Tuesday, October 11, 2016
This week's guest speaker is Susana De Anda. Susana co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center. She has taken her passion for social justice and turned it into an effort to assist members of her community by providing access to clean drinking water. Susana is determined and a true leader. These traits are apparent during her presentation. Despite the challenges with the drought and shortage, she still works to make sure the community has a seat at the table and that human health is a priority. She started ten years ago by knocking on doors and through her persistence, she now helps low-income residents fight for water and their own health in the San Joaquin Valley.
Although dependent on the branch of art being analyzed, it typically is mostly performed and watched by people of higher social status. This is especially true when considering events such as plays and art exhibitions, but no matter where you come from virtually everyone has a form of art in their life. For example, most of us enjoy listening to some type of music - regardless of what this is, it can help bring people closer together. This is what Vernita is trying to do. The arts are an extremely powerful tool, as she proves through some of her scientific studies, and can be used as an element in which important messages are relayed. While Vernita did not have the driving and determined personality that some of our previous lecturers had - like Sussana de Anda - she can get away without having one. It is clear that Vernita is extremely well-versed in this area of study, and has a range of personal experiences to reinforce this. After working in more than 20 countries, and visiting tens of others, she has immersed herself in many different cultures and was able to see the importance of the arts on every single one. It will not be surprising to see Vernita succeed with the unique yet crucial work she is involved with.
Monday, October 3, 2016
The most surprising thing I learned in this lecture was that thousands of people in California have no access to water, and the government was doing virtually nothing about it before Susanna's effort. I always assumed that water rights were issues seen in developing countries, but never in a place advanced as the United States. What scares me is that after more than a decade, tap water has still not been restored to many of this people, which just goes to show how slow moving the government can be. For the type of work that she does, I believe her personality is very beneficial. Susanna is fierce yet justly determined to get what she wants and what everyone deserves. Not only does is convince the general public that what she's doing is effective and moral, but also will ensure that government actually listens to what she's fighting for. This has appeared to work well for her, since she is now officially partnered with the government ensuring the problem is resolved.