Travel and Youth Activism
On December 1, 2010, the World Affairs Council hosted an event in the Skoolaborate Social Action Forum. We were very happy to have students in the Seattle area as well as students and educators in Sydney logged in to participate!
Our expert speaker, Greg Tuke, challenged participants to think about how to maximize their learning during travel opportunities. Students offered wonderful suggestions, including this idea from Joyce: “Well, one thing I’ve learned to do is try to see what people around me are doing and copy them so that I can experience how their lives are. Like walking more or taking a bus, instead of getting in taxis all the time. It’s good to get outside of your comfort zone.”
We also learned about Mercy Corps’ Global Citizen Corps program, which helps young people around the world learn leadership skills, spread the word about root causes of global issues, and mobilize others to make a difference. Greg shared photos from his recent trip to Gaza and Iraq, where young Global Citizen Corps members are truly thinking globally and acting locally with projects that range from blood drives to civic education to tree planting. Very inspiring!
Lastly, we watched a short video that touched on stereotypes about Muslims in the Middle East and challenged us to look beyond those stereotypes and see all that we have in common. If you missed the event, please check out these videos:
- “Generation Islam” (YouTube, 3 minutes): CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviews youth in Gaza who participate in Mercy Corps’ Global Citizen Corps.
- “Us and Them” (YouTube, 8 minutes): This very lively, youth-made, 8-minute video from Global Citizen Corps features youth in Gaza talking about how they view Western civilization and what they admire in Western culture (especially sports, arts, punctuality, and technology). Great to use with a club or class!
This event was a terrific example of learning together. Both adults and students shared ideas and gave book recommendations to help us extend our learning. Skoolaborate members may look on the Google group to find a resource document that includes those recommendations as well a list of links for students who are interested in global issues. (See especially the resource packet in #11 if you have students who are interested in travel or study abroad opportunities.)
Once again, we found that the Skoolaborate community and the virtual world technology allow us to bring people together for global learning in ways that we could not otherwise do.