Letter to the Reader: Marthapaola Martínez

Dear Reader,Reader_Marthapaola

I would like to thank you for taking an interest in this chapter, as social issues are frequently dismissed as trivial or radical. It is important to remember that social issues affect us all. They are intertwined with several other topics, such as economics and policy, to the point where you will at times see an overlapping of subjects between this chapter and the rest.

This is also why it was a hard task for me to decide which social issues I would focus on, since “social” comprises so many subjects. Through the assortment and classification of extensive research, I kept in mind that I wanted to show a diverse arrangement of topics. Thus, I finally decided on the five categories you see today: (1) Gender Equality; (2) LGBTAQ+ Rights; (3) Health, Migration and Risk; (4) Violence: Youth Gangs & Military Recruitment; and (5) Other Resources: Film. These five categories came from the most basic ideas: social justice and human rights.

Before you begin to explore this chapter, I would like to ask you for one favor. Put your personal biases aside for a few moments. Yes, we all have our own biases, which is normal. However, as you read this chapter, I would like you to be your most empathetic self. Focus on each person’s humanity. Focus on the benevolence that exists within each of us, or has the potential to exist within each of us. The stories that you are about to read are of young people, many who are just like you and me.

We know that we are the world’s future. Thus, we must equip ourselves with as much knowledge as possible to make it better for people worldwide. With knowledge comes power, and with power comes responsibility. We do not need to look to a country far away to make a change. Unfortunately, there are people within our own borders, neighborhoods, or schools whose rights are not being observed. It is possible for us to make positive, lasting changes to the communities we live in. Let’s all work together towards a safer, more inclusive world, one where every human being has the same opportunities to live a good, healthy life.

May this chapter inspire you to make a change.

All the best,

Marthapaola Martínez, CETYS Universidad Tijuana

WorldLink 2015 Summer Intern

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