Sunday, November 30, 2014
Mina's 3rd Blog
This Thanksgiving Break has hardly been relaxing. While it was nice to come home and see my family for a few days, I spent much of the time worrying about final research papers and starting my research as a UN CSW fellow. All of these projects revolve around similar topics and have required me to immerse myself in literature surrounding the prison-industrial complex, the punitive neo-liberal state, and the ongoing legacy of racism in the United States. That and along with the social unrest and politically polarizing climate following the events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri have left my activist, social-justice oriented self feeling pretty emotionally and mentally burned out.
However, I do have much to be thankful for this week and in life. In all my endeavors, I know I have the full support of my family, who may not always understand my radical politics, but who still believe in me and my capacity to do great things in life. I have so much support from everyone at WomenNC and from the non-profit I’ve decided to partner with, InStepp, whose founder and director has proven her commitment to helping me complete this project by already setting up interviews for me with three former InStepp clients. I also have a lot of support from faculty advisors and professors at Duke University, some of whom have helped me begin my research project for my fellowship through helping me craft appropriate research questions and connecting me with even more sources. They have also allowed me to continue exploring all the unanswered questions I still have about the topics I’ve been studying through independent studies next semester. I also have my health and heaps of unearned privilege in life that I am also thankful for (and will utilize for the betterment of those without those privileges).
As I try to become more immersed in activism and more personally invested in the social justice issues I witness everyday, I need to remember that self-care is an important part of sustaining my passion and optimism as I continue to learn about all these systemic social issues. And remembering the many things in life I have to be grateful for is a necessary part of self-care.