind and be accepting towards the future. Throughout my life I have witnessed and experienced hatred, and adversity and without the hopeful thinking of the future I would not have been able to persevere through those obstacles. I believe that in the future I will be able to not only help others but make an impact on the world that surrounds me.I believe in what the future will bring to not just myself, but to everyone else. I believe that success will come to those who remain positive, hopeful, and who also want to change the world for the better. The future will capture the beauty of mankind, and allow them to prosper. And for that exact reason, I believe in the future.

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    • Very well said! So many plans seem to be made by people under the false assumption that everything in the future will be like how things are today, when in fact one of the very few things that can be said of the future with absolute certainty is that it will NOT be exactly like today. That’s what makes it the future.

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  14. At this new stage in our world where things are changing, we still have a stigma surrounding people who are different from us. I believe support will help us change the assumptions people have of others by their race, religion, nationality, class, and sex. This year has had a rough start when the U.S elected a president who only cares about people who are in HIS category, a white rich man, who has never dealt with oppression. He is treating people as if they are useless to him and to this country. We need immigrants to take all the jobs that spoiled Americans won’t take because they are “too good” for them. We should not be considered a great country if we don’t have diversity. Everyone came from somewhere, we are all immigrants who deserve a chance at “the American dream”. People who want a change are supporting each other through ways of rallies and protests. They want to be heard and won’t stop until something changes. They are scared to walk down a street alone, practice their religion in public, and wear what they want. Rape cases are treated like any minor case, letting someone go without punishment who could go after someone else is a disturbing thing to think about. People are being targeted due to things they cannot control or due to expression. We should be supporting each other to change the way people are treated in our communities. We should be protesting and expressing our thoughts to inspire others to also fight to create a better world to live in. We must work together to make living life enjoyable, not scared that every moment YOU could become the person who people are mourning over next.

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  15. I believe in aiding special needs children in practicing all kinds of sports, regardless of how high or low their motor skills are. I have been volunteering in a local program in my town for almost 10 years now where we pair up with a “VIP” and play soccer with them in an assortment of drills and exercises. What I love most about volunteering in this program is that I have the option to help someone practice and play my favorite sport. At the end of every practice the director of the program passes out a handful of pins to the VIP’s. I think volunteer work, such as this is essential and something anyone and everyone should take part in. Not only does it put a smile on someones face, you get this special feeling that words can not accurately describe the amount of greatness. At the end of the 10 week program we have a huge game with all the VIPs indoors, in a renown soccer facility in my town, where everyone gets trophies, pizza and cake at the end of the game to cap off the season. The Buddy program has given me some of the happiest points in my life. Volunteering in programs such as this one is one of my biggest passions and thats why I believe in volunteer work.

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  16. I believe in empathy. I believe that every creature feels the same way. We all feel distress, happiness, contentment. Universally they feel the same, and so they can be universally understood by all. This includes not only people, but animals. However, not all animals can speak, so they must communicate between each other in different ways, which leads to what I see as the ultimate form of communication for empathy. I believe in melody. I believe in people using objects, using themselves, to make noise that draws others to them. In the connection a song can create between people, between creatures. I believe in songs we play on the radio, the music of a child banging on pots and pans, the melody of a bird whistle. A simple melody can be shared with anyone, and can communicate more than just a sound. A melody succeeds where even words can fail. Words communicate a message, but only for those who understand them. Melody communicates emotion. Raw feeling, that anyone, anything can understand, no matter what language they speak in. I believe in communication of feeling through song, through melody, that can be understood by any creature, no matter the language or species. The language of melody is understood by every creature, from a small songbird to a howling hyena to a human in a choir. This connective language allows humans to understand both each other and the other creatures around us, and is a basis for empathy between all, if only we could listen.

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  17. I believe in Unity.

    Civic education in America would go a long way in addressing the vice of negative ethnicity in America. American ethnic and diversity has been a tool for division for a long time. Hatred emanating from this vice manifested itself in the 2016/2017 disputed presidential elections and on social media in the 2012 presidential elections. Since collaboration among people of diverse cultural backgrounds is the hallmark of civic engagement, I am convinced and I believe that civic engagement would play a vital role in healing the country. American colleges and universities stand a good chance of bringing people together by the virtue of them being cosmopolitan. Scholars in civic engagement have cited mutual respect among the partners in any civic engagement projects as the pillar on which they thrive. So why can’t every American student engage in projects in their communities and get to know others alike?. If this becomes a reality, it would mean that rival ethnic and diversity groups would have to put aside their perceived political differences for them to pull together. In addition, since arguments on the need for students and local communities to get into projects as equal partners, collaboration emanating from such partnership would go a long way toward fostering national unity. Studies emanating from an individual collaboration might culminate in promoting social justice through influencing government policies. People have the power to do more, so they should. I believe they should be involved in our political system, Volunteer in their various communities and fight for social justice by recognizing that they are part of a larger social fabric. During 2016 presidential election, which many Americans and commentators all over the world believed would be a Hillary Clinton victory, were shocked by the results of the election were when she lost the election to a very “GREEN” challenger from the Republican party. After her defeat, many people took to the streets to protest, many of whom did not vote in the general election. Had these same people now protesting came out from their various states and communities to cast their votes maybe it would have changed the tide of the election. Over the years I have participated in projects in my community and experienced the benefits of being involved for the greater good of my community and country. Americans should understand their roles as U.S citizens and no one person can bring this country together.

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  18. I believe in the power of music and its ability to bring people together no matter what their divisions. I am from the small town of Douglas MA, and music has been a huge part of my life since I was very young, about the 3rd grade. I started in our relatively small band program that year, and began to participate in many of the in school band programs and after school activities. I was an active member in the band since the 4th grade all the way until graduation, and maintained a passion for the community throughout the entirety of my time in middle and high school. Despite its small size, the band program was a truly admirable and supportive community, that often pushed me to succeed. My band director had me audition for the Central Districts band four times, and I achieved a qualifying score for the concert band three out of those four times. The music program was also there even when times were tough for many of us, with my band director even coming to the wake of one of my relatives to share his condolences and to assure that I was doing just fine. The community as a whole is very tight knit and supportive of each other, mostly due to pressure from our small towns even smaller education budget. We fund-raised to keep the program alive despite waning support from the school committee, as well as attended the meetings to show our support for the program. The music program was one of the best communities that I have ever been a part of, always forcing me to push my limits and succeed, and I hope to be able to forge many more bonds such as these with my peers at UmassD.

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  19. What do you believe? What do you think you can do?

    This is what I ask myself every single day. What can I do to help my community? How can I change the world when I get up today. My thought process was not always like this until Trayvon Martin. A boy with a hoodie, an Arizona, and skittles. Who was walking home on the phone with his girlfriend. I never knew some people felt the way they felt about us. From a girl who moved around before she got settled into a home, being in the shelter system you see people of all races having the same problem as you and knowing not to judge you at all. Is what I grew up on. I knew about slavery and of the history they taught you in school but never did I know that it still existed and my people were still be harmed for the color of their skin. When I finally got settled and was out of the shelter system. Social media opened my eyes more than any textbook and history teacher could do for me. More black people kept dying by the hands of policeman, and more my heart was breaking. Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy who was shot on November 22 because he looked like a grown man holing a gun. When he was on a swing, being a 12 year old boy just being a normal boy. Tamir Rice resonates with me a lot because I have three younger brothers and it made me scared for them, he was also shot on my birthday which broke my heart even more. Philando Castile who was reaching for what the police asked him to reach for was shot right in front of his girlfriend and 4 year old daughter, and the fact that this list goes on is a major problem. Getting older and finding black people were serving longer jail sentences than other race I realized the problem was every where, and going to a high school with people who rode around with the confederate flag I knew I needed to do something. I knew staying silent would do no good. So I marched and protested because we needed to heard. Our injustice we go through opened my eyes to what other communities injustice goes through like the gay community, the native American community whose land this really is, the transgender community whose rights are being slowly taken by the person people thought fit to run this country, The Mexican community, the Islamic and Muslim community who are not even being allowed a chance of freedom. They face injustice as well and If I stand silent for them I am apart of the problem. We can not be silent in the face of injustice. My words our my power and I will use it to my best ability.
    So think about what you can do? and How can you change the world when you wake up?
    and to Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, Oscar Grant, Laquan McDonald, John Crawford III, Aiyana Jones, Jordan Davis, Jamar Clark and MANY more. I will keep fighting and screaming your name until something is done.

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  20. As I’ve grown and matured over the years I’ve been able to step back from my life and see the bigger picture. This is how I base my philosophy and values for life. The only thing that truly matters in our lives in the connections we make from person to person. Those are the only things we can control inside the world we live in. These connections include communicating verbally or physically; anything that can be done to allow an idea from one brain to travel to another brain. All interactions between people are done this way, being the driving force of our world and how we perceive things.
    With this in mind, I like to use the known term, “pay it forward”. Only in this case, all one has to do is create positive interactions. Yes, you can buy a nice car for someone and make them happy, but that costs a fortune for only one person. All one has to do is be positive, and have everything you do or say generate positivity for those around you. This way, one thing that costs nothing affects many people.
    Sometimes it may be hard because negativity comes so naturally, but the main goal is to fight through it. Although you may be on the receiving end of negativity, all I ask is that you look forward with positivity. Life moves on.

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  21. I believe in freedom of speech and the first amendment. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” One of the fundamental principles of this amendment is freedom of speech. I believe that freedom of speech is one of, if not the most important right an individual can be given. The ability to speak ones mind and be critical of the government is essential to having a healthy democracy.
    Due to the recent events in Charlottesville I wanted to express why I believe in freedom of speech and why everyone should believe in it as well. I think that it is very easy in times like this for reasonable and well meaning people to want to suppress the views of people like fascists or neo-Nazis. This is the time when more speech should be encouraged not less speech. While I believe in the freedom of speech rights of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, freedom of speech is a two-way street. People that want to speak out against these groups have the same rights as the people preaching hate. The best way to stop white supremacists are non-violent counter protests. I believe in freedom of speech for all people regardless of the views of that person. The reason why the founding fathers had put the first amendment in the constitution is not to protect speech that is agreed upon or not controversial to most people, it is there to protect speech that is critical of the government, hate speech or controversial. This is because it is relatively easy for most people to not want to censor speech such as “I like rainbows.” It is much easier for people to want to censor or ban speech similar to that of the chants at the rally in Charlottesville. some of these chants were “Jews will not replace us” or “White lives matter” as well as many other worse things. The main reason that I believe everyone should support the freedom of speech for these supremacist groups is because if you do not defend the rights of the people you disagree with most, no one will be there to defend the rights of you when you have a controversial opinion or view. Lastly, many people will say that they believe in free speech but they only really believe in it when they agree with someone. The true test of your belief in free speech is if you believe in it for the people you despise or disagree with the most.

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    • I think this is a very important point to make especially, like you said, after the events in Charlottesville. People may not want to hear the terrible things others say but according to the Constitution they still have a right to say it. This also aligns with the controversy around the Westboro Baptist Church’s protests. Many people have taken the protestors to court but they are continuously allowed to speak their minds because of the first amendment. Ultimately, I think this is a problem of morality that is hard to find a solution for.

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      • Im glad you brought up the Westboro Baptist Church because that is a perfect example of a case similar too Charlottesville. It is very easy for people of all political affiliations to disavow these extreme groups. I think that in order to counter these ideas you need to have them out in the open instead of in chat rooms where they are safe from critique. I think people need to understand that these are just people and were not born having these ideas and even if they were they can still be convinced if shown another way.

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  22. I believe in the power of civic education. Civic education is the teaching of how the government works and should, in my opinion, be taught as a class that is a requirement to graduate in all public schools.
    Civic education creates informed public leaders that understand the inner workings of our government and have more knowledge about which solutions might be more realistic than others. Our society’s success is in the hands of children we are graduating that have no understanding of the importance of voting or of standing up for their opinion. Civic education classes open doors for students who wish to share their opinions and thoughts about current issues they relate to and teach students how to become actively engaged in their local, state, and national governments. If we do not teach people the importance of staying involved in local and national happenings we will create a society that is blatantly ignorant of the problems that currently exist. Actively engaged citizens are the people who can and will make changes that improve society.
    Instilling within young people a passion for citizenship ignites a thirst for knowledge among our future voters. We do not expect doctors to operate without being taught how to, so why does our society believe it is acceptable to allow people to vote without teaching them anything about how our government works.
    Civic education opens doors for conversations. Conversations that are difficult, conversations that are scary, and conversations that are controversial. The sharing of words and ideas during these conversations is what ignites sparks in people to make change and opens people’s minds to new ideas. Nothing should stay stagnant forever so the more change that can happen the better off our country is. I believe a stronger civic education system can be the route to an immense amount of change in this world. A society well educated is a society better off. With a nationwide focus on civic education I believe in the successful advancement of the United States.

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    • I completely agree that civic education should be required. It is appalling that most people are not able to name a single Supreme court justice. Only 43% of people can name a single justice on the Supreme court. In an ideal world it would be terrible to just name one. Also, having this knowledge about the workings of government would make people be able to cast a more informed vote leading to a better nation. One can only dream and as long as useful idiots remain useful this probably wont happen.

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    • I agree with what you’re saying. Everybody should be knowledgeable about their government. It’s important to have an opinion and understating of the government that’s in place. It’s there to protect the people in this country and it sets boundaries everybody should know about. Being eligible to vote but not knowing how is an issue that needs to be addressed and the best way to do so would be in the school systems.

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  23. The Boston Police Department duty is created to reassure its people that they’ll innovate stratergies and partnership to protect everyone in the city. The Police is supposed to act as a role model for its people and make sure that all laws are enforced equally to and from each and everyone of its citizen. In reality, most of their duties are questioned because of what’s been going on in our city lately and the violence between our fellow citizens and authority. Don’t get me wrong though because there’s the good and bad in officers from my point of view. It’s just that the negative is outweighing the positive things that they’re doing.
    Instead, welcome to Boston where a lot of racial inequalites and police brutality occur. White people tend to get away with things way easier than black people and it’s not fair. What happened to “equal rights” meaning everyone no matter the race or the color of their skin gets the same treatment and has to obey the same laws? If you ask me, based off my knowledge, favorism based on races still occurs in the system. White cops tend to always give their own kinds passes and warnings whereas if it was a black person that committed the same misdemeanor.
    How come when it’s a white person that committed a major crime, they instantly claim it to be a “mental disorder” and try to find ways to get him help? But when a black person is found guilty of the same crime or a minor one, it’s not a “mental disorder” and they automatically think about executing the person? I believe that they automatically want the black people to have a bad reputation so they make it a big deal. Yes, all crimes are bad whether major or minor but there’s a huge racial inequality problem in the system that’ll never fully be extinct believe it or not.
    As a black young lady observing and trying to process the negative and postitive things police are doing in our city, it raises a disturbing question in my head. With all the killing and deaths from police brutality, would any of the people killed by officers be killed if they were caucasion? Mind you, all the people killed by the police were black and unarmed. I find it to be an abuse of authority. Just because you have the right and given a badge that represents as a high authority of its people doesn’t mean you have to abuse your power.
    The black young men in our community are losing their trust and good relationship with the police because they feel targeted. I don’t blame them because they have a reason as to why they act the way towards police. The innocent are getting executed while the guilty get more free passes from police. This problem could be resolved but it takes the headquarters to create stonger disciplinary stratergies for officers to get disciplined the same when found guilty in committing a dirty crime. The system should find a way to build back the trust between cops and their residents. That’s the only way to reduce the crime rate and keep our city functioning smoothly and in an accordingly manner. In this case, controlling the police is the main goal. Once this is regulated, there’ll be a major change and recognition for the police department.

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