Some values implemented by community psychologists are focusing on youth and family health and women's rights. Many programs have been designed to help address and prevent child abuse and empower women. The value of a child is sometimes very different in families in different cultures. Another area is the communication of families and what is considered being respectful in some cultures. I do think the prevention of child abuse is necessary and empowering women is just as important. To come in with a distant approach to "fix" a problem does not work as well as one that would understand and respect certain cultural beliefs and find a workable solution. To the people trying to be helped they may feel values they don't understand or implement are being forced on them. This is where community psychology comes in by identifying and addressing the issue and values of the community. Only after the values are clearly identified and respected can the programs and methods designed to help be successful.
After viewing the videos and reading the chapter and website articles I decided in my limited knowledge to try and take a community psychology approach at understanding what it means to me. I thought about my family beliefs, culture, environments and upbringing. I decided to look at a controversial issue brewing in a community I am familiar with, grew up in and still is home to me in my heart. I wanted to be self-reflexive so I thought about the issue of the copper mine in the town of Superior and a recent article that was written about the vision for the residents. The town was an established copper mining town that rode the boom and bust of that business. Now a huge copper deposit was discovered and a new mine is in progress of trying to mine it. A lot of controversy over the method and environmental impact has been raised and who and what kind of jobs it would provide but the economic state of the town would benefit from the possible business it would draw.
Since the original mine shut down the town has had many boarded up businesses, the numbers of students at the schools declined and a lot of drug use and drug related crime evolved. Now that the new mine is coming in there is hope but the town is struggling to get up on its own feet without handing over the town, people and environment to the highest bidder. Many of the businesses that are closed were sold in the past and are now being held on for future sale by the owners. Rather than do anything with the properties, except maintain the taxes, some of the owners are waiting for others to build up the town and sell to the highest bidder. The mining company is trying to push through legislation for the government to swap the land before the NEPA study is done, and some of the residents want the jobs and money now regardless of the impact. The mayor recently gave a state of the town speech speaking of the town's history, economic state and a call on the residents to share his vision. The mayor said, "I live in Superior and I enjoy the beauty and memories of the sights as we all do. I am proud of this town and the inhabitants because we are a community that, when we choose, can band together and create great change and improvement working towards a common vision. As I said in the beginning, there is nothing wrong with Superior that cannot be cured with what is right with Superior." (Valenzuela, 2014). I liked this article because it addressed the social issues of the community. He discussed the similarities of the residents, which includes them, and called for solidarity to implement changes. He identified concerns and became a voice of different options they could all together work towards. Let's face it, they are a primarily Hispanic town that doesn't generate much economically, compared to the big money companies, they are the underdog. I would love to see the depowerment of the company and a commitment on their part to form a partnership that benefits both. I would also like to see the government officials that are put in position to look out for the Arizona residents stop pushing for the money and look at the whole picture. There is hope and I will be passing along the quote, "If you've come to help me you're wasting your time. But if you've come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together" (Stinger, 1996, p.148).
Valenzuela, J. (2014, January). Superior Sun. State of the Town. Retrieved from: http://copperarea.com/pages/category/archived/superior-archive/.
Stringer, E. T. (1996). Action research: A handbook for practitioners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Retrieved from: http://www.education.miami.edu/isaac/public_web/chaptwo.htm.