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Our Voices

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A Journal of Diverse Perspectives

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2013-2014 equality limited parents disabled community

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Our Voices is a publication of the Gonzaga University Publications Board. All questions and comments regarding Our Voices should be directed to ourvoices@zagmail.gonzaga. edu All work in Our Voices is created and designed by current students, alumni, and faculty of Gonzaga University. The views expressed in the publication do not necessarily reflect the view of the Our Voices staff, the Publication Board, or the University All content Š 2014


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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

7

Survival

11

Cuppa

21

Dear White People

25

Man Up

27

The BARC (formerly the COG)

29

Words of a Black Father

34

Eye-Opening Chicago

37

LGBTQ Community Experience

Contents

Katie Hayes


Molly Johnston

Editor Assistant Editor Graphic Designer

John Farley Vanessa Ingram Nikki Barish


Actions Speak Louder Than Words -Cat Truong We are agents of change, seeking to correct what we cannot see, A world unknown, fresh on the college scene.

Yes, yes we can, but tell me how Can we change a lose-lose into a win-win when the politics get involved in the hierarchal society that is supposed to be on our side?

Yes, yes I can, but tell me how, when you call me a failure? Actions speak louder than words.

They say 97% of communication is through body language, But tell me how we’re using this through loss of facial contact via texting on a cellular device?

Where is the connection? Where is the one on one interaction? Have we lost the ability to invoke sympathy and empathy for one another?

So while seat belts get tighter, our values get looser,

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Actions speak louder than words.

Actions speak louder than words, But when your mouth is filled with lies and fries, It’s hard to interpret that personified Meaning of what it is that you’re actually saying.

First world probs: North by Northwest and the latest grapefruit cleanse Let’s talk real world probs. Now I ain’t talking bout’ this breakin’ news Sandy Hook killer, or Dark Knight shooter, a Boston Marathon bomber. Now please believe I’m not trying to discredit the truth behind the content but when the media blasts it 24/7 for a week, And then nothing... For months, Forgive me if I have become numb, unfeeling to these events we call traumas. Actions speak louder than words.

Together, our struggle is real You think with one look you can restrict me to a box and label? Excuse me, do you even know me? That my daddy struggled in prison internment camp for 9 years, I was born in VN,

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Came to the states with a family tighter than your grandma’s crocheted knits, That I’m a first generation college, Act Six Scholar, How bout that box now, huh? Please take the time to listen and look up from the confines of a 2D screen, Real life in 3D is so much better.

50 Years from now when you’re old and grey and non-wrinkly If you’ve got good Asian genes, People won’t remember you for what you did, Let alone your accomplishments, But they’ll remember you for how you made them feel. Thank You Ms. Maya Angelou.

I may be 4’11” and weigh less than a baby mountain lion, But actions speak louder than words.

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Survival -Jakeem Lewis Click. I hang up the phone and begin my solo journey.

I should pick up something on the way there. She does love choc-

olate. Hmm, maybe. It is only a slight detour. And such a nice summer night to stroll. Barely any movement on the street, the world has come to rest. But then from a block away a deep rumbling, headed in my direction, getting ever closer. Old school headlights illuminating the street ahead of it. Pickup truck. Five small bright lights atop the cab. Black. Late 80s Chevy or Ford. I’ve always liked those trucks. As I reach the intersection, it does as well. Right turn for me, to cross the street, to hit up that store.

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Left turn by it, unnaturally slowly as it passes by. Maybe it is going to the store too. And really, what else is there to get at the store besides ice cream on a summer night. It’s decided. Dark tint clings to the windows, a protective layer for a hidden set of eyes peering at my face without risk of being identified. Like in the movies. Slowly it turns, coming parallel to my own path for a split second before finally speeding up the block. Weird, but no harm no foul. Back to the mission, have to get that ice cream.

Wait. There it is. Parked at the end of the block. No sound. No

movement I can detect. No one on the street near it. Hmm. Improbable, but possible someone could have gotten out without my notice. Unlikely. I walk by it slowly, as far away on the sidewalk as I can, keeping it in my side view. Street. I need to cross. But wait. A test. I put my foot out as if stepping into the street. Slowly. As I lift my foot, the truck roars to life. I take three quick backwards steps.

The truck lurches forward, turning sharply and cutting the corner,

heading directly to the spot I was only two seconds before.

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It missed. Barely. The truck engine screams even louder as it accelerates away,

seemingly shouting out “Nigger” for the driver behind the wheel. It turns right quickly. I sprint across the street. As I hit the other side, the truck is coming back up the same street. Take two. It pauses, hesitation or anticipation? I stare back, frozen in fear, my feet like cement. Finally, it turns and speeds off, maybe to it’s next appointment, or victim. Safeway, my new safe house. Cookies and Cream ice cream, food for a recently tortured soul. But I’m okay. I got away safely. I walk the lighted way home and do it quickly. I enter my room, close the door behind myself and collapse. Broken. In tears. This is no Jim Crow South. I’m no Freedom Rider, no Black Panther. I don’t blindly support the Nation of Islam or attach myself to every pro-black idea. And yet this is my life. Every time I try to live like the next guy I get a reminder. Yes, even in the pristine Northwest.

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Zach Berlat

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Cuppa -Ceilan Hunter-Green My mother will tell you that there is one right way to make tea. Here are the basics. First, the mug: size matters. For us, a 12–16 ouncer is preferable. Select your receptacle and put the kettle on. (And it is called a kettle. A “hot water heater” is a tautology. A “water heater” is a thing in your house that provides you with comfortable showers.) If your kettle is a stove-top, wait until it’s shrieking, then turn the burner off and pour your boiling water over the teabag in your mug. If you’re using an electric kettle, which works faster and less noisily, then wait until it has clicked itself demurely off and pour the boiling water over the teabag in your mug. Attentive readers will note the crucial point: boiling water over the teabag. Things get complicated when a teapot comes into play. My mom’s side of the family is a rowdy crew of third-generation IrishAmerican hooligans, and the rate of consumption would presumably have been devastating if each of her five siblings and two parents had daily been provided one bag per cup. Teapots were a necessary concession. And roomy pots with gaudy knitted cozies are still a presence at my grandmother’s, when, after dinner, petite mugs crowded cheek to

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jowl on a decorative tray are filled with watery Lipton’s and distributed ceremoniously to the adults and the more adult kids. My great-aunt Patt had a vast collection of minute teapots that edged the ceilings of her tiny kitchen, and after she passed away, all the interested local families got one. I was lucky enough to receive my own Patt pot after my mother’s fifty cousins and my uncountable jumble of second cousins had gone through the selection: mine is a gorgeous little square number made to look like a head of lettuce, with a lid shaped like a rabbit, who is wall-eyed. The lettuce on which he is perched fits about three teabags at a shove, which is sufficient for my roommate and me: when administering teabags to a teapot, the ideal ratio is one per drinker and one for the pot. Desperate times call for a handful thrown in desperately. This leeway is allowed in my book since the pot steeps for so long, though purists might squabble. My father’s side sees tea in a slightly more organized manner. They are British, from Britain, and like their countrymen, see tea consumption as a fact of life. Britain consumes approximately 150 million cups of tea per day. This is around two and a half cups per person every day, if we consider the very young and the almost dead to be persons. I doubt these numbers. The tea-drinking Britons of my acquaintance, infants included, would not stop at two. During a month I spent living with my grandmother in Oxford, I interned at a 9-5 job which contained a break room dedicated solely to the preparation of tea. Every hour or so, I would go down the hall with my cup (you brought your own cup) and eavesdrop on a rotating cast of real employees discussing the wonderful minutiae that lives consist

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of while we all waited for the tiny white kettle to boil. It was brilliant. At any given time there were at least three people waiting for a cup, so we filled the kettle to the brim; as a result it took a long time to boil, and when it finally did, the force of the bubbles shook it with grand mal fury on its little stand. I’d lean into a corner and cheerfully listen in on the conversation until the water reached climax. These conversations were probably in substance teeth-numbingly boring—it was the middle of Wimbledon, and everyone was vaguely excited about Andy Murray—but because of the interlocutors’ accents, it was hard to tell. It is possible to spend quite a lot of time listening to a Mancunian talking to a Brummie about a sport you do not care for. The next month, I moved down to Tonbridge, a small Kentish town that is home to a historic castle, a fantastically expensive boys’ school, and my aunt. I babysat my little cousin Sophie while her parents were at work, which meant that my tea consumption escalated to even dizzier heights. I had tea in the morning, while Sophie and I ate breakfast, and tea while I was reading and she was refusing to do her homework, and a cup when we got home from the park, and another with my aunt when she got back from work, and then wine over dinner—we weren’t heathens—and tea in the evening while we all watched the comedy show of the night. I bought a small black mug from the BBC store in neighboring Tunbridge Wells, and it was almost exclusively out of that baby that I drank all of this tea. It was stronger than at home in the U.S., since the mug sizes, like almost everything else, were smaller in England.

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A. Dumke

Differences like these were brought up to me sometimes. My father’s sisters and parents and I love each other, but we are in some ways strangers. I don’t see them often, and when I do it’s when I’m on my own—whole-family interactions could be counted on one hand by an inattentive lathe worker—so they know me in an abstract way as the daughter of my father. In that capacity I am English like them, because of my dad, and because of my passport, and my inherited abilities to down a pint and correctly pronounce the words “leisure” and “basil.” So my family summons this Britishness out sometimes by rejecting the America in me, and the America needs subduing most when I’m making tea. If I

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seem to be taking the bag out too early, for example, this prompts a chorus of objection, and a lighthearted jab or two at the weakness of my mother’s brews. (She pours the water when it is under 212° F, after the kettle has clicked, rather than immediately before, a moment that rightfully should be anticipated by one’s Spidey skills.) Or, if I am guilty of adding milk too soon, I am forgiven, pointedly, because I grew up outside of the motherland; how am I to know?

It was Ireland, actually, that suckered

my mother’s parents into tea drinking. Like a lot of Americans, they started out as coffee people. Upon moving to Ireland in 1978, they were strong-armed into a change of caffeinating by the dearth of drinkable coffee in the country, though my mother, stalwart, rejected both beverages, and only began drinking tea with the rest of them when she got back to America. She got better about adapting to foreign drinks, though: twenty years later, when we moved to Japan, the whole family warmly embraced the new tea environment. My parents drank Lipton as far as black tea went—a low point—but us kids were too young to bother with the adult-seeming black tea with milk and sugar, and instead considered the wonderland of Japanese bottled teas with the same ardor that we’d coveted sodas

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back home. We drank bottled and canned barley tea, oolong tea, and gallons and gallons of green tea, which is the most popular type of tea in the country to this day. In 2011, 5.1 billion units (bottles) of green tea were sold in Japan, compared to a pathetic 2.8 billion units of black tea, and a frankly dismal 1.7 billion units of oolong. The popularity of green tea in Japan is an old taste, which explains why the word for tea—cha— usually just refers to green tea, in the same way that the word “tea” used by English people means the black kind. The Japanese names for other varieties, like kocha (black tea), matcha (powdered green tea), oolongcha (oolong tea), and kombucha (kelp tea), have the “cha” description affixed taxonomically.

We purchased our share of those billions of bottles from, among

other places, a vending machine a few blocks away. The outdoor vending machines in Nishinomiya displayed plastic bottles in a laboratorial bright white display, presented in backlit rows, so that you could make your choice in a personal manner, selecting your victim by sight. I remember us trudging en famille four blocks or more to get to a vending machine, but that was in the Stone Age of the early 2000s. These days there is one vending machine in Japan for every 23 citizens; I am also slightly taller, so I’m sure tea access would be more convenient if I were to return. Our local vending machine contained scads of green, of course, including Kiki-cha, which became my family’s nickname for me for a while. It also housed a kind of milky-looking Gatorade-y drink called Pocari Sweat, which we all drank pretty much just for the name.

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Zach Berlat

My favorite drink in the impossibly, oppressively humid summer months was and is mugicha, a tea that is not really a tea. It’s made by infusing roasted barley in water, and is delicious and refreshing, but doesn’t involve the tea plant. The six true types of teas that come from the leaf of Camellia sinensis are black tea, green tea, yellow tea, white tea, oolong tea, and post-fermented teas like pu-ehr tea, all of which are harvested from the same plant but processed differently to arrive at a variety of final products. Green tea, for example, is steamed and heated immediately after picking to ensure that it undergoes almost no oxidation

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before being prepared for consumption, whereas black tea is agitated to spur the oxidation process before being dried and stored. Mugicha, kombucha, and other “teas” like rooibos and mint are more correctly called tisanes, which is a word made up to satisfy the sorts of people who think of teas as being “true” or not. (Were we to chase this subject to the end of its semantic rabbit hole, black tea isn’t even really black tea. It brews to a lovely warm brownish-red, which is why in Japanese, Korean, and the Chinese languages, it’s called “red tea.” In those parts “black tea” is the name for the post-fermented sixth type of tea, which the West pretty uniformly refuses to touch. The British named their adopted beverage after the color of its dried oxidized leaves; fair enough, but they lose ground when the red tea name is applied to the product of the rooibos bush, which is scrumptious and scandalously healthy but doesn’t have anything at all to do with tea proper.) The moral of this tea story, for me, is a lesson in choosing battles. Of course none of this really matters—at the end of the day, a weak cuppa or a confusing appellation never hurt anyone. But now that I work in a store that sells bulk teas (and tisanes!), I find myself compelled to explain things about tea to people who don’t really care. It doesn’t matter to customers that the oolong tea we carry is labeled as yellow tea, even though those are two different types—and of course it doesn’t really matter to me either, except that it represents the Western disregard for Eastern cultural distinctions. Yellow tea is prized in China, the only place

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it is produced, and used to be processed and sold by artisans, but the overwhelming demand for black and green teas by importers has lead to less domestic interest in the ways of preparing that tea. The secrets are dying. And it doesn’t really matter if you prepare green tea with boiling water, 212° water, rather than water that’s between 167-176°, except that letting water cool before adding it to green tea leaves or powder is an important part of tea ceremonies, and because the act of waiting for the water to cool is an acknowledgement of the distinction between the needs of the teas, an acknowledgement that the beverage isn’t simply a caffeine vehicle. It doesn’t matter that a customer laughingly dismissed my question as to whether the recipient of a gift of tea liked Lapsang Souchong—“He’s English,” she said, “he likes tea”—because it doesn’t matter that some odd English people prefer coffee, and it doesn’t matter that the tea that English people are known for adoring is nothing like the powerfully smoky and polarizing Lapsang Souchong. And it doesn’t really matter if my mother doesn’t steep her tea long enough for my aunts’ taste. Except that it’s something that, to them, makes her foreign, and makes me foreign. Unimportant things can end up mattering a lot. So when my mother tells you that there is one way to make tea, she’s right and wrong. There are a hundred ways to make tea, and a hundred ways to make tea that isn’t tea, and a hundred opinions on what is right or wrong about any of them. But if you want a nice cuppa, a really strong brew, I’d start with my mom’s method any day. Remember: boiling water over the teabag.

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Zach Berlat


Dear White People, -Michaela Brown

Dear White People, Breaking News! The number of black friends required to not seem racist has been raised to two. . . sorry your wing man Tyrone doesn’t count.*

Dear White People, Please stop touching my hair, do I look like a petting zoo?*

Dear White People, Listening to Flo Rida does not make you practically black.*

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The anticipated release of the controversial Sundance Film “Dear White People” gives a voice to the thousands of black faces in predominantly white places. After watching the trailer for this film in a Black Student Union meeting, our club after recovering from fits of laughter, discussed the film’s relevancy to our lives as Gonzaga students. Justin Simien, creator of Dear White People has said, “This film isn’t about “white racism,” or racism at all. DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is about identity. It’s about the difference between how the mass culture responds to a person because of their race and who they understand themselves to truly be.” This film will hopefully serve as a vehicle to foster dialogue around issues of identity, perception, and privilege. Issues of identity are common amongst college students of color, I am reminded of my own struggles reconciling between who society was telling me I should be, who my peers wanted me to be, and who I actually was. Upon arriving on campus freshmen year I was quickly deemed the “first black friend” for over a dozen of my peers, while simultaneously existing as the assumed representative of all things black--the irony of it all was that I had yet to personally define myself as black. My mother always jokes that I did not become black until I came to college. The unfortunate truth was that I didn’t. Growing up in Spokane as both black and white was challenging. Despite being obviously brown, I strove to compensate my blackness for my white association. Once arriving on campus I began to challenge my negative associations with blackness and sought out UMEC and BSU for help. Overall, having been intentional in my identity development these last four years, as a biracial woman, has been both a liberating and empowering experience.

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Nick Nohner

Still, my progress would not have been possible without a willingness to be vulnerable and courageous. I began and have continued to challenge perceptions, interrogate systems of oppression and privilege, and remain open to growth. The film, Dear White People has the transformative potential to encourage all students, not just students of color to confront issues of identity and difference. For after all, we all have an identity that should be acknowledged, explored, developed, and celebrated.

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Dear White People,  Please, don’t invalidate my experience, because you have yet to explore your identity.

Dear White People, Please know You have an identity and culture, explore it!

*excerpt from the film’s “Dear White People”  trailer

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Man Up -Justin Garcia Man Up! Two words I never really understood growing up. Man Up! Two words that made no sense when the strongest role model I had in my life was my mother. To emulate your mom as a child makes you a momma’s boy and you can’t be cool and be a momma’s boy. Why? Because women aren’t cool?

No what isn’t cool is a man who leaves his two-year-old son in the

hands of a woman who is barely an adult. Any man who leaves his child behind is not man at all, just a scared child.         This is my experience and it is something that has helped me with my perspective of women. For me, all my biggest role models were women. They taught me how to speak with confidence, the value of a good education, and how to cook. Despite the dynamic presence that these strong women had in my life something was always missing... A little Dad shaped hole that I could not fill, but I tried.         Without a Dad I learned how to dribble a basketball, ride a bike, dance, and treat women right.  I learned how to fix my car, win an argument, and throw a left hook without Him too. All the things that we consider guy things I learned on my own or from my Mom.         So then what does it mean when people say “Man Up”? For me this is confusing because I will never be like the men in my life. The challenge

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I have been given is to do so much better then the generation before me. I will love my kids, love my wife,and never leave them. I will teach them all that I can and hope that something sticks so that they can teach their kids. Being a man today is not about putting up walls and cutting your losses when things get hard. Being a man is about loving harder than you thought possible, sacrificing all that you have for the people you love, being strong and tender when needed, and asking for help, even when that is the hardest thing to do.         Despite the patriarchal perception of men as the breadwinners, heroes, or demigods, I have a challenge for the men in my generation: be real. Your family, friends, or even your coworkers will not benefit from you pretending to be something other than who you truly are. You owe it to your family, friends, and community to be your authentic self 100% of the time. Be a man, Be you.

Emily Beck

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The BARC (formerly the COG) -Mohamed Sambou

Coming to Gonzaga freshman year one of my favorite places to visit was the COG (surprisingly). The reason for this wasn’t because of the food or drinks they served, but the community I built by going to the COG and the experiences I have had with my friend group that I’ll cherish forever. Some of the funniest moments I remember occurred while eating with my friends at the COG. I remember only positive experiences with the exception of one thing.

I don’t want to complain, but I do want to address the fact that

the COG adds bacon to everything. I am a Muslim and I cannot have pork as part of my diet. Getting an omelet was always a struggle. The hardest part was when someone before me got bacon on his or her omelet there was residue that would get onto the omelet made for me. Eventually I just stopped getting them altogether. Now moving on to the pasta, being at the BARC it is a hit or miss (more likely a miss). There is pork always added to the pasta line. I was advised to send a complaint/suggestion so I tweeted to the Gonzaga page asking to add a non-pork section. Thought something changed when there was no bacon for three days straight… I was wrong.

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I love the memories at the COG and I will never forget them. The

only suggestion I could offer is being aware of other cultures restrictions and separating the pork and non-pork food and utensils. I love Gonzaga and I only want to improve the campus in any way that I can. Can’t wait to see what’s in the Zag’s future.

Katie Hayes

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Words of a Black Father -Myra Questel “When you’re Black, you have to work twice as hard to be successful”

These words replay, two, ten, a million times in my head Continually contemplating every sentence he’s said A father, who has worked himself nearly dead Urging me to work hard to avoid the life he’s led

Motivation springs forth in me each day anew Black student amongst White, with something to prove Intention, discipline, and focus reinforcing each move To strive towards the destiny I know to be true

Motivation ignites me, bringing me to new elevations Black student amongst White, pushing past limitations To ancestors I pay homage, success my libations I send a prayer above sensing their humble elation

Motivation erases the temptation of complacency Black student amongst White, overcome by an urgency

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To overcome institutions that have prevented many like me From reaching their fullest, highest and best potentiality.

When you’re Black, you have to work twice as hard to be successful

Yes, “When you’re Black, you have to work twice as hard to be successful” These words replay, two, ten a million times on repeat Constantly reflecting on his wisdom, a silent entreat From a father who has worked all his life to see His child become the woman he knows she can be

Motivation renders possibilities endless Black student amongst White, my drive is relentless Eliminating stereotypes, ignoring the pretentious Too stubborn to fail, I remain conscientious

I press toward the day, my father can rest In knowing his daughter has acquired her best I press forward to the day, I don’t have to say “When you’re Black, you have to work twice as hard to be successful”

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K. Shannon

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Molly Roberge


Eye-Opening Chicago -Spencer White Today was a challenge as we were faced with the juxtaposition of abject poverty and abundant wealth found within the Chicago City. The tour by Rev. Saunders was the most eye opening experience I have had the entire trip. I have never been in a place where it takes but crossing the street to go from poverty to wealth. Nothing can prepare your heart when confronted with touring through a neighborhood where you see no grocery store, no restaurants, no extracurricular options and no social services like police forces and firefighters; and then moments later you are in a neighborhood with well-kept streets, a fire station and police station on the same block, a private well-funded school and every brand name you can think of in consumer products. I hope it hurts others as much as it hurts me to see that this separation was also accompanied by certain changing demographics. The poorer areas were disproportionately filled with African-Americans, while the richer neighborhoods swelled with Caucasian individuals. On a map it is possible to literally draw the lines that would separate those who can dream, from those who can’t. It was too easy for me to imagine myself as a young black man standing on the side of Washington Park, surrounded by boarded up windows, dirty streets, and a littered sidewalk; unable to see beyond the trees to the University of Chicago and the

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glass buildings and wealth that lay beyond. It shouldn’t be necessary for me to say that change needs to occur. These neighborhoods of poverty and desolation are prisons for the individuals living within them. Many are considered to be food deserts, yet a tourist needs more than one hand to count the number of alcohol stores that can be found within. That just isn’t right. There are no opportunities for upward mobility, but rather only perpetual poverty and suffering. No one can tell me they care about everyone, and then be content to live in a place where literally the north facing side of a building may look repainted and well decorated on the wealthier side, yet the south side is left to deteriorate and fall into ruin, a visceral marker of the inequity that lies on the plain surface. Worst of all is the already destroyed dreams of the people who live and grow in these places. No aspect of their life is exempt of the failing infrastructure and lack of care. Their education will be worse, diet less healthy, opportunities more limited, housing more decrepit, transportation nearly uncertain, security non-existent, and health poisoned by their surroundings. It is no wonder why there is so much violence in these areas. When you take everything from a person, and leave them with an image of beauty far away, while their feet are cast in broken stone and unattained dreams, power is scarce and any notion of strength is an escape from the reality at hand. It is a vicious cycle that is maintained with the focus of investments and resources on those things

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that are profitable, while finding ways to more effectively ignore and disengage with the broken communities. With all that was said please do not think that there are not great people in Chicago doing beautiful work. Jose Guerrero, Eddie Arrocho, Reverend Saunders, Reverend Pfleger and many others live every day in service to their community, passionately living out their love for the people and the vision that they can see for their futures. That is precisely what this world needs, more great people doing beautiful work. I realize now, that this is the only way I want to live.

A. Dumke


LGBTQ Community Experience -Rene Alvarez Today allowed an opportunity for the group to be exposed to the great presence of the LGBTQ community in Chicago. Our day began with a visit to the Center on Halsted, the most comprehensive LGBTQ community center in the Midwest. The group was first given a guided tour of the facilities. The center offers various programs for the LGBTQ community, among them sports leagues, weekly senior luncheons, after-school youth programs, and so on. The center serves LGBTQ, self-identified individuals throughout the city, and offers services for low-income individuals to travel to the community center to experience the various services offered there. After our tour of the center, our group was given the opportunity to participate in a discussion with David Zak, a play-write and longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights. For me, this dialogue challenged me to consider my own heterosexual biases. Growing up, my mom was outwardly supportive of LGBTQ rights, as she had friends and family members that identified as Gay. However, when David jokingly asked me if I was on the “Down-Low� (a term commonly used in the African-American community referring to people hiding their homosexuality), my immediate reaction was one of defense. Though David was joking, I recall raising my eyebrows in shock that he would even assume this identity on me.

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Then I took a step back. Why was I so defensive when he made this remark? Maybe I feared any inkling of doubt among peers as to my heterosexual identity. This revealed my own underdevelopment as an LGBTQ ally. I have always believed that the LGBTQ community should be granted the same freedoms in marriage and other privileges given to heterosexual individuals. However, I do not have any close friends who identify as LGBTQ and am immersed in a community that promotes heterosexual models without giving equal exposure to the LGBTQ community. While I continue to support the LGBTQ community and identify as an ally, I am unable to fully understand internal struggles of self-identified LGBTQ people. Being biracial, I sometimes am fooled into thinking that I can understand all aspects of struggle. This moment checked my own ignorance in grouping all minority groups as understanding the same struggle. My own heterosexual, male identity has privileges in a world dominated by this identity makeup that can sometimes privilege me over women and LGBTQ individuals, despite being a person of color. I appreciated what David did in purposely making the comment in order to challenge my own comfortability as an identified ally. The feelings that his comment evoked show that I must continue to develop my awareness of issues within the LGBTQ community and gain continual exposure to the community. I need to continue to challenge my heterosexual worldview in order to ally myself with the cause of the community. More importantly, I was checked with an understanding of the privileges that I do enjoy in the world, despite being a racial minority.

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Katie Hayes


Cat Truong

4

Jakeem Lewis

7

Ceilan HunterGreen

11

Michaela Brown Justin Garcia Mohamed Sambou Myra Questel Spencer White Rene Alvarez

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Contributors


Our Voices is a publication of the Gonzaga University Publications Board. All questions and comments regarding Our Voices should be directed to ourvoices@zagmail.gonzaga. edu All work in Our Voices is created and designed by current students, alumni, and faculty of Gonzaga University. The views expressed in the publication do not necessarily reflect the view of the Our Voices staff, the Publication Board, or the University All content Š 2014


Our Voices

Submit for the next issue:

ourvoices@zagmail.gonzaga.edu

school

kids

A Journal of Diverse Perspectives

gender

orientation inclusion

adults

ethnicity

popular

research

environment heratage language life music

city

teens

civilization ability

age knowledge

ideas

books

religion ethic training

cultural

style

history

diversity

subculture

belief

society

public

word

difference

2013-2014 equality limited parents disabled community

world


Our Voices 2014