The Student Affairs New Professional

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tryin' to Get Paid-Post 20

Post 20 from Tryin' to Get Paid

Music: "Like This" Kelly Rowland w/Eve
Mood: Enjoying the good weather

Now, I promised updates from the Social Justice Training Institute, but our schedule was so full I barely got any time to check my e-mail, meaning I have hundreds (well, more like tens) sitting in my inbox. But, I wanted to break away from doing laundry to dialogue on my experience.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First off, if you're considering SJTI as a possible experience, you'll need to remember three things:

1) You ain't perfect...nobody is, so get over it, or learn to get over that quick, fast, and in a hurry
2) Your world view will be challenged and molded within a week, so get ready for an experience
3) Even though you'll be enlightened, you still won't be done with learning after SJTI is over

A lot of people are asked what their experience was like, and all I can say is that I was blessed for the opportunity. I honestly thought, regarding race relations and my knowledge of power structures, that I was ready for the depth and breadth of the discussions we had. Man, did I get a kick in the ass! I realized that I had underlying issues that I had to deal with, being a person of color and working with White colleagues, and that I needed a lot of help handling issues that occur, such as a colleague wanting the "White perspective" included in every discussion. I got a deeper handle on privilege, and where I fell in many arenas, such as being able-bodied, hetero, and a male, and how that impacts interpersonal dialogue and group dynamics.

The most important piece I got from SJTI was the friendships I created there. At my workplace, I rarely get a chance to talk about things that are important to me, and to just shoot the breeze with like-minded folks. However, during the last week, I talked with just about everybody about a variety of things, and it felt great. And, with the SJTI listserv, Facebook, and MySpace, those conversations can continue. I've made so many great friends, and it was extremely sad to see them leave.

I have to run to do some more reflecting, since I learned so much my mind is still running in circles. Until later...

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