This blog post was written by Tahira Ebrahim, Centre Liaison Officer at the School of Global Access.
Beginning fall 2018, the IC will be emphasizing the role of global citizenship within its programming. What is global citizenship, and why should being a global citizen, matter? Global citizenship is often described as the active role an individual embodies, concerning matters of social justice, advocacy, and advancing one’s knowledge of global issues.
While understanding the interdependency, social constructs, and economic structures developed in response to globalization is critical, global citizenship can truly begin at a local level due to the burgeoning diversity of our local communities.
At its core, global citizenship is an understanding that one exists and operates within a community of different lived experiences, privileges, and realities. Being a citizen from a legal standpoint entails accessing certain rights and services, however citizenship can also include encouraging governments, corporations, and other organizations to change existing practices for the sake of societal inclusivity and equity (Walker, 2017). True citizenship is an active process, critically analyzing one’s society and its current values, practices, and institutions and being a part of democratic processes to both offer one’s perspective, but to also participate in the evolution of one’s community.
Being global by definition is not merely a geographical term, but rather an approach that is holistic and comprehensive. A global citizen considers the rights and needs of all community members, which may initially require seeking out information and different realities of people living in the same community. However a constant journey seeking out information and perspectives is what enables an individual to both practice citizenship, and can assist them in bringing a spectrum of voices to decision making tables, with the ultimate goal that citizenship equally benefits everyone in a community.
To kick off this year’s theme, the IC is hosting Moji Taiwo, author, and motivational speaker, for a unique Cultural Insights workshop, where she will draw on her experience and expertise in the field of justice. Moji will be speaking to the importance of contributing to one's community, and understanding that the diverse lived experiences each of us possesses, offers value for our communities, better enabling us to envision a more collective and inclusive future.
Throughout the year, the IC will be hosting activities and workshops that encourage broader perspectives and opportunities for engaged citizenship. Stay tuned to our events calendar for more details.
Take a look at our previous global citizenship activity encouraging learners to rethink their role as global citizens.
Walker, J. (2017). What Does it Mean to be a Citizen? Retrieved August 7, 2018, from: http://www.responsiblecitizen.co.uk/what-it-means-to-be-a-citizen.html