About Me, About Society, Books

Racism is a Matter of Whiteness

In recent years, I’ve thought about race and racial discrimination in our world. I’ve written about racism in the American criminal justice system and how it continues the legacy of slavery; how movies vilify characters of color; the indifference towards refugees of color and growing Islamophobia within Europe and the United States; and hostility of white society towards racial justices movements like the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. By reflecting on the consequences of racism, I have been able to turn the corner racism and see how my white identity is central to the problem and solution.

White people need to realize that racism is a White issue. We–white European people–live in a world of racial ignorance. I lived in a world of racial ignorance growing up.

As the political theorist, Barnor Hesse, explains, the idea of race is fundamentally about the creation of a division between Europeans and non-Europeans, both internally, beginning with the Spanish expulsion or forced conversion of Jews and Muslims, and externally within systems of colonial rule, and of course in the transatlantic slave trade across the Americas. Continue reading

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About Me

Living with Anxiety and Depression

Today marks my 30th birthday. As I begin a new decade of my life, I hope to write more and improve myself. This blog post is an attempt to achieve both and to speak openly about an important part of who I am.

Six years ago I was extremely depressed and sought help. This was something that was building for years, if not my entire life.

Large parts of my childhood and early adulthood were saturated by depression. Growing up on a farm meant geographic isolation and limited social interactions. When my parents were away or working, I was often left with my brother, who had a habit of being rough with me. One reminder of this is the pencil lead that is forever cemented in my right knee. I  n response, I acted powerlessly to avoid future harm. This feeling of powerlessness deprived me of my voice and confidence–two pieces of my life I am still struggling with today. This was the start of feeling isolated mentally in addition to geographically. Continue reading

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About Me

Brighton Soup

brightonsoup-logo-5fOn Friday night, I attended a fundraising event organised by Brighton Soup.

The idea is simple: £4 for food (soup, of course), refreshments, entertainment and a vote to choose which of 4 community projects get some funding.

These were the four local charities presented that night, each serving a different group within Brighton and Hove. Continue reading

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About Me

A Shrinking, Changing World

My life has seen a number of important changes over the last four years. With each change in direction, my understanding of the world grows, shrinking the planet’s enormity.

In 2012, I took a leave from my job at the time to volunteer with Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) for four months in Ghana. This was my first time traveling outside North America. It was also my introduction to the field of international development, in concept and in practice.

In 2013, I decided to leave my job. This was my first resignation from a full-time job. It was a big risk. I was full of zeal and attempted to shift careers but, when that didn’t work out, I found a new job. At the end of 2013, I also began volunteering with Ceiba Association, helping to lead a group of students as they prepared for their own adventure abroad.  Continue reading

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About Me

‘Friends of Medecins Sans Frontieres’ UK National Conference

ayzf0blpvq6crijicbrrLast month, I was lucky to attend the Friends of Medecins Sans Frontieres (FoMSF) UK National Conference at Imperial College, London. You might know MSF by its English translation: Doctors Without Borders.

After a warm welcome from Vickie Hawkins, Executive Director of MSF UK, FoMSF student societies from all around England, Scotland and Northern Ireland presented their successes from the year. Groups held fundraisers, movie nights, guest MSF speakers and even a Map-a-Thon (more on this last one later).

Throughout the day, we attended a number of workshops on recent and future MSF initiatives. Each presentation gave us inside knowledge into how MSF operates and how they improve peoples lives. I will now share three of them. Continue reading

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