Jonelle Krise spent four weeks in the summer of 2014 studying and traveling with the Pitt in Greece program in various cities throughout Greece. Her studies were focused on developing a comparative analysis of the European Union crisis and the effects tourism has had on the local communities. This was Jonelle’s first time experiencing life as an American abroad, and she soon learned how deeply engrained American culture is globally. She also discovered that Greece’s economic suffering has been greatly hidden by the veil of international tourism. Interacting with Greek locals allowed her to see how much the Greek way of life has changed while their core values of family and religion have stayed stronger than ever. While traveling the mainland from North to South, Jonelle spent time exploring tourist attractions in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Epidavros, Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, Vergina, Meteroa, and Karpathos, which has been something she has wanted to do her whole life. Seeing the effects of poverty combined displaced with the beauty of the tourist sights and ancient ruins has motivated Jonelle to further her studies in urban policy and social work. The hard-working people of Greece deeply inspired her, teaching to love life and remain humble.
CEE Title: Pizza, Popcorn, Feminism
My team at the University of Pittsburgh worked together to create a Community Engagement Experience inspired by a highly problematic issue faced by women worldwide – domestic violence. Despite studying abroad in very different countries – Iceland, Greece, and Jordan – we recognized the fact that women are fighting for recognized gendered equality everywhere. One of the most physical ways women are oppressed is by abuse from someone close to them. Women are hurt in order to be restrained. My team and I felt awareness needed to be brought to our community in order to more deeply understand how this issue affects women, families, and our community as a whole. By presenting the film Private Violence, and leading a group discussion, we were able to shed light on an intimate issue and provide some tools to improve both the potential causes and the outcomes. The documentary depicted women in the United States fighting in court to protect their lives from their abusers and many failing because the US justice system needs near-death experience to occur before anything is done. As a human rights issue, most will agree this is unacceptable…but many lack knowledge of this occurring in their home communities and courts. Our CEE gathered our school community in a light-hearted, educated, and motivational environment to make a change. We invited peers to join us for pizza and popcorn while leading a conversation to help dissect what we know and feel about intimate partner violence in the United States. We screened Private Violence to provide insight on what many women experience on a daily basis; this is reality. Through “Pizza, Popcorn, Feminism: A Screening of Private Violence,” my team worked to empower our community and ourselves through recognizing issues for the lives of others even if it does not seem to directly affect us.