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Wednesday, May 26 • 10:45am - 12:15pm
Perceptions

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Eugene Facer, Chloe Moehling & Claire Trostel-Shaw Immigrants and Foreigners in Japan: Their Role in Society and How They are Perceived
Our project is called The Role of Immigrants and Foreigners in Japanese Society and How they are Perceived. We research attitudes towards immigration in Japan and explore why people have a negative view of immigrants even though immigrants coming to Japan would benefit the country. We explore the many factors that surround immigration to Japan, such as Japan’s low birth rate, aging population, competitive workforce, and history of strict immigration policy. We also explore the challenges of foreigners assimilating into Japanese society, from its complex language and writing system to its many complicated societal rules, as well as racism experienced by foreigners. We use primary and secondary sources including statistical data to support our research on how negative attitudes towards foreigners and immigrants in Japan affect people living there who are not Japanese. The homogenous nature of Japanese society and the importance placed on collectivist culture has resulted in an emphasis on people living in Japan feeling like they have to conform to cultural standards. This can make living in Japan as a non-Japanese person difficult, because immigrants often feel like perpetual foreigners. We conclude that immigrants have a tremendously important role in Japanese society and that Japan must consider easing immigration restrictions to remain competitive in an ever-globalizing economy.

Emma Glaunert The Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act: The Treatment of Alaskan Natives in Mental Health Policy
In the 21st century, racial and ethnic disparities have been at the forefront of social justice movements, and yet, it is important to interrogate these disparities across U.S. history. American Indians and Alaskan Native people have historically been treated differently in health care. The Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act (AMHEA) of 1956 serves as a case study for addressing access to mental health care services, especially for Native Alaskans. Prior to the passage of the AMHEA, Morningside Psychiatric Hospital in Portland, Oregon, offered inpatient mental health services for Alaskan Natives and other residents of the Pacific Northwest. In the first half of the 20th century, few psychiatric services were available in the then-territory of Alaska. In my thesis research, I analyze the AMHEA as a historical case study for mental health care for Native Alaskans, and for other racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. The primary research for my thesis comes from archival sources, including from UO Special Collections, and from interviews with key informants involved in the AMHEA legislation. Using these sources, my thesis assesses the impact of the AMHEA on the Alaskan Natives from the bill’s passage to the present. I use this case study to reflect on the types of mental health policies that could be used to remedy racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care in the U.S.

Riley Hodges & Emma Mortland Mission Trips in Mexico: Exploring the Ethics of Foreign Aid
This study seeks to explore the ethics of US foreign aid and the White Savior Complex by evaluating mission trips to Mexico. It seeks to address whether the majority of mission trips to Mexico provide the promised long-term solutions that benefit the community. In order to address this aim, our research focused on key features of successful foreign aid models and compared them to those of current mission trips to Mexico. We also explored the effects of current mission trips on local communities. Overall, this research pointed to the reality that the Mexico-based mission trips this study examined are often harmful to local communities. It illustrates the importance of improving the current mission trip structure and suggests concrete changes such increasing collaboration more with local communities, redirecting funds into the community, and properly educating mission leaders and participants. Our findings strongly suggest that there is a need to reevaluate the current foreign aid models in a way that focuses on creating long-term, community-based solutions. Even with good intentions, unethical foreign aid can be disempowering and detrimental to communities. Improving the existing approach to mission trips can support communities in need while effectively combatting and dismantling White Saviorism. This new model will provide for productive foreign aid, incorporate local communities in a dignified way, while allowing missionaries to reflect on internalized societal racism.

Cian Savoy Vehicles of Injustice: White Savior Complex in Latin America
The white savior complex has an unprecedented effect in our global society but not many people have looked at the vast consequences that occur from it nor the causes that created it in the first place. The classic white savior is someone from a developed country who visits a developing country using resources that the local community cannot utilize in their daily life. For example, a church mission trip based in California bringing paint and other materials to paint homes in the Mexican State of Oaxaca. While in the short term that community is able to have houses that are painted, in the long term they are now reliant on volunteers from an entirely different country. From a historical context the white savior complex has been an effect or a symptom of a larger problem. Throughout this project, the issues that will be discussed are American involvement in the developing region of Latin America and Mexico and how the modern White Savior Complex is a symptom of that involvement. Using reports from researchers around the world, the root cause of the white savior complex actually stems from the influence of developed countries upon developing countries. This project is important because it will be looking at the root cause of the white savior complex and hope to find reasonable solutions to these systemic problems in Latin America and Mexico. The solution to global problems might not be in the developing countries but in the already developed ones.

Wednesday May 26, 2021 10:45am - 12:15pm PDT
https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/93330074499