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Presented at online GlobalEdCon 2012.
Global literacy and communications promote empathy and combat injustice; how can students better understand conflicts and cultures around the world?
As a global community, it is clear that global communication has become inextricably related to real-world problems, and that global literacy promotes awareness and understanding. As observers struggle to understand issues such as women's rights to an education, the Arab Spring, and the plight of child soldiers, it becomes ever more important to communicate and speak out. Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai nearly lost her life because her foes thought it was so important to silence her voice, Arab Spring protesters (and supporters of the Occupy Movement and European workers in countries such as Greece, and the list goes on...) took to the streets with signs, to the internet with blogs and tweets and broadcasts that cost some protesters their lives, and the Kony 2012 video mobilized millions of youths worldwide to combat the use of child soldiers. Why is communication so important that people would kill and be killed to promote it? How can we better understand other cultures and their conflicts? How can we do our part to combat injustice? Global literature--defined broadly as fiction, tweets, blogs, videos, etc.--can help students and lifelong learners to better understand the contexts and cultures behind real-world issues and conflicts, to develop empathy, and to become active global citizens.