Lifelong Learning and the Journeys to Italy - Personal, Professional and Academic Reflections
By: Daniella Lubey - M.S. Organization Development
In my many trips back to
Italy I continued to learn more, spend lengths of time with my friends, build
upon my language skills, and grow as a human being in understanding the rights
of people and equity necessary to support all humans of every race, gender,
ethnicity, ability, etc. In my most simple viewpoint on life, I would echo many
of the sentiments heard from different organizations while on the AGI Rome
program – All humans have the same basic needs and wants for a better life.
There are very few differences in understanding people despite language
barriers and cultural differences. I appreciated hearing about the services
offered and support given by various organizations in Italy and across the
world. The testimonials shared were powerful to say the least and were
impactful because of their willingness to be open and share the importance of
their stories for other to learn and understand. This is something I do not
always have the courage to do even with an experience much more minor than
those experienced by migrants leaving their countries for various reasons.
In a previous experience, I
had the opportunity to learn about migration from Tunisia into Palermo, Sicily.
In that program we learned about the routes that Tunisian and other African
migrants could take to get to Sicily, the services that may be offered, we
heard from an immigration lawyer about the bureaucracy and processes, and work
opportunities available once they receive documentation. My time spent in
Palermo helped to inform what I was going to be learning on this AGI Rome
program. Through my own experience, I felt well prepared to visit Rome and
learn about migration in a completely different area of Italy than I had
before. I grew to appreciate Catholic and ministry services that I did not have
a great understanding of before attending this program. In my professional
experience in international education and through what I study in Organization
Development, I was able to observe cohorts of students on study abroad programs
who all come from different backgrounds, academic experiences and personal
experiences. For me, there was great power to this program as the participants
all came from inter-disciplinary backgrounds and master’s programs.
In my daily reflections and analysis, I thought about many of my past experiences which helped to build upon my knowledge during the week-long program. I critically observed human rights as a whole, refugee/migration justice, social justice, systemic justice, civil rights justice and equity justice. In creating greater social impact, I think that the power of voice, storytelling, sharing knowledge is very important in this day and age. With media as powerful as it is in the most helpful and the most dangerous way, storytelling seems to be the best way to spread knowledge and impact emotionally and also academically through data. The program has informed and will inform my academic and professional research in the future.