The Global Citizenship Dinner was an evening to kick-off the programme at Otago, to spark conversations across a wide range of students for what global citizenship can look like on our campus. Specially we explored three key themes:
Empowering students through identity
Empowering students through community and diversity
Empowering students through global connection
We wanted to launch the programme with an event that would provide the perfect environment to foster personal, critical and challenging conversations about global citizenship. What better way than over food! Sharing plates, and having the initial connection of food was the perfect tool to allow students to connect.
Having genuine diversity and representation was key to allowing these conversations to take place. We purposefully invited a wide range of students to join us: tangata whenua, international students, students from different faiths, those passionate about the environment and sustainability, students of different genders, students of different ages and studying different degrees.
Explore some of the thoughts and reflections as we explored the different themes over three courses of the evening.
Keen to be a part of the Global Citizenship conversation at Otago? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to have you on board!
Student empowerment starts from knowing and being proud of our own identities. We explored questions of what makes our own identity, and what parts of our identity connect to being a global citizen. In particular, we questioned why as students we struggle to know what our identity is, and how being at University supports/diminishes our identity.
These questions were shared while we shared and made rice paper rolls to begin.
Diversity and community are key to how we can build and share student empowerment as global citizens. After our main meal of curries and rice, students at each table worked together to illustrate how easy and important bringing together diversity is.
Each table was challenged to create the most interesting structure using various items that each student had brought along with them to the dinner. We wanted to explore how diversity can empower communities - despite countless examples and experiences of diversity being used in tokensitic and disenfranchising ways. It was identified that one of the greatests challenges was fostering genuine conversations where other voices are given an equal, or greater, weighting.
When students think of global citizenship, this often brings up images of global issues and being ‘international’. These issues are often lofty and feel out of reach - bringing up questions of how we can be global citizens without leaving our own communities.
For our last course over dessert, we wanted to challenge how we can use our global connection to facilitate meaningful change. Each table was asked to strategically think about individual, group, community and national actions that could be taken in relation to these different global challenges: period poverty, fast fashion, food waste, mental health and well being of minority groups, and long term refugee support.