To celebrate the launch of the new global studies and social impact major, Arifa Javed, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, spoke about transnationalism and global citizenship in the new millennium Thursday, Nov. 17. She spoke for an hour in Grand Valley State University's Cook-DeWitt Auditorium to a room full of about 100 people.
"We coexist today as part of a global village, when you share your village you need to share the norms of the village," Javed said.
She continued, saying it is crucial to not just accept people into our country, but their cultural beliefs as well.
"Globalization is a reality driven by international trade and commerce and is supported by technological changes," Javed said. "So, the core existence values of this global village is coexistence. (This) requires acceptance without being judgmental."
She then spoke of how a global citizen identifies with the world rather than just having connections to local societies.
"Citizenship is a long-term investment in the community no longer where you live, it is a global community you need to extend your identity to," Javed said.
Javed has been popularizing the idea of transnationalism the last 18 years. She began by offering workshops to school teachers and then branched out to more professions from there. Javed spent the first 35 years of her life in India. She explained that India is a very diverse country racially, religiously and culturally. Javed said you couldn't go 200 miles in any direction without a culture change. She moved to America after 1995 and continued her work in sociology. She entered a very diverse America.
Javed said for a country like the U.S. to maintain itself with such diversity, it is important to view it like an orchestra. We all play a different instrument, but together we make beautiful music, Javed said.
"I haven't heard an analogy like that before, that was really cool. It is true too, we need to all accept each other," said Matthew Foreman, a GVSU student who attended the speech.
"Our goal is to build a global capital. Local coastal won't take us very far," Javed said. "Don't abandon your local identities, broaden them and connect them on a national level, then we will have international identities."
The new global studies and social impact major will introduce students to the problems of the world as well as host over 50 events yearly. Students will take courses consisting of African/African American studies, Middle East studies, East Asian studies and more.
"We are creating what is the right program for the right time in history of our nature and of our world," said Anne Hiskes, dean of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies at GVSU.