Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The journey began at 6:30AM Tuesday morning as we piled into two minivans and headed on our way to the Motor City, site of the 2010 US Social Forum. Upon arrival we wasted no time in getting involved as we held our initial collaboration meeting with the UC Riverside and our other counterparts. The central message of our group's first meeting challenged my past research experiences. Being a science major, and participating in chemistry research over the last year, I am quite used to the "white lab-coat" approach to research in which one is totally removed from what he or she is observing. For our team to accomplish its mission at the USSF this week I will need to remove this typical attitude and immerse myself within the experiment. I can no longer attain my status as a neutral, unattached observer, because I do have political interests and passions that I will attempt to take a stance on in Detroit, while becoming more enlightened about the issues from the many grassroots groups in the process. Our research collaboration, like the USSF itself, aims to better grasp the totality of the various social movements that are occurring all around us. Being an active participant will help me better understand whether the USSF is a table for progress to be made, or if it is developing into an organization with particular views and reputations. Either way a common theme to look for this week will be the emphasis the forum places on the intentionality of hearing other voices that have, in the past, lacked a voice. Off to the opening ceremony march... more to come later.