Exploring the U.K.!

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Since the city of Cambridge lifted the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on May 29, 2021, the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency will end on June 15, 2021, due to the significant improvements in public health metrics, and it will rescind its March 19, 2020, Declaration of Public Health Emergency in Cambridge effective June 15, 2021. Additionally, my professors, peers, and I have continued to test negative for covid-19, so we have left quarantine at our designated hotel to go live with our homestay family. I have appreciated my time at my homestay’s family because it has given me a better feeling that we move forward each day and get one step closer to normality again. Instead of volunteering three times a week as scheduled, we have modified it to once a week at the Gretton School in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Regarding our course, I have learned that the term “minority” used, for example, to refer to African Americans, Latinxs, Asian Americans, and Indigenous students at predominantly white institutions, can have adverse effects. Racial minority groups are not always the minority like in historically black colleges and universities where they are the majority. However, people in administration positions could utilize the attendance of minorities at higher education institutions to argue that they are no longer at a disadvantage by being the majority in a higher education institution. Alternatively, when there is too little enrollment of minorities in higher education institutions, oppressors could argue that the racial minority groups are too small to merit resources. As a result, limiting the progress toward racial equity and giving easier access for oppressors to continue disempowering people by calling them “minority” gives the sense that they lack at least a quantitative power which is what racism and bigotry does. Before studying abroad, I had never had this awakening perspective on how hurtful it could be to call others “minorities.” This is an important learning for me while studying abroad because it has motivated me to eliminate the term “minority” from my dialogue and instead replace it with “marginalized” to highlight that certain racial groups have been and still get purposefully and systematically oppressed in the United States. Furthermore, it is critical to understand that racism and bigotry exist in the United States and globally. In The University of Cambridge, where the majority are British students, they celebrated the 2020-2021 academic school year for their record high attendance of marginalized students such as African and Asian students, not to truly help marginalized students progress in their professional careers but to boost the diversity on their campus for the own benefit of the university. I have genuinely enjoyed every second thus far in the United Kingdom as this study abroad program has provided me with a closer scope of how education works in a more global context. Aside from taking courses and volunteering at the Gretton School, I had some free time this past weekend, so some peers and I traveled to London. The picture shown above is from my trip to London where I visited Buckingham Palace, which has served as the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since the 1830s and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. I am so grateful to be here and looking forward to my last five days in the U.K.!