JCCC Honors Journal


In the summers of 2016 and 2017 I travelled to two distinctive places in America in a mission to better understand the issues which most affected people there. The first of the two locations was Kansas, where I traversed its length on a bicycle, stopping along the way to meet people in the rural communities and discuss with them the hardships that they face on a number of fronts. The second location was Flint, Michigan, where I was drawn, three years after the water crisis, to learn how its effects have impacted the residents. Having conducted observational, first-hand research of both of these very different places, there were common telling signs that indicated decline from a socio-economic perspective. From a critically observational lens when you regularly witness crumbling old houses, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out that there is some larger force at play contributing to the degradation. Upon further research into the issues I was introduced to in person, I noticed that there seemed to be constants in the causes of both cases of decline. Not only did it become clear that similar causal factors were present in the socio-economic trials of each of these places, but indeed, many marginalized communities across the country share these struggles.