FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Honors Experience Program Zine
Freedom and (In)equality Volume 1 / February 2021
The HEP Zine was conceptualized, written, and designed by Honors students. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Honors Program or of Florida State University. Follow FSU Honors! Instagram: @fsuhonors Facebook: Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House 1
Table of Contents Listen, Learn, Lead..................3-4 Dear HEPster..............................5 Event Reflections.....................6-8 Alabama Freedom Ride.........9-10 Class Reflections.................11-13 Getting Ready with Cerulea................................14-16 Daenerys Targaryen and American Imperialism..........17-20 Activist Organizations..........21-22 Controversy Corner..............23-24 Land Acknowledgement............25 Resources.................................26 Meet the Team..........................27 2
We hope this Zine inspires you to take action on the social issues you care about. 3
Tallahassee students have protested issues from Civil Rights to FSU Divestment and we will continue to create change.
Dear HEPster... Dear HepSter What is HEP? The Honors Experience Program is an exciting curriculum within the FSU Honors Program that develops studentsâ€™ leadership, creativity, and critical thinking. The HEP offers many classes that explore the themes of Freedom and (In)Equality and take interdisciplinary approaches to examine social issues. This curriculum includes co-curricular activities that invite and rely on student collaboration to create meaningful change on and off campus. Outside of the classroom, the program encourages interactive student learning through field trips, speaker events, discussion sessions, and movie nights. These opportunities give HEP students a chance to engage with peers and faculty across the program, providing a community that supports their social and personal growth. The HEP Zine is a product of these unique student-focused leadership and active learning opportunities for students! Read on to find out more about what HEP students do!
Event Reflections Event Reflections Student thoughts on HEP Events "Forensic and Correctional Psychology: The Societal Context” By Dr. Robin Watkins Dr. Robin Watkins presented her experiences as a forensic psychologist working within the criminal justice system, specifically within the U.S. prison system. Dr. Watkins discussed the programs within the prison system that try to help inmates, the lack of funding within prisons themselves, and power dynamics between at-risk demographics within prisons. “Upon attending the Forensic Psychology talk, I was uninformed on the circumstances within the prison system in terms of both the events that occur in the everyday life of inmates and the role that counseling aid can have in their lives. From attending the session, I learned that a lot more goes on behind the walls of the federal prison system aside from what comes through in news articles. Inmates have access to many more useful tools than I had previously thought, such as degree programs and employment opportunities. However, I also learned that the federal prison system is severely understaffed, which encourages dangerous situations for both the existing staff and the inmates.A question that I am left with is: As a nation, how can we adjust our society to one that willingly acknowledges and addresses mental illness at an earlier stage of life, so that such actions and their repercussions as those observed in the federal prison system could be avoided entirely?” - Summer Fulcher “I learned a great deal about a career field I was quite unfamiliar with. I found Dr. Watkins's career path to be a fascinating journey. The part of her presentation that detailed life in prison was also very interesting to me. I was completely unaware of the various amenities offered to inmates; my only exposure to incarcerated life was “Orange is the New Black.” Although Dr. Watkins did an excellent job of describing the positive aspects of the prison system, she still acknowledges the discrimination and lack of freedom faced by inmates, even the ones in her care.” - Lex Pappas "Inequality within the penal system is a huge issue. The speaker spoke extensively about how those typically targeted by prison workers (LGBTQ+, PoC, disabled, etc. individuals) are more likely to commit suicide because of lack of support and how they are more likely to commit more crimes due to anger accumulated during their sentences, once released. I never thought a hierarchical system existed in the prison system, where the more 'normal' (white, rich, powerful) you are, the better you are treated and more likely you are to be let out early.” - Aishwareeya Rath
Us Movie Screening + Discussion
Our viewing of Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed movie Us created an opportunity for students to analyze and note how film and media can highlight and act as a critique on societal issues. “Beforehand, I did not know much about the message Jordan Peele was trying to make. From watching Us, I learned about the complexity of how America deals with the poor. This is especially relevant to the HEP theme of Freedom and (In)equality because it is a critique of the oppressive forces keeping the lower class in a miserable place. As the movie showed, those underground have no voice and are not given the opportunity to speak.Following the event, I continued to do research about the movie because I have a passion for cinema. This film left me with questions about the experiences of the working class and how they differ among political, racial, and geographical factors. I believe this is crucial to understanding the intensifying polarization of the sociopolitical landscape of the country.” - Cierra McKenzie “After listening to and observing the conversation that occurred after the showing, I gathered that this film has so much more depth than what I originally thought. One of the main themes this film highlights is the obsession with materialism in America’s society. The tethered, who represent the poorer classes, live in an altered, underground world where they are forgotten about by the middle/upper-class people who live above them. The tethered seem to be trapped by the conditions they’re forced to live in, while the people above them are able to live freely and lead a much better life. After evaluating the themes in this movie and how relevant they are today, it has me wondering how the inequalities between classes can ever be cured.”- Christian Pruitt "This movie introduced me to the concept of hiding social conversations within movie plots. Most of the movies I've seen have been straightforward and require little analysis, but Us is a beautifully crafted storyline that explores the "us vs. them" dichotomy of America and uses pop culture references to emphasize the discussion of racism and the cycle of poverty to any audience that watches this movie. Us connects to the issues of freedom and inequality because it functions as a social critique of society's tendencies to dehumanize the lower class and suggests that the only way to actually find success in America is to sacrifice someone else.” - Hannah Fulk
“A Utopia in the Middle East: Rojava and Turkish Occupation in Northern Syria" - A Talk By Dr. Nilay ÖzokGündoğan & Dr. Azat Gündoğan Dr. Nilay Özok-Gündoğan & Dr. Azat Gündoğan discussed the history of the Kurdish people, an ethnic group located geographically around the region of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, as well as the recent establishment of Rojava, an autonomous zone in Northern Syria. “Though I did know a bit about the history of the Kurdish people and Kurdistan, I did not know about the Rojava movement prior to Dr. Gündoğan’s talk. I am really glad to now know about the equality the Rojava movement stands for and their push for women’s empowerment and involvement in leadership. It is so easy to assume that neoliberal capitalism is inevitably our future until you see something like Rojava refusing to take part in it.” - Kinsey Kuhlman “Dr. G and Dr. O-G. presented on the history of the Kurdish people and about Rojava as a real-life utopia. It was a very informative experience for me and I learned a lot about the war that’s currently happening there; why the Kurdish people have been unfairly displaced from the homeland and are now country-less, and why Rojava is such an exciting exercise in Utopian thinking and how it is providing such a strong front against ISIS. The very existence of Rojava too reflects a desire to move away from oppression and inequality because the society values all of its members and affords them rights and protections equally through an anarchist government.” - Andrew Brasington “I was enrolled in Dr. Ozok-Gündoğan’s 2018 fall semester course that focused on the history of American and Middle Eastern relations. Therefore, I was able to understand many of her references regarding the Ottoman Empire and what followed after its fall. This connects to issues of freedom and (in)equality in various ways, for example, it shows who has the power to decide what is appropriate and what exists. This is similar to Palestine in that identity is often erased altogether, and the power of autonomy is given to larger powers (Turkish power over Kurds, Israeli power over Palestinians).” - Thalia Valdes
Alabama Freedom Ride
@eji_org Insight into our 3-day trip to Civil Rights sites in Alabama
“In many ways, the current political climate has caused all of us to reexamine the past and question how far we’ve really come.” –Maddy Johnson “I gained knowledge that will forever impact my character.”– Ben Linkous
The first stop for the HEP Freedom Riders was The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Located in a warehouse where enslaved people were kept, this museum documents the history of racial injustice in America “from enslavement to mass incarceration.” The museum features interactive displays from replicas of heartbreaking newspaper ads from recently emancipated people searching for lost family members, to postcards of lynchings, to “phone calls” from inmates in prison seeking justice. That day, the Freedom Ride ended at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The memorial documents the lives lost to racial terror lynchings, many of which had never previously been documented. By acknowledging how black people were not protected by the law, the memorial again allowed us to draw historical connections from slavery to mass incarceration. While our visit was cut short by a tornado warning, students were still deeply impacted by visiting the memorial. The next stop on our Freedom Ride was the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University. Here we learned about the Montgomery Bus Boycott catalyzed by Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat for a white passenger. There were many opportunities to see historical documents such as Rosa Parks’ arrest record. A display reenacting the arrest of Rosa Parks also engaged and transported students back into history. Students were able to learn facts about the boycott movement that are not typically emphasized or covered. The next day we rode to Selma, a town with a huge role in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. We were given a tour by a man who had participated as a young teenager in the Civil Rights Movement himself (and was arrested for his participation at age 11) and provided insight about the movement's history. Students were able to see the Brown Chapel AME Church where many important meetings took place and walk over the Edmund Pettus Bridge (the site of Bloody Sunday). After touring Selma, a visit to The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute gave students a chance to see how voting rights movements took place across the country and how they continue to this day.
Student Thoughts “Seeing the vast cement of hanging block impacted me a lot because it put into perspective just how many people were lynched.” –Molly Rimes
“I was surprised by how prevalent bombings were during the boycott movement.” –Sneha Kapil
“From my HEP class [Freedom and Religion], what I was able to connect most to was the importance of religion in this movement. [I got] to see the churches used as ‘ground zero’ in this fight…” –Jonathan Marcus “Being able to visually process the site of Bloody Sunday and actually walk the path made it seem so real and poignant.” –Joseph Barshay “Growing up in South Florida, it was not uncommon for family members and neighbors to go to jail... A reality I never thought about because I was taught to do better and get out [but] it’s not that simple. It never crossed my mind that they were being targeted…” – Jalisia Goodman
Rosa Parks - Outkast Dancing in the Street - Martha and the Vandellas The Times They Are A Changin’ - Bob Dylan Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2 Letter to the King - The Game (ft. Nas), MLK Song - Mavis Staples Renegades of Funk - Rage Against the Machine Glory - Common and John Legend One Vision - Queen Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud - James Brown We Shall Overcome - Bruce Springsteen F.U.B.U. - Solange Mississippi Goddamn - Nina Simone IWish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free) - Nina Simone Revolution - Nina Simone Why? (The King of Love is Dead) - Nina Simone Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday Maggie’s Farm - Bob Dylan Respect - Aretha Franklin Why I Sing The Blues - B.B. King Southern Man - Neil Young Fight The Power - Public Enemy The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Gil Scott-Heron Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley This is America - Childish Gambino Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan Where is the Love? - Black Eyed Peas People are People - Depeche Mode A Change is Gonna Come- Sam Cooke Sound of da Police -- KRS-One Changes- Tupac Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert) - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Imagine- John Lennon Revolution- The Beatles Summertime - Janis Joplin XXX. - Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 Trouble - Josh White Nina Cried Power - Hozier feat. Mavis Staples I Know Where I’ve Been - Queen Latifah Alright - Kendrick Lamar The Blacker The Berry - Kendrick Lamar Don’t Touch My Hair - Solange Nothin New - 21 Savage Killing in the Name of - Rage Against the Machine Oh Freedom - Harry Belafonte What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Class Reflections The Meritocracy Myth by: Hannah Fulk The American Dream is a concept that emphasizes hard work, individualism, and a positive, entrepreneurial attitude as the keys to gaining success. It emphasizes the idea that we are masters of our own fate, yet this isn’t possible when inheritance, social capital, discrimination, and luck are such prominent factors in how one gets ahead. The social inequalities of America’s current society were birthed from these non-merit based factors and how capitalists use them to their advantage. Because of this, the American Dream becomes more of a pipe dream and less of a reality each day. The American Dream benefits the upper class by conditioning the classes below them into thinking that success can be won through merit alone. However, hard work rarely pays for the average worker because, according to “The Meritocracy Myth,” “CEO pay as a ratio of average worker pay increased from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 276 to 1 by 2015” (McNamee, page 47). Economic mobility is often unattainable for the lower class because inheritance keeps them so far from the top (they inherit nothing). The only way many can survive is to depend on meek, unfairly distributed governmental funds. Aside from inequalities in economic capital, social and cultural capital (which refer to one’s social connections, cultural dispositions, and credentials) also play a role in making the American Dream realistically unattainable. The poor struggle to exercise the right attitude because, with their limited social capital, they will only interact with other poor people and their attitudes will remain povertyoriented versus success-oriented. Every day children are born into classes that financially limit them and force assimilation into a specific cultural capital, as their skin color and inheritance so often matters more than their ability to utilize their merit.
In contrast, hard work isn’t as necessary for the upper class as they can use nepotism-- a family job to secure wages and inherited wealth to live comfortably and maintain investments. The rich can maintain an attitude of privacy, attending private events while sending their children to private schools and universities. Their social capital is segregated against lower classes and social climbing is frowned upon. The direct effects of unequal opportunity in relation to the increasing wealth gap between classes is explained as, “These wealth disparities are rooted in historic injustices and carried forward by practices and policies…” (Ore, page 55). As an Honors student grappling with the American falsehoods ingrained in me since childhood, I aim to reject the American Dream and support those who lack social, economic, and cultural capital, instead of blaming them for their social positioning. In developing my own sociological imagination, it has become difficult for me to see hope within a subliminally oppressive system that promises its participants more than it can provide; however, this also motivates me to delve into the research about injustices within our society instead of remaining blissfully ignorant. The most unfortunate misconception the American Dream perpetuates is that America is built on strictly merit, yet in reality, people can be behind from the day they are born. Works Cited: McNamee, Stephen J. Meritocracy Myth. 4th ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. Ore, Tracy E. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. Oxford University Press, 2019.
Bourdieu and us by: Emma Moses Over the past few months, as I have witnessed social and cultural upheaval comparable to nothing else in my lifetime, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to pursue social change, and how best to go about it. One of the most useful tools at my disposal, I’ve realized, is the knowledge I have gained from HEP courses. In Dr. Moret’s “Us and Them” class, for example, we spent a lot of time talking about the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and his theories on capital. While we typically only think of economic assets when we hear the word “capital”, Bourdieu actually outlines three additional types: social capital (our networks and relationships), cultural capital (our cultural knowledge and dispositions), and symbolic capital (our qualifications, degrees, and honors). The final form is, of course, especially relevant to our position as Honors students. All of this got me thinking about the specific ways we as Honors students move, often unconsciously, through the world, both on and off campus. For most of us, the reason we were accepted into this program in the first place is because we accumulated a significant amount of symbolic capital in high school. I remember Dr. Moret mentioning once that lateral admits to Honors are statistically more diverse than those admitted for their first semester. This is in part because standardized tests tend to be culturally biased in favor of white students. As someone who grew up with what Bourdieu calls “legitimate” (read: white,
middle-to-upper class) culture, I had an inherent advantage when taking these exams. My possession of this particular type of cultural capital determined my ability to attain symbolic capital, which then puts me in a position to climb even further, and so on. This cyclical nature of success creates a kind of corkscrew effect, in which some are able to continually spiral up and up, yet others seem trapped at the first turn. We certainly did not all have the same experience getting here, but now we inhabit the same space. We study in the same building, we have the same advisors, and we attend the same events. We take the same classes, which help us recognize these complex social systems and how they play into our lives. Beyond the classroom, we come together to create zines, plan events, and organize for social change. Every student I know seems deeply dedicated to acting to better their world. Above all, I believe we possess a strong understanding of the social responsibility that comes with the privilege of our common field. It is our job as students with an unusual amount of academic agency to foster this mindset, holding each other accountable for the progress we intend to make.
Getting ready with Cerulea Aryanna Clark conducted and filmed the following interview with her friend Cerulia for an HEP final project in Spring of 2019.
Can you please introduce yourself? “My name’s Gabe, stage name Cerulea. I go by any and all pronouns as you see fit to use on me in the moment. Makeup artist by day, drag queen by night sometimes... not super often recently, but yes, Cerulea exists at night.”
Why did you start doing drag? "I’m sure subconsciously I started doing drag because I had this yearning to express my gender, but at the time I saw RuPaul’s drag race and I was like ‘Oh I can be that.’ I saw representation of how I wanted to present finally so I was like ‘Okay that looks cool, I’m gonna imitate that.’ So I kind of, like any booger queen, you try to imitate the perfect cut crease and, you know, all the drag cliches. Then I slowly grew into, like, ‘Oh I don’t like that standard type drag I just want to do my own thing.’ And it turned into a passion for makeup, and that’s what led to my day job, and it’s just all intertwined.”
11 Do you think RuPaul’s Drag Race is an unrealistic representation of drag? "Yeah. Like if you were to go out into the scenes… the local scene anywhere in the US does not look Drag Race. There’s a lot of local girls that got on Drag Race, but there are a lot of different types of girls that are being purposefully excluded. Like bearded girls, super nonbinary queens, cis women who do drag as well, trans women who do drag. Like, you have a lot of voices that do drag that aren’t being shown, you’re just seeing the cis gay boy version of drag because that’s all Drag Race casts.”
Cerulea sometimes wears a beard. What are your thoughts on androgyny? “ I think everyone to the core is androgynous. We just live in a society where you pop out of the womb with a penis, you pop out of the womb with a vagina, and you have to abide by these norms and these codes to be a “regular guy” or “regular girl...I’m taking the way I look and the way I act into my own hands. I think people rob themselves of a full life by not allowing themselves to do things because they will ‘look too girly,’ or ‘look too masculine.’ Gender is such a prison.”
How does being Latinx differentiate you from the rest of the queer community? “Historically white cis men have been the first ones to get up on their feet from prejudice because they’re the most privileged. But that has a way of having them forget about the trans black women... When I was young and first getting into the gay scene and my queerness, I thought it was like a utopia. Then you go into a gay club and see there’s still so much prejudice in those spaces. That was very disheartening to me, but it definitely lit a fire under my ass for my drag and representing those who are misrepresented to the best of my ability. I can’t speak for communities I don’t pertain to, but as for myself I love putting my latinidad on display.”
Can you talk a little bit about your experience with HIV? “HIV has definitely affected my life for the better, I would say. HIV is just another one of those things where people immediately judge you because you have it. It’s definitely made me more of an ally. Prior to it I wasn’t so much of an activist or trying to educate myself, but HIV disproportionately affects brown and queer bodies. It kind of forces you to learn the facts on that stuff, which is great. Misconceptions are that you can pass it on. Once you’re undetectable you can reach a state where you can have sex with people if you’re taking your pills every day and you won’t pass it on, condoms or no condoms. Still always use condoms because there’re actually worse things you can get nowadays than HIV. HIV is no longer the bad one to get. Careful with the clap. I’m thankful for being positive because it has given me such a different perspective on things that I wouldn’t have otherwise had."
I noticed your Black Lives Matter poster. Are you involved in activism? “I could be more involved in person, but my ideologies are definitely from an activist viewpoint. There are things that I’m privileged in that I don’t have to think about, so as a privileged person it’s my job to constantly be aware of what other communities are going through, or people in my community who are less privileged.”
What do you think needs change / attention in society today, in relation to the LGBTQ+ community? "The rate at which black trans women are being killed in this country, and no one gives a flying f*ck about it. The fact that transgender rights are being rolled out from under our feet at historical rates. And now that this f*cking bafoon is in office people are like ‘Trump’s in there but it’s not that bad, nothing’s happening’... Nothing’s happening to you, but there are trans people that are being kicked out of the military which was a reliable job, there’s people getting kicked off their healthcare that used to cover them. So yes, shit is happening, you just can’t see it sis.”
Do you hold any visions of freedom? What do you envision for a better society? “For society to be aware of the realities people go through based just on who they are. A lot of people want to erase identity in politics and be like ‘that’s just lingo to keep minorities down.’ But there are structural inequalities built into the system that disproportionately affect brown people, black people… I want a society that’s fully aware of those things because once we get there, [change] will be much easier.”
The Stark Reflections Between Daenerys Targaryen and American Imperialism For Dr. Owensâ€™ America Abroad class, junior Michael Morales compared the conquests of Daenerys Targaryen 1 from Game of Thrones to the political and rhetorical histories of American colonialism and imperialism we had learned about over the course of the semester: 6
The White Savior Narrative: Daenerys is portrayed as a white liberator in city states that are deemed unfit to govern themselves. Although the mission of liberating those in slavery is honorable, Daenerys is simply using this as a means of political and military gain. Daenerysâ€™ form of benevolent imperialism towards people of color finds a parallel in American imperialist attitudes in the Philippines in the early 20th century. After acquiring the Philippines as a colony following the Spanish-American War, the United States began a policy of tutelage, educating and westernizing the Philippines in hopes of creating an adequate autonomous state. Daenerys wanted to bring freedom and fair rule to the city states in Essos, but only meant to rule there until she had the 7 capability to take back the Iron Throne. In similar fashion, the U.S. was interested in spreading their western values of democracy, capitalism, and Christianity in its newly acquired territories, deeming the people inferior and weak, until it came to needing soldiers. Orientalist Rhetoric: The Unsullied is an army of eunuchs, which is an inherently feminizing position, making them seem weak to their enemies. In a similar way, Western colonizers, including the United States, would repeatedly feminize the East and those who inhabit it. This aligned with centuries of gender politics of dominance and submission, pinning the West as masculine and superior and the East as feminine and destined to be conquered. The attitudes towards the true strength of the Unsullied also reflects Orientalist attitudes during the Vietnam War, as many proponents of massive retaliation and flexible response policies assumed that Vietnamese fighters would fold to the stronger American forces instead of standing and fighting for years on end.
Dragons as Weapons of Mass Destruction: Following the Second World War, the United States easily dominated the world in military strength. In the wars of the following decades, America would use their sheer military strength and nuclear arsenal as a military deterrence. Daenerysâ€™ dragons can also be seen as weapons of mass destruction that she usually restrains from using. However, Daenerys eventually uses her dragons to end the war through devastating means, mirroring the destruction of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Insurgencies and Blowback: During the Cold War the United States did not have to be involved in Afghanistan, but their funding of the Islamic extremist Mujahideen in the 1980s eventually led to the founding of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group, which later attacked the United States. In a similar way, Daenerys has no connection to Meereen and does not need to get involved. But she does, and her rule eventually creates an insurgency group in the Sons of the Harpy, which commits a terrorist attack that puts those Daenerys liberated in extreme danger.
Colonial Degeneracy: Daenerys uses her dragon to destroy King’s Landing, killing thousands of innocent civilians in the process. This plays into the concept of colonial degeneracy, or the idea that white people who interact and live among racialized subjects will degrade and “become savage” because of their bad influence. The people of Westeros had come to see Daenerys as a foreign invader, even though her roots and birthplace are in Westeros. They feared she would commit atrocities once she crossed the sea with her foreign army, and in the end she only confirms the people’s fears.
In Conclusion: My analysis of the character of Daenerys in Game of Thrones shows the dangerous outcomes of imperialism, in both its explicitly violent and supposedly benevolent forms, and can give us new perspectives on U.S. history.
Bibliography 1. Hardy, Mat. 2019. "The East is Least: The Stereotypical Imagining of Essos in Game of Thrones." Canadian Review of American Studies 49 (1): 26. doi:10.3138/cras.49.1.003. 35. 2. Go, Julian. “American Colonial Empire: The Limit of Power’s Reach.” Items and Issues 4:4 (2003): 18. 3. Ibid., 22. 4. Coloma, Roland Sintos. 2012. “White Gazes, Brown Breasts: Imperial Feminism and Disciplining Desires and Bodies in Colonial Encounters.” Paedagogica Historica 48 (2): 243–61. 5. Lipschutz, Ronnie. “Vietnam, Over and Over.” Cold War Fantasies: Film, Fiction, and Foreign Policy. Rowman and Littlefield, 2010. 119-141. 6. Stabile, Carole A., and Deepa Kumar. "Unveiling Imperialism: Media, Gender, and the War on Afghanistan." Media, Culture and Society 27.5 (2005): 765–82, 767. 7. Fojas, Camilla. Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 2014. 93-131.
Activist Organizations Student Labor Association "Student Labor Association (SLA) is a registered student organization that began when HEP students in Dr. Owens’s Feminist Perspectives on Globalization course became concerned with the production of FSU apparel and the lack of a local United Students Against Sweatshops organization on campus. SLA advocates for the ethical production of FSU apparel by standing in solidarity with garment workers across the world who are fighting for fair wages, safe workspaces, and respect for human rights." - Kinsey Kuhlman
Generation Action (PP) “As a collegiate organization of Planned Parenthood, Generation Action’s focus is on advocating for the protecting of abortion and other intersectional reproductive rights and freedoms. On our campus we aim to educate our peers on sexual health, advocacy and community organizing, and what services Planned Parenthood provides. We are fighting to protect Florida’s Roe v. Wade. We believe everyone deserves reproductive rights and freedom.” - Sarah Adams
Amnesty International “Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights advocacy group. At FSU, we focus on spreading awareness relating to different human rights issues both nationally and internationally, as well as showing students how they can advocate for human rights. Freedom and equality are synonymous with human rights, as human rights generally involve some kind of infraction on the rights and freedoms of people. Amnesty is about fighting for freedom and equality for everyone.” - Will Dibbs
March for Our Lives "My name is Alyssa Ackbar and I serve as the State Director for March For Our Lives here in Florida. March For Our Lives is a youth-led gun violence prevention movement that tackles gun violence in all of its forms. We’ve recently started a chapter at FSU and are looking forward to bringing some amazing projects to campus in the Fall! If you have any questions or want to learn more go to marchforourlives.com. And don’t forget to register to vote!" - Alyssa Ackbar
Controversy Corner New ModelS of Policing By: Alexa McKeay
The death of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25, 2020, sparked worldwide protests against racial discrimination, police brutality, and the role of law enforcement in our society. Historically, the precursors of the American police were focused on dominating marginalized communities of color. Examples include the pre-civil war slave patrols in southern states and subsequent enforcement of repressive Black Codes. Peaceful protests during the civil rights era were also harshly suppressed by officers sworn to protect and serve. More recently, deliberately discriminatory policing policies such as stop-and-frisk and the â€œWar on Drugsâ€? have helped fuel mass incarcerations in our country, with AfricanAmericans arrested at more than five times the rate of white people. We need a new model of policing in the United States. Fortunately, several alternatives have been proposed and the two most well-known ones are Defunding Police and Community Control of Police. Defunding Police: Defunding the police involves reducing police department budgets and redistributing the money towards underfunded essential social services such as housing, healthcare, and education.The concept exists on a spectrum, with some wanting to keep the police, but reducing its size and budgets, while others consider defunding as the initial step towards the complete disbandment of police altogether. Both interpretations require a reimagining of public safety with the strategic shifting of resources and responsibility away from police departments and towards community services. As cities across the country spend a disproportionate percentage of their budgets on police departments, it is clear that change is needed. Police are currently responsible for dealing with issues such as drug addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. Investing in public health and social services is a much more effective means of addressing these issues. If we want to have strong, safe communities, we must divest from police and invest in community care.
Community Control of the Police: Police are currently not held accountable to the communities they patrol. It is unusual for officers to face any kind of legal consequences for committing fatal acts of violence against civilians. A solution to this is community control. This means active citizen involvement in the policies, hiring, and oversight of police. This is accomplished through a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) that has real control over how policing is done. Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are overpoliced for minor offenses and under-protected from violent crimes. The ultimate goal of moving toward community control is to create a relationship between officers and citizens that leads to safer neighborhoods, less crime, and more rewarding work for law officers. What About Crime: The underlying root of most crimes is economic hardship, so by uprooting the causes of inequality and poverty, we would drastically reduce the need for policing. There would need to be a transitional period as police forces are reduced to the numbers that are actually needed in various communities, and they stop the overenforcement of low-level offenses and focus on more serious crimes. 80% of all arrests are misdemeanors - low-level offenses that can include everything from jaywalking, spitting, and loitering to shoplifting, trespassing, vandalism, and marijuana possession. Decriminalization or legalization of nonviolent misdemeanors would drastically reduce the need for police. We also need to reallocate resources and help provide adequate food, housing, education, clothing, health care, and jobs for our poorest and most oppressed communities. Police would not be eliminated immediately. Appropriate social, medical, and community responders need to be put into place. What Can I Do: Regardless of your resources, ability, or current knowledge, there are plenty of things you can do to help stop police violence and reimagine and rebuild our society. Alex Vitale's book The End of Policing provides helpful contextualization and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has created a toolkit with information and resources on how to get involved. Get informed, get involved, and spread the word. See the Resources page at the end of this zine for places to get started locally. Bibliography 1. Chang, Ailsa, host. “The History Of Police In Creating Social Order In the U.S.” All Things Considered, NPR, 5 June 2020. 2. Jeon, Hannah. “What ‘Defund the Police’ Means — and Why Some Activists Say Reform Is Not Enough.” Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2020. 3. Rameau, Max. “Community Control over Police: A Proposition.” TheNextSystem.Org, 10 Nov. 2017. 4. Smith, Jordan. "How Misdemeanors Turn Innocent People Into Criminals." The Intercept, 13 Jan 2019. 5. Srikanth, Anagha. "Black People 5 Times More Likely to be Arrested than Whites, According to New Analysis." The Hill, 11 June 2020. 6. Zerkel, Mary. “6 Reasons Why It’s Time to Defund the Police.” American Friends Service Committee, 4 June 2020.
Local Resources Organizations: Dream Defenders Tallahassee......................@dreamdefenderstlh Tallahassee Community Action Committee.....................@tallycac Innocence Project.............................................@innocenceproject NAACP Tallahassee.......................................................@naacptlh Culture & History: The Grove Museum.........................................@thegrovemuseum John Riley House Museum..................................@johnrileycenter FAMU Meek-Eaton Black Archives..................@famublackarchive The Plant..................................................................@theplant.tally The Mickee Faust Club ................................www.mickeefaust.com Services: FSU University Counseling Center...........www.counseling.fsu.edu Victim's Advocate Program (VAP)................www.dsst.fsu.edu/vap Refuge House.............................................www.refugehouse.com 2-1-1 Big Bend...............................................www.211bigbend.org Kearney Center..........................................www.kearneycenter.org FSU Food Pantry....dsst.fsu.edu/resources/food-for-thought-pantry
Land AcknowledgemenT We acknowledge that Florida State University is located on the land that is the ancestral and traditional territory of the Apalachee Nation, the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, the Muscogee Creek Nation, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. We pay respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous people. We recognize this land remains scarred by the histories and ongoing legacies of settler colonial violence, dispossession, and removal. In spite of all this, and with tremendous resilience, these Indigenous Nations have remained deeply connected to this territory, to their families, to their communities, and to their cultural way of life. We recognize the ongoing relationships of care that these Indigenous Nations maintain with this land and extend our gratitude as we live and work as humble and respectful guests upon their territory. We encourage all to learn about and educate others on the contemporary work of the Indigenous Nations whose land we are on and to endeavor to support Indigenous sovereignty in all the ways that we can.
Special Thanks to Dr. Kristen Dowell for writing the language of this Land Acknowledgement 26
Meet the Team
Dr. Christina Owens Faculty Mentor
The student work in this zine reflects the academic skills that they developed in FSU's Honors Experience Program, which emphasizes analytical, flexible, and original thinking; clarity in writing; and ability to approach a topic from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives. 27
The HEP Zine is a student-led publication about the Honors Experience Program.