Globally Competent Presentation
This morning during a full school assembly the Global Team presented the following:
How are we global already:
1. Have you lived in another country
2. Do you speak another language at home
3. Have you traveled to another country
4. Have spoken with someone who speaks a different language
5. Have you ever had a wrong first impression of someone who had a different background or came from another culture?
6. Has someone from a different back-ground or another culture ever had the wrong first impression of you?
7. Has an often mispronounced name?
• You might be wondering where this is all coming from. Why did we just ask you those questions? Why are we up here speaking to you today?
• Last fall, Loyola began a year of research and planning with the goal of “Going Global!” An educated person in the 21st century needs to strive to fulfill his/her own personal potential; to be open to new and different experiences and people/ to be spiritual people who have faith in God and God’s goodness; to be passionate about issues affecting our world; and to be willing to take action when injustice is perceived. Our aim at Loyola is to produce students who can think creatively and critically, who can communicate and collaborate effectively. The education that we provide at Loyola must prepare you, our students, with the 21st century skills needed to progress through the ever-changing world around us.
• “The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you do with what you know.” This links with our Jesuit mission, where our aim has always been to educate our students to not just keep their knowledge to themselves, but to share their learning with the world around them in service to others.
• As our Global Committee began defining what it means to be globally competent at Loyola, it quickly became clear that we should look at the Grad at Grad characteristics for inspiration! Not surprisingly, we realized that as a Jesuit community, we were already very global – we just needed to further highlight it. The Grad at Grad maintains that a graduate from a Jesuit school should be striving for academic excellence, be open to growth, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice. For the past year, Loyola has sought to develop a sixth characteristic, a graduate at graduation needs to be globally competent. A globally competent student demonstrates empathy and a complex understanding of the world from multiple perspectives; seeking to critically understand and take action on global issues through collaboration, perseverance, and problem solving.
• Keeping in mind that we are a part of a larger global Jesuit network, they too begin thinking about how our school communities can be more global. We’ll hear now from some schools around the world.
• The next question was how do we integrate this idea into our daily life at Loyola. We developed themes for each grade level in an effort to raise student awareness of problems and issues that confront our community today.
Freshmen: Identity – Culture and Self
In our Freshmen Year, through our various classes and activities, we seek to explore the following and hope that you will be able to articulate how your identity and that of others is formed both by cultural influences and by a sense of oneself:
1. Who are we and what helps to shape our sense of identity? What cultural influences have impacted my own identity? How does geography influence my identity?
2. What roles do we play as:
Students in a Jesuit High School
Students in New York City
Members of a Faith Community
Members of teams or clubs
Friends to others
3. Who are we as citizens of the world?
4. What is iconic to us and to other cultures? What do other cultures teach us?
5. What role does the media play in shaping our views about ourselves and others?
6. How can we celebrate differences among people, communities, and nations?
7. How has Biology made me who I am? How does gender influence my sense of self?
8. What events in my life have had a strong impact on my sense of self?
9. How has my own sense of self changed during my life, and how might it be expected to change in the future?
“Heal the world, make it a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race. There are people dying, if you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me.” – Michael Jackson
What do you need to survive? Air, food, water, shelter? What do you need to thrive? Education, money, freedom? Are these rights, or a privilege? What responsibility do we have, as individuals and communities, to make sure that those in other countries, and future generations, are given the same opportunities?
The theme of sophomore year is sustainability – how we balance social, economic and environmental needs to ensure the best future for the most people (ideally, everyone…). How can companies offer fair trade and workers’ rights while still making a profit? What are the most cost-effective ways of conserving energy? What is the most ethical way to use the natural resources around us? How can we fight the poverty we see all around us? It’s a delicate balancing act, and there’s no right answer.
This sustainable enquiry will take place both locally, like during the sophomore field trip to Brooklyn Grange Urban Farm last month or yesterday’s trip to New York Common Pantry, and globally, like the investigation into the effects of population growth and food production on the earth’s resources and ethical issues of land use. Whether we appreciate it or not, we are in a position of real privilege. If everyone on the planet lived like the average American, we would need 4.6 planets to support us.
Heal the World was released in 1991. Since then, the world population has increased from 5.5 billion to 7.5 billion. We are now generating about a third more waste per person, per day. We’ve experienced the ten warmest years on record. Ever. Sea levels continue to rise. 65.3 million people, or one person in 113 is currently displaced. Half the world’s population – more than 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day, and more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.
As Leonardo DiCaprio said to the UN in 2014, we only get one planet. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And, as humans, solving this crisis is our moral obligation.
How big is your world, does it encompass people, places and things outside of your immediate locality? Is your knowledge of world events confined to your neighborhood or just the borders of the U.S.? Is your vision of the future a narrow focus on only yourself and those immediately around you? The objective of the Global Education Initiative at Loyola is to raise awareness of the world and world events outside of our immediate vicinity. The idea is to introduce both current and historic events that have helped to shape the world we live in; to make us aware of how small and intimate our world is and to raise our empathy for those suffering from injustice.
The theme of junior year is Human Rights. The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights contains fifteen basic points. They can be summarized into several categories: we are all born free and equal, the right to life, no slavery, you have rights regardless of where you go, equality before the law, innocent until proven guilty, the right to privacy, and the right to seek a safe place to live.
In junior year one of the issues we have undertaken to explore is the issue of human rights through the treatment of Native Americans. The English class has examined the treatment of Native Peoples by the early colonists who arrived on our shores in the 17th century, the Spanish class has studied the treatment of Native Peoples by the early Spanish explorers and the History class has explored the treatment of Native Americans from the 18th through the 19th centuries. In addition, the History class and the Christian Service classes will study the Civil Rights movement in the last half of the 20th century. These are just two examples of how the theme of Human Rights will be explored in Junior year.
As Mark Twain once commented: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness… Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Seniors: Taking Action – Citizenship and Advocacy
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once posed that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” All of the Grad at Grad characteristics lead to answering this question and Global Competency all the more so. As global citizens of faith, we believe that we are partners in God’s vision for the world. We are here to be co-creators of God’s Kingdom of justice here on Earth. As St. Ignatius put it, our love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words. In short, we are all called to be men and women for and with others. So in the senior year, we will ask ourselves, what are we doing for others, how does my love show itself in deeds and not just words?
The senior theme is Taking Action- Citizenship and Advocacy. Seniors already show their love in action in the variety of leadership roles in our own Loyola community. From peer tutors and peer leaders, to student government, sports teams, service and retreat leaders, our seniors already demonstrate their commitment to make a difference in the world.
The Global Initiative will focus this commitment, nurture it into a true passion and give it a global perspective. Building on all that they have learned in four years of thinking about identity, sustainability and human rights, Seniors are asked to look at the communities around them and find an issue that for them most ignites a call to action.
Concerned about global poverty and housing issues? Perhaps the Senior Belize Service Trip is calling you to action. Want to finally stop the waste of disposable water bottles? Join the Ignatian Carbon Challenge Leadership team. Concerned about mass incarceration of people of color? Call your congressperson and ask for legislative change. Host a forum on racism. These are but a few examples of how to put love into action. The key in senior year is that it is determined by you, the student. Be the change you want to see in the world. Being a man or woman for others doesn’t start when you graduate, it starts now. So find your passion and go make a difference in the world, today.
• We hope you are as excited as we are about the global initiative at Loyola. This is a great opportunity for different kinds of learning in the classroom, on field trips, with speakers, and hopefully partnerships around the world.