Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Color blind or Color Brave

"Color blind or Color Brave" a Tedtallk documentary by Mellody Hobson; an inspirational discussion about "race"
When Mellody mentioned that for a moment she felt uncomfortable talking about race during this conference, I knew the feeling. For me, I do not like to necessarily talk about race or point it out. I think there have been a couple of moments in my life where I would go to a place and feel uncomfortable because I didn't see people who "looked" like me. But that did not change the way I interacted or how I felt. I honestly can' recall a time that I have ever felt ignored or unwanted because of my race. HOWEVER, with that being said, people have noticed my race and my personalty. People have seen my color and instead compared it to the attributes of how a "black" woman in our society should act. Many people, have called me an "Oreo" or a "Black White Girl".  They would say that I'm not as aggressive and "ghetto" as most black woman are. Honestly, I did not know how to take this information. In my mind, I am just me. I act how I act. I talk how I talk. No one in one race is exactly the same; talks the same; looks the same, therefore how can I not be black?

It's so funny that I watched this Tedtalk at this time because I even had an issue today at work. My co-worker and I were discussing meats. I do not eat any. She asked me if I have ever ate fried chicken. Back when I ate meat I said yes, but it isn't that serious to me. She responded by saying, "you're not really black" and this is not the first time I have heard someone say this because I do not exhibit the criteria of a "real" black female. So people do see color. I think relating to the tweet below, people believe that if you do not see color, that is a good thing. But it's not. It is just way to avoid race. As Mellody Hobson says in her Tedtalk, "The first step to solving any problem is not to hide from it." I believe by saying you do not see color is ignoring the "problem" of race. It is like someone saying "I do not see you as black, I see you as you" Although they may mean well by this statement, at the end of the day, I am black, that is apart of who I am and that cannot be disowned.

never trust anyone who says they do not see color. this means to them, you are invisible. — is

Sunday, September 20, 2015



Based on my score on the ideology test, it seems that I identify with Risk, Resilience and Prevention as well as Critical Youth Development. I scored 13 on Risk, Resilience and Prevention and a 14 on Critical Youth Development. When it comes to youth work, I definitely want to see kids and the youth strive in a positive light. I feel like this is why I identify with the risk, resilience and prevention. I want youth to understand there are ways out of troubled situations like being in a gang or being a bully. I feel like getting more kids and youth involved in after school actives really helps this cause. Since my focus is to become a basketball coach, I will be working with kids not just in a competitive atmosphere but this is also a way to keep them focused on something positive and risk-free.

As regards to critical youth, it kind of is the same thing in the sense that it is working with the youth in important things that do affect them. For example the Ideology Horoscope mentions that under this category you work with the youth and talk about classism , and racism and more. It is important to talk about all of these different issues with the youth and this is where youth acceptance and appreciation is valued. This is where as youth development workers, we engage with the youth and value their voice and opinions and work with them on important issues. Reading the Ideology horoscope I can understand how my mindset aligns with both the risk, resilience, and prevention youth development and the critical youth development

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blog Post #2: YIA

Youth in Action is a very good program provided for the youth these days and it is something I never saw when I was younger. I was a part of clubs like the YMCA but nothing like Youth in Action; nothing that taught kids that they had a voice and their voice matters. The beautiful thing about Youth in Action is the fact that it is allowing these kids to have a voice. It is allowing these kids to have their own opinions and not be afraid to talk about their opinions. One statement made in the article by Diana Jacques really spoke to me and its when she says, “I argue with someone at YIA at least once a week- but in a good way.” This itself is extremely important and I am glad that people are realizing that their opinions matter. Although others don’t agree, that’s okay, as long as you voice your thoughts. If I did have something like YIA when I was younger, I would have found my voice more quickly. It honestly wasn’t until I was a freshman in college, when I realized that my thoughts and ideas and opinions are valuable and are important. And I think YIA is doing a great job teaching kids this. 

This is also why YIA exemplifies the model of working WITH the youth. Throughout the article and reading not only the adults testimonies but the kids involved, really showed how important it is for YIA to work with the kids. In the beginning it is stated that the kids are in charge and the adults are there to help and guide them along. All youth workers should have this same idea in mind when working with kids; that they are doing just that, working with them. It’s a beautiful thing when kids feel accepted and feel like people are there for them and helping them along in their lives. Youth in Action is just great program that truly works with its kids and helps the youth realize that they are the voice of power and what they think, and their ideas are just as important as adults thought and ideas. They are not just products of their parents but they are their own person and they are allowed to have their own thoughts and ideas. I believe this article is not only about explaining how amazing YIA really is, but also how important it is to work with these kids and encouraging and helping them find their voices in this world.

Monday, September 7, 2015

What Is Youth Work?

Youth workers are many things. They are educators. It is our goal to engage with the youth and educate the youth in several of ways. One of my favorite activities would always be ice breaker activities. This is a great way to engage members of the youth and start building the trusting relationships that are so important. And then once a trusting relationship is developed, it becomes easier to get involved in their lives and help educate them and aid them with whatever they need. And then there is social practice where youth workers deal with the youth in more of a group setting or engaging with the youth on another level that isn't just to educate them but to help and guide them. I also had an idea to become a guidance counselor because in high school, I myself had such a great one and felt like my high school guidance counselor really understood his students and knew how to deal with the youth. One time I worked for TD Summit which was a program at URI that had high school students spend the night at URI and our job was to show them what it was like to be in the TD program at URI and the importance of school. TD also known as Talent Development program is to help and encourage students that are African American or of low economic status get that extra nudge (and support) to attend college. This program was one that really helped show these high school students not only the importance of college but how important social justice is to URI. This was also a way, for us to get involved and to get the kids involved because once they make the commitment to join TD, they could be the next generation of TD Summit helpers. Another important aspect of youth work is giving the youth a sense of power with their ideas and voices. I feel like that is one thing I lacked growing up; feeling as though I had a voice. But now with the voice I have now, I want to encourage more individuals to use their voice and I want to be considered someone that is influential. Youth work is also a welfare practice and when I think of that, I think of different educational programs like D.A.R.E. In junior high school, there was also this guy that would sing rap songs about not doing drugs and different ways, to not end up in jail. He would talk to us and just try to get the youth to understand the troubles of gangs and violence and the bad stuff of the world. I feel like D.A.R.E and what he did is youth work and is a part of the welfare practice part of it. And although different problems such as drugs and violence may arise in youth, at the end of the day, youth work is working with the youth because they are the youth, they are young, and they are the next generation of people that will be leaders of this world.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Who Am I

This picture is adorable; I love turtles!

I am Danai Porter. I want to be a writer; I'm aspiring to be a coach.  My interests include but
are not limited to: writing, playing sports; listening to music, etc; this summer I worked for the majority of it at my main job Wendy's and at Slater Park Camp. It was such an enjoyable experience working at the camp and it confirmed my reasoning to have Youth Development as my major. My concentration is Health and Media because as mentioned with my degree I hope to be involved in coaching in someway and nowadays media is a huge thing so why not have a concentration in that? Oh yeah and just a little side note type thing, I am a pascatarian; no meat; seafood&veggies.
My first tattoo 

"Protect Me', the book I wrote.
Basketball over the years.