Words and Thoughts from Ben

Hello and Welcome,

I have read much about inequality and social stratification, and suppose I have seen it before in Rochester, in New York, and across America.  However, as I’ve steadily learned Rochester geography, and positioned myself in terms of where I am living this year (south wedge) and where I work (edgerton), I’ve learned that issues of inequality are not easily mapped on a 2d plane nor are they easily described in a book.  I am grappling with how poverty can exist in such close proximity to wealth.  I have been humbled by how much I do not understand about Rochester.  For instance, with my background and limited experience how can I possibly claim to understand why only nine percent of African American males in Rochester graduate high school?  What right do I even have to do so? 

As I settle into my placement at the Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services, I am eager to discover more about life, culture, and community in Rochester and meet the diverse men, women, and children who have dedicated their lives to identifying and developing plans to tackle the biggest issues facing Rochester.  These issues are complicated, and I look forward to working towards an understanding of how best to address them.

Peace,

Ben

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