Dignity in Schools Campaign!

The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a grassroots organization that works to “challenge the systemic problem of pushout in our nation’s schools and advocates for the human right of every young person to a quality education and to be treated with dignity. The DSC unites parents, youth, advocates and educators to support alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment and removal in our schools.” The Dignity in Schools Campaign has done a lot of cool work across the country, including Los Angeles! The organization focuses on school’s role in the prison industrial complex and often discusses the cost to educate a student verse the cost to incarcerate them.

The DSC had their week of action from October 4-11, where organizations held events around the theme, “Education is key, don’t lock us out.” Events varied from protests, workshops, lectures, marches, letter writing, and forums. All which enforced grassroots organizing as a catalyst for change. What stood out to me about the DSC was the use of media in all their events and in all aspects of their organization. Information is often distributed through infographics, which present dry statistics in a super engaging way and videos!

Here are some examples:

What are your thoughts about the Dignity in Schools Campaign and the work they are doing?

Gender in Advertising Detourment

I’ve been thinking a lot about how “empowering” media for women lately. We brought up in class that a lot of advertisers are trying to tap into a “girl power” mentality to increase sales.  I am genuinely impressed with some of the content I’ve been seeing. However, I also feel like sometimes that content is distributed under the guise of representing women in a less objectifying way when in reality it’s still dictating who has power by excluding marginalized voices.

I made this as a response to the “Dove. Real Beauty.” campaign.

NOTE: I tried several times to change the image format so you can make it bigger, but I must be doing something wrong. The text says, “Dove. Real (white, skinny, able bodied, cisgender) Beauty.”

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Gentrification and Graffiti

After our conversation about gentrification and graffiti I wanted to do some research into the history of street art in general. I came across one New York artist who was popular in the 90s and recently made a resurgence. Adam Cole has been known to make the city his canvas, blanketing entire neighborhoods with stickers and spray paint. However, police authorities have repeatedly shut him down because graffiti art is thought to be a “threat to quality of life.” What I was most surprised about was how this use of police force to restrict artistic expression relates to the topics the groups working on Ferguson and the school to prison pipeline are researching. With a number of people in low income communities using street art as a form of expression and political activism, police were able to silence and remove these individuals because they were a threat to their community members’ quality of life. What is even more frustrating is that these communities were then left less occupied so that other people could move in and occupy the neighborhood. Here, police force was used to perpetuate the gentrification process.

Detourment – Gentrification

I had another idea for a detoured image about gentrification after our class the other day. It didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped. I might try again and post the new version later. I was aiming for it to look like someone is spray painting the picture of the suburban family.

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Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency cancels visit to UU after death threats

I wanted to bring up this current event, which some of you may have already heard about, because of its connection to Joan Does Dynasty and our readings for today on activist video production…

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If The New York times says so…..

The legalization of Marijuana in America is an every growing topic and it is becoming more and more apparent as I research this topic in detail. I found a very interesting article by The New York times which discusses how “they”, as a large origination, have decided they too are joining the push for legislation and I quote; “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana”. So like it says, if The New York times are doing it….. Have a read for yourself!

Repeal Prohibitions, Again.

Marijuana Diversity

marijuana diversity

Institutionalized Oppression

It was incredibly liberating to read Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. As someone who is incredibly interested in social justice and community organizing it hit on a lot of topics that I am really interested in, such as oppression, the non-profit industrial complex, power dynamics, liberation, and education. The chapter addressed the complexities of oppression. More specifically, how oppression is a systemic factor that works against disenfranchised communities. This is done through power dynamics, policies, and structures.

From my experiences, people tend to think of oppression as interpersonal but not as a system. Freire brought up systemic bias in the chapter, which is incredibly common in American society. Often systems of oppression are justified through the use of science. A historical example of this is when “scientists” used Eugenics to justify racism. Eugenics set the precedent that white people are superior to people of color and justified institutional oppression on the basis of science. This is still seen in modern day society but in a more covert manner. Lots of studies and research done about humans are done on a very homogenized group of people, typically western, white, rich, straight, and cisgender. The results of these studies are then forced upon everyone, regardless of whether they fit the criteria that the subjects suggested. Additionally, when subjects might not be as homogenized there is bias in the ways researchers conduct their research. Yale released a study indicating scientists are not immune to bias in their research, especially when it comes to gender bias. Unfortunately the consequences of this turns into institutionalized oppression.

It is important to challenge systems and dynamics that perpetuate oppression, including science.

Links to more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism

http://news.yale.edu/2012/09/24/scientists-not-immune-gender-bias-yale-study-shows

Has Anything Changed?

Assimilation and Cultural Appropriation:

Assimilation12

culturalappropriation13

Who is the real Indian?

Indigenous Peoples Day

US

Image by an anonymous prospective student.

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