Breaking Stereotypes One Site Visit at a Time

Lara Brown, Director, Graduate School of Political Management, at George Washington University gave a captivating analysis about the past, present, and future of women in the American Political system. The points about them in a sense, manipulative tactics that both political parties have employed in the past to engage women in the political scene were insightful, though one particular quote was, to me, particularly captivating. When discussing the traits that political parties highlight of women that are running for office, Dr. Brown said, “everyone gets stereotyped, you can either play with it or let it overcome you.” Holding this quote in the back of my mind for the remainder of the day, throughout some of the afternoon site visits, I began to realize how everyone one of these individuals truly overcame or use to their advantage stereotypes in their political fields.

Journalism must “follow the money”:

Brian Lamb, Chairman, and Co-Founder of C-SPAN gave one of the first lectures, focusing heavily on how journalists and media must “follow the money” to be successful and gain viewership. This trend of journalism focusing on profit over any other incentive generally persisted throughout the remainder of the journalists we heard from up until we met with Drake alumni Matt Vasilogambros, a journalist for PEW Charitable Trust. Matt described how his job in journalism is much different than the stereotypical role of a journalist, who is driven to follow the money when creating stories. Vasilogambros breaks this stereotype in journalism by having the freedom to not worry about viewership and instead focus on traveling around the country and giving a voice to smaller communities through the stories he writes.

A paradigm shift in Pyxera Global:

According to the Harvard Business Review, corporate philanthropy has been around for hundreds of years, allowing certain companies to better brand themselves from an ethical standpoint. This philanthropy would typically occur in a way that these private sector corporations would distance themselves though from the social sector receiving the philanthropy, only providing them with financial support. Although, at Pyxera Global, we were able to learn how a paradigm shift has occurred, making this type of hands-off philanthropy less prevalent. Pyxera Global is an amazing company that is working towards aiding and encouraging large corporations to overcome the historical philanthropy stereotype and working with the social sector to benefit themselves as well as those they are providing aid to. The company helps corporations to send employees to other countries to develop and carry out a project that is related to the company’s specialty and will actually serve a tangible and sustainable greater good for the company. In addition, it is appealing to these companies as it provides employees with many applicable skills to their profession. In a time when Americans are so skeptical to trust large corporations, and scandals within these companies seem to be uncovered at an alarming rate, it is refreshing and promising that some companies are conscious of the greater good they can help to create and are willing to interact with and partner with other sectors.

Matt talking to Drake University students at PEW.

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