A Talk on The Importance of Self-Reflection for Social Change

I was invited to speak at C3 in West Michigan on Sunday, May 21st 2017. I was asked to share some readings for the group to think on prior to my arrival and I’m sharing them here with you:

The Culture of Social Justice Elitism by Amer F. Ahmed

Allies Who Are Not Allies by fliponymous

Education is an Act of Faith by Keith Edwards

C3’s articulated values are Common Humanity, Diversity, Open Inquiry, Compassionate Action, Environmental Sustainability, and Well-Being.

In an attempt to keep that in mind, I called my talk “Getting Out of Our Own Way: The Importance of Self-Reflection for Social Change.”

For this talk , I read a collection of my writings from over the years at Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian in an attempt to connect them into a single message. While I didn’t get through it all, links to the notes I referenced are below:

Barely Scratching the Surface: Thoughts on Social Identities, Power, Privilege, & Oppression-– September 10th, 2011.

Fear–April 1st, 2017.

Getting in Our Own Way: 2 Barriers We Contribute to That Limit Social Change— April 1st, 2015.

On Power & Privilege Denial, and “Hurt Feelings” in Social Justice Work–March 2nd, 2016.

Hurry Up and Wait: On Social Justice Elitism and Eagerness for Change–September 2nd, 2015.

Although not featured in the video due to time constraints, I also would have shared my note, The Art of War: How The Masses Are Convinced to be Complicit With Oppression from January 2015 to make connections to what can happen when we do not think critically about our biases and connections to power and privilege.

“I am an Aspiring Humanitarian, with an emphasis on the term “Aspiring”. I accept the fact that my personal growth will be a lifelong process.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW

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Relando Thompkins-Jones

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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