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Queer and Trans Youth and the Transformative Power of the Arts

By Sojn Boothroyd

“Making art is the place I felt most connected to myself and to the mystery of creation. I felt powerful, like a superhero—like no one could touch me or hurt me in any way.”—Jayden

Jayden was a participant in Queer Teen Identity Formation and the Arts, a qualitative research study I conducted as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009. Eight individuals living in different geographical locations who engaged in the arts as teens and identified as trans, queer, pansexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning participated in the study. During the interviews, they talked about their experience identifying as queer and trans teens, what that entailed, and how engaging in the arts affected their lives at that time. The participants responded in writing to an email questionnaire and chose pseudonyms, used here, to keep their names confidential for the study.

Divided: a Documentary on Chicago’s Segregation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNYljy2J7PU This documentary explores the history of residential segregation in Chicago and how it has shaped the city today. The racial segregation of the city has flown under the radar even when the racial distribution of the city has not changed much over the years. The discrimination and segregation of blacks in Chicago have been going on since the Jow Crow laws that were terrorizing the South. The migration of the blacks to Chicago forced them into a small section of the city, The Black Belt. There have been firebombing, racially constricted covenants, and city policies that have kept black people out of white neighborhoods. This pushed the black migrants into over-crowded and over-priced neighborhoods on the South Side. The race tensions led to the race riots in 1919. In 1948, the Supreme Court declared racial covenants unenforceable. Although, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) still wished for racial…

DISCRIMINATION AND FAIR HOUSING

“A multidisciplinary investigation into the nature, motivations, consequences, and legal/public policy implications of racial/ethnic discrimination in housing and related markets (mortgage, insurance) in US metropolitan areas.” The course will explore the following questions regarding racial/ethnic discrimination in housing and related markets (“discrimination” hereafter): What constitutes illegal discrimination? How does one know when it is occurring? What motivates those who discriminate? How often does discrimination occur? What are the individual and societal consequences of discrimination? What are the strengths and weaknesses of various legal and public policy strategies for ending discrimination? Though discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity will be the primary focus of the course, other fair housing topics will be presented. Dr. George Galster View syllabus

A new memorial honors more than 4,000 victims of lynching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgCvYiHGDG8 In the report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, EJI (Equal Justice Initiative) documented more than 4,400 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950. EJI identified 800 more lynchings than had previously been recognized. Racial terror lynchings were violent and public acts of torture that traumatized black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. Unlike the hangings of white people and outlaws in communities where there was no functioning criminal justice system, racial terror lynchings in the American South were acts of violence at the core of a systematic campaign of terror perpetrated in furtherance of an unjust social order. These lynchings were terrorism.

A Powerful New Memorial For Lynching Victims Just Opened In Alabama

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIezxxac_zk On Thursday, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama opened their doors. The memorial and museum honor the thousands of lives lost to lynching in the United States. The memorial acts as a powerful reminder on the centuries of violence and racial inequality throughout US history. It also offers a space to reflect upon those who have lost their lives because of the color of their skin. Inscribed into 800 steel monuments are the names and places of each act of violence. There is also a display of glass jars containing soil from these sites.

On Being Bad and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Conversation with Author Crystal Laura

By Bill Ayers Bill Ayers has written several books on education, including Teaching Toward Freedom and A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court. In Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Crystal Laura’s riveting account of her younger brother’s odyssey through school and detention and prison—a brutal journey that often feels meticulously designed to entangle and ensnare him—she makes an eloquent and urgent argument that schools can only succeed with all our children when they are built on a foundation of “love, justice, and joy,” a pursuit she describes as “dangerous and worthwhile.” Laura’s case for vigorous and vital schools, and against the prison nation, is also a brief for a healthier society. I asked Crystal Laura about the interaction and meaning of these matters, and the question of what is to be done. Being Bad stands at the juncture of several critical conversations: school…

Social Justice and Children’s/YA Literature

This course will teach how to select, read, evaluate and analyze depictions and aspects of social justice and injustice in children’s and young adult literature. Through various genres of literature intended for both the child and adolescent reader, students will develop an informed awareness of the complex perspectives, uses, and boundaries of literature and will learn to recognize and analyze how adolescent and children’s literature depicts stories related to social justice, tolerance, equality and social change. We will engage in a variety of teaching/learning methods to cover the course material, including but not limited to: lecture, small/large group discussions, independent and group projects, written and oral presentations. Professor Sarah Park Dahlen St. Catherine University View Syllabus

A Guide to Ethical Research with Refugees and Displaced People

By Christina Clark-Kazak

Research can contribute to a better understanding of the diverse experiences of forced migration. When done well such research can inform policy and programming, but it can also cause inconvenience and harm to research respondents. In situations of forced migration, the stakes are particularly high because of precarious legal status, unequal power relations, far-reaching anti-terrorism legislation, racism and the criminalization of migration. In response to the increased, often well-intentioned, interest in working with displaced peoples (refugees or others who are forced to migrate) the Canadian Council for Refugees (ccrweb.ca), York’s Centre for Refugee Studies (crs.info.yorku.ca) and the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (carfms.org) collaborated to generate principles with specific ethical considerations for research with people in situations of forced migration. We hope such a praxis-based document written by, and for, those engaged in the field -as well as those who are primarily involved in research – can complement existing formal ethical guidelines set up by academic and organizational institutions such as ethics review boards.

Ligatures for Black Bodies

By Denise Miller

Denise Miller’s stunning artwork is featured on the home page of Praxis Center’s website. Here, she shares three poems from her forthcoming book, Ligatures for Black Bodies, with Rattle Press in November. For Denise, poetry tells the stories of individuals in order to give the entire society its full voice. In Audre Lorde’s words: “our labor has become more important than our silence.”

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