The March for Our Lives resonates with other social movements of our turbulent and divisive social moment-most notably, Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, the MeToo movement, the immigrant rights movement, and Standing Rock-all addressing longstanding systemic violence and oppression and new permutations of racism, xenophobia, and exploitation. These visible and collective public efforts to mobilize change and address injustice leverage many decades of work by communities and youth, particularly young people of color like March for Our Lives speaker Naomi Wadler, to call attention to pervasive gun violence and its intersections with racism, poverty, and domestic violence.
They are also connected to legacies of protest and social activism that extend back through human history.
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While the current climate may feel unprecedented in some ways, the images of marches and student-led movements scrolling on our TV screens and digital media devices remind us of the importance of looking back into history to see both its resonances in the present and how it might instruct us for the future. We can look, for instance, to the first issues of RTE published 50 years ago, in the late s, during another momentous and turbulent time in modern history.
It was a period punctuated by ongoing turmoil: the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kennedy; the launch of the Tet Offensive and the My Lai Massacre, which fueled the anti-war movement at its peak; the rise of Black Power, symbolized by the Human Rights Salute at the Olympics; the grape boycott led by a coalition of Filipino and Mexican farmworkers; the Stonewall riots; and, outside of the United States, the May student and workers' strikes in France and Senegal, the Prague Spring, the state-sanctioned killings of student and civilian demonstrators in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, and the beginning of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
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The period also ushered in some of the most significant legislation of the Civil Rights Era, such as the Fair Housing Act, the Bilingual Education Act, and the Architectural Barriers Act, which required wheelchair accessibility in structures receiving federal money, including some schools. Throughout these movements and events, students and educators were at the forefront, and scholarly institutions were sites of contestation, change, and controversy. Education was, and continues to be, inextricable from broader political and social contexts. For example, the student-led strikes at San Francisco State University initiated the formation of the first ethnic studies program, beginning a struggle that continues today at Tucson Unified School District and in ongoing debates throughout the country about whose histories, knowledges, and intellectual legacies will be represented in the curriculum.
It was also in that the Brazilian literacy educator Paulo Freire first published Pedagogy of the Oppressed. An unknown error has occurred. While time is the biggest contributing factor to this progression, importance of space and environment cannot be under mined. This process is so slow and gradual that there are no panics; there may be surprises, but no panics. And since we humans are a product of this nature, we just cannot by-pass this process; and so the forever existing generational gap.
If you closely look at the categorization above, you will observe that the gap-years have shrunk — for Baby Boomers it is 18 years, Gen X — 15 years and for Gen Y — 9 years. So does that mean nature is not swift anymore — what happened to the gradual and slow process of evolution here? Multiple sources of information regard this gap to aspects such as victim of wars, witness of civil upheavals, boom of industrialization and dawn of information technology. And all of these aspects have contributed immensely to the space and environment factors, including the shrinking gap.
Each of these aspects has evoked different emotions and energy to the generation to not only sustain but also propagate itself — the prime purpose of nature.source site
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Currently, information technology is the biggest environmental factor that is increasingly shrinking this gap. The focus is shifting from back-ground and experience to what one brings to the table! It affects immensely as a workplace relation consists of multiple layers — communication channels; feedback methods; commitment and dedication etc. Gives direct criticism, little or no appreciation, and no fixed frequency of giving feedback.
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Extremely high commitment and dedication towards work and related systems. Gen Y Active use of technology and related communication channels.
Believes in giving feedback and little appetite to receive feedback. Feedback-frequency is not moderated Commitment levels are high but may not be so for dedication. Wants to explore more options than available.
Gen X Active use of technology and related communication channels. In fact, dependency is high. Believes in giving feedback and truly receives from selected set of people they trust and respect. Moderated frequency of feedback. Work is sought as a medium to not only lift status but also spirit. Gen Z Very high dependency on communication through technology. In fact little reliance on face-to-face communication. Actively believes in giving and receiving feedback.
Bridging the Gap: Considering Factors That Shape Generations
Here, take a minute or two to reflect upon the information in the table above and answer these questions:. Well, as we started, evolution happens — one can clearly note the process of Natural Selection in the information above, i. Of course it is, co-habitation is extremely central to us, we are social animals. We need a societal construct and we actively categorize. We are now very actively forming groups of similar interests so we can share and collaborate more effectively.
As process of evolution, we are moving towards a generation that wants to collaborate with the best in a certain field and not just with anyone, not just by chance.
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