When thinking about the different classes that I have taken at Longwood University pertaining to social inequalities, multiple classes come to mind, but I chose three papers to help show what I learned, and how I grew. The first paper I chose was a paper that talked about gender inequality, which I wrote about in my English class during my first semester. The second paper that I chose was about how race is used in the criminal justice system when looking at hot spot policing, this paper was written while I was in Introduction to Policing during my second semester. Lastly, I chose a paper from my Race and Ethnicity class that talks about a book we were reading at the time that focuses on race as a whole, but this section pertained to the colorblindness that people have when it comes to race. I wrote this paper during my first semester at Longwood University also.
When I first started here at Longwood, I did not really think of race being something that affects me, as I have always grown up treating everyone the same way. Or at least I thought, I later learned that is a form of colorblindness, which I address in my third paper. Knowing this has helped me want to learn more about other races, and what I can do to help advocate for them, instead of just going by what I already know. I have learned so much more than I ever thought that I would, by having educated conversations with classmates, both inside and outside of the classroom.
When looking at different social classes, I always knew that I was middle class, as my family has struggled, but we never faced the tremendous struggles that some families have. I never thought about the difference in the classes, minus looking at how the upper-class families can afford so much more, and how they were “lucky to have money.” Yet while at Longwood, I have talked to, and learned from so many different people from so many different backgrounds. I have had the opportunity to talk about and hear other students’ different struggles growing up and that has truly made me think twice before thinking what I had was much of a struggle at all. I will forever be thankful for the way that I grew up, and I hope that me going into policing, I will be able to help families out when they need them the most, and can hopefully help with that struggle in any way that I can.
When examing gender inequalities, these are always inequalities I focused on the most, being a female, definitely pursuing a career in a male-dominated field. I have always been afraid that I would only be hired so that a department would be able to meet their quota, instead of me being hired for the skill sets I bring to the table. Studying at Longwood University has helped me learn different signs, and statistics on how to tell if that is happening and if so what to do to fix the problem, and not just become a part of it. I have been able to learn so much more than I ever knew about the gender gap that our society still struggles with.
Inequalities with disabilities are something that I have never had to deal with and honestly something that I have never put much thought into. I have learned so much coming to Longwood and being around people that not only have them but embrace them. It has taught me the importance of having different amenities and assessability resources, and what building should have to be more inclusive to all disabilities. Before college, I would have never thought about the different things I know now.
Then looking at inequalities when it comes to sexuality, this is a big one in the media today. I have always believed that you should be able to love who you love, and have never really thought about the different struggles that comes with when you are not excepted. Being at Longwood, with the community that supports everyone has taught me so much since I have been here. I have been able to talk to people whose sexual orientation is different than mine, and it has really opened my eyes further than just saying, “love who you love,” because it is really not that easy.
Within my career I see this knowledge going with me far. As a police officer I will be working with all different types of people and knowing the different stories, and information I now know will help me be able to judge calls easier. Or if I see a certain type of bias I might have been able to notice before, I would be able to call it out, and possibly help if I am able to. Everything I have learned will hopefully help bring me closer to the community that I am in because although I can not resonate with everything, I can at least show an attempt to understand, and the actions of me wanting to help however I can.