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Mendel-Reyes: PSJ 205 (spring 2021): Spring 2021 - Term B

Student Art: Spring 2021, Term B

Blackness in it's Purest Form

Created by: Dayjha Hogg

(video - click on title or image to view)

I wrote my poem on the notes of my phone as I was inspired throughout the last semester after I gained more education on my position in this world as a Black woman. Along with this poem, I had a photographer video me with my straight hair and with my curly hair. She also videoed my little cousin and her curly hair and us together. This video consists of clips of our hair and clips of us running, hugging, and playing outside. While the video is playing, there is audio inserted behind the video. This audio consists of my voice reading my poem and lines up with the video scenes. This is a 6min 16sec video.

 

In the past and present, Black women have and are being oppressed for not only their skin but their hair as well. Black women have had to conform to the norm by straightening their hair and finding ways to make it stand out less. Rejecting our Blackness and our natural hair is only going to make us feel more inadequate. But through the embracement of our natural hair, we can find liberation, encouragement, and resilience. I want the audience to see how much the scrutiny of Black natural hair has affected Black women. I hope that this will help the audience to empathize with Black women and their sacrifices. I also hope the audience can change their perspective on a Black woman’s natural hair from fearful and curious to amazed and appreciative. Black women can not be the only ones making the effort to accept their natural hair.  

This artwork is going to involve a poem that expresses my journey and emotions through embracing my natural hair. It will also emphasize what inspired me to embrace my hair and my Blackness in general: my younger biracial cousin who goes by the name Promise. This poem will express the urgency of my desire to embrace my Blackness for her. In the video, you will see how promise notices my hair, and how she pays attention to me, and the things that I do. You will see how she analyzes my hair and then compares it to her hair. I notice this. I notice how she wants to be like me. I notice how much she looks up to me. I notice how big of an impact I make on her life. Noticing this is what brought me to fully embrace my natural hair. I realized that if I chose to wear my hair straight then so would she. If I chose to reject my Blackness, then so would she. This is when I saw how critical it was for me to accept my Blackness and embrace my natural hair so that she would be able to see the beauty in her Blackness and in her natural hair. Throughout this project, you will be able to hear and see the journey to this embrace. You will be able to witness the journey of self-love for me, Promise, and all the Black women who are learning to embrace their beauty.

Infographic 1: Facts about Animal Testing

Created by: Emily Daugherty

For these infographics, I used the website Canva to design them and multiple sources listed below to gather information about animal testing. I chose an infographic that uses many different percentages and statistics to show the data I wanted to display. I did this because I thought it was the best way to get my message across while still giving a good amount of factual information. I chose to focus on animal testing and how many companies rely on it for their information. This testing is ruthless and should not be the first resort when testing a new product, whether that be a drug, a makeup product, or any beauty product. Many companies use animal testing and have no plans to end the suffering of these animals. By reading this statement and observing my info graphs, I hope that I can sway you in the direction of change and hope for these animals that are experimented on daily and endure unimaginable pain for our pleasure. We should all promote companies that focus on not using animal testing as a facility and using any means possible to deter these companies from continuing the use of these cruel methods. These infographics are a perfect way to express this issue and show people the facts about animal testing. These graphics include things like what types of animals are commonly used in this testing. How many animals are killed each year by this, how many companies use methods such as animal testing, and statistics on less cruelty-based options for products. I believe that this type of graphic is beneficial in getting my message across.

“About Animal Testing.” Humane Society International, 27 May 2020, www.hsi.org/news-media/about/.

Cruelty-Free International, www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/facts-and-figures-animal-testing.

List of Cruelty-Free Brands (2021) - Not Tested on Animals. ethical elephant. (2021, May 7). https://ethicalelephant.com/cruelty-free-brand-list/.

Companies That Test On Animals (2021 Update): Cruelty-Free Kitty. Cruelty. (2021, April 14). https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/.

Infographic 2: Good vs. Bad Companies to Support

Created by: Emily Daugherty

The Undocumented Silhouette

Created by: Jose Espinoza
 

My art piece is called The Undocumented Silhouette. My piece is composed of an undocumented migrant worker’s silhouette. Within the silhouette, you can see his environment: a field of crops that also contains other Immigrant workers. This environment is his only source of income and is a harmful one at that. Harvesting fields of crops is a harmful work environment because of the back-bending labor that creates opportunities for already underappreciated workers to be exploited for their services. Working these jobs comes with a great risk of becoming ill due to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.  
 

For this piece, I used a poster board and kept to an acrylic paint median. At the foreground of the painting is a handful of undocumented workers within a field of crops. In this depiction, they are doing back-breaking work in the form of harvesting the field. While working in these conditions, this community can become ill from chemicals or hurt themselves harvesting all types of vegetables and fruits. The scene then fades out into a tree line and mountain range that represents all the extensive barriers that this community of people must face to become a part of our country; sometimes seeking refuge from their own. From the mountain range up a depiction of a sunset begins. The sunset represents two different ideas: the beauty that can come with the acceptance of this hard-working community as a whole rather than criminalizing them for seeking refuge in the United States, and it enriches the painting by acting as a contrast to the harsh environment that is depicted in the foreground. Sitting amongst the clouds I incorporated a UFO to depict the title of Aliens given to this community. The title “Alien” vilifies and dehumanizes these workers, which creates a society that doesn’t value their work and wants nothing to do with them. Everything is then wrapped into the original silhouette of an undocumented worker. 
 

Through my artwork, I attempt to shed light on a community that has been dehumanized and isn’t appreciated for its services. These hard-working people provide a valuable service to the rest of the nation. While these migrant workers are hard at work, putting food on tables across the country, they go unacknowledged and unappreciated. Being undocumented in the States is all people acknowledge about these migrant workers, coming back to their title of “aliens.” These communities of wonderful and desperate people travel by season and are employed to provide for many citizens within our United States. They risk harmful amounts of contact with the sun and inhale many dangerous things including harmful pesticides and other chemicals used on crops. In this painting, I wish to expose these harmful working conditions while sharing the same positive light I have seen these communities in.  

Pussy Riot

Created by Quinn Anderson

(zine - click on title or image to view in full)
 

“Pussy Riot: The Power of Feminist-Organized Guerilla Performances” 

  My zine, entitled “Pussy Riot: The Power of Feminist-Organized Guerilla Performances,” is a virtual, self-published magazine that tells the story of a feminist group in Russia, whose main objective was to oppose the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin. The zine employs visual media including pictures and graphics, as well as auditory media via videos. I organized the zine strategically—because I am talking about Pussy Riot’s organization and strategy—by first presenting the viewer with who Pussy Riot is as an activist group, then explaining their mission, and finally breaking down their tactics that could be used by future organizers and activists.  Pussy Riot describes itself as a musical activist group that conducts guerilla performances in public, urban spaces, whose chief concerns include: “…political activism, ecology, and the elimination of authoritarian tendencies in the Russian state system through the creation of a civil society.” Their protest songs speak to the corrupt nature of their government, namely, their rigged elections, and condemn Putin’s rule as dictatorship. The group tells us, through its use of what is directly in front of it, that normal people can do a lot with very little—cheap ski masks, handmade outfits, and limited technical musical skill—to create a visual protest that has a massive impact. What may seem trivial, or even silly, can actually be the spark that starts a fire, that threatens pillars of control that are suppressing them. Pussy Riot, by its strategic but modest organization and resource base, was able to create a movement that drew global attention to their cause and even inspired a documentary about it. This zine should inspire ordinary people to use the limited resources they have in creative ways to defy unjust government rules and to attempt to make a change. I believe that my zine, through its visually interesting aesthetics, and informative description and analysis, will be able to achieve just that.  

 

 

Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes: Infographic 1

Created by: Loren Cox 

 

These infographics were created using Canva and are based on statistics surrounding elder abuse in nursing homes. One focuses on the physical abuse aspects while the other focuses on the mental abuse aspects. The statistics show how common this issue actually is and how it affects the victims. 

Nursing home abuse in the United States is a very common issue that most people do not know about, which is unfortunate considering 1.4 million elders currently live-in nursing homes. A leading cause for elder abuse is the lack of workers in nursing home, causing overworked nurses to neglect their patients and take their frustrations out on them. I am hoping these infographics will bring awareness to this issue. By putting a spotlight on nursing homes, the increased pressure could lead to better admirative oversight. This can lead to better hiring practices, such as running background checks and psychological evaluations. It can also ensure the nursing homes are staying fully staffed so employees will not become overworked. I’m also hoping these infographics will encourage families to regularly check in on their elder members living in nursing homes.  
 

Nursing home abuse can be a very sad topic. Everyone has a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle that lives or will live in a nursing home, so the idea that they can be harmed in a place that is supposed to be safe is terrifying. The goal is not to scare people but to bring awareness to a very important issue. This is why I chose to focus on the facts and statistics. I used diagrams to present the statistics clearly along with captions of what they meant. I also included the signs of physical and emotional abuse, so people are aware of what to look out for since so few cases of abuse are reported by facilities. At the end of the day, I want people to know what is happening so that the people who are doing this and those who are hiding their actions are held accountable. 

Sources: 

https://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com/nursing-home-abuse/ 

https://nanha.org/resources/facts-statistics/ 

https://www.hwnninjurylaw.com/2021/03/11/nursing-home-abuse-and-neglect-statistics-you-need-to-know/?matchtype=e&network=g&device=c&adposition&keyword=nursing%20home%20neglect&campaign=8870406234&gclid=Cj0KCQjwp86EBhD7ARIsAFkgakiE39PvqCTIzZzDAZkM03-Hso6iiDsVc68S5DJN72xr8XDzXq5prMoaAtqKEALw_wcB 

Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes: Infographic 2

Created by: Loren Cox

7 Minutes with Rocco (Podcast)

Created by: Jacob Well-McCullough

(podcast - click on title or image to listen)
This podcast was meant to illustrate the importance of educating young people on the imminent threat of Climate Change. I recorded myself and my 11-year-old cousin Rocco having a conversation about climate change on Zoom. I cut down the audio significantly (the full length of the conversation was around 20 minutes). I believe that children have the ability to be incredibly insightful. In addition to wanting to hear his thoughts on the problem and what aspect of the issue he would want to put his energy towards, I believe that placing children at the front and center of the movement to stop climate change is key to its success. It would be nearly impossible for billionaires like the Koch brothers, who profit from the coal and oil industry, to continue destroying the planet while facing down a crowd of children. I wanted to frame this project as more of a conversation than a lesson. I wanted to give Rocco the opportunity to explain what he knew about the issue, his perspective on it, and how it was being conveyed to him before offering my own insight and knowledge. Climate change, in my opinion, should be a fundamental part of our geopolitical conversation. Like the coronavirus, global warming has the potential to highlight the way that systemic social, political, and economic issues are linked. This problem will eventually have a detrimental effect on every living thing. Fortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore. It is imperative that we solve this issue as soon as possible. Our survival absolutely depends on it.            

The Addiction Chronicles: Sabrina's Story, Part 1

Created by: Amanda Barton

(click on title or image to view in full as a pdf)

In order to make “The Addiction Chronicles,” I used sources such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse to first research the short-term and long-term side effects of methamphetamines. Next, I began to research the average timespan a person may spend in jail on drug charges and even how pregnant drug addicts are treated. Using this information, I compiled a series of short stories following the life of a young girl named Sophia and her experiences as a drug addict. For the sake of privacy, I decided to create Sophia instead of basing her on any one person’s journey of addiction. Through Sophia’s story, I intended to show the humanity that is often overlooked when people become addicted to drugs. More often than not, people look at drug addicts as though they are criminals, or even as though they are expendable. However, just because someone becomes addicted to drugs, their humanity is not stripped away. Every addict is still someone’s parent, child, cousin. As people read Sophia’s story, I hope to highlight that addiction is just not a choice. I want people to realize that addicts become addicted to drugs not just because they wanted to but because they were desperate because they were hurting, or for a plethora of other reasons that may be hidden to outsiders. I also intended to highlight how criminalizing drugs does not cure addiction, nor does it do anything to prevent it. I wanted to show that the answer to addiction mental health care, rehab, and other facilities that do not lead to felonies. Ultimately, I hope that the creation of Sophia, and the telling of her story, will allow the readers to understand that decriminalizing drugs will benefit addicts because it opens the door to rehabilitation rather than punishment.

The Addiction Chronicles: Sabrina's Story, Part 2

Created by: Amanda Barton

(click on title or image to view in full as a pdf)

The Addiction Chronicles: Sabrina's Story, Part 2, Continued...

Created by: Amanda Barton

(click on title or image to view in full as a pdf)

Earth There Is but One

Created by: Angel Martinez

       This artwork reintroduces the catastrophic effect big corporations have on the environment. As more and more people feel the impacts of global warming, it seems as though the crisis can be stopped or slowed if big corporations make changes. The editorial cartoons found in newspapers inspired this art piece. Although this artwork does not transmit a comedic feel, it uses the same drawing technique to send a message.  I lightly sketched the drawing objects with a pencil and accentuated them with black pen marks. The utilization of black ink forced me to focus more on the line/form and not gradients. To create tonal or shading effects, I used hatching and cross-hatching techniques. Combined with my passion for doodling and love for the environment, this artwork illustrates the primary root of careless emissions from corporate industries.

A report published in 2017 reported that 100 energy companies producing fossil fuel are responsible for 71% of all human-driven emissions (Griffin). Many other companies have exploited natural resources to the point that ecosystems are beginning to fail. The desire for power and wealth has driven many corporations to misuse natural resources with little or no consideration of the possible adverse effects. Through this artwork, I hope that people realize how much power and influence big corporations have on society and the environment. People should aid companies who use good environmental processes to produce environmentally friendly products. Purchasing from negligent corporations only gives them more reasons to continue polluting our homes.

This drawing raises the alarm for environmental awareness. The men in black suits represent the rich corporate elite while they rejoice in the reapings at the expense of the environment. The tree stumps and the smog rising towards the Earth represent the catastrophic effects on Earth. An important detail in the illustration is the words formed from the rising smog. The words "power, money, fossil fuels, greed, corporate, wealth" indicate the characteristics of those who take advantage of Earth's resources. At the top, the powerful message "at what cost, we have one" aims to raise consciousness towards our future if we are to survive for generations to come. The poem further describes the artwork's message; what is the ultimate cost we are willing to pay for our conveniences and pleasure, especially for large corporations contributing the most to climate change?

Griffin, Paul. "The Carbon Majors DatabaseCDP Carbon Majors Report 2017." CDP Driving Sustainable Economies. CDP Worldwide. July 2015. Web. 6 May 2021.

https://b8f65cb373b1b7b15feb-c70d8ead6ced550b4d987d7c03fcdd1d.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/cms/reports/documents/000/002/327/original/Carbon-Majors-Report-2017.pdf?1499691240

Hurt and more hurt is what Earth felt

 As it saw its polar ice caps begin to melt.

As man raised axes, trees that cleansed the air

came tumbling down in despair.

Earth looked down to see a suit and tie

 People jumping up and down, but why?

Hands full of money reaching for more power

Faces full of greed that took over like overgrown weed.

Appalachia: Hanging on by a Thread

Created by: Erika Wilson

(zine - click on title or image to view in full)
 

This zine was created to echo the issues regarding mental health in the Appalachian Region by using various materials to incorporate the numerous feelings someone might have in relation to mental health. I combined images to help visually represent what we can and cannot see in connection with a person’s mental health. Many people struggling with depression, for instance, tend to go unnoticed because of the commonality it has in Appalachia and their ability to disguise the numb-like feelings associated with depression with a smile. I used different letters from magazines to embody the feeling of a ransom letter in hopes that it will convey the message that mental health sometimes feels like it has robbed you of yourself. I also sewed copper wire into the binding of the zine to represent the feeling of hanging on by a thread, and to also showcase the title of my zine more. 

The Appalachian Region suffers from many issues that keep its communities from prospering, and this is correlated with the lack of mental health awareness and resources. In many cases within the Appalachian Region, there are other outside forces that contribute to the mental stress these communities feel like financial struggles, insufficient job opportunities, and lack of resources regarding education and healthcare. If someone is struggling with finding a place to work, which could cause their depression to worsen, they should be able to have access to affordable resources. The opioid crisis in the Appalachian Region also goes hand in hand with mental health issues. Many people that turn to drugs (opioids) are dealing with undiagnosed mental health problems but taking these drugs can make these problems worse. Statistics show that people in the Appalachian Region suffer from depression more frequently, attempt and commit suicide more, have fewer resources to help prevent or provide guidance for these mental health issues.  

I am from a small town in southwest Virginia, a coal-mining town that barely has a clinic and post office. We do not have a cell phone tower and our fire department was recently shut down for drugs. Growing up in an Appalachian community like this makes it difficult to understand your own mental health problems. I personally struggle with anxiety and depression; I also used to struggle with suicidal thoughts. I am surrounded by people like me, but so many of them are unaware of their own mental health due to the lack of knowledge surrounding the issue. I am using this zine to reflect the differences between the Appalachian Region and the rest of the country in hope of expressing the urgency surrounding the issue at hand. I am also going to share my own personal stories to show people they are not alone. One of the biggest fears, I believe, when it comes to mental health problems is being alone with emotions, feelings, and thoughts. In my zine, I show that, while mental health is ugly, it is often disguised by beauty.  

 

References:

Alford, Roger. “Study: Appalachia More Prone to Mental Health, Drug Problems.” Dispatch, 13 Aug. 2008. https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/study-appalachia-more-prone-to-mental-health-drug-problems/article_a8215e54-2041-5e84-ab72-2bd37387ff22.html#:~:text=Researchers%20found%3A,in%20northern%20and%20southern%20Appalachia.  

“Key Findings: Health Disparities in the Appalachian Region.” www.healthy-ky.org/res/uploads/media/AppRegionHealthDisparitiesKeyFindings8-17.pdf.  

Waters, Miranda Renee, "Mental Health Services in Appalachia" (2011). Online Theses and Dissertations. 16. https://encompass.eku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1015&context=etd.  

Raise the Minimum Wage: pt. 1

Created by: Jackson Riley
 

An important issue in our country is raising the minimum wage. The minimum wage within the United States is $7.25. When thinking about the minimum wage of $7.25, this is not simply enough for a person to live what we consider a livable wage. A livable wage determines how much a person needs to make to have enough for the typical living expenses, such as rent, bills, and food. In this day and age, $7.25 an hour is not simply enough for a person to earn without being at risk of losing their homes or not having enough to provide for themselves or their families. When creating my protest art, I used Canva to create three posters. One poster I created has general information on how the minimum wage affects the United States as a country. I also created two posters that focus on two major groups of people affected by the minimum wage. Women and people of color represent a big number of those who are affected by the minimum wage. While creating my protest art, I put images and information based on the research I have done to represent that the minimum wage we currently have in the United States is just not enough. I understand that not everyone agrees on raising the minimum wage, however, I do hope to convince others to really think about this issue and possibly change their view on it. Based on my research, I found it very sad that there are more Americans that live at minimum wage than we think. I really hope that these posters express how the minimum wage makes it harder for some people to afford a decent living. No one should have to work an outrageous number of hours in order to make ends meet. No one should have to work more than one job as well because one job doesn’t pay enough. Working a minimum wage job does not determine one’s worth. I think it is very important to put ourselves in other’s shoes to understand that not everyone is not as fortunate as others and is not going to live the life that they do.

Works Cited:

     Babic, Mary. “6 Simple Reasons We Should Raise the Minimum Wage Right Now.” Politics of Poverty, 5 Feb. 2021, politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/6-simple-reasons-we-should-raise-the-minimum-wage/.

     Blakey-Gray, Rachel. “Can You Pay That?! Federal and StateTipped Minimum Wage Rates.” Patriot, 8 Mar. 2021, www.patriotsoftware.com/blog/payroll/federal-state-tipped-minimum-wage-rates/.

     Boesch, Diana, et al. Raising the Minimum Wage Would Be Transformative for Women. 23 Feb. 2021, www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2021/02/23/496221/raising-minimum-wage-transformative-women/.

     Brown, H. Claire. “Despite Now Offering $15 Minimum Wage, Amazon Still a Top Employer of SNAP Recipients in Many States.” The Counter, 19 Nov. 2020, thecounter.org/15-minimum-wage-amazon-top-employer-snap-recipients-walmart-mcdonalds/.

     Fact Sheet. “How Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 by 2024 Will Benefit Women.” Economic Policy Institute, 25 May 2017, www.epi.org/publication/how-raising-the-minimum-wage-to-15-by-2024-will-benefit-women/.

     Li, Huixian. A Civil Issue: The Tipped Minimum Wage & Working People of Color. www.georgetownpoverty.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GCPI-MW-fact-sheet-2018.06.08.pdf.

     Marte, Jonnelle, and Lucia Mutikani. “Share of U.S. Workers Holding Multiple Jobs Is Rising, New Census Report Shows.” Reuters, 17 Feb. 2021, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-multiple-jobs/share-of-u-s-workers-holding-multiple-jobs-is-rising-new-census-report-shows-idUSKBN2AH2PI.

     U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Profile of the Working Poor, 2018. July 2020, www.bls.gov/opub/reports/working-poor/2018/home.htm.

     U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2020, Feb. 2021, www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2020/pdf/home.pdf.

Raise the Minimum Wage: pt. 2

Created by: Jackson Riley

Raise the Minimum Wage: pt. 3

Created by: Jackson Riley

Poems on Mass Incarceration

Created by: Ke’yonna Moore 

(click on title or image to view in full as a pdf)
 

Poems on Mass Incarceration, I have created a mini-series of poems from the point of view of several people, mostly African American men, who have been wrongly imprisoned or too harshly punished for misdemeanors at the hands of the United States’ racially charged and biased legal system. The mini-series begins with an introductory poem called “Black Behind Bars” that serves as an insight into life as an African American man in the prison system. It explains the loneliness, the terror, and the anger one feels while imprisoned, especially when most of the people one sees are brown like them. The series then goes into specific stories of injustice and wrongful imprisonment. I took the poems and incorporated images of the stories and people they correspond with. I have created this mini-series to raise awareness about the dangers and injustice of mass incarceration. Mass incarceration refers to the unique way the U.S. has locked up a vast population in federal and state prisons, as well as local jails. Although this is an issue for society as a whole, it is disproportionately targeted at people of color. According to “The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons,” African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites, and at least ten times the rate in five states. My goal is to use my voice and my artwork to encourage others to pay attention. It is sickening to see so many African American men suffering in prison for five to ten years for committing the same misdemeanor a white man won’t spend a minute in prison for. This is a pressing issue, and I urge all people to educate themselves and speak up. If more people are aware of the problem and speak out for change, there is no way we can be ignored.  


Works cited:

“The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons.” The Sentencing Project, https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/color-of-justice-racial-and-ethnic-disparity-in-state-prisons/. Accessed 7 May 2021. 

 

Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Created by: Haily Davis 

(click on title or image to view in full as a pdf)
 

This infographic was made using Canva. 
 

The issue I wanted to highlight in this infographic is discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace. This form of discrimination may include unnecessary and exclusionary job requirements, paying disabled employees less than their able-bodied coworkers, or refusing to make reasonable accommodations, among other things. I hope that this infographic gives others insight into the challenges disabled people face in the workplace and encourages the viewers to show support for disability activists seeking to end workplace discrimination. 

 

On the first page of the infographic, I cited statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the United States Census Bureau. I chose to incorporate these statistics to demonstrate the differences in inclusion, pay and income, and employment opportunity between disabled and able-bodied persons in the workforce. On the second page of the infographic, I cited seven key events in the timeline of Disability Employment Policies listed by the U.S. Department of Labor, beginning with the Americans with Disabilities Act in July of 1990 and ending with the implementation of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in January of 2017. I incorporated this information to share what steps the U.S. government has taken over the past thirty-one years to improve the treatment of disabled people within the workforce, and to help the viewers understand exactly how recently the ADA came into existence. After the final event in the timeline, I pose the question: “What’s next?” For me, this question is significant because I have witnessed acts of discrimination toward my dad, who uses a wheelchair, and I know that there is still a long way to go before people with disabilities are treated equally to people without disabilities. 

 

Works Cited: 

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary. (2021, February 24). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm

Kaye, H., Jans, L., & Jones, E. Why don't employers hire and retain workers with disabilities?. (2011, March 13). Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217147/

Employment of Workers with Disabilities. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor Seal. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/workers-with-disabilities

Do People With Disabilities Earn Equal Pay?. (2020, August 17). The United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/03/do-people-with-disabilities-earn-equal-pay.html

Disability & Employment: A Timeline. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/ada30/timeline.  

Revealing Reality

Created by: Elise Kemp

(video - click on title or image to view)

When creating my artwork, I began by writing the first lines that came to my mind. I then analyzed whether the lyrics would flow well in a song and fixed places that did not flow or had no rhythm, at times moving some of the lines around. It was crucial that the song had rhythm and flow but also good content. I wanted to illustrate the struggles African Americans face and decided to tell a story throughout portions of the song to emphasize this. I chose to break up the parts in which the story is being told to ensure that I was incorporating everything I wanted to. The issue I am bringing awareness to is systemic racism as well as its influence on generational poverty. This issue is something I am very passionate about, somewhat because as a young bi-racial woman, I have experienced many of the effects of systemic racism. I am also very passionate about fighting against generational poverty because I hate seeing people trapped in the vicious cycle of a system that has been designed to ensure they will fail. I believe that many people do not recognize the lack of opportunities provided for people of color. There are many times in which young Black teens are forced to become the father figure in a home, and even more often, they are put in positions where they must financially provide for their family. These teens struggle to find jobs as many employers are reluctant or even refuse to give African Americans jobs. The teens then have to choose between continuing with school, providing no financial support, joining a gang, or getting involved with illegal activity, which often provides them with another family and monetary aid. In reality, this is not much of a choice, as one results in homelessness and hunger, and the other provides them with an opportunity to support their family. I hope that this song begins to educate people on the problems faced by African Americans and the other issues in society. I also hope that this piece plays on people's heartstrings, driving them to recognize this as a massive issue and move into action. I decided to begin the piece by speaking on the Black Lives Matter movement, quickly paying tribute to some of those who have lost their lives due to police brutality. I then have the line, "Too many more to name that's why we stand and fight," emphasizing that the issue impacts many more than what is shown in the media. The song continues to explain the struggles faced by members of the Black community regarding the opportunities made available to them. The line "it's not that simple; John gets a job before Tyree. That's life as a member of the black community." represents the challenges African Americans face when attempting to get jobs. The song then tells the story of Tyree, a fictional character who represents many young Black men today. While listening to the piece, one begins to hear more examples of systemic racism before picking back up with Tyree's story and seeing how systemic issues encourage the continuation of generational poverty. This now explains the challenges put on Tyree when his girlfriend falls pregnant because they have not been thoroughly educated on safe sex. She proceeds to abort the baby, and the song discusses how this mentally affects her, as she did not genuinely want to abort. Still, she felt it was her only option because there are so many clinics in their poverty-stricken, primarily African American town. The inclusion of this portion is meant to express that many young Black women make decisions they soon regret because the intentional placement of abortion clinics in low-income areas encourages this process. She feels the emotional turmoil after having the abortion as intense, especially near the day she would have had the baby, where she turns to alcohol to cope. The story then shifts to Tyree, who is on the streets, trying to make a little more money to pay the upcoming rent. He sees a girl who has hurt herself in an alley, so he attempts to use his shirt as a tourniquet while she cries from the pain. Suddenly Tyree hears a gunshot. In the final seconds, the story shifts to Tyree's sisters as they open the door to find the police. The officer tells them their brother was killed because he was raping a young girl in an alley, but they do not have bodycam footage. These final lines of the song depict a reality that is far too accurate for countless Black teens. Due to the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding African Americans, innocent Black lives are continuously taken by police. Tyree was trying to help, but he instead lost his life as a result of false assumptions. The notion that the officers do not have the bodycam footage refers to the fact that bodycam footage during the death of innocent African Americans is often not released or mysteriously "goes missing," likely to cover that the victim was innocent. All in all, I hope the story told allows people to get a better understanding of the struggles Black Americans face, the reasons as to why some make the choices they do, and motivating listeners to take a stand against systemic racism.

The Pro-Choice Movement: Planned Parenthood

Created by: Mikaela Otte 


The Pro-Choice movement is one that holds great importance to me and my life. I believe that women should have the right to choose what happens with their bodies and their choice to be pregnant or to terminate that pregnancy. I am someone who believes that the government should not control people’s bodies and we all deserve agency over our own physical beings. I wanted to help put a stop to misinformation regarding the pro-choice movement and abortion as a whole. I chose to do this by creating infographics with information on different aspects of the pro-choice movement. One infographic is based entirely on what the organization Planned Parenthood is and all the services they provide. It is inclusive and explains in an easy-to-understand way all that they provide and it clears up misconceptions about the organization as a whole. The second infographic explains what types of abortions there are—i.e. the weeks in which they occur during a pregnancy most often—and it debunks the “concept” of “late-term abortions”. To make these infographics I used the online program Canva and it gives the user access to eye-catching materials and infographic setups. This was incredibly useful and helped me to feel that I was making something that would properly and effectively convey important information in an eye-catching manner. Overall, the Pro-Choice movement is something I very strongly support and want the misconceptions and hate to stop. I want people to be educated and not blinded by misconceptions and propaganda against the Pro-Choice movement. I hope my infographics help to educate as many people as possible.  

All About Safe and Legal Abortions

Created by: Mikaela Otte 

The ABC's of Injustice

Created by: Madison Cummins

The art piece that I decided to create for this assignment was inspired by one I had done while I was in high school a couple of years ago. I took a topic, and for each letter of the alphabet, I drew a picture relating to the topic. Back then, I drew 26 pictures relating to a much happier topic, The Beatles (A is for Abbey Road, B is for Blackbird, C is for Can’t Buy Me Love). However this piece was created to protest the issue of police brutality throughout the United States. Each letter of the alphabet was given a name, and each name was that of a person who was murdered by the police (A is for Atatiana Jefferson, B is for Breonna Taylor, C is for Casey Goodson Jr.). I used markers and crayons titled “Colors of the World” to create the beautiful faces of each tragedy. The identities of each person was created on a simple white poster board that had 30 squares traced with a ruler.

I chose this topic to tell a story and to bring awareness to the issue revolving around police brutality. Each of the pictures is a different tragedy. Each person is different, they are dark skinned, light skinned, young, old, male, female, urban or rural, but none are white. Personally I chose this topic because I have two black brothers, and I fear for their lives. I see my brothers in every statistic, every headline, every death. I want to show others that this is a real issue in our country, and you don’t have to be a person of color to realize that. My whiteness doesn’t affect my ability to see other’s struggles and especially to help better the lives of others. This piece was for Atatiana, Breonna, Casey, Daunte, Eric, Freddie, George, Nicholas, India, Janisha, Korryn, LaTanya, Trevon, Natasha, Chinedu, Philando, Angelo, Rayshard, Stephon, Tamir, Fabian, Vinny, William, Xzavier, Yvette, Zhonghua, and of course, my brothers: Jaylen and Isaiah.