OUR SPRING 2015 SEMESTER HAS ARRIVED!! (:

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WE ARE BACK AT IT!

Applications launched on Monday (February 2) and are DUE by February 14th! Remember, all applicants are accepted! We simply need the applications for our records.

As a reminder, and for those of you who are new to our space, “Making Herstory is a created safe space for south OKC high school women and allies to learn about and discuss feminism, ethnic studies, and their own personal narratives as a form of social and political empowerment.”

This semester, we will continue to facilitate both our Beginner & Intermediate tracks of the 2014-2015 year.

Both facilitations will be held at Southern Oaks Library in Oklahoma City.

We expect a firm commitment to active participation in group discussions during class time by listening, contributing, & being on time. We ask you to commit to 4 weeks in the Making Herstory space. If after those 4 weeks, you do not feel benefited by our programs then no worries–you won’t be further committed.

The Beginner Program serves as an Introduction to Social Issues Affecting OKC and will include group discussions about Pop Culture, Spoken Word Poetry, the rise of Ethnic Studies, The Tulsa Greenwood Race Riots, the School-to-Prison Pipeline, & Immigration Reform.

We ask members continuing onto the Spring Beginner semester to apply, as well as students without previous exposure to Making HerStory. Ages of students may vary–looking for high school aged youth.

First Class: Monday, March 2, 2015.

Beginner Program Application (Survey begins after the Introduction)

The Intermediate Program will include more rigorous, critical questioning and discussions on societal issues affecting South OKC. Curriculum will include advanced-level discussions about Key Social Justice Terms, the Prison-Industrial Complex, Women of Color Feminism, & LGBTQ Rights Movements.

We ask members who have completed the Beginner Program OR are continuing onto the Spring Intermediate semester to apply. If you have not completed the Beginner Program, BUT feel like you already possess a strong knowledge about our topics, then we encourage you to apply to the Intermediate Program.

First Class: Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Intermediate Program Application (Survey begins after the Introduction)

** Making Herstory encourages diversity, freedom of expression, and breaking away from the box, therefore topics for both programs are flexible and subject to change or modification.

**Further information on course requirements is available on each application and will be further discussed on the first day of each class!

Thank you for sharing in our excitement! Get ready to spark creative dialogue, speak your mind, & discuss strategies for creating lasting change!

–Making Herstory Team

Have additional questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact Making Herstory Staff at: makingherstoryokc@gmail.com or via the Making HERstory facebook page !

Making Herstory Facebook Page

 

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Police Brutality Workshop and Open Potluck!

Last week in our Beginner’s Making Herstory we had a police brutality workshop. We opened the discussion by writing the names Pearl Pearson, Vincent Chin, and Oscar Grant on the board. We then asked me members if they’d heard of these people before and what they knew about them. Next, we asked members to search the library for any information/books covering these men. Surprise (or maybe not a surprise), our members weren’t able to find ANY information in the Oklahoma Library System. We then had members ask the librarians for help, but were still unable to find much information about these men, AT ALL.

Since we couldn’t find this information in our library system, we turned to the internet for help! Members were able to use their phones to find information over these victims of police brutality. We then discussed police brutality, as well as possible reasons for the information being so difficult to find.

In closing to the workshop we shared our own personal stories regarding police brutality and discussed the Luis Rodriguez case, its impact on our intermediate members, and the impact of police brutality on our emotions, communities, and societies.

Our members described this workshop as “powerful” and mentioned that it reminded them of the White/Male privilege workshop we facilitated a few weeks ago.

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Last Thursday we got to have a potluck!! We invited community members to join our Making Herstory space for the evening, eat delicious food, and mingle with our staff/students. We also viewed the documentary “Precious Knowledge” which covers the backlash of a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson Unified School District. We had a quite a turn out and were able to share in some short, yet powerful discussions. We hope more community members and Making Herstory members are able to join us in our next potluck or open meeting! These open meetings are the best way to get to know our staff and students! They’re also the best way to see what we’re all about!

If you are unfamiliar with “Precious Knowledge,” the trailer can be found below.

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Remember to “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/makingherstoryokc and to follow us on Instagram by searching ” makingherstoryokc ” .

Thanks for reading!

– The Making HerStory Team

You can contact our staff at makingherstoryokc@gmail.com if you have any questions!

“Precious Knowledge” Trailer

Last Week’s Updates and POTLUCK THIS COMING THURSDAY!

During last week’s beginner workshop, we were able to use a critical, feminist lens to deconstruct Disney princesses! Although last year’s track used labels of “feminist” vs “not a feminist” to categorize the princesses, this year’s track decided that we don’t have the right to “tell people’s stories and who they are.” Our members decided that whether someone defines something as “feminist” or “not feminist,” depends largely on societal circumstances and their awareness of feminism.  We also discussed how most of the Disney princesses are white women, and not look like “us” as WOC (Women of Color). Members also talked about the increasing sexualization of children and the pressure of idealized beauty standards upon them.

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Last week, our intermediate students got the opportunity to view Betty Cao’s documentary, “Bordering on Love”. After the viewing, Cao and Lynna Vong led a workshop over Asian American LGBTQ issue and facilitated a discussion on deconstructing love. We want to give a big thank you to our guests for screening this movie in our Making HerStory space! Thank you for the powerful impact you’re having on the world!

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In Other News…

THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014 AT SOUTHERN OAKS LIBRARY IN OKC:

Making HERstory WILL BE HOSTING OUR 2ND ANNUAL POTLUCK!

We will be starting at about 5:30 and look forward to seeing you!!

Come join us for delicious food, critical discussions and a chance to meet our high school members! Students from both the Beginner and Intermediate tracks will be in attendance!

As a note: We ask you PLEASE bring ONE dish. ANY food is more than welcome! We’d love to savor your favorite thing to create in the kitchen or just something you whipped up quickly!

We will be screening either:
1) Precious Knowledge: Documentary over ethnic studies in Arizona – very similar to the Making Herstory space.

Or

2) Fruitvale Station: Film over the murder of Oscar Grant/police brutality).

Both go along well with our workshop(s) over the past few weeks, which have included both topics.

COME JOIN US 🙂 !

This is only Making Herstory’s first semester of the year!

We want to encourage anyone who’s interested in attending our facilitations to contact us at makingherstoryokc@gmail.com ! It’s not too late to be a part of Making HerStory!

POTENTIAL, NEW, AND OLD students are ALL welcome to attend our potluck on Thursday!

Remember to “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/makingherstoryokc and to follow us on Instagram by searching ” makingherstoryokc ” .

Thanks for reading!

– The Making HerStory Team

You can contact our staff at makingherstoryokc@gmail.com if you have any questions about the potluck this Thursday (Nov. 13) or about our Beginner/Intermediate tracks in general!

Christopher Who? And The Disabilities Rights Movement.

Last week, in our Beginner Space, we facilitated a discussion on Christopher Columbus Day. We grabbed a few Columbus kids’ books from the Southern Oaks library and distributed them to our students. We discovered that although it is widely known that Columbus did not discover “The New World,” there is much debate over who did or if anyone did at all. Our members were surprised to discover how dramatically the diaries of Columbus contradict what children learn about him in most schools. After going through the books, we critically analyzed them using some of Howard Zinn’s texts. We asked our students what pieces of the books and texts stood out to them and followed up with more discussion. Our members decided instead of “Columbus Day,” or even “De Las Casas Day” (a slave owner turned advocate for slaves), we should have an Indigenous People’s Holiday. Our students described this session as “enlightening,” “interesting,” and “impactful.”

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Last week, in our Intermediate Space, we discussed the disabilities rights movement. We used pictures/ads of people with disabilities from the 1800s to present day, and observed the stigma placed on them. We discussed how this stigma has lessened over the years, but still continues to exist. We also critically analyzed the lack of POC (People of Color) in the pictures we saw, and how the movement for disabilities rights – which resulted in federal enactments for equality – was created by grassroots led movements.

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IN OTHER NEWS, this Thursday (November 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM) YOU are invited to attend a special Making HerStory workshop with guest facilitator, Betty Cao. Cao works at Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) in San Francisco on an organizing project to ensure that immigrant parents understand the educational systems where they live and are better able to raise THEIR voices in reference to those systems.

Cao will be doing a special workshop over Asian American/ Pacific Islander LGBTQ issues. Feel free to JOIN US – community members, friends, parents, college students, we want to invite you to learn more about Making Herstory AND meet our members! We hope you will come, learn, and grow with us regarding LGBTQ issues from the perspective of communities of color! You will also get a chance to meet Betty Cao and her awesome partner, Lynna Vong!

We want to give a big welcome to new CAA staff Betty ‘B’ Cao, who will be leading our parent organizing project to empower immigrant parents to raise their voices in our schools.

This was the first weekly update of many more! Remember, this is only Making Herstory’s first semester of the year! We also want to encourage anyone who’s interested in attending our facilitations to contact us at makingherstoryokc@gmail.com !

Remember to “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/makingherstoryokc and to follow us on Instagram by searching ” makingherstoryokc ” .

Thank you for reading! We are grateful for your continued enthusiasm and support!

– The Making HerStory Team

Our Intermediate Track Update(:

Time to learn more about how our Intermediate track is progressing!! 🙂

You can find our Beginner Track updates in the previous blog post!

Session 1:
We spent time catching up with our students who’ve advanced to the intermediate track (after participating in beginner’s last year) and getting to know new members (those who already possessed enough basic knowledge about our topics to enter this level). Next, we had a guest professor from OU visit us who expressed interest in writing research over the work we have done/will do with Making HerStory (shout out to Jennifer). We then discussed COMMUNITY ACTION PLANS for the coming year that OUR members will create and implement WITH our community. Finally, we discussed future curriculum that members want including: transgender/queer POC facilitations, ISIS/US foreign war policy, WOC feminism, socioeconomic status/ethnic/etc privilege, environmental issues, and SO many other wonderful topics brought up by MH members!

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Session 2:
During this session we spent time defining and discussing key social activist terms. By becoming familiar with these terms we can begin dissecting ongoing issues in Southside OKC. We also talked about the various waves of feminism and our hope for future, more inclusive feminism for WOC, trans, and other marginalized groups of people(s).

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Session 3:
We spent time talking about our student’s Community Action Plans! Getting excited about where they’re headed! We delved deep into understanding phrases/words such as: institutional racism, privilege, hierarchies, etc. We also began our research with Jennifer to hopefully publish future articles on the space we’ve created through Making HerStory!

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Session 4:
We facilitated a discussion on WOC feminists. Members searched the library for information on Nellie Wong, Cherrie Moraga, Audre Lorde, Mitsuye Yamada, Bell Hooks, and Gloria E. Anzaldua. Unfortunately there was a lack of queer WOC in our library system, so we used our electronics to find the information! To close this session we discussed the many moments we have been silenced. This was a intensely powerful discussion for our staff and students! Being able to speak about our experiences is essential! We are learning how to use our voices to break the silence!

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Session 5:
We did group activities to discuss our personal narratives through various identities. We also used Nellie Wong’s “When I Was Growing Up” to discuss intersecting identities.

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We pride ourselves on being a community-led, youth-driven, WOC organized youth empowerment organization! We are excited! We are powerful! We are learning! We are growing! Together we are Making HerStory!

Remember, from this point forward, you can look forward to WEEKLY updates for both our Intermediate and Beginner tracks!

Thank you for your support!

Much love!

– Making HerStory Team

Remember to “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/makingherstoryokc

AND follow us on Instagram! You can find us by searching “makingherstoryokc” and hashtag us with #makingherstoryokc !!

Our Beginner’s Track Update(:

WOW! How time flies! We’re two months in and learning so much!

As you may (or may not) know this is Making Herstory’s second year in existence and we have a whole new batch of students participating in our beginner’s class. The following is a summary of our sessions thus far!

1st Session:
Our first session served as an introduction to what Making HerStory is all about! We played Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ as the students arrived and opened with ice breakers to learn everyone’s names! Our students amazed us with their ability to critically analyze the lyrics and images used. They picked up on cues that we didn’t even notice at first! After dissecting ‘Blurred Lines,’ we read and discussed Aya DeLeon’s spokenword poem, ‘If Women Ran Hip Hop’. We read the poem as a class, then watched a video of Aya performing it. Our students enjoyed how Aya uses whit and tone to tell stories through spokenword. Comparing these two pieces truly shows how powerful telling our stories can be!

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2nd Session:
We opened this session by defining privilege as “unearned benefits,” then asked the students to read “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” by Peggy McIntosh. In her essay, Peggy comes up with twenty-six unearned benefits (privileges) that she benefits from. We gave students a handful of candy and asked them to take a piece for each privilege they held according to Peggy’s list. Many of our students were surprised at how much privilege they actually posses. This session served to open us up to the ideas of privilege so that we can begin to delve deeper into its effect on our communities.

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3rd Session:
We introduced our beginners to the Third World Liberation Front and the topic of ‘ethnic studies’. We watched a brief documentary that depicted the combined efforts of students, teachers, and community members to keep ethnic studies programs alive and thriving. This opened us up to talking about our own ethnic backgrounds, how they influence our lives, and our desire to know more about them.

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4th Session:
We sent our students out into the library to grab some beauty magazines! Each of them brought back two magazines for our group to look at. As a group, we decided what words/phrases to look for in the magazines and divided the board into boxes to tally our results. Perhaps you can guess what we found? That’s right, an overwhelming amount of tallies focused on makeup, clothing, and unrealistic body ideals. After tallying things up and discussing the magazine’s intentions, we delved into how the contents made us feel/think. Our students used words like “powerful, hard, challenging, inspirational, and helpful” to describe this workshop. It also impacted our staff by allowing us to share our own experiences with unrealistic beauty ideals and connect with our phenomenally beautiful students on a more personal level.

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5th Session:
We did a short personal narrative workshop regarding our “trees of life”. This workshop consisted of seven parts beginning with the tree’s roots and working up to it’s blossoms, buds, and dead branches. Each part of the tree represents an area of our lives. For example: the blossoms/buds are our dreams for the future, while the dead branches are the things we’re trying to be free from/let go of. This self-exploration allowed our students to explore what makes them unique and drives them to achieve their dreams.

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Our students continue to awe us with their critical thinking skills, as well as their willingness to grow with us through this journey!

From this point forward we will be posting WEEKLY Making HerStory updates!!! Woot Woot!!

We pride ourselves on being a community-led, youth-driven, WOC organized youth empowerment organization! We are excited! We are powerful! We are learning! We are growing! Together we are Making HerStory!

Thank you for your support!

Much love!

– Making HerStory Team

Remember to “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/makingherstoryokc

AND follow us on Instagram! You can find us by searching “makingherstoryokc” and hashtag us with #makingherstoryokc !! 🙂

Fall 2014 Application Extension

APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR OUR FALL 2014 BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE COURSES ARE BEING EXTENDED!!!

The NEW deadline for applications is SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2014.

“Making HERstory is a safe space for southside OKC high school students to learn about and discuss feminism, ethnic studies, and how their rich histories & personal narratives can be used as a form of empowerment to becoming socially and politically conscious beings of society.”

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Did you know September 12, 2013, we began Making Herstory with our first facilitation?! Students from Westmoore HS, US Grant HS, Moore HS, Southeast HS, and Pathways were able to unite and interact with one another through community centered dialogue and get creative with their own community campaigns.

So far we’ve done recruitment/presentations at Pathways and LULAC, and plan to continue recruitment at South East High School and US Grant. However, you do not have to be a student at these schools to apply. If our programs spark your interest in the slightest, we encourage you to APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!

What our Intermediate Students are saying about their experiences with the Beginner Course in 2013…

“Making Herstory is like family. Making Herstory helped me tell my story.”

“Making Herstory helped me a lot in knowing that I wasn’t alone in questioning the things around me, and that there was a group that was willing to accept me.”

“[Making Herstory] helped me be more aware and see closely what is going on around us. More than anything it made me feel like, hey, yeah we CAN actually do something.”

“Making Herstory showed me that I had a right to be angry, and that there were ways to find justice in this world.”

“[Making Herstory] boosted my confidence up… it was me and will be me that is going to change history.”

Beginner Course Application

If you are a student without previous exposure to Making Herstory, this is the program for you! Ages of students may vary-–looking for high school aged youth.

First Class: Monday, September 15, 2014.

Intermediate Course Application

If you are a former student of Making Herstory OR an applicant who already posses a strong foundational understanding of our topics, this is the program for you! Be ready to dig into difficult and worthwhile discussions that further expand on the foundations you learned last year!

First Class: Thursday, September 18, 2014.

** Making Herstory encourages diversity, freedom of expression, and breaking away from the box, therefore topics for both programs are flexible and subject to change or modification.

**Further information on course requirements is available on each application and will be further discussed on the first day of each class!

Our classes begin in less than a month and we are beyond ecstatic to get to know you! Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm as we share in this journey.

— Making Herstory Team

Have additional questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact Making Herstory Staff at: makingherstoryokc@gmail.com or via the Making HERstory facebook page !

ALSO, make sure to “like” us on Facebook 🙂 !!

Making Herstory Facebook Page

 

 

Making Herstory (Fall 2014) Program

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Making Herstory is back for another semester of engaging our students in community dialogue and discussing transformative strategies for creating lasting, community change!

As a reminder, and for those new to Making Herstory, “Making HERstory is a safe space for southside OKC high school students to learn about and discuss feminism, ethnic studies, and how their rich histories & personal narratives can be used as a form of empowerment to becoming socially and politically conscious beings of society.”

This semester, we will facilitate both beginner and intermediate level programs.

Applications for either program are due by Sunday, August 24th, 2014.

Our classes are held at Southern Oaks Library located at 6900 South Walker, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73139.

We expect a commitment to active participation in group discussions during class time–by listening, contributing, being on time, and being present with us. We ask you to commit to 4 weeks in the Making Herstory space. If after those 4 weeks, you do not feel benefited by our programs then you will be released from further commitment.

The Beginner’s Program is similar to an Introduction to Social Issues Affecting OKC and will include group discussions about pop culture, spoken word poetry, the rise of Ethnic Studies, The Tulsa Greenwood Race Riots, the school-to-prison pipeline, immigration reform, etc.

If you are a student without previous exposure to Making Herstory, this is the program for you! Ages of students may vary–looking for high school aged youth.

First Class: Monday, September 15, 2014.

Beginner’s Program Application (scroll to the bottom of application)

The Intermediate Program will include more rigorous, critical questioning and discussions on societal issues affecting South OKC. Curriculum is still being developed but will include advanced-level discussions on: white privilege, institutional racism, the prison-industrial complex, U.S. foreign war policy, Women of Color feminism, LGBTQ issues, organizing tactics, etc.

If you are a former student of Making Herstory OR an applicant who already posses a strong foundational understanding of our topics, this is the program for you! Be ready to dig into difficult and worthwhile discussions that further expand on the foundations you learned last year!

First Class: Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Intermediate Program Application (scroll to the bottom of application)

** Making Herstory encourages diversity, freedom of expression, and breaking away from the box, therefore topics for both programs are flexible and subject to change or modification.

**Further information on course requirements is available on each application and will be further discussed on the first day of each class!

Thank you for sharing in our excitement! We are ready to grow, learn, share, transform, and empower! We look forward to getting to know you!

–Making Herstory Team

Have additional questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact Making Herstory Staff at: makingherstoryokc@gmail.com or via the Making HERstory facebook page !

Making Herstory Facebook Page

Ivan Flores: Potential Closure Of Pathways Must Stop

On April 28, 2014, our whole school shook with great force. We found out that Pathways Middle College High School would no longer exist after June 30, 2014. This decision was made without consultation or consent from Pathways, Oklahoma City Community College, parents, teacher, students, or community members. Simply knowing that my senior class is the last graduating class from a successful school is just devastating. Without fail, Pathways Middle College High School has exceeded the expectations of a “successful” school. With the district stating Oklahoma City Public Schools is changing its profile and Pathways Middle College High School is only meeting some of the needs, I pose the question: what “needs” does Pathways Middle College High School not meet? Do they think that they can do away our school because of our size? Do they not see the growth of the achievements our school is exceeding each year?

I can reassure you that Pathways Middle College High School is a phenomenal school where we are challenged to succeed in life. The support that the Teachers and Staff brings is something indescribable…something you can’t find it in other schools. Take for example myself – through the help of Pathways, I received the Dell Scholarship. A full ride to any four-year university of our choice. I also received the Inclusion Leadership Program Scholarship at Oklahoma State University. Do they not see the student accomplishments thanks to the support of Pathways Middle College High School? Above all, we are determined to raise awareness of our potential school closure.

My Making Herstory family has decided to fight in solidarity to ensure my school is not closed. I ask that you help us! Sign the online petition, re-post the hashtag #SavePathways on social media outlets, and come to the Oklahoma City Public School Board meeting on Monday, April 5th at 6 PM – 900 North Klein Avenue to use your voice for justice!

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Guest Blog Post: Tory Kappel

On Febuary 14, 2014, a life was lost. A dad, a husband, a friend, and a man who just wanted to go out and watch a movie with his family. As police officers, maybe they did not intend on taking Luis Rodriguez’s life that night, but it sure was their actions that led to this unnecessary death. The questions at hand are: Why did it escalate? What did Luis do to deserve this treatment? Is it because he was a threat? What made him seem like a threat? These are all questions that I have asked myself, as my heart remains heavy for the family who is now missing the man of their lives. Luis is of Puerto-Rican descent, but passes much more for an African American male. Many people would disagree that there is not a significant race issue anymore, but I beg to differ. What if he would have been a white man? What if he would have been me; a blonde, white woman? If it had been me, the situation would not have escalated like it did. I would probably not have been approached, I would not have been restrained, and I sure as hell would not be dead.

You see, I am treated a certain way by the world. I have never been scrutinized when I walk into a mall, nor is it assumed that I will shoplift when I walk into a Dilliard’s. I have white privilege. I had no choice in having this white skin, but I am well aware of the benefits that come with it everyday of my life. I have the privilege of being seen as less of a threat in society as a whole. To be honest, I have only had good experiences with police officers. When I get pulled over, I get asked, “are you okay?” or “are you having a good day?” Then, I smile and flash this pale skin of mine and get a verbal warning. I do not see this as an advantage that I readily take advantage of. It actually puts me in an uncomfortable position, and it makes me angry of how unfair the justice system really is. Luis’s case, and many other police brutality cases such as Rodney King, Oscar Grant, and Pearl Pearson, affected me in a different way. It opened my eyes to my privilege and it also answered many questions that my own mother faced as I was growing up.

The thing is, I always considered myself a woman of color. My mother is half Hispanic and half Native American. My father is German, but Caucasian for the most part. Both of my parents, along with my two brothers, have dark hair, dark eyes, and brown skin. I, on the other hand, have white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. I guess you could say I stick out like a sore thumb. Growing up, I hated my outer exterior. I wanted brown skin and dark hair like my family. I wanted to not have to validate myself as a woman of color and constantly be asked if I was adopted. If my family members were not around, I was pinned to be a “rich white girl.” No one knew I was mixed, and very few people even believed me when I said I was. I was constantly explaining my culture and myself. My mother’s side of the family came from Mexico and speaks fluent Spanish. I grew up going to a Spanish-speaking church and I have known diversity my whole life. Going to college was almost like culture shock to me. So many white people had never surrounded me in my life, and it almost made me feel like I did not belong. Although I blended in just fine, I could not quite make connections.

With that being said, I have had a front row seat in watching racial discrimination occur through and through. Not only against my peers and friends, but also to my family. I can remember times where I blatantly overheard white people talking bad about Mexicans, because they figured it was safe to say it around me. I have watched my brother be given the short end of the stick and talked to as though he was inferior. As I watched this, I felt as though I was invisible. I felt like I had this force field around me, protecting me from discrimination due to my white skin. To this day, my mother still tells me about the story of her getting pulled over for simply not wearing a seatbelt. The police officer automatically asked her if she had drugs or needles on her, and when she expressed that she felt she was being racially profiled, she was put in a jail cell. The police officer was rude, called her a “wetback,” and took her straight to jail when she expressed her thoughts. She was completely clean and had no reason being in jail in the first place.

Although I feel that, as a society, we have come a long way concerning the “race issue,” there is still a large segment of society who have not gotten past it. Sadly, it still exists to a great extent. Many of my white counterparts are unaware of this because they are not the people who experience it. A common trend that displays this is police brutality. Cruel beatings and unnecessary deaths, such as Luis’, have resulted from victims being racially profiled and ultimately dead in a coffin for minor issues. Luis refused to give identification, and for that, he was killed. The abuse of power and stereotyping must come to a halt before this society can move forward. Once again, I am the “majority.” Regardless of how poor I grew up, or the fact that my parents are mixed, I am still viewed as a white person. I am not a threat and I do not fit the stereotypes of a person who would commit a crime. I am passionate toward this issue and my privilege because I feel that I get off the hook, while my colored friends and family get treated as though they are criminals. I am choosing not to turn the blind eye or search for a reason to validate that what the cops did to Luis Rodriguez was okay. I will not make excuses, because even though I am white on the exterior, Luis is my “people”;  WAS my “people.”

Because of this, I would like to invite you to join the Making Herstory social media campaign on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 – what would-be Luis’ birthday. We ask that you upload a profile picture of yourself tomorrow, with the similar words written below:

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“Today Luis Rodriguez would have celebrated his birthday. . . #endpolicebrutality”

Use this hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc; let’s get this trending! #endpolicebrutality

-Tory Kappel