Thanks for supporting Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian in 2015!

N.A.H. Rewind: The Best of 2015

Thanks for supporting Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian in 2015!

As the year comes to a close, I share a count down of some of the most visited notes of 2015. This roundup will be my 700th note. Can you believe it?

Most Visited Notes in 2015

20. Moving Beyond Writer’s Block: 3 Tips For Writers For Social Justice

“The work we do offline often provides the fuel for the words we post online, so these thoughts can apply to your actions in the real world as well.”

19. I Write Because….

“I write because I’ve found that great power can be found within sharing our personal experiences, and making those experiences accessible to others. Not just the good stuff; not just the “successes”, but the struggles as well.”

18. There’s Room Enough For All Of Us In This Work

“There are many paths that lead to the same destination. There are many ways we can take part in making the world a better place.”

17. When Your World Grows, Things Change

“I was so struck by those words, that I was inspired to write this note. It was a reminder for me to check myself, and realize that whatever challenges I may currently be experiencing, where I am today, is not where I used to be.”

16. Randomly Organized Thoughts From 35,000 Feet

“Each of us may be going to something, or leaving something behind, at different times, and for different reasons. Some may give us warm feelings, while others may cause us sorrow.”

15. Hope: One-Word Inspiration

“Nights like last night served as an affirmation that I am serving in a way that is fulfilling to me, and beneficial to others, but more importantly at this moment, nights like last night inspired a deep sense of hopefulness.”

14. We Are Not Beholden To Our “Allies”

“Here’s the thing. If you are a person who is white who is truly concerned about racial justice, you need to really ask yourself why you’re in it.”

13. Degrees Are Not The Final Say

“Obtaining a degree in Social Work, or another helping profession should not be understood as an acknowledgement that we know all there is to know, but  an acceptance of a commitment to work towards continued learning and growth, and a charge to use what we’ve learned to work with others to undo the damage that has been done.”

12. A Story In A Single Image: Challenging The Myth Of Meritocracy

“Just because the rules may appear to be “fair”, doesn’t mean the game is.”

11. We Make Black History Every Day. We Rise, We Survive, We Fly

“We endure, we persevere, we rise, we survive, we fly in spite of living in a society that is constantly trying to erase us.

We take our place in the sea of life, and when we are gone, our legacies live on.”

10. Hurry Up And Wait: On Social Justice Elitism, And Eagerness For Change

“If we are to be engaged in intersectional and transformative social justice work, whether we are engaged in working for the liberation of our own marginalized identities, or in collaboration with others to work toward their liberation, it is also important to acknowledge that multiple realities exist and can be held and examined simultaneously.”

9. On Internalized Racism: Moving From Anger To Compassion

“I felt the air leave my lungs at that moment in a way that I hadn’t before. It’s not like I have never heard a person of color blame themselves or other people of color for their own oppression before, but with the way things were happening, and because of the kind of sharing that had been taking place that night, I didn’t expect it. I didn’t see it coming. I wasn’t prepared for it.”

8. I Will Try Again Tomorrow

“As I bow out for a bit, I leave you with a few links to pieces where folks have written what I could not, when I could not.”

7. Having Trouble Connecting With Oppressed Groups? Maybe It’s Not Them, Maybe It’s You

Allyhood is more of an action word than it is an identity. In fact, an ally is a descriptor that can only truly be given to you by people who are marginalized, whom you might be actively engaged in using your privilege to work with them for their liberation.

Allies need to be invited in, and should not go where they are unwanted.”

6. On The Social Construction Of Disability

“As a temporarily able-bodied person, the world is built for me in ways that recognize the everyday tools I use to navigate the world as “conveniences” or “technological advancements” instead of the supports and accommodations they actually are, and therein lies the privilege.”

5. Do You Take Your Truth Black, Or With Cream & Sugar? 14 Articles For White Folks Willing To Do Their Own Work

“For people who are white who are interested in learning the truth about the notion of white supremacy, and searching for ways to act, here are 14 articles with examples that bring the privileged reality of whiteness to bear and can help you to do your own personal work, if you’re willing to listen.”

4. Getting In Our Own Way: 2 Barriers We Contribute To That Limit Social Change

“It’s a life-long journey to learn ways to treat others more humanely, and tofree ourselves from the misinformation we’ve learned and internalized.

As I enter into year five, I reflect on two ways in which we can get in our own way in terms of meeting this goal: Egocentrism and Ethnocentrism.”

3. The Art Of War: How The Masses Are Convinced To Be Complicit With Oppression

“I share those four elements here; not so we can use them to harm others, but for us to be able to recognize them for what they are, and to find ways to interrupt the complicity with them in others, as well as within ourselves.”

2. 15 Things I’ve Learned While Working For Social Justice

“As my journey to learn ways to treat others more humanely continues, I share 15 links to 15 things I’ve learned while working for social justice.”

1. An Open Letter To The Parents Of College Students: 8 Things Those Students Want You To Know

“I work with students often, and am able to listen to the things they might not feel comfortable sharing with you.

That disconnect is one of the reasons that I am writing this letter.

From my work in orientations, to my time as a resident assistant in campus life, as a supportive staff in student affairs, and as a professor in the classroom, I’ve seen some steady patterns in the lives of some over the years, and this letter is an attempt to bring some things to your attention.”

Time Tested Favorites: Top 5 Visited Notes from Previous Years in 2015

5. It’s Not A Compliment. It’s Harassment

4. “How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?”

3. “When You Get, Give. When You Learn, Teach”

2. 4 Ways To Stay Mindful Of Social Justice Issues In Group Work Practice

1. Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.)

Whether you’re new to this blog, or have been with me from the very beginning, thanks for reading, listening, sharing and supporting.

New Notes coming in 2016.  There is plenty of archived content here to keep you busy until then.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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