Mead 2001 Roundtable Discussions
Poverty and Community Activism
(Chair) Joan Roby-Davison; Group 14621 Community Association
Stuart Mitchell; Rural Opportunites
Rev. Gordon Webster; Common Good Planning Center
Cynthia Elliot; Baden Street Settlement
Lorrie Barnum; Susan B. Anthony House (unable to attend)
The Poverty and Community Activism roundtable will discuss issues of poverty both locally and globally, and community activism, locally and globally. What issues are pertinent to local communities and organizations? What can be done actively to address the problems locally? Do the local issues relate to the global issues at hand? What can the university community do (through service committees and the student activities association, as well as special interest housing and the student body) to bridge the gap between what the local issues are and how to begin solving the problems? The following quotes and questions are included to start the members of the roundtable discussions to think about issues they are interested in speaking about. We would like to keep Margaret Mead as a guiding light, as she was very active in community activism and bringing issues into the public in a way that the public would understand and confront.
A. Quote : "The anthropologist's one special area of competence is the ability to think about a whole society and everything in it" Margaret Mead: Some Personal Views, January 1965.
B. With all the changes in welfare rules and the emphasis on getting a job - no matter how low they pay - low income people seem to have become even more anonymous in American. How do we get the rest of American to care about those who are struggling financially?
C. US cities are emptying out because they have fewer and fewer businesses and industries with jobs to fill. How can jobs be drawn back to center cities?
D. Monroe County is relatively small, but the gap in understanding between the city and the suburbs is huge. How do you encourage people to pay attention to problems in their own backyard?
"We are still completely resident driven. Our board of directors is completely made up of neighborhood residents and when we seek to make policy decisions, we consult with the neighborhood residents, through surveys, focus groups, door to door."
- Joan Roby-Davison
"We have used in our
organization (Rural Opportunities) the Margaret Mead quote many times."
- Stuart Mitchell
"When you are on the inside, you don't look at it as poverty. You're just having a good time. You know, particularly if you are a kid. But its sort of when you start to live life and you get on your own that you can compare....that there are things you are missing, that there are things that other people have that you don't have."
- Cynthia Elliot
"If we are going to take a look at these issues, we have got to look at them in a multidisciplinary way, from a multisector stance. So that we need to involve several sectors of the community."
- Rev. Gordon Webster
"What we end up in
is a perspective where we need to school ourselves and then invite the citizens
in, then for discussion. That's why we are very glad to be invited to conversations
like this. Because we are convinced that the institutions of higher education
in this region are critical to the success of this regional thinking."
- Rev. Gordon Webster
"You don't have to
go overseas to enter into another culture."
- Rev. Gordon Webster
"Your question about
how to get people to realize (problems like poverty in the community) and
the answer is that you have to make them uncomfortable. You have to agitate
- Cynthia Elliot
"When you are looking
at Wilson Day for next year, for example, rather than having one day, or two
days, or even a week long where you come in and you do a project, look at
doing something where the students involved might develop a relationship with
the organizations or the people who live in those communities. So that it
becomes more of a relationship that is something more legitimate than us doing
something nice for those less fortunate people who have to live in that neighborhood......I
think its more meaningful when there is something more substantial involved
than doing something for a day."
- Joan Roby-Davison
Health and Gender
(Chair) Theodore Brown; History Department, University of Rochester
Amy Beckhusen; Alternatives for Battered Women
Fran Weisberg; Lifespan Focus for the Elderly
Noelle Andrus; Center for the Study of Rochester's Health
Josanne Reaves; Leadership Rochester (unable to attend)
The Health and Gender roundtable will discuss issues of health both locally and globally, and gender, locally and globally. What issues are pertinent to local communities and organizations? What can be done actively to address the problems locally? Do the local issues relate to the global issues at hand? What can the university community do (through service committees and the student activities association, as well as special interest housing and the student body) to bridge the gap between what the local issues are and how to begin solving the problems? The following quotes and questions are included to start the members of the roundtable discussions to think about issues they are interested in speaking about. We would like to keep Margaret Mead as a guiding light, as she was very active in community activism and bringing issues into the public in a way that the public would understand and confront.
difference do social class, economic status, race or ethnicity, and gender
make in health status, access to care, and quality of care (if and when
B. How can the problems America faces today in health and health care be fixed?
C. What is the role for community activism in addressing our current health and health care problems? What is the role for professional leadership?
D. Quote: "I think American women are increasingly overworked." Margaret Mead : Personal Views June 1967
E. Women live longer and shoulder more family responsibilities than men, in most cases. How can women learn to care about their own health and raise their expectations for life after 50?
F. From a young age, women and men abuse their bodies with smoking and poor eating habits. How can the whole community promote healthier lifestyles that support prevention?
"Aging is a women's issue. Look at the demographics. I think we are about to go into a real revolution as the baby-boomers get older and we look at the whole issue - we have a community, a nation and a world that is aging. And we have not prepared - any of us - for the aging of the entire population. And certainly not the medical field."
- Fran Weisberg
"What Health Action does is....its really a community
health improvement strategy to find out what groups in the community need.
What are the health problems in the community? It's an alliance between
health care systems, between universities and other colleges, and between
public health agencies."
- Noelle Andrus
"I definitely think that in cases of domestic violence....women
are more likely to trust and disclose domestic violence to a female doctor."
- Amy Beckhusen
"You can train up a whole generation of extrordinarily
sensitive providers who then have to work within the constraints of a system
which is squeezing down on their time and eliminating the possibilities
of that sensitivity by not providing any room to develop or display itself."
- Theodore Brown
(Chair) Paul Burgett; Dean of Students, University of Rochester
Debrah Fae Swift; South East Area Coalition
Joyce Herman; National Coalition Building Institute
Mike Boucher; St. Joseph's Neighborhood Organization
Priscilla Auchincloss; Dean of Sophomores, University of Rochester
James H. Evans; Professor of Systematic Theology; Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
The Race Relations roundtable will discuss issues of race relations, both locally and globally. What issues are pertinent to local communities and organizations? What can be done actively to address the problems locally? Do the local issues relate to the global issues at hand? What can the university community do (through service committees and the student activities association, as well as special interest housing and the student body) to bridge the gap between what the local issues are and how to begin solving the problems? The following quotes and questions are included to start the members of the roundtable discussions to think about issues they are interested in speaking about. We would like to keep Margaret Mead as a guiding light, as she was very active in community activism and bringing issues into the public in a way that the public would understand and confront.
Quote: "Our best hope is that we come to care positively about the diversity
of human beings and ally ourselves with many different groups, all of whom
we think of as 'we'" Margaret Mead: Personal Views, February 1978
B. The local Rochester group, Writers & Books, has been asking the public to read a book by black author Ernest Gaines called "A Lesson Before Dying". What do you think about using a piece of literature as a way for different races to better understand each other?
C. On our campus, some groups that represent minority students say that they have trouble attracting others of different races to their programs. What does it take to get people to value others who may not look or think like they do?
D. Recently on campus, an issue has arisen of serious nature: A message was left on the Black Students' Union voicemail with the following content: "You fucking racist niggers! Can I speak to that Caucasian Club? Fucking niggers!" What course of action should be taken? How does this reflect society as a whole, as well as the campus relations? Malik Evans, SA treasurer and a member of the Diversity Roundtable on campus, has sought for direction from Kathy Sweetland, the University Intercessor. Some professors who are part of the group have suggested the campus hold some type of "rally", where students, professors, staff, etc. can gather on campus and students who wish to speak can take two minutes and speak to the large group. Evans said the following: "As I sit here I can't help feel a huge amount of anger and disgust. Myself and Narada Campbell are the only students of color on our floor and I feel as though we have been the target of hate. BSU is bringing a poet on Wednesday and fliers were posted throughout the building here in Tiernan. Someone ripped down the flyer and purposely tore out the BLack Students' Union section and taped it on the bathroom mirror. I need to know the proper procedure in handling such a blatant display of hate that is clearly targeted at myself and Narada Campbell. I am the last person who should be seeing this I am a member of the Rochester Community first and foremost and I know the community of Rochester would bark at such hate being harbored here at the hallow halls that we call a University. I attempted to take one picture with my i-zone camera and one with a disposable one. Something must be done immediately to address these issues. Please excuse any spelling errors in that I was writing this extremely quickly. I look forward to hearing a course of action ASAP! Malik Evans Students Association Treasurer Class of 2002, University of Rochester" Does a rally sound like an action that will bring this issue to light on campus, locally? What other actions can be taken to raise awareness and begin moving toward a solution to harassment such as this?
"Haven't we been talking about this stuff for the past 30 years at the University of Rochester?"
- Paul Burgett, reporting what a trustee had asked him at a meeting
is racism? What is race? Racism is not just individual acts of hatred or
feelings of hatred or beliefs in superiority. Racism is a system of advantage.
A system of priviledge that pervades our society and all the institutions
in our society, and actually works through those institutions to perpetuate
itself. It is a system of dominance and oppression....race is a construct
designed to confer advantage and priviledge...""
- Priscilla Auchincloss
we move through life, we do so through many filters......What I see and
experience I see as a person who is white, who is educated, who is middle-aged,
who is able bodied, someone who is a lesbian, someone from middle class
America. I see it as a woman who has been a professional musician, an educator,
an educational administrator, who has been ordained as a presbyterian minister,
and who spends most of her days as a grassroots organizer. So I have a lot
-Debrah Fae Swift
have used terms that often confuse us rather than clarify for us. We use
'race', 'culture', and 'color.' And in many instances, many people would
argue that race is culturally constructed, that is, something that is just
invent to sort of justify the status quo of society."
- James H. Evans
are born innocent. None of us was born ready to be racist, or ready to be
sexist, or ready to be anti-Semetic.We are plastic. And we get shaped by
all of the factors that impact on us. And we get hurt in a lot of different
ways. And along the way, as we are young and get hurt, there's that way
that we feel less good about ourselves, and as we feel less good about ourselves,
..... we experience the 'at least I'm not a ____' phenomena."
- Joyce Herman
single day, I see the links between poverty, race, health care, lack of
community and you can go on and on."
- Mike Boucher
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