When I was teaching social justice education full time to middle school students, I realized I wouldn't be able to teach the fundamentals of privilege, partnership, and dignity without first laying the foundatino of the importance of listening. We know that one of the most important aspects of recognizing privilege is practicing mindful listening--that is not dominating conversations, developing a posture and practice of learning and humility in spaces of color (and everywher
Ask yourself these 16 questions and more before agreeing to or planning a spring break mission trip.
1. Have you ever spent a significant amount of time living in community without having a supervisory role there?
2. Do you speak the language?
3. Do you understand the social and economic context for the specific community?
4. Are you making assumptions based on information from books, teachers, movies, political discourse? Which ones?
5. What storie
Google "missionary" and you're more than likely to have your screen populated with images of smiling black children and black mothers hailing white doctors and teachers as their personal saviors abroad. This is branding carefully cultivated to maintain white privilege and white saviour-ism, and centers whiteness based on the exploitation of black mothers and children. This is white supremacy in action, and it is wrong. Fetishization, or the stereotyping, appropriation, and pr
Schools and Religious Organizations often face the pressures of their institutions to create service-learning programs that are impressive and make the school or organization appear to be on the cutting edge of social innovation and charitable giving. Church Mission Trips and school service-learning trips to cash-poor countries and communities tend to reinforce a strong us v. them dynamic between giver and receiver, and feed into a historically colonialist fetishization of po