Speaker Repsonse # 2 Jamie Oliviero Essay Example

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Global citizenship has over the past few years gathered different views about its actual meaning (Abdi & Shultz 2008: 12). These views range from ideas that everyone is a citizen of the globe to the perspective that legally, the notion of global citizenship does not exist at all. However, if the idea of the world being a global village is anything to go by, then global citizenship does actually exist. It is an idea that is more than the total sum of its parts and goes beyond the mere knowledge that as a people, we are citizens of the globe to the understanding of roles and responsibilities towards ourselves, others and the earth itself (Dower and Williams 2002: 17). It is basically about acknowledging the importance of tackling issues of injustices and inequality, as well as inhibiting the required motivation and aptitude to actively work towards such goals. Moreover, it is encompasses activities that value the earth and safeguarding its unique and precious recourses for enjoyment by future generations. Overall, global citizenship is a way of life, how we think and behave, and that through conviction as global citizens, difference can be made.


Jаmiе Оliviеrо’s presentation really does touch the nitty-gritty of the overall idea that is global citizenship. His relation of global citizenship and peace and tying the two notions together helps one easily understand how they complement each other. This is clear when he states that for global peace building to prosper, then the practice of global citizenship and its bearings and perspectives is a must. He further states peace can only be attained in two ways; how people think of others and people’s views of themselves vise-vie the world. These two practically make up what is required of global citizenship. To simplify what global citizenship means, Oliviero states that the practice of global citizenship is simply the teaching for peace. Reading articles related to global citizenship and putting into perspective world happenings, it is true that Oliviero could not have put it any better.

Focusing on Rami’s story of how her and her family lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before migrating to Canada and having to live all her friends behind, the presentation makes a clear case for global citizenship and how different perspectives of what it means are held. When he asked his class what they thought if the Canadian government took care of street children in Mexico the same way it did to Canadian children, he got a variety of responses and views on the subject. Many in the class did not agree to the idea as because to them, Canadian children were to receive first priority on any decision and the ‘other’ children would follow. This heated and passionate debate however, took a turn when Rami narrated her story. All over sudden, perceptions changed as one of them had originated from the ‘other’ and it became clear that there was no boundary between Canadian children and ‘other’ children. The presenter brought about a true, honest and innocent account of what global citizenship is from the perspective of grade 12 students.

Global citizenship is a complex, intertwined and interrelated idea that merely explaining it would leave one confused as to what it means and what it stands for (Dower and Williams 2002: 15). Oliviero’s presentation showed that by using a story it becomes easy to understand what is actually meant by global citizenship. His presentation showed that by giving personal or real life accounts or stories, it is easy for people to relate because that important first account is involved which deepens understanding. The presenter’s effort to bring out clearly what global citizenship is was thus boosted by Rami’s story. From the beginning of the class debate, and as it wore on, the idea that global citizenship has different perspectives was evident. However, as Rami told her story, some sort of teaching took place because a personal touch and direct involvement with inequality was experienced. Effortlessly, the presentation provided a clear understanding of the global citizenship notion as students related to it.

The notion of global citizenship can only be understood and appreciated only if identity of the ‘others’ is created by global citizens (Schattle 2008: 29). The story given by Oliviero about Rami reinforces this point when after she had told her story, the class could now identify the ‘other’ children as being no different from themselves and that only circumstances could be attributed to Rami’s prior situation. By giving ourselves identity in the community within which we live in, it makes it effortlessly possible for people appreciate the diversities and distinctions and find better ways to live within these diverse settings (Schattle 2008: 30). By telling individual accounts and stories of what one is going through, others listening will be able to relate to their suffering and as such, they will be willing to help out. Instead of being considered the ‘other’ he or she will become ‘one of us’. This will in the long run promote a sense of care for each other and the earth; the main idea that is global citizenship.


Abdi, Ali A, and Lynette, Shultz. Educating for Human Rights and Global Citizenship. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. Print.

Dower, Nigel, and Williams, John. Global Citizenship: A Critical Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Schattle, Hans. The Practices of Global Citizenship. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Pub, 2008. Print.