Monday, April 30, 2012

Reflections from Minneapolis to You

As I've been thinking about my volunteer year recently I am encouraged by reading other volunteer's blogs and hearing about their struggles, accomplishments, and growth. 

Minneapolis Skyline.
 About a month ago, Caroline, an LVC volunteer in Minneapolis posted a very deep and thoughtful blog post on her reflection of service this past year at her placement Open Arms. I especially liked how she took her thoughts and service and then applied them to how she has come to understand privilege and oppression all in the realm of her volunteer year.  Here's an excerpt from "Reflection of Service" from her blog Care to Share:
"When I think about my decision to join the Lutheran Volunteer Corps last spring, I heard many different responses from people.  Some thought it was great that I was “giving back” to my community, or even that I had a lot to share with the people I would be serving.  Others joked that volunteer organizations like LVC or Americorps are something that people do when they can’t get a job or as a way to postpone entering the “real world.” A few friends were very excited to know that I would be more actively engaged in anti-oppression work, critically analyzing the systems that classify individuals into boxes, ultimately creating systems of oppression.  Even my own definition and understanding of what it means to be a ‘volunteer’ has changed quite a bit in the past couple of years, but especially over the course of my time in here in Minneapolis.  If anything, I have learned that service work is incredibly complex."

I really appreciated this post both for its thoughtfulness and the hard truth that service work is so incredibly complex and challenging. I love how she discusses how her view of service work has changed over the past year as part of LVC as I relate to a lot of it. This short paragraph is just the surface of her blog post as she goes on to tackle different -isms make affect service work.  I would highly HIGHLY encourage you to check out the full blog post as it is full of profound insights on oppression and social justice work. You can read her full blog post here.

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