HIV/AIDS in Prison

Found this website while researching for a final and it relates to what we talked about earlier in the year in regards to HIV.

Prisons are the number one transmitter of HIV/AIDS and it is passed through drug injections, sexual assault/rape, sex, tattoo needles, and lack of contraceptives in prisons. Many of the inmates come from low-income schools and have not gotten access to sexual education. It is also likely that these inmates have not gotten access to any education (the school to prison pipeline). Most of them do not know what HIV/AIDS are or how it is passed so once they are released from prison HIV is passed.

Capitalism’s Role in the School to Prison Pipeline

“At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations. Because they can get cheap labor and don’t have to provide benefits, many companies lay off workers in their factories and move their operations inside prison walls.”

The School to Prison Pipeline and the Prison Industrial Complex are evident examples of systemic racism backed by capitalism. Without abolishing capitalism, can one truly dismantle the prison industrial complex?

Oral History of the Occupy Movement

Found this website that relates to the Occupy Wall Street Movement and more information on its origins. Interesting to see how much the nature of the Occupy Movement has changed in the course of my life.

Do you think there are any parallels between Ferguson protestors and the protesting style of Occupy Wall Street?

Graduation Not Incarceration’s Website

Check out our website and contribute to our reading blog!


Responses to Final

As we presented in class, my group received some interesting feedback on our installments all over campus, and I wanted to post them on our class blog in case anyone wanted to have a closer look.

The main goal of our installments and linked Twitter account was to elicit a reaction from the student community, and start a conversation, regardless of the tone or direction it took. On our series of posters, we filled in our own adjectives for four of the posters, but left a blank speech bubble for the last, with the questions, What do you think? The posters had varying reactions, the first was in the Hub at CMC, they were left completely in tact, and someone had penned in “why is my body more important than my mind?” which I thought nicely summed up the statement we were trying to make with our posters. Other reactions were not as explicitly written, for instance, out of the images outside the Motley, all of the posters of the female model were ripped down, while the one image of the fully clothed male model remained. I thought this was a relatively telling reaction, in that the explicit image of the female body is removed, policed, while the male is allowed, normalized. Furthermore, outside of Browning Hall, the image in which we had left room for written response was ripped and thrown to the ground, while the rest of the posters remained intact, which to me, was a pretty clear answer to the question, what do you think? On our Twitter, we didn’t get any typed responses to our tweets, but we received a handful of follows from Claremont students, and furthermore some favorites and retweets.



I was very interested in the reading we did on the Occupy movement, and furthermore the ways in which protesters chose to utilize social media as to more efficiently organize their campaign. I find it particularly interesting that participants of the movement chose to create a Tumblr, because usually Tumblr is associated with art and fashion blogs as opposed to organized protests. Despite this, the more I read about the Occupy Tumblr, the more it made sense to me, for the medium I think specifically matched the content in this situation. The actual protests were not planned on the Tumblr, but participants in the movement were allowed to submit their own stories as posts on the blog as to create a community. As described by our reading, I think this was particularly successful because of the ways in which the Occupy Tumblr felt leaderless, in that it was just a narrative based forum for the people, by the people, which was a main concern of the movement. Obviously, participants still used Facebook events and pages to plan and organize protests, but having a central forum on Tumblr, to me, seems quite revolutionary. I think that as technology and furthermore social media progress, it will become more important what medium a movement utilizes to further their message, as I discussed in my paper. With progressions in social media, different mediums will be able to cater more specifically to different causes, allowing for more flexibility and ease when attempting to reach a target audience or achieve a specific look. Overall, I was really interested in the way in which the Occupy reading further elaborated on something which I more or less overlooked about this movement.

Gillian Caldwell’s Video For Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism

Another reading that I was really inspired by was Gillian Caldwell’s Video For Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism reading. She discusses the efficacy of video, and how it can elicit pathos through powerful words and sentiment. “Video could elicit powerful emotional impact, connecting viewers to personal stories. It can illustrate stark visual contrasts and provide direct visual evidence of abuses. It can be a vehicle for building coalitions with other groups working on an issue. It can reach a wide range of people since it does not require literacy to convey information. It can help counter stereotypes and assist you in reaching new, different and multiple audiences, particularly if broadcast is a possibility. And it can be used in segments of varying lengths for different contexts,” (Caldwell, p. 2).

This was particularly moving for the video project I worked on with Lucas and Josue. Our idea with the Youth Media Action Coalition was that it would be a platform for people, in particular youth in troubled neighborhoods, to share their stories with one another and connect with youth from other backgrounds. By bringing a variance of youth together, we had hoped to utilize video to bring about societal change and help elevate the youth out of troubled neighborhoods, while also hopefully bringing change to these neighborhoods. Similarly with our final project, we had hoped it would help fix racism and ignorance on our campuses, by sparking conversation about race and reflections on what is happening in 2014 America.

Castell’s Occupy Wall Street Reading

I was really inspired by Manuel Castell’s Occupy Wall Street reading. In particular, I was interested in the section on page 160, where he talks about the interactive nature of the movement. “Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America. Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our demand will be,” (Castells, p. 160).

Although this part of the movement was very vague and likely the biggest shortcoming for long-term societal change, I think the idea of starting conversations through a simple post is a smart idea in our social media-driven generation and society. That same concept is what Josue, Lucas and I were trying to accomplish with our Not One More: reflective media project. By posting the interviews to YouTube, we were hoping viewers would comment on the sentiments our interviewees shared, and that could start a dialogue towards changing our racist structure of society in America, as well as the injustices caused by our police forces.

Interview with Jessica Saint-Fleur, 19

Editing this interview down to under fifteen minutes (to allow it to upload to YouTube) was quite a challenge for Lucas, Josue and me. Jessica had so many important and powerful things to say, I think we were up to 3 in the morning pulling tiny bits out of it to get it to this length. There are so many important messages and reflections that Jessica has in this interview, but I specifically want to focus on the segment from 7:40 to 14:09 and I will highlight a few takeaway points I had from this segment.

1) Facebook/Social Media can be a very effective means to express oneself and reflect on societal issues/problems

2) Facebook reflections can be a great way to start dialogue on these issues

3) White people/POC that aren’t African American should absolutely get involved in this fight and be allies to the movement, but they should not be on the front lines – they should listen and help make societal progress

4) Obviously All Lives Matter but that is NOT the issue we are trying to resolve right now – it’s Black Lives Matter, because these are the lives that are being persecuted at the highest rates right now

5) The horrific events that the police have caused over the past couple months/years are not “unfortunate” – they are intentional actions by police forces that are inherently racist, and this is something that HAS to be addressed as soon as possible


An Interview with Gabe Madrid & Triston Caviness


Extended Interview:

I encourage you all to watch these interviews. Gabriel (left) is a sophomore at Pitzer College, studying Sociology. He founded Pitzer’s Legal Club and is from Ontario, California. Triston (right) is a first-year at Pitzer College from Harlem, New York, studying engineering. The two of them share their experiences growing up in these neighborhoods and the differences between where they are from and what it’s like to go to Pitzer.