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Encouraging Civic Engagement for Kids: Activity Booklet for Ages 8-12

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Civic education in America should be focused on empowering future generations to take full advantage of their rights as citizens and realize their potential to incite change. Even at a young age, it is important that we educate children on

Civic education in America should be focused on empowering future generations to take full advantage of their rights as citizens and realize their potential to incite change. Even at a young age, it is important that we educate children on what it means to be a United States citizen so that they can begin cultivating their personal political experience. As soon as the child is at the age where they can begin to understand basic political and governmental concepts, they should be encouraged to start thinking about their roles as citizens in a Democratic government. More often than not, young adults express that they wish they had been exposed to the political climate earlier on in life. When a lot of these adolescents reach voting age, they are woefully under-educated and apathetic towards their participation in the civic sphere. This activity booklet was designed to not only educate but also empower and inspire kids, and to really get them excited for their futures in the civic sphere.

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2018-05

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How to Create a Narrative Poetry Collection: Feminism and Reflection

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Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and

Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and a hard copy. The study of feminist poetry is looked at in my research in order to further apply feminism and reflection to narrative poetry. The joys of feminism, culture, identity, and empowerment are discussed and explained throughout my poetry collection. There are three waves of feminism, and I focused on writing in the third wave feminism which doesn’t have a cohesive argument, but focuses on sharing stories that are unique to women. As well, third wave feminism discourages patriarchy and encourages socio-political action. Some common, and re-occurring themes include my transformation process during college, spirituality (my faith), and nature. In order to further my poetry collection I had looked at many feminist authors on culture, and narrative poetry collections in order to see how the creative process works, and how I could better benefit my narrative poetry through feminism and reflection on growing up and what it means to be a woman. I had encountered and tried to reflect highly on the unique stories I have encountered being a woman raised of a Catholic identity in Ohio. This collection of poetry is meant as a reflection on my college experience as a female, and sharing the empowerment I have as a woman that I hope to share with others.

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2019-05

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Proportional Representation Electoral Systems and Minority Representation in the American Legislature: A Comparative Analysis of Potential Reforms

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In this paper I conduct a comparative analysis of how proportional representation electoral systems could affect the political representation of racial and ethnic minorities if adopted in America. In order to do this I first discuss the central ideas of

In this paper I conduct a comparative analysis of how proportional representation electoral systems could affect the political representation of racial and ethnic minorities if adopted in America. In order to do this I first discuss the central ideas of proportional representation in conjunction with a historical and contemporary view of the American electoral system. Using this discussion as a basic framework I enter a more in depth discussion about the pros and cons of PR systems, especially in so far as party lists, district magnitude, and links between constituent and representative. To better contextualize the American electoral system I then use case studies featuring New Zealand, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Germany. These case studies discuss important aspects of each country's electoral system and how they have affected ethnic and racial minorities within those countries. Each case study concludes with an assessment of how a similar system might work if adopted in America which aims to inform a broader discussion about electoral reform. Finally I conclude with a discussion of my findings that recognizes how proportional representation systems open new pathways for minority representation, while still urging caution in viewing those systems as a straightforward solution to the chronic underrepresentation of America's ethnic and racial minorities in politics.

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Date Created
2018-05

ERA in AZ

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This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is

This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is the ERA? What is its history? Why do we need it? How do we get it into the Constitution of the United States of America?

The text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The amendment was authored by Alice Paul and was first introduced into Congress in 1923. The ERA did not make much progress until 1970, when Representative Martha Griffiths from Michigan filed a discharge petition demanding that the ERA move out of the judiciary committee to be heard by the full United States House of Representatives. The House passed it and it went on to the Senate, where it was approved and sent to the states for ratification. By 1977, 35 states had voted to ratify the ERA, but it did not reach the 38 states-threshold required for ratification before the 1982 deadline set by Congress. More recently, Nevada ratified the ERA in March 2017, and Illinois followed suit in May 2018. On January 27th, 2020, Virginia finalized its ratification, making it the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Supporters of the ERA argue that we have reached the required goal of approval by 38 states. However, opponents may have at least two legal arguments to challenge this claim by ERA advocates. First, the deadline to ratify was 1982. Second, five states have voted to rescind their ratification since their initial approval. These political and legal challenges must be addressed and resolved before the ERA can be considered part of the United States Constitution. Nevertheless, ERA advocates continue to pursue certification. There are complicated questions to untangle here, to be sure, but by listening to a variety of perspectives and critically examining the historical and legal context, it may be possible to find some answers. Indeed, Arizona, which has yet to ratify the ERA, could play a vital role in the on-going fight for the ERA.

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2020-05

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Colin Kaepernick, Ethnocentrism, and Multiculturalism: Redefining Nationalism in the United States

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This paper explores whether American football player Colin Kaepernick and other athletes’ refusal in 2016 to acknowledge the national anthem symbolizes a form of nationalism in the United States. At first glance, the rising support of “un-American” acts that reject

This paper explores whether American football player Colin Kaepernick and other athletes’ refusal in 2016 to acknowledge the national anthem symbolizes a form of nationalism in the United States. At first glance, the rising support of “un-American” acts that reject traditional patriotism would imply that American nationalism is faltering. If one observes the colloquial understanding of nationalism as extreme commitment to a country, this may be true. But after closer examination, the pattern instead depicts a polarization of two distinct forms of nationalism — ethnocentric nationalism and what I call multicultural nationalism, both intensifying away from each other.
As opposed to colloquial understanding, there is no standard scholarly definition of nationalism, but it is widely seen as zeal over an identity that strives to manifest into an organized state. Despite this minimal consensus, nationalism is usually equated with an ethnocentric conception of the nation-state, what I recognize to be ethnocentric nationalism, the commitment to a linguistically, racially, and culturally likeminded nation. I argue that this traditional, ethnocentric understanding of nationalism is only one interpretation of nationalism. Ethnocentric nationalism has and continues to be in tension with a more recently established interpretation of the nation, which I call multicultural nationalism: the commitment to a country’s principles rather than to its racial, cultural, and religious ties.

A common acceptance of difference is growing in the United States as shown by Kaepernick’s public support in the face of patriotic conformity. This perspective draws from the United States’ ideological roots that argue for one nation made up of many, e pluribus unum, so that foreign backgrounds should not just be accepted but also embraced to form a more diverse nation. The passion for a progressive, multicultural America can be translated into its own movement of multicultural nationalism. In this context, the support for Kaepernick’s actions no longer appears to represent increased dissent from the United States, but instead seems to be an attempt to challenge ethnocentric nationalism’s claim to the nation.

This paper will begin by contrasting the reactions to Kaepernick’s protest and to protests before him in order to contend that nationalism is no longer characterized by only ethnocentric tradition. I will analyze theoretical studies on nationalism to dispute this common understanding that nationalism is solely ethnocentric. I will argue that nationalism, rather, is the intense manifestation of a community’s identity within a political state; the identity of which can be either ethnocentric or multicultural. The Kaepernick ordeal will be used to signify the greater division in the American public over whether a multicultural or ethnocentric conception of the nation should be supported in the United States. Lastly, this paper will observe how the Kaepernick protest suggests multicultural nationalism’s viability in today’s politically progressive environment, and how multiculturalism should embrace nationalism to advance its platform.

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Date Created
2017-05

You Belong to Me: A Visual Thesis

Description

You Belong to Me is a creative project that unites photography, creative writing, phenomenology, queer theory, and cultural analysis to form a cohesive picture of the nature of transgender identity, the values of fictive kinship and community building, and the

You Belong to Me is a creative project that unites photography, creative writing, phenomenology, queer theory, and cultural analysis to form a cohesive picture of the nature of transgender identity, the values of fictive kinship and community building, and the (hyper)visibility and erasure as visual metaphors. My project begins with Marta Cunningham's 2013 documentary "Valentine Road", which takes on the February 2008 murder of Lawrence "Larry" King, who was killed by another student. This is a source from which I gather my foundational thoughts about the institutionalized violence faced by gender non-conforming, queer, and transgender students, paying particular focus to Larry's life as one representative of those most in need of institutional and communal support. I then translate my analysis through my own photographic endeavors, which include returning to Oxnard, Californa, where the shooting took place, as a means of physically documenting my conception of queer recursivity. This theoretical framework informs my visual work and acts as a lens through which I locate other queer and transgender creatives with whom I was able to connect only through experiencing the trauma of Larry's murder. I utilize Maggie Nelson's invocation of "the many gendered mothers of my heart" in order to craft a family that inhabits a self-created and self-defined space where marginalized identities are able to exist. I conclude that this project is the first step in a larger dialogue about the aforementioned themes, necessitating material and sustainable changes in the lives of vulnerable youth who witness violence from multiple angles via legal, medical, and social institutions.

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Date Created
2016-05

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CHAOS THEORY AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

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Since the start of U.S. hostilities against Iraq in 2003, International Relations scholars have begun to characterize the U.S. as potentially an empire. This is because the traditional notion of sovereignty under the Westphalian nation-state system is held as a

Since the start of U.S. hostilities against Iraq in 2003, International Relations scholars have begun to characterize the U.S. as potentially an empire. This is because the traditional notion of sovereignty under the Westphalian nation-state system is held as a constant in the prominent theories that govern how it is thought how nation-states interact with each other. The blatant violation of international laws and norms with impunity by the U.S. have led to a re-questioning of the true dynamics underlying this system. Some scholars have characterized the recent research as a popular fad, but most of the research is aimed at just attempting to show how the U.S. could be an empire. What the current research is missing is how the U.S. became an empire, with that analysis anchored in an historical comparison. A complete chronological review of each system in its entirety is required, with all of its components, to more fully understand these phenomena. This has required researchers to devise a new methodological process of qualitatively and quantitatively analyzing macro structures. We believe the implications of the insights that can be obtained with this new method could be of use to many fields and can generate many new hypotheses to test in the future.

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Created

Date Created
2014-12

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Downwind

Description

In the 1950s-60s, the United States performed nuclear testing 60 miles north of Las Vegas. The prevailing winds carried radiation from those tests across the United States. It didn't take long for groups of people to begin developing cancer, possibly

In the 1950s-60s, the United States performed nuclear testing 60 miles north of Las Vegas. The prevailing winds carried radiation from those tests across the United States. It didn't take long for groups of people to begin developing cancer, possibly as a side effect of the testing. In 1990, Congress established a program to compensate downwind victims of the test site. But one portion of one county in Arizona was never compensated, despite the impact cancer had in the area. This documentary is their story. (Documentary and website accessible at downwinddocumentary.com)

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Date Created
2014-05

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Collision of News and Technology, Chaos or Catalyst

Description

The foundations of legacy media, especially the news media, are not as strong as they once were. A digital revolution has changed the operation models for and journalistic organizations are trying to find their place in the new market. This

The foundations of legacy media, especially the news media, are not as strong as they once were. A digital revolution has changed the operation models for and journalistic organizations are trying to find their place in the new market. This project is intended to analyze the effects of new/emerging technologies on the journalism industry. Five different categories of technology will be explored. They are as follows: the semantic web, automation software, data analysis and aggregators, virtual reality and drone journalism. The potential of these technologies will be broken up according to four guidelines, ethical implications, effects on the reportorial process, business impacts and changes to the consumer experience. Upon my examination, it is apparent that no single technology will offer the journalism industry the remedy it has been searching for. Some combination of emerging technologies however, may form the basis for the next generation of news. Findings are presented on a website that features video, visuals, linked content, and original graphics. Website found at http://www.explorenewstech.com/

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Date Created
2016-05

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A Foreigner's Guide to China

Description

A Foreigner's Guide to China, a creative project, is a short novel that blends cultural analysis and linguistic study in a collective investigation of modern China. As China grows at an unprecedented pace, many Americans still remain ignorant of life

A Foreigner's Guide to China, a creative project, is a short novel that blends cultural analysis and linguistic study in a collective investigation of modern China. As China grows at an unprecedented pace, many Americans still remain ignorant of life and development in a foreign place on the other side of the world. The project is an attempt to help mesh cultural lines and aid students, travelers, and businesspeople travelling to China for the first time. Therefore, the main goal of the entire project is to provide an actual guidebook that can be read prior to going to China or while in the country. The project is divided into two main types of chapters: cultural analysis and advice giving on day to day life in China, and linguistic study that adopts a more academic approach. Both types of chapters use my personal anecdotes to give both context and a sense of reality to the advice I include in the project. While very different in their styles, the two types of chapters ultimately work towards the same end: explaining differences and similarities between Chinese and American cultures, and giving a cultural opening from which to expand understanding. The novel is written in a lighthearted and humorous tone that attempts to soften the often seemingly offensive overtone that appears when analyzing cultures side by side. Topics include landing advice, transportation, cuisine, working life, and school life, as well as Mandarin Chinese tones, politeness, and dialects. Overall, the project has a more cultural outlook with a heavier focus on those sections.

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Created

Date Created
2015-12