Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 3: Trip to Raleigh

Today started off a little congested since the one bathroom wasn’t quite enough for our morning routine but being the resourceful business students that we are we found a way to get supply to meet demand. We were supposed to get to the office early this morning since we were traveling a little over an hour north to Raleigh so we were a little worried about making it on time but we somehow ended up beating Justin, our FLOC boss…SLACKER….kiddddding! After a pretty rushed breakfast, we hit the road and I had to drive a car full of zombies to the city (luckily he had a pretty bomb playlist...courtesy of Logan.) When we finally got there, we met with Ajamu Dillahunt, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Consumer, Housing and Workforce Issues. He was a very inspiring man full of experience and insights into social justice issues. He talked with us about his efforts to improve conditions for workers in the black community, the similarities between the black and Hispanic communities, and how to create solidarity between the two groups in the fight for justice. After a quick lunch at a specialty pizza shop, it was off to more meetings with strong FLOC supporters from church groups and other unions. Today helped us to see how community organizers communicate and collaborate to progress the social justice movement. Community organizing involves long hours, constant traveling, and inevitable frustration resulting from the slow pace of change in society. I’ve accumulated a lot respect this week for these people who work tirelessly for the rights of others, even in the face of daunting, seemingly insurmountable challenges.

After our meetings today, we began a scavenger hunt in search of something to do in for fun in North Carolina on a Wednesday night… a tougher task than you might imagine. Armed with a GPS, we searched for comedy clubs, live music, arcades, and even skating rinks, but to no avail. The final straw was when we drove 25 miles into the middle of nowhere in search of a skating rink, only to find out that it had been shut down due to too many drug deals going down there. Sounds like some wholesome fun, right? Since North Carolina couldn’t seem to supply us with any entertainment, we decided to create some of our own. We went to Wal-mart (apparently one of the more popular tourist attractions) and purchased Catch Phrase and two packs of energy drinks. The rest is the stuff of legends. After that, we got dinner at a Japanese restaurant where we met a group of high school seniors who had driven 40 minutes to this place just for something to do…We shot some videos asking them questions about what they knew about migrant farm workers, which made for some interesting footage. The night concluded with a detour through some shady back roads and some killer dancing in the car. We are pretty exhausted from another long day. We won’t be getting much sleep (again) because we are leaving tomorrow morning at 7:30am for a 3-hour road trip to Winston-Salem, NC to visit the Reynolds headquarters. That’s it for now. Time for some well-deserved sleep!


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