Overpopulation is a newly brought up condition in which the number of humans exceed the capacity of earth. It is caused by many factors like a decreased death rate and better medical care. Right now, in 2017, our planet holds about 7.5 billion people. All of these people need food, water, and shelter along with their other personal items. Our planet is getting overworked with trying to support too many humans and their crops.
In Raleigh, the total population is 453,066, which is 53.4% more than it was in 2000. This is much higher than the state population growth rate of 21.13% and drastically higher than the national rate of 11.60%. The issue of overpopulation affects our community by limiting the housing, jobs, and natural resources. I am interested in this issue because as I grow older, it will only worsen unless something is changed. The resources derived from the earth that humans rely on will continue to deplete and fewer people will be able to be supported by the earth. In the Raleigh community, homelessness is already an issue and if less jobs become available, more people will fall into poverty.
In order to sustain over four hundred thousand people, they need to be fed. Since North Carolina's main industry is agriculture, there is an abundance of crops and farms in Raleigh and the rest of NC. The earth can only produce a limited amount of food, and when it's soil is overused it will no longer be able to provide. Also, the farms have many animals where their waste runs into the rivers and pollutes our land. A little bit of this gets naturally cleaned out, but too much can cause serious damage. In order to preserve our precious earth, we need to protect it. If life remains the same, and nothing is changed, the earth will become overburdened. In order to prevent this from happening, we can inform people on the issue and help them plan with children so that the population doesn't continue growing at such an alarming rate. We can protect the soil by allowing it to have time to replenish it's minerals needed for growing. There is much more that needs to be done to fix the issue of overpopulation but it needs to be treated one step at a time.
Social Studies Blog Post
Immigrants coming to America during the industrial revolution faced many hardships. Many immigrants were desperate for work so they were taken advantage of and ended up working in factories. Factories were dangerous, had extremely long hours, and didn't pay the workers a fair amount of pay. Since the immigrants didn't bring in enough income to support a family, many of the children had to work in the factories as well. Today child labor is illegal, as it should be.
Immigrants didn't fit into the American society and weren't accepted by the people who were there before them. Most immigrants practiced a different religion rather than Christianity, which was practiced in America. The Christians treated the immigrants who practiced a different religion poorly because of their differences. The Christians thought of themselves higher than others with other ethnicity's.
Water pollution is a growing issue in Raleigh that is continuously getting worse. Over 20% of the entire world's pollution is caused by the United States. Raleigh contributes greatly to this.
Water pollution in North Carolina is caused by sediment that runs off into water sources like rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes. I am concerned about this issue because one day at Umstead park I noticed that one of the ponds looked dirty. My dog was swimming in this body of water and I was concerned for her health and the overall health of that ecosystem. I figured out that in the past there were no laws on dumping chemicals into water sources. A local company took advantage of this and dumped PCB's, or polychlorinated biphenyls, into that pond. This unethical action stimulated eutrophication and caused a depletion of oxygen in the pond. Animals, like fish, need enough oxygen in their water in order to survive. A decrease in oxygen will kill off the fish and therefore result in many negative affects to the food web. The ecosystem at Umstead was permanently damaged. The contamination still passes through bodies of water in the area even after a multi- million dollar clean up. It affects our community greatly because the PCB's are cancer causing chemicals and are a major public health concern. Knowing that PCB's don't break down very easily and are hard to get rid of, I am concerned that they can affect us today through a food web starting with even the smallest minnow. My dog and I now have a higher risk of being contaminated with PCB's, toxic cancer causing chemicals. In order to help with this issue, I can help volunteer at Umstead State Park. They have set up many water clean-up days in the upcoming future.
My Personality Blog
I am the type of person who tries my best at everything I do but I also like to laugh and have fun. I take my time on my work and put a lot of effort into it. Outside of school I like to be with friends and family and have fun and be funny. My relatives think that I am very strange. My parents think that I always try but I need to be more time efficient. Some people think that I am funny, and usually I like to laugh.
Poverty in Raleigh
Poverty is a severe issue in wake county that is steadily increasing. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor and when someone is in poverty, they cannot afford many of the necessities of life. In Raleigh, the poverty rate doubled in 2012 from what it was in 2000. The 97% increase of poverty in Raleigh placed third nationally for poverty growth. Now, more than 16% of Raleigh’s population is living in poverty (WRAL, 2014). Due to the extreme conditions of poverty, we want to help make a difference. Our goal is to raise at least $1,000 to donate to families who battle poverty every day. We will achieve this goal by hosting a fundraiser on the last week of school where students will be encouraged to donate even the smallest amount of money each day.
We are interested in the issue of poverty because it is such a drastic problem that many of us can't imagine, even though we know many people who struggle with the issue. The people that you sit next to on the bus, stand next to in line for the grocery store, or pass by in school may be experiencing poverty, but we are too oblivious to know that. A member of our group personally knows someone who has a hard time getting food, doesn't have a house, and doesn't own a car. They often come by her house to ask for a ride to the store or a $20 loan. Her family always says, “Of course,” but that is not always enough.
Others in our community should care about this issue of poverty because it could just as easily happen to them as it can to anyone else. Some effects of poverty are hunger, homelessness, illness, and thirst (Borgen Project, 2016). These issues can all result in death and can be avoided with help from the community. When a tragedy occurs that causes a person to become poor, they can fall into a deep pit of poverty that is hard to escape, especially without help.
There a lot of people living in poverty right now, about half of the world’s population. In Wake County, more than 16 percent since of people live in poverty since 2015. Today the people that live in poverty have no home, food, or water, and if they don’t feed themselves correctly they can fall into dehydration, starvation, or even delirium. Also, if they don’t reach the hospital in a short amount of time or cannot afford the hospital care, they could die.
About half the world’s population, approximately 3 billion people, live in poverty. If everyone helps out, there is a possibility that we can stop it. According to WRAL, the issue of poverty in Raleigh really started to escalate in 2014. Ever since then it has worsened, and will continue to if nothing is done. Poverty is caused by varying problems including divorce, overpopulation, lack of education, drug use, unaffordable housing, medical expenses, and a poor economy (Pursue God Conversations). After one of these causes impact someone, they may find themselves struggling to overcome the negative effects of poverty. For example, someone without a good education will have an extremely difficult time while attempting to attain a job. Without an income, it is hard to afford homes, food, and medical care. When in this state, the main focus is on trying to survive.
One accident can cause a normal person to fall into the poverty trap. One day someone will be having fancy dinners and the next they might not know where their future meals are coming from. The event leading a person into poverty varies from different people but they all result in a major change of life. This event could be losing a job, severe medical bills, or many other things personalized to a specific situation.
Currently there are many different groups that have been dedicated to reducing the poverty rate. The Rise Against Hunger group( earlier called Stop Hunger Now) has nourished over 1 million lives in 2016 and is gathering as many volunteers as possible to exceed that number this year. They send meals to the 800 million humans who don't have access to the proper nutrients to survive. When food is not the main priority of the person's life, they can focus on other, more important things, like schooling. They have proved that the children who go to school hungry do not learn as well and cannot focus. The only future that the children will have is by learning and growing in their education to escape the cycle of poverty. Rise Against Hunger in Raleigh is located in North Hills( Rise Against Hunger).
The Raleigh Rescue Mission has also helped out with poverty and homelessness. They believe that poverty is a huge cause of homelessness and want to end both. They transform the lives of homeless men, women, and children by helping with their physical and mental needs. They host many clothing, food, and book drives and accept many donations that help to pay for the patients medical care, education, rehabilitation, and many other services. It is specific to Raleigh and hosts many events to gather goods every month (Raleigh Rescue Mission).
Even though there are many non-profit organizations attempting to end poverty, the issue still is not resolved, in fact in is worsening. If the issue continues to aggravate, the standard of living will plummet and the world will be in a inescapable state of poverty. We, as citizens, need to participate in our community to help end poverty. Even if we cannot resolve this issue with one service project, the smallest amount will help out. It would spark an unknown feeling of helpfulness that we could carry throughout our life to make the world a better place.
Our goal is to raise $1000 to donate to families in poverty. We will know if we have reached this goal by seeing if we have raised a total of $1000. To meet this goal we could host a fundraiser to donate to the people in poverty. We could also help by directly going out to to help them. We were thinking about doing a fundraiser/collecting donations because the thing the people in poverty really need is money. Going out to them to help them wouldn’t do them much Currently there are many different groups that have been dedicated to reducing the poverty rate. The Rise Against Hunger group( earlier called Stop Hunger Now) has nourished over 1 million lives in 2016 and is gathering as many volunteers as possible to exceed that number this year. They send meals to the 800 million humans who don't have access to the proper nutrients to survive. When food is not the main priority of the person's life, they can focus on other, more important things, like schooling. They have proved that the children who go to school hungry do not learn as well and cannot focus. The only future that the children will have is by learning and growing in their education to escape the cycle of poverty. Rise Against Hunger in Raleigh is located in North Hills.
The Raleigh Rescue Mission has also helped out with poverty and homelessness. They believe that poverty is a huge cause of homelessness and want to end both. They transform the lives of homeless men, women, and children by helping with their physical and mental needs. They host many clothing, food, and book drives and accept many donations that help to pay for the patients medical care, education, rehabilitation, and many other services. It is specific to Raleigh and hosts many events to gather goods every month.
Even though there are many non-profit organizations attempting to end poverty, the issue still is not resolved, in fact in is worsening. If the issue continues to aggravate, the standard of living will plummet and the world will be in a inescapable state of poverty. We, as citizens, need to long-term good in helping them to get the things necessary to live. Getting them money could help the to get food, and clean water that all people need to live.
If we are to do a fundraiser, we would have to get the word out to the students in the school or else they wouldn’t know to donate. We were thinking we could get Mr. Velarde to let us broadcast that we are doing a fundraiser to help poverty on the MMS school news. That way the whole school would know to donate. One possible problem is that Mr. Velarde won’t let us show it. If Mr. Velarde doesn’t let us show the video, we could make posters to help spread the word of our fundraiser. We would need to make sure the posters were flashy enough to catch people's attention, and told them everything they need to know (Where to put the money, where it is going, how they are doing a good thing if they donate.) We could do both of these ideas combined to try to let everyone know that we are hosting a fundraiser to help poverty, and it might get more people to donate.
In order to collect the money, we could try to ask the people in the office to add box for people to put the money into. This way we would have a way to collect the money. Once we meet our goal or run out of time to collect money, we would need a good fundraiser to donate it to. One good one that we found would be Raleigh Rescue Mission (Raleigh Rescue Mission, 2017y). With Raleigh Rescue Mission, the money goes “...directly to help desperate men, women and children when they need it the most,” (Raleigh Rescue Mission, 2017).
Links to related/useful Images/Videos
https://raleighinternational.org/news/live-below-the-line-with-raleigh-international-2014/ See what its like to live in poverty.
http://www.riseagainsthunger.org/understanding-hunger/world-hunger-facts/ Rise against hunger
https://www.raleighrescue.org/donate/form/donate/ Online donation link.
http://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/z36ie8/picture6770772/ALTERNATES/FREE_640/1jh4W5.So.156.jpeg Image of poverty in Raleigh.
This is an image of the Raleigh Rescue Mission store and donation center.
Browder, Cullen. “Poverty Rate Soars in Raleigh, Other NC Metros.” WRAL.com. Matthew
Burns. August 13, 2014. March 26, 2017
Raleigh Rescue Mission, “Ways YOU Can Help Raleigh’s Homeless Right Now, ” Raleigh
Rescue Mission, 2017 <https://www.raleighrescue.org/>
Hui, Keung. “Number of homeless students rises in Wake County schools.” The News and
Observer. November 29, 2015. March 30, 2017
Hurley, Meagan. “10 Ways to Fight Poverty.” The Borgen Project. November 6, 2016. March 26,
2017. <https://borgenproject.org/10-ways-fight-poverty/ >
Halyard, Regina. “Population Below Poverty Level.” Data Dashboard - Population Below Poverty
Level. September 21, 2016.
“Live Below the Line with Raleigh International 2014.” Live Below the Line with Raleigh
International 2014. March 7, 2014. <https://raleighinternational.org/news/live-below-the-line-with-raleigh-international-2014/>
“Causes of Poverty in America.” Pursue God. March 29, 2017.
Historical Connections Blog
My book, called "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson, is about Civil Rights in the Criminal Justice System. The author talks about a time in his life when he found his passion in helping mistreated criminals and people who where falsely accused of a crime. Stevenson took an internship where he traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to explore the lawyers that defend criminals on death row. He went to visit an African American male in the death row jail to tell him that his death date would be held off for one more year. The man was very excited because this would mean that he could be visited by his wife and kids before he was gone. The man and Bryan talked for three hours past the amount of time that they were permitted to talk. The guard stormed in and took the man by his arm harshly and dragged him out of the room while injuring the man. The man started singing a forgiveness song from the Bible in his loudest voice. Bryan was shocked and had a moment of realization about his future. He would open a law firm in Alabama.
This book takes place in the 1980's in The United States. Before this time, African Americans were struggling for civil rights and equal treatment. They were discriminated against and segregated from the white people. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist, describes this as, "A time of hatred that we cannot survive without love." Most of the white people believed that segregation was a good thing. The African Americans protested until they recieved justice. In 1964, The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on religion, gender, race, color, or nationality. Although, according to the sentencing project, "The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. More than 60 percent of people in prison now are racial or ethnic minorities."
My book talks about many cases where a black person is accused of a crime for the sole reason that they are colored. For example, a black man named Walter McMillian was accused of murder because a white man made up a story about him. The police didn't have any proof but they knew that Walter had been in an affair with a white woman, which was illegal, and they heard rumors that because Walter was independent, he must be a drug dealer. On page 50 of "Just Mercy" the author says, "Residents had told Sheriff Tate that he had arrested the wrong man. Tate still had not investigated McMillian himself,his life or background, or even his whereabouts on the day of his murder. Given his eagerness to make an arrest, this seemed to be enough for Tate." Walter was arrested even though he was hosting a fish bake at his house where many people attested to seeing him there, including a police officer. This relates to the Civil Rights movement because many people are being treated unfairly for the things that they cannot control.
Bryan Stevenson and many other characters in my book believe that this is unethical. Although, some other characters differ in their opinion. For example, one night in Atlanta Bryan was sitting in his car listening to music when he hears a siren. Soon enough a sheriff walks up to his car and Bryan exits his car. "Put your hands up!," the officer yells at Bryan while drawing a gun. The officers illegally search his car and then leave. Bryan files a complaint, but no one will take his side except for the black citizens of Atlanta. This relates to the Civil Rights Movement because many black people had guns drawn on them for no reason in that time period. The book "Just Mercy" related to the American Civil Rights Movement in many ways.
Present Day Connections Blog
The book, "Just Mercy", is about a man named Bryan Stevenson who opens a nonprofit attorney office in Alabama, where he fights for equal justice in the criminal justice system of the USA. He fights for many types of people in many different situations. He fights for all races of children, adults, the mentally handicap, the abused, and many other mistreated criminals. In a main case, Bryan helps a black man,Walter, who has been on death row for 6 years being convicted for a murder he did not commit. After illegal trials, discrimination, and manipulation, Bryan presents enough evidence to release Walter and get him exonerated. Walter is sent downhill. He is told to move away from his family, develops severe dementia, and dies in 2013. In another particular case, Bryan fights for a 14 year old black boy who was put on death row for a murder he did not commit but was convicted because he is black. Only 80 days after an unfair trial with all white juries, the boy was electrocuted and put to death. Later, an old man on death bed confesses to committing the murder. Today, the death penalty is illegal for children and it is illegal to execute someone only a short amount of time after their trial.
Recently, in Arkansas four death row inmates were executed in the span of eight days because the states supply of lethal injections was about to expire. These were the first executions in Arkansas since 2005. The Washington Post wrote an article questioning how ethical this act was saying, "Opponents have questioned the pace and suggested it heightens the chances of a mistake." The use of these lethal injections is very controversial. One of the men executed convulsed and lurched before he died which arose investigation. Why kill someone who has killed when we are supposed to be teaching them the "right" way to act? How can we end someones life without confirming they are the convicted? Most of these men had not received fair trials. In one case, a black man was executed only one hour after the US Supreme Court had denied a stay of the execution. This is similar to the 14 year old boy who was executed soon after his trial.
http://eji.org/ Here is a link to Bryan's EJI project.
The book "Just Mercy" ends with a heartwarming moment. An older black woman is sitting on a bench outside of the courtroom and calls Bryan over to give her a hug. A few years back, her son had been killed in a murder by some teens who were tried as adults and sentenced to death in prison. At that case the woman cried not only for her son, but for the teens, who would have no future, and their parents. Ever since then the woman has been showing up at random court cases to help people cope with their emotions, or "catch their stones." She brings Bryan to tears and tells him to keep being a stone catcher because he has changed so many people's lives. After this, EJI gathers more workers and expands it's ability to take on cases and help with equal justice. With this they are able to grow to this goal: "The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society."
This book was very important to read because it opened my eyes to the injustice that still occurs today in America. It made me realize that mercy isn't something that everyone has and that many humans are denied it for no good reason. When one person is refused allowance to justice, it not only affects them, but it affects everyone around them. The family is put in a dark place. In Just Mercy, Walter's sister says, "It would have been so much easier if he had been out in the woods hunting by himself when that girl was killed. At least then we could understand how it might be possible for him to have done this." She was confused because she was with Walter when the murder that he was convicted of committing occured. This would make it impossible for him to have done it and made it unfair that he is still on death row for something he didn't do.