What’s News In This Story?
-Over a hundred protestors marched east on 135th St in North Miami to demand that FIU not build a road through the Arch Creek East Environment Preserve.
-The city has opposed the plan to connect 135th St to the backside of the FIU North Campus for years because they say it would damage the preserve.
-North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin said that the city is preparing to sue in order to stop the project from going through.
RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!
Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Do You Think?
About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
You Might also like
By Judah Martin
We have all seen them.
You know what I’m talking about. You’re cruising Facebook and you notice that some friend from high school has posted a series of mildly over-exposed photos from their church’s latest mission trip to this or that exotic place in Africa or Latin America. The friend is surrounded by smiling children of another race. Everyone seems happy and, on Facebook, the likes and comments abound.
These sorts of trips are growing more popular and, these days, you certainly don’t have to be a member of a church to get yourself a likable selfie with some cute foreign kids.
An entire industry has emerged to serve the humanitarian in all of us, with, according to NPR more than 1.6 million tourists paying around $2 billion annually to tourism companies that match them with the perfect underdeveloped destination. It’s called “voluntourism,” and it is becoming increasingly popular among millennials.
It seems dirty, though, doesn’t it? I mean, just think about it.
Middle class Western students pay money to spend a few weeks ogling at the daily realities of people less fortunate than they are, armed only with their privilege and good intentions. For the “natives” (a problematic term in itself), poverty is their reality. For the volunteers, it is a vacation.
Lauren Kascak and Sayantani Dasgupta take this industry to task in a article for Pacific Standard Magazine titled, “#InstagrammingAfrica: The Narcissism of Global Voluntourism.”
They question whether “voluntour” trips are popular because they help to relieve suffering or because they offer some sort of egotistical fulfillment for the volunteers.
While volun-cationing, young idealists, usually white women between the ages of 22 and 25, take part in construction projects without any previous building experience, they help to build and maintain local health clinics without any knowledge of disease or pathology and, usually, they take lots of pictures. The black and brown children they pose with become nameless keepsakes, trophies that prove their generosity to their social media following. When their stay is up, these volunteers can pat themselves on the back, certain that they have done their part to ease the collective suffering of the third world.
“What I think often gets lost is the host communities,” Theresa Higgs, vice president of global operations for United Planet, a non-profit voluntouring organization that trains volunteers told NPR. “Are they gaining? Are they winning? Are they true partners in this? Or are they simply a means to an end to a student’s learning objective, to someone’s desire to have fun on vacation and learn something?”
Much of the criticism of global voluntourism points to the unequal power dynamic between the volunteers and the natives they serve. Perhaps, some suggest, voluntourism is merely a manifestation of colonialism, when missionary volunteers made their way across Africa, spreading the good news of Christianity and all the while helping to feed a Western imperialist agenda.
None of this is to say that volunteering abroad is a bad thing. There is a long history of Western allies working in solidarity with social organizations based in developing regions.
To be truly effective, though, a certain level of self-awareness is necessary among volunteers. They must understand that they are also the oppressor.
According to the World Economic Forum, the United States had a Gross Domestic Product of $16.77 trillion in 2013. Global wealth inequality continues to increase, with the top one percent of the world population owning nearly half of the wealth.
So a volunteer may help to build a house, all the while buying products from corporations back home that contribute to global inequality. Merely living in the wealthiest nation on earth means that we benefit daily from the suffering of others.
Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- email@example.com.
Cover Photo Credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 1,384
What Do You Think?
History was made in Broward County on Thursday night when Hollywood Hills High School quarterback Holly Neher threw a 45 yard touchdown pass to receiver Alexander Shelton.
It was the first time that a girl had thrown a touchdown in the history of Florida high school football.
And it happened on Neher’s first ever snap.
She would finish the night with two completions and 66 total yards. Hollywood Hills lost to Hallandale High School, 21 to 7.
Watch More: “Why Miami’s jail dog program has worked”Post Views: 576
What Do You Think?
By Marcus Frias
This story was originally published in May of 2015.
Getting high grades and being involved is a necessity for this generation as gaining acceptance to college is getting harder and harder.
For some students, though, their hard work and commitment to their education could fall flat due to their citizenship status.
“At school, I didn’t talk about my citizenship status,” Giancarlo Tejeda, a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center said. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to define me and it wasn’t something that could be fixed by complaining about it so I just kept quiet.”
Giancarlo and his family left their native town of Bucaramanga, Colombia in December of 2000, when he was just three years old.
His parents left behind noble careers to pursue a new life in Miami, Florida.
“My parents had to give up their careers in Colombia to become simple laborers. My father was a college professor and my mother was a primary school teacher,” Tejeda said.
In America, his father found jobs in construction and his mother often found herself cleaning houses.
They applied for asylum in the United States, but to no avail, and thus became undocumented immigrants.
According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, unauthorized immigrants comprised 4.8% of Florida’s population in 2012 and in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born share of Florida’s population rose to 19.4%.
It is no question that the state of Florida is home to many immigrants—many of which are hard workers like Tejeda and his family.
Giancarlo’s Advanced Placement Literature teacher, Neyda Borges, makes it known that these students are not just a number through her work and advocacy for immigrant students.
“We need to see and hear the human stories. We need to meet these children and these parents,” Borges said. “People need to see that these undocumented immigrants are not monsters or criminals, but that they are our friends and neighbors.“
Determined to be more than just a number and his legal standing- a DREAMer with deferred action status- Tejeda focuses on his studies and extracurricular activities. Giancarlo challenged himself with a full schedule of college level courses and excelled.
As an aspiring biomedical engineer- a career that merges his natural altruism and love for the sciences- Tejeda recently committed to the University of Florida.
Through local and even national support he has raised enough money to attend UF for the first year.
His teacher, Borges helped him create a page where the community could chip in at https://www.gofundme.com/rb6p5dtg.
He’s excited, but he says that he still feels frustrated about his legal status.
“Despite not being considered legal in the eyes of the United States Government, we are still part of the communities that we live in. I feel as I always have felt about my legal status – frustrated,” Tejeda said.
Borges’ admits that she’s learned of many activists groups and organizations that are out there to support DREAMers like Tejeda.
“There is a lot being done; but, is it enough? I don’t know how to answer that,” Borges said. “That’s a political question. Luckily, I am not a politician. So, as a teacher, the answer is that it is never enough.”
Students like Giancarlo are eligible for in-state tuition to UF or any other state university thanks to a correction by the Florida Legislature in 2014, but many like the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools who is no stranger to advocating for high achieving immigrant students, remain adamant in their quest to make sure that change happens sooner than later.
“A bright student like Giancarlo deserves the chance to fulfill his college dreams,” Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Like many of us, his family came here for better opportunities. We must enact reform immediately.”
Giancarlo and his family are thankful for the support from political leaders and local and national media, but remain aware that the future is untold.
They hope that an easier route to citizenship will one day be a reality and that their obstacles may serve as inspiration to others.
The Miami-Dade County Public School system has almost 350,000 active students and inevitably there are more students like Tejeda who haven’t spoken out yet.
Tejeda said that his message to them is important.
“Don’t be afraid. There is a whole community out there supporting you,” the 18- year old Tejeda said. “You will find that many people will support you if you speak out and make your situation known. If enough of us speak out, our voices will be heard everywhere and it will incite change.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ FacebookPost Views: 249
What Do You Think?