The Definition of Culture of Advocacy

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Sam Frankel in, Giving Children a Voice, defines advocacy as, “reflected in a setting which children’s voices are acknowledged and valued” (Frankel, p. 11, 2018). Advocacy is vital as it allows children to be involved in the community in things that affect them as active members rather than observers. Three main steps have been the prime focus in creating a culture of advocacy: revitalizing your thinking, being spatially aware and speaking the right language. These steps will be connected to a wider understanding of related childhood theories and Save the Children UK organization to exemplify the importance for more child lead action. Step one is revitalizing your thinking which shows that, “irrespective of how progressive our views on the children are, we are living in a world that is dominated by opinions about children that are incomplete […] For too long they have been based on what adults think about children” (Frankel, p. 26, 2018). This demonstrates the paradigm shift which is about going from seeing children as future citizens and towards seeing them in the here and now. (McNamee, 2016). This approach situates children centrally as being in their own right. Children over the years have built a large platform for misinformation and this often encourages adults to develop a deficient, fabricated view of them. Save the Children UK organization relates to the three primary misconceptions, which are: children are seen as the same, children’s value lies in what they will become and that adults always know best (Frankel, p. 30-39, 2018). The concept of the future child demonstrates socialization theory. This theory explains how individuals come to make up a functioning society (McNamee, 2016). Children adopt the norms of society through teachers, caregivers, friends, and parents and are seen as becomings who lack room for individual agency. Focus is now more on integrating a culture of advocacy. Save the Children incorporates this notion as it is, “founded on the belief that every child has the potential to change the world” (n.d.). They want to give children the capacity to “amplify their voices for the world to see”, but need further development as children are still not being given the chance to use their voices for change (Save the Children, n.d.). In a seamless world, a child would be entitled to the services with cooperation and little negotiation but in reality, these services are often not available unless a child goes through vigorous intervention and strongly asserts their agency. Developmental theory is another that relates to the idea of the universal child. This focuses on distinct stages that children must reach at certain points in development and if they do not, they are deviant. Save the Children lumps the children together in order to control in some regards although their strategy, “requires [them] to listen, be resilient, and strive to be better” (n.d.). This organization draws on different franchises in different countries, helping to differentiate between varieties of children. Save the Children needs to work on using their large platform to differentiate between the diversity of the children they are involving. They often use their power of authority to set children out accordance with one image: helpless, becomings in need of protection. The idea of the protected child is also integrated into the spot the assumptions action. This shows romanticism hard at work as adults are understood to know best and must protect the children from becoming something bad (McNamee, 2016). Save the Children UK states that, “we do whatever it takes to make sure they survive, get protection when they’re in danger, and have the chance to learn” (n.d.). This organization stresses sheltering the children and compels the rescue of them from unsafe environments. This organization should not be discredited due to their help in protection but instead need a broader outlook that involves children’s opinions and what they think is in their best interest. In promoting the child-centered practice, spatial awareness is key. This step centers on spotting the motivation and the image of the child. Frankel indicates four motivational types: protection, provision, participation, and profit (Frankel, p. 61, 2018). Save the Children emphasizes children as subjects, with its prime motivations being to provide and protect. Yet, this organization lacks child participation in its mission statement and children are seen incompetently. The children are not granted the opportunity to have a say in what they want, where they want to go or whom they want to be with and adults often predetermine this for them. The organization wants children to exercise their rights yet not amplifying or giving them a voice. The image of the child means that adults must determine if they see children as an object, a subject, a social agent or a co-participant. For example, the image of subjects can be talked about regarding the blank slate discourse. Good educators must focus on keeping children from evil and therefore children’s rights depend on adults bestowing those rights on children. The adults then typically make presumptions of what is in their best interest. Children are also seen as becomings in this regard, with adults not including children in decisions that will affect them and instead presuming plans of action. Allowing adults to grasp the reality of their actions and how it affects children, this step integrates the role that adults can influence them for better or worse. The final step in promoting a culture of advocacy for children is speaking the right language. Within this step, there are two crucial aspects: setting characteristics and developing a technical vocabulary. Setting characteristics involves adopting a sense of values, features, and qualities that one wants to aspire to. Frankel defines these characteristics as, “valuing [their] voice and that of others, being confident in expressing [their] voice, understanding different means of communication, and growing as a leader” (Frankel, p. 87, 2018). Characteristics can be addressed which will provide attributes of what wants to be incorporated in the Save the Children organization for adults and children. These could be: I am inquisitive, I am resilient, and we are partners. Thought needs to be given to what characteristics can be used to establish the voice of the child and to amplify their voices. Developing a technical vocabulary is another key aspect, which then helps highlight the meaning behind each characteristic. Participation prompts the questions of whether adults are asking the right questions or whether children even want to be involved in a particular activity. Often adults are placing limitations on children’s voices. Activities need to be set up within Save the Children, to show children what it means to be inquisitive, resilient and partners and bring them to life. For example, resilient may then be defined as persevering, being relentless, identifying risk and being able to overcome challenges. Frankel states in this step that, “speaking to children is the key to advancing a culture of advocacy” (Frankel, p. 101, 2018). This shows that particular one on one interaction with the children will provide more knowledge than any other method of learning. This step reinforces the necessary need to define what is being talked about, as it helps children differentiate for their understanding in particular settings and gain agency. There is an integration of the new paradigm in this step as there is a push for more capacity to share for children and to create a vocabulary that children can understand. In some cases, children struggle grasping what adults mean but that does not mean they are incompetent. By using this step, it allows children to be incorporated into society along with adults. In conclusion, the culture of advocacy is critical to children becoming active rather than motionless participants. Children need the chance to show the world what they can offer and incorporate their personal and unique capabilities. Children have something that adults lack and therefore need the opportunity to assert their agency in their lives. Three main steps were discussed for this paper, although to reach full advocacy for children five steps must be integrated. It is necessary to get away from seeing children in theorized, structured and passive ways and allow them to dictate their own time and choices.

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Al Capone: the man, the myth, the mobster. Al Capone is one of the most known mob bosses in America, but we look at him like a fictional character. We see him as a bad guy that was finally caught by the good guys and taken to Alcatraz. We don’t realize that he was a very dangerous and rich man who didn’t think twice about killing someone who was in his way. His great niece said, “I grew up with headlines about the menace of Al Capone’s ‘Outfit’ splashed across the front pages. I grew up seeing my classmates’ parents look at me and my family with suspicion and fear. I grew up well accustomed to men in dark suits guarding the Capone family home with machine guns. My children, on the other hand, grew up thinking of Al Capone as the stuff of celebrity, more a folk hero than a criminal.” (Capone 3)She lived through the horrible times that Capone had brought on. She loved him and he loved her because he was a human who had family and friends that he cared about. She knew the reality that Uncle Al was widely known and had various opinion thought about him. Her Uncle Al Capone’s highly illegal activities of bootlegging alcohol during the Prohibition made him very popular to the people who wanted to drink and party, but his popularity diminished when he started killing anyone who crossed him. Either way you look at it Al Capone was a very powerful and dangerous man who was in the public eye, whether it was being loved and revered or hated and feared.

The Capones were an Italian family, with no affiliation with crime at all, they were just a poor family trying to make a good life for themselves. Alphonse (Al) Capone was the fourth son born out of seven boys and two girls and the first child to be conceived and born in the United States on January 17, 1899. ‘He was their all-American kid. ‘I’m no Italian. I was born in Brooklyn,’ he would later brag.’ (Burdick 3) Al was very proud to be American, especially one from Brooklyn. Although his family was not involved in the crime world Al became associated with it very quickly. When he was in the sixth grade a group of boys broke Al’s shoe-shine chair So, little Al went to the police, but the officers brushed off the little boy and Al learned that the police were not on his side. Al’s shoe-shining days were over, in fact Al would never have any legitimate job ever again; Al got expelled from his grade school after hitting his teacher after she hit him and never went back to school. That’s when he became friends with Johnny Torrio who got him into the gangster, mob boss scene. He got him a job and soon Al was making more than most teenage thugs. When Torrio relocated to Chicago he hooked Capone up with Frankie Yale. Yale gave Al the nickname Scarface after Capone catcalled a woman and her brother slashed Capone’s face with a knife that left a long bashing scar. When Capone was 19 years old he met his soon to be wife, an Irish girl, Mary (Mae) Coughlin. Later the 18th Amendment was put in place. “Prohibition proved to be a golden business opportunity for the underworld. Of course, high rewards came at a high price: There would be more than 700 gangland killings during the ensuing 13 years.” (4) Johnny Torrio wanted to own the bootlegging industry in Chicago and needed Capone’s help to do so. Torrio got a hold of Capone again because he needed him to move to Chicago to be his bodyguard. Capone picked up and moved his whole family to Chicago and became the source of most of the “gangland killings.” (4) When Torrio was accused of selling beer to speakeasies he gave the whole operation to Al Capone and his brothers. From there Al got targeted very frequently. He even purchased a Cadillac that was armor plated and had bullet proof glass.

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Lots of people hated Capone, but lots of people loved him as well. They thought of him as a hero for bringing beer and alcohol to the speakeasies making it possible for them to drink. He began to gain the public sentiment as the press kept following him. They found he lived life very extravagantly and that he tipped very well. He always paid in money as to not leave a money trail to avoid tax income fraud. “Some even considered him a kind of Robin Hood figure, or as anti-Prohibition resentment grew, a dissident who worked on the side of the people.” (History.com Staff 4) People even had written in votes for him in the 1940 election. He was on the cover of Time magazine in the 1930s when he was at the height of “popular power”.

Although he was very liked, that popularity diminished when he got involved with murders. The crime got so bad that people asked the gangs to have ceasefire. Al Capone agreed, but the peace only lasted about two months before his next murder which was Dion O’Banion.

Now that Al Capone was in charge he didn’t let anyone pull a fast one on him. He even murdered one of his old friends Frankie Yale for rigging the system. When the authorities came to talk to Capone about his murder Capone put on his poker face and said he didn’t know anything about the murder. The authorities said, “…he seemed quite content to sit and talk. ‘I’m a gambler. I play the horses,’ he informed his questioners. ‘I never was a bootlegger in my life.’” (Burdick 5) Obviously Al was lying and he did have a hand in the murder of Frankie Yale. Ironically all the while he was getting questioned he had the same men who murdered Yale murder his enemy and competitor bootlegger George ‘Bugs’ Moran and his men. This was called the St Valentine’s Day Massacre. Capone’s men dressed as police and raided a garage where the gang was at. “The men drove away, neighbours cautiously investigated and found a scene which would make headlines all over the country. Six dead men and another who was dying were lying on the concrete floor among scattered tyres, pools of blood, chairs and shell casings at the foot of a wall. Five of them were members of Moran’s gang, another was a Moran hanger-on and the last was an unfortunate mechanic who worked in the garage and just happened to be there. Essentially the men didn’t even end up killing Moran because he showed up later, saw the car, and fled the scene. Capone’s men never got caught and even the man who was dying and being taken to the hospital said “‘Nobody shot me…’” (1) when asked by the cops who had shot him and the others.

Finally when the stock market crashed the police put their blame on the mob bosses, first and foremost Al Capone. “‘They’ve hung everything on me except the Chicago fire,’ he whined. Later that year, when the stock market crashed, Al proclaimed, ‘I deny absolutely that I am responsible.’”(Burdick 6) He finally gets caught by Eliot Ness and his Untouchables. Eliot Ness was the leader of the Untouchables, a group of men who were the Justice Department Squad that fought against Capone. “Nicknamed the Untouchables for their incorruptibility, he and his nine-man team disrupted Capone’s illegal breweries and speakeasies, and their efforts helped lead to the successful prosecution of Capone for federal tax evasion.” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 1) After his trial he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He spent some time on Alcatraz which is a super prison for the very, very dangerous criminals. There he was treated very bad and mostly by the other prisoners. He began acting weird and did things that weren’t normal. The doctor finally diagnosed him neurosyphilitic and he spent the rest of his sentence in the prison hospital. Once he got out he was still sick and would have hallucination often. Finally he died of a stroke a few years later, but left his family no will so his family had no money to go off of. He died at age 48. Al Capone was a real man that had a real threat to the city of Chicago. Unlike Cassetti who, in Murder on the Orient Express, is a fictional gangster who terrorizes the city of Chicago. Agatha Christie wrote the book in 1934, so she may have gotten inspiration from Capone for her character Cassetti. Al Capone was an almighty gangster who was loved and hated by many for many different reasons. He was a nightmare brought to life and many lives have been affected by his reign.

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