Volunteer Goals & Cultural Awareness

Volunteer Goals

  • To work with GOSO/SAVE participants in a mutually beneficial rapport.
  • To support GOSO/SAVE participants in honing their skills, exploring their passions, or learning about new career opportunities.
  • To be friendly with GOSO Participants but remain professional, i.e. no Instagram following, cursing, or sharing details about personal life.

Cultural Awareness

The most important goal that we want to share with all of our wonderful volunteers: the importance of cultural awareness when volunteering at GOSO/SAVE. Many of our volunteers are from backgrounds that might involve racial, socioeconomic, gender and educational privilege. Many have also had systemic racism prevent them from those privileges.

That’s why, in the room or on the zoom call, it is important to:

  • Notice your privilege (Is your internet faster? Please be patient.)
  • Check your privilege (Am I speaking in a way that is inclusive? Am I assuming everyone graduates from High School? Pro tip – not everyone has!)
  • Know your social location/positionality
  • Positionality is the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences, and potentially biases, understanding of outlook and on the world.
  • Phrases to Avoid vs. Inclusive Phrases
  • Inmate, Prisoner vs. Incarcerated person, person who is incarcerated
  • Convict, criminal, felon, offender, delinquent vs. Person with justice system involvement
  • Ex-convict, ex-criminal, ex-felon, ex offender vs. Returning CItizen, Formerly incarcerated
  • At-Risk vs. Vulnerable to systemic racism, police brutality, and system involvement