The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Sophia Pinnie '23 RGLP Reflection:

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I felt that my cultural and personal growth was cut short due to COVID-19, as I only had two formative terms on campus as a freshman. This past year has been ridden with social isolation; going from the liveliness and openness of Dartmouth to my small community in Pennsylvania felt suffocating in a sense. I wanted to challenge the stagnancy that accompanied COVID-19 and re-engage not only with the Dartmouth community, but the global community.  Within RGLP, I experienced a plethora of cultural experiences via Zoom that challenged my comfort level. In the session "Inconspicuous Culture: Understanding Other by Developing Self" with Dr. Dottie Morris, Dr. Morris challenged us in our breakout rooms to discuss immensely relevant and sensitive topics regarding Asian Hate and Black Lives Matter. In my breakout room, I was one of three self-identifying Asian Students who were eager to delve into discussions surrounding the recent hate crimes against Asian's in the U.S. and what they were doing to support the movement. I remember distinctly feeling a pang of nervousness and fear I would say either incorrect or ignorant that would've signaled to my group a lack of caring. I was not as educated on the topic as they were, which scared me greatly as I was fearful my curiosity would come off as ignorance. I am thankful for the space RGLP has fostered and provided me with because I was able to engage in a conversation rooted in empathy and curiosity. My groupmates not only welcomed but encouraged questions regarding the surge of hate crimes against Asians and the national/ global implications. I left the breakout room with no feelings of anxiety and a newfound understanding/empathy for Asian-Americans in this current climate.

Written by Sophia Pinnie, a member of the Spring 2021 Cohort of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program

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