Ethnic power which creates a system that discriminates

Ethnic studies is defined as the interdisciplinary study of difference—chiefly race, ethnicity, and nation, but also sexuality, gender, and other such markings—and power, as expressed by the state, by civil society, and by individuals. From the education I have gathered from first-hand experience of the study, personally, Ethnic studies is the education of the many variations of people. Its purpose is to safely educate those who wish to learn more about people’s history in order to bring justice and equity to one’s community. Social Justice is justice in terms of wealth, opportunities, and privilege within a society. This also comes with eliminating all power structures in a community, as well providing the needed resources in order to create fairness for all. It is crucially important to learn history from different perspectives. Being aware, of all points of views in history specifically, in order to make certain the truth of the matter. If we were only to learn about slavery from a white man’s perspective, we would never know the actuality of the situation. Many people have achieved social justice through the strength of people power. People power, also known as the power of the people, can help change societies in many dramatic ways. People power influences people to act in non-violent direct action and promote behavior change through a situation. People power also raises awareness about unjust situations in society.Becoming educated about the many different power structures I fit into was extremely important and impactful to me. I was never taught about the many power groups and structures there were. I was never taught about the many disadvantages that were unjustly placed upon myself, solely because of that fact that I do not fit in a certain group in society had automatically deemed as dominant and in power. and so many others. The disadvantages that the power groups have put in society is called oppression. Oppression, being the combination of prejudice and institutional power which creates a system that discriminates against some groups (often called “target groups”) and benefits other groups (often called “dominant groups”). Examples of these systems are racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and anti-Semitism. These systems enable dominant groups to exert control over target groups by limiting their rights, freedom, and access to basic resources such as health care, education, employment, and housing. Another important factor I was able to become knowledgeable in is the different powers there are in a society/community. Most importantly, people and individual power. People power as stated in my former paragraph is the exercise of power by large amounts of the public in nonviolent ways. Individual power, on the other hand, is the power people have to influence others. As I said before, the two powers have affected communities in various positive ways. Knowing how powerful and impactful these strategies are in changing society, is immensely important. Knowing this key factor is a large part of changing and shaping societies into one that is just. Many of the most influential protests and movements were taken place in history. For example, the Women’s Suffrage parade in 1913, that allowed women to exercise their right to vote, The Abolitionist Movement from 1830-1865, that passed the 23rd amendment that permanently removed slavery, and Gandhi’s Salt March, of 1930, that removed India from the British Rule in 1947. In modern society, we still mirror these practices. Two very recent and influential. movements/protests are the Women’s March on Washington and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Just as it had before, many people became aware of the many unjust situations going on in today’s society, leading to those being able to come forward and exercise both their personal individual power, as well as go hand in hand and demonstrate the strength of people power. These many movements teach us that coming together and using your voice in nonviolent ways and actions can majorly impact populations and communities. Ethnic Studies and Social Justice education is extremely important to me and many others. Especially since us students are society’s future. These classes help people in a majority of ways. From what I have first handedly experienced, and what I have heard from others. Research has proven that ethnic-studies classes boost student attendance, GPAs, and high-school credits for a key student group, this being a pivotal finding that brings hard evidence to the dispute over adding these courses in public schools. A Stanford study showed that “that attendance for those encouraged to enroll in the class increased by 21 percentage points, GPA by 1.4 grade points and credits earned by 23.” Not only does it academically help students in schools, but it also educates students on the understanding of institutionalized oppression. In an article about ethnic studies by Jon Greenberg, he states “In short, Ethnic Studies decenter White as the dominant perspective of our education system – at least in one class.” Through perpetuating happy slave narratives in children’s books, and labeling slaves as “workers”, our education is clearly whitewashed. The whitewashed educational system sanitizes key facts in our history. Ethnic studies and Social Justice education counters this, with different perspectives other than societies current dominant one.