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Global Issues 2013 - 2014 Cohort Table of Contents 1. Urban Bicycling: The Economic and Environmental Impacts in the San Francisco Bay Area by Alexander Browne…………………………………………………………….……………….…….…1 2. China’s Youth: Let’s Talk About Sex by Courtney Ng…………………………………………………..…………………………………….….25 3. News Coverage in the Middle East: Examining the Biases of Al Jazeera by Francesca Paris…………………………………………………………………….………..……….…45 4. Sierra Leone: Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Aid in a Developing Country by Hindoveeh Etheridge-Bullie.………………………………………………………………..………....64 5. The Taliban’s Afghanistan: Sharia Law and It’s Religious Justifications by Madeline Cook ……………………………………………………………………….……….……….76 6. Statelessness: An Overview of a Destructive and Preventable Issue by Ramah Ali… ……………………………………………………………………………….………….93 7. The Interface Between Women and Programming by Jocelyn Cheng ……………………………………………………..……………………….………….106 8. The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges by Colin Leach ……………………….……………………………………………………….…….…….127 9. The Evolution of Hip Hop: From an Underground Culture to a Global Market by Jordan Perteet …...………………………………………………………………………….………….140 10. Online Learning: The Future of Women’s Education in Saudi Arabia by Pilar O’Brien ……………………………………………………………………………….………….161 11. Asian American Mental Health: The Flaw of the “Model Minority” by Irene Tran ………………………………………….……………………………………….………….175 12. Fighting Climate Change: What Cuba Can Teach Us About Finding Sustainable Solutions by Haley Land-Miller ………………………….……...……………………………………….…………191 13. Exposing Injustice in the Justice System: A Report on Racial Bias in Jury Selection by Olivia Lucas ………………………………….…………………………………………….………….212


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Urban Bicycling The Economic and Environmental Impacts In The San Francisco Bay Area By Alexander Browne


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Abstract: The past decade has been dominated by the search for a clean, renewable, and economical source of transportation. Climate change has become almost a household term, and around the world people have begun to make efforts to reduce carbon emissions. While many scientists and politicians believe that electric cars and hybrid vehicles are the best solution, they forget that the remedy to all of their problems was invented over one hundred years ago: the bicycle. With improved bike infrastructure, funding, and safety, bicycling can provide an alternative method of transportation that is cost effective, 100 % clean and environmental, and will reduce traffic congestion. San Francisco is a prime example of a city that could benefit enormously from bicycle infrastructure. The ground rose up in front of me as I flew over the handlebars and skidded across a patch of gravel. I winced as sharp pieces of rock dug into my outstretched hands and my knees scraped against the ground. I looked over my shoulder at the convoy of mini-coopers zipping away up and over the hill. I called out obscenities as I struggled to my feet, but not one of the drivers stopped to listen. In a few seconds they had gone over the crest and were lost to sight. It was a beautiful day in sunny Marin County. I had spent the previous hours biking alongside lush green meadows and rolling hills. The sky was clear of all clouds and smog, and I was in an excellent mood as I neared the end of my ride. I was headed down a steep hill on my way to a small town for lunch when the line of mini-coopers appeared out of nowhere from around a bend in the road. All of the sudden one pulled out into my lane, no doubt trying to pass one of its companions. I slammed on my brakes trying to avoid it, but there was nowhere for me to go. I slid across the pavement struggling to maintain control. My heart raced as I imagined flying over the car onto the pavement beyond, or worse, heading under the wheels. At the last minute the mini cooper pulled back into line, perhaps none the wiser to the fear it had instilled on me. It was too late to regain control of my bike; I slid out at the next bend narrowly avoiding a barbed wire fence in the process. I sat down next to my bike for a while after that, wondering what it was that I loved so much about biking. On a bike, you are at the mercy of any crackpot driver that comes your way. You place your life in the hands of others, many who are undeserving and unaware of the impact their actions can have on the exposed bicyclist. Drivers race around riders, disregarding their safety so that they can shave a few minutes off of their


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commute time. I bike 18 miles to school rain or shine. When I get to school after my two hour-long bike ride my hands are often covered in grease from resetting my chain and my legs are scrapped from rubbing against the frame with each pedal. My clothes are drenched with sweat on a hot day, or rain on a wet day. My phone slides out of my pocket in the middle of a busy intersection, or my books fall off my bike rack into the most inaccessible ravines. I get a flat tire and miss an appointment, or an angry driver yells at me and puts me in a bad mood. My shoelaces get caught in the spokes and strangle my feet, and my jacket routinely gets caught in the gears coating it in thick grimy grease. Yet biking for me has always been my preferred method of travel. When I was in elementary school it gave me my first sense of freedom, allowing me to visit friends and go into town by myself. Under the right circumstances a good bike ride can be enjoyable and invigorating. You can weave between traffic and often arrive earlier than if you had driven. You can take shortcuts unavailable to cars, and take advantage of secluded bikeways. Even better, biking is by far the cheapest form of transportation around (except for walking, but who wants to walk 30 miles to school?). Once you buy your bike you have potentially unlimited mileage, with no need to buy gas or to pay for ever-rising bus fares. Biking helps save the environment as well by reducing carbon emissions and pollution. It has the potential to be an all-encompassing solution to nearly all of our transportation problems.

A picture from one of my weekend bike rides As I’ve grown older and began biking more and more often, I’ve realized that the issues and complaints I have with biking can be addressed. Some require simple


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solutions, such as tying my shoes a little tighter and using a waterproof bag on rainy days (both of which I now do routinely), others take a little more work. However, I have great faith that with a little effort and dedication our country, like me, will eventually accept biking as a viable form of transportation, rather than a pastime or hobby. With increased infrastructure and awareness, we can shift our culture from a car centered, gas guzzling frenzy to a society free from smog and exorbitant gas prices. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve already seen the beginnings of this transformation. Market Street is now filled with bicyclist daily, new bike lanes are stripped nearly every month and local buses are even equipped with bike racks for longer commutes. While there are many obstacles to a community built around biking, none are insurmountable save the stubbornness of the common man attached to his car. However, with the growing threat of global climate change and decreasing oil reserves, bicycling has become an increasingly better solution to many of our problems. By examining the bike movement in the Bay Area, we can evaluate the effectiveness of current projects designed to increase ridership and examine the need for additional funding for bicycle infrastructure. Furthermore we can observe the local, economic, health, and environmental impacts of biking. The first question that comes to mind when looking at our society today is simple: How did we get here? How has our country changed from a primarily agrarian and rural nation to a bustling throbbing entity dotted with enormous metropolises, the top 25 of which contain over half of the countries population1? In our country, cities and towns were first developed around rivers and bays to facilitate trade and transportation2. Examples of these cities include New York and Boston. As western expansion became a larger priority in the 17th century the government began to finance the construction of bridges, road, and other infrastructure to connect the nation3. While transportation became less and less reliant on the natural topography, people generally lived in close1

McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban

Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 2

McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 3 McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.


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knit communities and rarely left their immediate residences. Everything changed with the invention of the railroad, car, and subsequent redesign of the nation. New cities and towns began to form alongside the expanding highways and railroad tracks, and being well connected intercity trade skyrocketed. No longer were people bound to the land that they lived on; a farmer could grow his goods miles away from the city that he sold them in on a daily basis. In 1908 Henry Ford invented the Model-T, determined to make the automobile available to the masses4. As more and more families began investing in cars the cities of America swelled outwards and inwardly they began to experience dramatic changes. Roads were paved, streets widened, and rules and laws written to govern traffic. Modern subways made it easier for men and women to live on the outside of town yet work in the center. Distance became less and less of an obstacle as cars grew faster, subways more frequent and roads better paved.

A Graph of U.S. Spending on Transportation (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/www.intellectualtakeout.org/files/chartgraph/Transportation%20spending.JPG)

Somewhere amidst all of this development and growth the bike became lost to the general populace. The bike first appeared as a method of transportation in America in

4

McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban

Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.


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1878 when Columbia Bicycle in Hartford Connecticut, the first American bike store, opened shop5. Their cheapest bikes cost 125 dollars; in comparison a sewing machine sold for only about 13 dollars6. To put it lightly, the bike did not appear to be the most economical method of transport. Within the next two decades bikes became safer, cheaper, and more efficient making them an excellent option for transportation for the average American. Unfortunately the growing bike industry was soon eclipsed by the rapidly expanding car industry. Cars were simply more practical and comfortable, and they became associated with status and affluence. Owning a sparkling new Model-T was a sure fire way to make the neighbor jealous. Bike use fell further behind the car following World War II and the rise of the suburbs in America. All of the sudden the majority of Americans no longer lived within biking distance of their jobs. Cars moved from being a luxury to an absolute necessity. During the following decades America experienced a boom in public transportation and infrastructure. Under the Interstate Highway Act instituted under President Truman an expansive system of roads connecting the states was built. Subway systems were implemented or improved upon in many cities and bus systems expanded their range to include the suburbs. Bikes were increasingly becoming a relic of the past, obsolete, impractical, and unnecessary. That all changed abruptly in 1978. The price of gas unexpectedly skyrocketed largely due to an oil embargo initiated by several Middle Eastern countries. The sharp increase in gas prices foreshadowed a long and tumultuous future for the oil industry; prices would continue to rise and fall abruptly as political unrest and low supply led to an unstable and volatile market. In 1978 the number of bikes sold each year passed the number of cars sold, a surprising accomplishment considering the many obstacles7. For the first time since the invention of the Model-T there was a glimmer of hope for the bike. With rising gas prices and increased congestion, the bike was becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to 5

Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm.

6 7

Ibid. Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm.


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driving. Many families, realizing that gas prices and availability were not as stable as they believed, began investing in bikes, a cheaper and healthier alternative to cars. Soon local governments noticed this increasingly popular mode of transport and began to stripe bike lanes for the first time. Today the bike has become almost familiar to us as a mode of transportation. As we drive to work or school we often see cyclists weaving their way through traffic, and in many cities bike usage is fast closing in on car usage. The question remains, however, how we can continue this pattern of growth and make biking safer, efficient, and more appealing to the general public. With rising fears of climate change and increased congestion, people have started to realize that a perfectly viable solution is right under our noses. With the right infrastructure changes and the right incentives, we can begin the shift from a society centered on the car to a society focused on sustainability and efficiency, where bikes and buses are used for transport in the immediate area and trains and zip cars are used for longer distance. I can see a not so distant future where cars are relics of the past and the streets are filled with bicyclists young and old, making their way safely to wherever they wish to go. The transition to this society would no doubt be difficult, as our cities have been planned and built around cars and buses. There are often few accommodations for bicyclists, and little room remains for their implementation. While many local governments are now attempting to integrate bike lanes into major roads, officials are often forced to remove a lane of traffic or decrease the width of the sidewalk. Buildings cannot simply be moved back to allow for new construction; sacrifices must be made. As taking out a lane in the road can increase automobile traffic, it is not always an appealing solution. For example, on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, many store owners fear that if parking and extra lanes are replaced with bikeways there businesses will suffer. While there fears are unfounded as will be later explained, it is important to realize that installing even a short stretch of bike lane is not a simple matter. The problem of city planning is not a new one. Cities are constantly evolving and changing, but this change is not necessarily uniform. For example, when a city expands outward traffic will inevitably increase throughout the city. Yet, old buildings that are already in place cannot be knocked down with disregard to make room for new roads or modern structures. Furthermore, geography plays a key role in restricting or facilitating


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urban growth. American cities have traditionally grown up around rivers and bays. During the rapid western expansion that took place in the 19th century, cities popped up across the continent, sometimes in poorly planned locations8. Following the introduction of the automobile, a rapid expansion of the urban landscape occurred. Cities began to literally overflow with people, leading to the construction of more cities and suburbs surrounding the larger ones. Currently 80 % of the U.S. population resides in urban areas, yet many live outside of the cities where they work. Therefore transportation has become an increasingly relevant issue, and the commute has become an integral part of many people’s daily routines. As roads have steadily become more and more congested, the need for a clean, economic, and reliable transportation has become more and more important. While in many cities efforts are geared to the expansion of roads and highways, the implementation of bicycle infrastructure is a viable solution that can reduce congestion. Bikes simply take up less space than cars, the same width of bike lane accommodates far more commuters than the same length of car lane. In some cities, bicycling has already proven to be an attractive alternative to driving. Europe in particular has experienced a sharp rise in gas prices, largely due to increased taxes and demand. Bike share systems have cropped up all over the continent, and provide cheap, convenient transport anywhere within city limits. Citizens simply rent a bike at one location, bike to their job or home, and return the bike at another nearby station. In some cities the yearly cost is as low as 20 euros, in many others it is free altogether. Groningen, a city in the Netherlands, is a perfect example of a city that has effectively replaced cars with bikes as its principal means of transportation9. The city was originally a fortress built to defend against the border with Germany. This artificial containment in the form of city walls limited expansion, and kept the city compact and efficiently designed10. In the early 1970’s, lawmakers began implementing various radical reforms to reduce traffic in the city center11. Cars were banned throughout the majority of the city, and traffic was redirected in a circle that rounded the downtown 8

McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 9 Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. 10 11

Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. Ibid.


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area12. The effect was dramatic: bikes became the city’s principal method of transportation. Today, over 50 % of all trips are made by bike, and the average person bikes 1.4 times a day13. Foreigners walking through the city are amazed at how few cars there are. Groningen is not a unique case; all over Europe many cities have begun to encourage bicycling as a means of transportation. In Copenhagen, bicycle safety is incorporated into the Driver’s Education program. Biking has become the fastest and cheapest way to get around there because of high gas prices and low parking availability. Bike share programs in particular have begun to increase ridership in major cities and are viewed as an ideal solution to congestion in cities. Bike share programs are relatively cheap and easy to maintain when compared to other infrastructure and provide a fast and convenient method of transport. Bike share programs have actually been around much longer than most people think, the first emerging in Amsterdam in the mid 1960’s. While it was a complete disaster due to theft and vandalism, soon the system adapted to meet each new problem until the program became a success. According to one journal of public transportation, “Bike-sharing has had profound affects on creating a larger cycling population, increasing transit use, decreasing greenhouse gases, and improving public health”14. Unfortunately America is behind in taking advantage of all the potential that lies in city bike share programs. Of the top ten most effective bike share programs in the world, three are in Asia, five are in Europe, and two are in Canada and the Middle East. Sadly not a single American city made the list. While a few major cities such as New York and Washington D.C. have begun to implement programs, the U.S. as a whole has fallen behind15. When compared to other countries, it is clear that biking has not been as effectively incorporated into the transportation system. Yet, there are few reasons why biking should not play a greater role in transportation nationwide.

12

Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. Ibid. 14 DeMaio, Paul. Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future. Journal of Public Transportation, vol. 12, no. 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: MetroBike, 2009. 13

15

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/10/01/best-cities-bikesharing/2896227/


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No matter which way you look at it, San Francisco is a remarkable city. Tourists flock from around the globe to view the pristine San Francisco bay and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The food is unrivaled, the culture rich and interesting. To the unknowing visitor San Francisco would seem to be a perfect paradise, free from stress and conflict. Residents, however, are privy to a different side of the city. Citizens of San Francisco have become increasingly frustrated over major congestion, a high frequency of accidents, and poor infrastructure investment. San Francisco is essentially the center of the Bay Area; people from all over the bay commute daily to work in the city’s center. Entrance into the city is dominated by three major routes: The San Francisco Bay Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, and highway 101 leading north from the south bay. Nearly every major transportation system converges on San Francisco; almost every BART line (the local train system) runs through downtown and buses enter the city from every point of access on a daily basis. Just as all of America experienced a rapid growth of suburbs surrounding major cities, so to did San Francisco. The city’s roads are near full capacity, and lawmakers around that bay have been pondering methods to solve the commuting crisis that affects so many Bay Area citizens. Surprisingly few leaders have realized that the solution to San Francisco’s traffic problem is right under our noses. Biking could be the simple solution to a widespread problem affecting nearly everyone who lives in the bay area. San Francisco is a particularly interesting case study when it comes to bicycling because of its markedly high number of bicyclists along with its astonishing lack of key infrastructure. While trips by bike account for approximately 3 % of all trips taken in San Francisco, only 4.2 million dollars of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency’s budget of 851 million are invested in bicycle infrastructure16. That’s only 0.49 % of the transportation budget. San Francisco’s per capita spending on bicycle transportation is 9.16 $, a little below half of Amsterdam’s whopping 22.44 $ investment17. The question we must ask ourselves is why San Francisco has chosen to invest so little in bicycle infrastructure, and if that lack of funding is in turn reducing ridership. According to the 16

Sabatini, Joshua. "Lack of Cycling Infrastructure Investment in SF Could Impact Popularity as Transit Mode." The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA), December 5, 2013, Transportation.

17

Ibid.


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SFMTA, funding and ridership are intrinsically linked. In a report published in 2013, the SFMTA stated that an increase in trips made by bike to 10 % would require an investment of about 191 million dollars18. Appropriate investment could have a clear and tangible impact on transportation in San Francisco, yet many leaders quail when faced with cutting automobile investments. Yet when spread out over a few years, an investment of this size is actually quite manageable. The agency hopes to reach this goal by 2018 by increasing funding for bike lanes and protected intersections each year19. San Francisco is a perfect example of an American city that has fallen behind other major metropolises in the global bike movement. Furthermore, it has one of the worst bicycle safety records in the country.

A chart of the types of trips made in San Francisco (Graphic from the San Francisco Bike Coalition) A major deterrent to commuting to school or work by bike is the abundance of bicycle accidents and many roads that are simply unsafe for bicyclists. Safety is a larger issue than many people realize, and its not going away. A recent study found that bike crashes have increased by 8% in the last two years, while ridership increased by 3%20. In

18

City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011.

19

Ibid. The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data.

20


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fact, the problem isn’t limited to San Francisco. The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration reported in 2002 that bicycle accidents made up about 1.5 % of all traffic related fatalities21. Nine years later, in 2011, bike accidents were responsible for 2.1 % of fatalities22. Each year bicycles have accounted for more and more traffic related accidents as car designs become safer and safer, yet bicycle infrastructure remains incomplete and unreliable. 72 % of these deaths occur in urban areas and densely populated cities where limited space and funding has hindered new construction23. The rise in bicycle accidents can be attributed to increased ridership without the addition of critical bike lanes to accommodate all the new riders. In San Francisco specifically 26 % of bicyclists have been involved in a collision, underlying the need for change24. The issue of bicycle safety will have to be resolved eventually if bicycling is to become a viable method of transport, not just for commuters but also children on their way to school and inexperienced cyclists looking for a convenient method of transportation. Despite the lack of infrastructure and poor safety record, it has become increasingly clear that citizens are ready and willing to begin biking more. In the last seven years (since 2006), ridership has increased in San Francisco by an astounding 96%25. Furthermore, current infrastructure developments have already begun to show evidence of increasing ridership. At three major San Francisco intersections ridership was shown to have increased dramatically when the intersections were modified to protect bicyclists from traffic. For example, at Portola and O’Shaughnessy bicycle traffic increased by 83 percent in two years, in part because of the implementation of a new bike

Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. 21

Ibid. Ibid. 23 The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data. Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. 22

24

Report Card on Bicycling. San Francisco: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, 2006. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 25


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lane26. Bicycle use increased by 78 % at Page and Stanyan when a Signal was adapted to include bicyclists27. The study shows that infrastructure changes do have a huge impact and ridership. As the SFMTA continues to invest in bike lanes and intersections, ridership will no doubt increase further justifying the increase in spending.

A graphic illustrating the dramatic increase in bike ridership (http://earthandindustry.com/files/2012/02/sf-bike-survey-6.jpg) There are undoubtedly many obstacles to bicycle reform in San Francisco. A truly massive overhaul would be needed to meet the SFMTA’s eventual goal of 20% of all trips being made by bike (It has long term plans for cars to make up only 11% of all travel)28. Yet the day is not far off when San Francisco will be physically capable of accommodating bicyclists. If the proper steps are taken to properly fund bicycle infrastructure projects, all of the problems facing bicyclist will disappear. The correct infrastructure can resolve traffic congestion, improve bicyclist safety, reduce carbon

26

Ibid. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 28 City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 27


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emissions, and start San Francisco on the road to becoming one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. In the past few years bicycle infrastructure has improved dramatically all over the bay. One particular accomplishment is the implementation of a new Bay Area Bike Share program. While the program is currently somewhat limited in size, it has the potential for growth. Already citizens in San Francisco can purchase a yearly pass for as low as 88 dollars a year and have unlimited trips across downtown San Francisco29. The next step is to spread the program to the East Bay and hopefully increase the number of stations to improve convenience. However, for the bike share program to be successful, the right infrastructure will need to be installed. Luckily, the Bay Area has many organizations dedicated to bicycle advocacy. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for a more bike friendly city since 1971, making it one of the oldest bike coalitions in the country30. Currently, it is striving to create a comprehensive network of bike lanes that would unite the city and facilitate travel by bike to virtually any location in San Francisco. The coalition’s Connect the City project ambitiously hopes to connect all existing bike routes and add in several key lanes to protect bicyclists on busy roads31. Across the bay, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition is working to construct more bike lanes connecting the east bay and eventually hopes to make the Bay Bridge accessible to bikes. While the new span from Oakland to Treasure Island has a brand new bike lane, the second half of the bridge is closed to bicyclists hindering those who would like to commute by bike. A complete route to San Francisco would truly impact transportation across the Bay as a new alternative to BART and driving would be available to the enormous population in the East Bay that commutes to San Francisco on a daily basis. Perhaps the most important step to increasing bicycle ridership in the Bay Area is the implementation of new bike lanes and routes. As stated previously, this will improve safety and encourage more people to commute by bike. What many people are unaware of, however, is that implementing bicycle infrastructure is actually very economical. The 29

SFMTA. "About Bay Area Bike Share." Bay Area Bike Share. Last modified 2013. Accessed April 10, 2014. https://bayareabikeshare.com/about. 30 San Francisco Bike Coalition. "The Routes." Connecting the City. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.connectingthecity.org/routes/. 31 Ibid.


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national bicycle industry contributes 133 billion dollars a year to the U.S. economy, and increases local tourism32. Bike lanes accommodate seven to twelve times as many people per meter of lane, and cost as little as 5,000 dollars per mile33. In comparison, Caltrans recently paid 75 million dollars to repave only three miles of Interstate 71034. When compared to the high costs of road maintenance and construction, bike lanes are incredibly affordable and well worth the investment. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition recently calculated that one mile of protected bike way (a bike lane physically separated from the road to protect bicyclists) is 100 times cheaper than one mile of roadway35. Bike lanes can be easily implemented in San Francisco at a relatively low cost, if only the proper funding was directed towards bicycle infrastructure. Besides being cheap to construct, recent studies have also shown that bike lanes actually boost local economies. For example, the state of Wisconsin is estimated to generate 533 million dollars from bicycle tourism annually36. San Francisco already has the beautiful views to draw visitors, but if infrastructure was improved even more people could be drawn in and enticed by safe, open bikeways that allowed them to better view the city. Besides attracting tourists, bicycling is actually beneficial for local businesses as well. A 2009 study conducted by the city of Toronto reported that people who walk and bike spend more money than drivers37. Similarly, the city of Pittsburg Pennsylvania reported a 19 percent increase in sales tax revenues immediately following the construction of a new bike way38. Encouraging citizens to bike more can help boost the economy and spending. Furthermore, bicycling helps the average citizen save a significant amount of money. For every mile someone bikes they save approximately

32

Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. 34 Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. 35 Shahan, Zachary. "1 Mile of Protected Bikelane Is 100X Cheaper than 1 Mile of Road." Treehugger. Last modified March 13, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/ 36 Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. 37 Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. 38 Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. 33


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2.73 dollars, as the need for gas and parking is eliminated39. Many small changes to San Francisco that facilitate biking can have large impacts on the local economy. There are few reasons to not create more bike lanes when their construction directly impacts the economy in a positive way.

A graphic explaining how money from the auto industry leaves local economies (http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ic_city_graph_large.jpg) Constructing these bike lanes also helps create significantly more jobs than the paving and construction of roads. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that for each million dollars spent on bicycle infrastructure, about 11.4 jobs were created40. The same amount of money used only to construct roads created only 7.8 jobs

39 40

Ibid. Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.


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on average41. If San Francisco were to stripe more bike lanes and improve the city’s bike lane network, this research suggests that more jobs would be created providing an additional boost to the economy. Bicycling can address nearly all of the Bay Area’s traffic problems. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the extensive variety of publications, studies, and research reports, it is that there are no concrete reasons to not expand the Bay Area’s bicycle infrastructure. Currently, the expansion of cycling is severely hindered by concerns over safety and inconvenience. A comprehensive system of bike lanes could solve both of these problems and lead the San Francisco Bay Area into a brighter future free from traffic jams, smog, and congestion. Bikes provide a safe, cheap alternative to cars as a method of transportation. While arguments can be made for other solutions such as more fuel efficient cars and faster public transportation, they are all at best temporary fixes to a larger problem and at worst costly and ineffective. When all is said and done, bikes are the way to go. When I began writing this paper, I spent quite a bit of time pondering the question of how to convince more people to bike. I was confused as to why bicycling had become so much more popular in other cities and countries when to me San Francisco had always seemed to be a haven for environmentalism and green technology. However, as I began to conduct more and more research and talk with activists around the bay, I realized that low ridership is not a result of a lack of willingness to bike. Rather, bicycling has simply become too inconvenient and dangerous. I am certain that if bike lanes are built, the people will come. After all, as gas prices continue to rise and parking become scarcer and scarcer, people will always look for viable alternatives. I have great faith that the people of our community will soon come to their senses and see the obvious solution laid out before them. When they do, they will no doubt turn their head to the dusty corner of their garage and see their old and forgotten bike leaning against the wall, waiting patiently for its time to come.

41

Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.


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Bibliography Burgesonand, John, and Vinti Singh. "A Mix of Bike-friendly Streets and Dangerous Roads." The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), February 12, 2012. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.extra.sfgate.com/default/article/A-mix-ofbike-friendly-streets-and-dangerous-roads-3307755.php. This is a highly relevant article that talks about bike safety on the roads. The included personal stories are interesting and helped me to better understand the risks involved with biking. The article also talks about the safe routes to school program which is very important to recruiting bicyclists at an early age. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. This is an incredibly valuable report, it provides excellent data on which streets and avenues in San Francisco are most used by bicyclists and shows the drastic increase in ridership over the past few years. The methodology of the report is excellent; it conforms to the national bicycle and pedestrian documentation project guidelines. 41 locations were manually counted over the course of two weeks for several years. Counts were taken during good weather that would not negatively impact ridership. This report also includes excellent data regarding bicyclists riding improperly (i.e. no helmet, wrong way, on side walk etc). This is a great source that I believe is reliable and accurate. DeMaio, Paul. Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future. Journal of Public Transportation, vol. 12, no. 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: MetroBike, 2009. This is a very interesting source that provides a thorough and well researched history of bike share from the early manifestations to the modern day systems that we see in cities like Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The history is particularly interesting as there were many large and seemingly insurmountable problems with the early bike share programs. The solutions are clearly outlined as the paper continues, and the rise in popularity is attributed to system improvements. The report argues that bike share systems are an excellent solution to many local transportation issues such as traffic, pollution, and CO2 emissions. The report


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finishes by stating that the future of these systems is bright, and we will no doubt encounter more of them. Indeed, only several months ago San Francisco implemented the first steps of a city wide bike share program. Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. This is a very interesting source that provides a concise and well written summary of the beneficial economic impacts of bicycling. While it does not address possible disadvantages to the economy such as the oil and car industry, it provides excellent research and data regarding the health impacts, small business impacts, and quality of life impacts. The source appears to be accurate and well researched, it provides ample evidence to support its claims from credible sources such as Marin county government, U.C. Davis, and the American trail conservation society. Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. This is a short but well written research report on how bicycling contributes to various local economies. This report is very relevant to my research and supports other sources I have found. The source seems reliable and well researched. Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. This is absolutely an incredible source; it will be invaluable to my project. This report includes detailed arguments for the implementation of bicycle infrastructure with ample evidence, data, and statistics. The article is obviously well researched and clearly written. I am including the link below to the PDF: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livablecommunities/learn/transportation/economic-benefits-bicycle-infrastructurereport.pdf Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.


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This is an incredible report that has excellent research nationwide about the positive economic impacts of bicycle infrastructure. This report is very detailed, conducted in a well though out and professional manner, with truly excellent observations and conclusions. The researchers gathered data in 11 cities and made inquires into state and city records regarding bike lanes, their implementation, cost, and employment benefits. The report essentially concludes that instituting bicycle infrastructure produces a number of jobs, boosting the economy. Road infrastructure ironically creates fewer jobs per million spent. The thesis of this paper is incredibly relevant to my project, and this source is very interesting and useful. Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. This is a very interesting documentary that provides excellent information regarding early implementation of bicycle infrastructure. The documentary provides and ideal example of what could have happened world wide had the appropriate actions been taken. This documentary is actually what first got me thinking about the global bike movement. It is well researched and lays out all of the facts very clearly. It is enjoyable to watch and very informative. It was put together by street films, an organization that observes and reports on the global bike movement worldwide in the form of short documentaries. I will no doubt rewatch this film several times over before the month is done. Helms, Sara. Interview by Alex Browne. The Head Royce School Oakland, CA. April 22, 2014. I talked with Sara briefly about how easy and convenient biking is in Copenhagen Denmark. It was interesting to hear how so many people bike to work regularly, and how bicycle safety is incorporated with taking the driver's test. Her interview helped me better understand a good example of a city where biking has been successfully incorporated. Hinds, Kate, and Casey Miner. "San Francisco Bike Accidents Rise Faster than the Rate of Cycling; Bay Citizen Maps Crash Data." WNYC. Last modified February 8,


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2011. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.wnyc.org/story/285480-san-franciscobike-accidents-rise-faster-than-the-rate-of-cycling-bay-citizen-maps-crash-data/. This is a highly relevant news article from New York Public Radio that supports the need for bicycle infrastructure. Good data is provided showing the disparity between the increase in bike ridership and the increases in accidents. The sharp rise in accidents suggests that a solution is needed to protect the thousands of bike riders in San Francisco. Lebetkin, Mark. "Best Bike-Sharing Cities in the World." USA Today, October 1, 2013. This source helped me understand which cities standout in the world in terms of their city bike share programs. It was a bit sad to see that no American cities were included in the top ten, but that fact will be useful for my argument. I was also surprised to learn that many of the best cities are in Asia. ———. "Best Bike-Sharing Cities in the World." USA Today (McLean, VA), October 1, 2013. This is a helpful source that relates to bike share programs in general and specific cites that can set an example for the rest of us. The source seems reliable and is concisely written with good supporting facts. Martin, Kurt Wallace. "Bike Lanes Create Jobs." The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), June 24, 2013. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://blog.sfgate.com/bicycle/2011/06/24/bike-lanes-create-jobs/. This is a concise but very helpful article that talks about the costs of creating bike lanes compared to the cost of paving roads. It argues that bike lanes are much cheaper and economical than roads, an interesting point that contradicts the practices of many transit agencies. This article is very relevant to my article, and will be very useful. McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.


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This is an excellent source that provides detailed and accurate historical context for my project. The report is primarily about how we design our cities and how transportation, sustainability, and government all affect the final outcome. This source will be very useful for my historical summary. Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm. This is a very thorough source, well written with an excellent explanation of the real origin of the bicycle. Throughout history there have been many myths of early bikes; this source goes through them systematically and debunks them citing credible historical research. The rise of the bicycle can be effectively tied to the various innovations that occurred throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and this source gives me some excellent background knowledge. "Protected Intersections for Bicyclists." Protected Intersections for Bicyclists. Video file, 5:58. Posted by Nick Falbo, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.protectedintersection.com/. This is a very interesting proposal and design that I would love to see implemented in the bay area. It would really reduce accidents, and it would make biking just that much safer. This video lays out a revolutionary design for an intersection that caters to bikes. There are protected curbs and islands that increase visibility and safety. The design is well explained, and each facet is given a detailed explanation. This is a very interesting source. Report Card on Bicycling. San Francisco: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, 2006. This is a very useful source that provides a clear and concise summary of bicycling, safety, infrastructure, accidents, and new developments throughout San Francisco. The source seems reliable and very well researched. Sabatini, Joshua. "Lack of Cycling Infrastructure Investment in SF Could Impact Popularity as Transit Mode." The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA), December 5, 2013, Transportation.


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This is a very useful source that sheds some light on the SFMTA's annual budget and how they spend it. Apparently very little funding goes to bicycle projects, yet the article suggests that a surprising number of trips in the city are made by bike. This article seems reliable and well researched. San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "Connecting the City." The San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion. Last modified 2014. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.sfbike.org/?connectingthecity. This site provides useful information on current plans to improve bike infrastructure in the city. The SF Bike coalition is an excellent organization that is truly doing great work to improve bike ridership and convenience throughout the city. Their plans for over 100 miles of continuous bike lanes could revolutionize the city and make biking to work much safer and easier. San Francisco Bike Coalition. "The Routes." Connecting the City. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.connectingthecity.org/routes/. This is a very interesting project run by the SF Bike coalition that has highly relevant and interesting information regarding the attempt to better connect San Francisco with bike lanes. The project is very ambitious, but could have a huge impact on transportation in the city. San Francisco Planning Department. "Transportation Element." San Francisco Planning. Last modified February 3, 2005. Accessed April 10, 2014. http://www.sfplanning.org/ftp/General_Plan/I4_Transportation.htm#TRA_HIS. This is an incredible source from the city of San Francisco that provides excellent information on the history of transportation in the city. It is a reliable well written, and very detailed source that will help me a lot with my summary of San Francisco City Planning. Sellers, Christopher. "Cities and Suburbs." The National Humanities Center. Last modified February 2010. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nattrans/ntuseland/essays/citsubs.htm.


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This is an interesting and well written article on the rise of the suburbs which in recent years has proven to be the principal obstacle to growth in bicycle use. This information will help with my historical summary and give me a better understanding of the historical circumstances that contribute to and hinder the global bike movement. SFMTA. "About Bay Area Bike Share." Bay Area Bike Share. Last modified 2013. Accessed April 10, 2014. https://bayareabikeshare.com/about. This is a great program that I am very interested in. The site is well designed and helps to explain how the system works and how people can begin joining. This source will be very useful when I explain the impact bike share could have in San Francisco. Shahan, Zachary. "1 Mile of Protected Bikelane Is 100X Cheaper than 1 Mile of Road." Treehugger. Last modified March 13, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/1-mile-protected-bike-lane-100x-cheaper-1mile-roadway-chart.html. This is an interesting web site with a very cool graphic explaining how cheap and easy it is to implement bicycle infrastructure. The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data. Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. This is a very relevant and interesting document that explains the percentage of bicycle fatalities by state, gender, age, location, and cause. This is a very reliable source with ample evidence and good methodology. The report provides an interesting percentage describing the number of bicycle casualties in relation to car causalities. The data is very interesting. This report will be very useful for my analysis on bicycle safety and my historical summary.


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China’s Youth:     Let’s  Talk  About  Sex   Courtney  Ng  

May 9 , 2014 th


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Abstract I was interested in writing my research paper on sex education in China because of my middle school experience with sex-ed and Ivy Chen, my current work with Forward Together in Oakland, and my connection to my Chinese heritage. The paper contains background on the history of sex education in China and why its negative views have developed, the one child policy, the negative effects that the lack of sex education has caused for young people in China, and how China is currently attempting to alter those negative views and implement better sex-ed curriculums in all schools.

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China’s Youth:  Let’s  Talk  About  Sex     It  was  time.  I  had  been  dreading  this  moment  all  year.  I  walked  slowly  and   tentatively  into  the  classroom,  looked  around,  and  unfortunately  found  no  comfort.   This  scene  was  too  familiar.  Not  this  again.    I  painfully  thought  back  to  spring  of  sixth  grade  when  I  was  forced  to  attend   my  first  sex  education  class.  The  girls  sat  in  a  circle  surrounding  my  homeroom   teacher.  The  moment  she  said  “periods”  with  a  tentative  tone,  I  felt  my  insides   cringe.  Forty  minutes  later,  I  left  that  class  feeling  more  awkward  than  when  I  had   arrived.  Now,  I  would  have  to  experience  this  horrendous  feeling  for  a  second  time.    

Class began  and  I  sank  into  my  seat  like  the  Titanic,  slow  and  heavy.  But  Ivy  

Chen, the  teacher,  was  not  like  my  former  homeroom  teacher;  she  appeared  more   self-­‐confident  and  jubilant.  The  light  reflecting  off  of  her  dark  black  hair  gave  her  a   luminescent  glow;  there  was  something  special  about  her.  Her  ear-­‐to-­‐ear  smile   radiated  a  sense  of  comfort  and  approachability,  while  her  erect  posture  confirmed   Ivy  Chen  teaching  a  class  of  eighth  graders  at  Archway   School.  

her confidence.  Not  to  mention,   she  was  Asian,  so  I  naturally   felt  a  sense  of  cultural   connection  to  her.  I  still  felt   incredibly  uncomfortable   listening  to  the  embarrassing   laughs  of  my  classmates,  but   somehow  Ivy  continued  to   teach  in  her  positive  and  

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uplifting tone.  She  asked,  “Can   anyone  tell  me  the  correct  way  

to put  in  a  tampon?”  Girls  looked  around  the  room  at  each  other  with  faces  full  of   shame.  A  boy  yelled  out  jokingly,  “Don’t  you  just  stick  it  up  there?”  and  his  friends   laughed  by  his  side.  Ivy  responded  with  a  smile,  “Close!  But  there’s  a  little  more   detail  to  it.”  Ivy’s  down  to  earth,  confident  manner  gradually  began  to  untie  the  knot  


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in my  stomach.  The  way  she  talked  about  sex  education  enabled  me  to  appreciate   my  body  with  all  of  its  changes  and  freed  me  from  the  constrictive  feelings  I  had   developed  from  my  first  experience  with  sex-­‐ed.  Coming  from  a  Chinese  heritage,   my  mom  always  told  me  how  sex  was  never  a  topic  she  discussed  with  her  parents.  I   shared  that  reserve,  but  I  left  the  class  finally  feeling  proud  to  be  a  young  female.   Ivy  Chen’s  courage  to  go  against  conservative  Asian  culture  and  become  a   sex-­‐education  teacher  inspired  me.  In  traditional  Chinese  culture  sex  and  sex   education  is  viewed  as  a  taboo  topic.  The  inner  strength  Ivy  unlocked  within  me   became  the  foundation  for  my  current  passion.  A  few  years  after  this  experience,  I   wanted  to  pursue  volunteer  work  related  to  sex  education  and  decided  to  reach  out   to  Ivy  Chen  for  direction.  She  directed  me  to  a  non-­‐profit  organization  called   Forward  Together.  My  work  with  Forward  Together’s  youth  program,  CORE,  focuses   on  incorporating  comprehensive  sex-­‐education  into  the  Oakland  Unified  School   District.  I  work  with  twenty  Oakland  high  school  students  who  identify  as  Asian  and   come  from  both  similar  and  different  cultural  backgrounds  as  I  do.  In  the  youth   program  we  focus  on  building  our  campaign,  called  Sex  Ed  The  City,  that  promotes   the  need  for  comprehensive  sex-­‐ed  in  all  public  schools.  At  Head-­‐Royce  School,  sex   education  starts  in  sixth  grade  with  homeroom  teachers.  In  seventh  and  eighth   students  attend  a  week  of  sex  education  taught  by  Ivy  Chen  and  in  high  school  all   students  attend  a  class  taught  by  Charis  Dennison  twice  a  year.  Forward  Together   helped  me  discover  what  I  am  most  passionate  about  and  led  me  to  the  topic  of  my   research  paper.  Sex  education  for  adolescents  is  a  crucial  aspect  in  their  childhood   and  maturing  process,  and  I  am  aware  that  many  young  people  around  the  world  do   not  receive  any  form  of  sexual  education.  I  have  directed  my  research  to  the  case  of   China  because  I  am  personally  familiar  with  the  traditional  views  surrounding  sex   .As  a  Chinese  American,  I  am  familiar  with  both  the  American  and  Chinese  lifestyle,   and  have  become  aware  of  the  cultural  differences  surrounding  the  topic  of  sex   education.  For  example,  my  mother  and  her  parents  never  talked  about  sex  or  even   puberty  when  she  was  a  child.  My  mother  was  forced  to  learn  either  on  her  own,   through  friends,  or  from  her  older  sisters.  In  addition,  I  have  Asian  friends  whose   parents  are  immigrants  and  do  not  believe  in  discussing  the  topic  of  sex  with  their  


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children. These  experiences  with  the  Chinese  American  population  have  led  me  to   the  three  essential  questions  of  my  paper:  What  are  the  cultural  traditions  and   perspectives  of  sex  education  in  China?  Why  do  the  youth  of  China  need  to  have  a   comprehensive  sex  education?  How  is  China  attempting  to  reconstruct  and  improve   its  sex  education  curriculum  and  what  step  are  they  taking  to  spread  awareness  of   the  issue?     Traditional  Chinese  perceptions  of  sex  are  that  it  is  a  taboo  topic;  therefore,   sex  education  is  viewed  as  a  negative  influence.  The  controversy  centers  on  the   assumption  that  we  will  be  fostering  promiscuity  if  students  learn  about  sex  and   preventing  against  disease  and  unwanted  pregnancy.  As  a  result,  China’s  sex   education  and  HIV/AIDS  prevention  curriculum  lags  years  behind  other  developed   countries.1  Specialist  Gao  Zhenqian  believes  that  the  instruction  of  condom  use  is   inappropriate  for  middle  school  students  and  a  sensitive  topic  for  parents.1  She  says   that  if  children  are  taught  practical  use  of  condoms  their  curiosity  and  strong   instinctive  sexual  desires  will  lead  them  to  conduct  uncontrollable  acts  of  regret,   which  in  turn  will  increase  the  risk  of  sex  among  young  students.1  Head-­‐Royce   Chinese  teacher,  Ying  Gong,  who  was  born  and  raised  in  China  talks  about  the   ideology  of  sex  education  in  China:  “Sex  education  is  definitely  a  taboo,  and  the   teachers  and  parents  are  expecting  you  to  find  out  when  you  ‘grow  up’.  Well,  I  never   "found  out"  until  I  almost  graduated  from  college.  It  is  viewed  this  way  since  China   is  such  a  conservative  country.  Things  are  changing  these  days,  but  talking  about  sex   publicly  is  still  a  shame.”2  A  specific  study  conducted  in  Sweden  showed  that   condom  instructions  taught  in  textbooks  cause  children  to  have  first-­‐time  sex  at  a   much  earlier  age.1  Another  expert  on  the  subject,  Zhu  Xinmei,  says  that  HIV/AIDS   textbooks  depict  the  disease  in  a  graphic  way  that  is  not  healthy  for  the   psychological  and  physical  health  of  students.1  These  experts  believe  that  sex   education  curriculum  should  focus  on  premarital  abstinence  and  sexual  morality.1   Modern  Express  expert,  Wang  Yan,  expresses  her  feelings  on  the  current  textbook   taught  to  middle  school  students  in  China.  The  book  consists  of  HIV/AIDS   prevention,  abstinence  advocacy,  and  instruction  on  condom  use.  She  believes  that  


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the textbook  is  full  of  contradictions  that  are  actually  beneficial  to  the  students.1  The   contradictions1show  the  education  departments’  cautious  view  on  sex  education.   They  are  giving  students  knowledge  about  STI’s,  but  not  giving  too  much   information  on  sexual  matters  that  could  result  in  sexual  curiosity;  for  example,  they   discourage  acting  on  sexual  impulses.  Yet,  with  the  current  information  age  students   have  the  ability  to  search  for  their  own  knowledge,  if  interested.1  Another  barrier  to   sex-­‐education  is  the  test-­‐centered  curriculum.  China  puts  so  much  emphasis  on  the   National  University  Entrance  Exam  that  there  is  no  incentive  for  teachers  to  teach   sex  education.  Since  the  exam  does  not  test  on  sex  education  educators  do  not   believe  it  is  a  necessary  subject.3  In  general,  Chinese  parents  and  teachers  do  not   talk  to  their  children  and  students  about  sex  related  topics.  The  government  has   concerns  over  media  entertainment  that  is  viewed  as  “unhealthy”  because  it  shows   too  much  promiscuity  or  acts  of  sexual  pleasure.3  The  summer  of  2009,  the   government  ordered  that  only  certain  websites  can   provide  information  about  sex,  and  that  computers   in  public  places  must  have  censoring  software,   called  Green  Dam  Youth  Escort,  that  bans  porn  and   homosexuality  related  content.3         The  negative  views  that  the  Chinese  have   developed,  regarding  sex  education,  stems  from  a   long  history  of  suffering  and  controlling   governments.  In  ancient  China,  sex  was  thought  of   as  one  of  the  most  powerful  forms  of  healing  

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Beijing Review (Beijing, China). “Is Sex Education Appropriate for Middle School Students?” January 25, 2007, Forum. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.bjreview.com.cn/forum/txt/200701/25/content_53732_2.htm. 2 Gong, Ying. Interview by the author. Head-Royce School Oakland, CA. 3 Tsai, Michelle. “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Didn’t Learn Because You Grew Up in China).” Slate. Last modified November 4, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2009/11/everything_you_always_wa nted_to_know_about_sex_but_didnt_learn_because_you_grew_up_in_china.2.html.


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medicine.4 Emperor  Huang  Ti,  2697  to  259  B.C.,  is  credited  for  earliest  Chinese   writings  on  sex,  which  discussed  equality  amongst  females  and  males,  sexuality  as   an  expression,  and  how  achieving  sexual  harmony  would  lead  to  a  properly  run   family  and  community.4  These  texts  became  the  forerunner  for  sex  education.  Some   books  published  around  200  B.C.  described  human  sexual  response,  sexual   techniques,  prevention  of  sexual  dysfunction,  and  how  to  adjust  level  of  sexual   activity.5  Unfortunately,  sexual  attitudes  began  to  change  in  the  12th  century,  during   the  Song  Dynasty.5  The  government  began  to  control  its  citizens’  sexual  lives  and   restrict  sexual  expression  as  a  way  to  display  its  ultimate  power.5  Eventually,  sexual   conservatism  became  so  pervasive  that  any  discussion  about  sexuality  was   considered  taboo.  In  1949,  when  the  Communist’s  took  over,  they  implemented  the   idea  that  sex  practices,  including  sex  education,  were  forms  of  bourgeois   indulgence.4,6  Communist  hostility  towards  sex  education  forced  generations  of   young  people  to  grow  up  with  little  to  no  knowledge  about  sex.  They  were  taught   that  any  discussion  of  sex  was  shameful.7  The  scarce  number  of  sex  information   booklets  and  pamphlets  that  were  sold  during  the  mid  1900’s  consisted  of  mainly   love,  courtship,  sex  in  marriage,  and  forced  the  ideology  of  abstinence  unless  trying   to  procreate.4  There  was  very  little  information  on  sexual  pleasure  or  safe  sex.  In   addition,  the  Cultural  Revolution  continued  to  ban  all  forms  of  bourgeois  influence.4   Non-­‐procreative  sexual  practices  were  deemed  illegal  and  the  government   exemplified  this  law  by  producing  campaign  posters.4  The  Cultural  Revolution   engrained  the  mindset  that  sex  was  use  for  procreation  alone,  and  this  was  used  to   further  Mao’s  agenda  for  a  great  society.  Another  way  the  Chinese  government   enforced  their  power  over  sexual  actions  amongst  their  citizens  is  with  the  One   Child  Policy.     China’s  One-­‐Child  Policy  is  one  of  its  most  well-­‐known  and  somewhat   successful  (albeit  controversial)  social  initiatives.  Soon  after  the  founding  of  the   People’s  Republic  of  China,  the  government  believed  that  it  was  capable  of  finding  a   solution  to  any  problem  coming  its  way,  even  overpopulation.8  But  soon  enough,   population  growth  began  to  take  a  toll  on  the  food  supply.8  After  suffering  a  famine  


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that resulted  in  30  million  deaths,  the  government  successfully  pushed  under  the   slogan  “Late,  Long,  and  Few”.8  Unfortunately,  its  benefits  soon  leveled  off  and   more2drastic  measures  were  needed.  The  One-­‐Child  Policy  was  introduced  in  1979,   and  required  couples  from  China’s   A  propaganda  poster  promoting  the  One-­‐Child  Policy.  

ethnic Han  majority  to  have  only   one  child.8  To  this  day  the  law  still   stands,  but  adherence  and   enforcement  varies  depending  on   where  people  live.  Couples  can  be   fined  thousands  of  dollars  for   having  more  than  one  child  without   a  permit  or  are  sometimes  forced  

http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/XGh1KJzgoi.qwUx3_5lyeQ-­‐-­‐ /YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA-­‐-­‐ /http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/thesideshow/onechild.jpg

to have  abortions  or  to  be   sterilized.8  In  some  cities,  the  law  

even awards  couples  that  volunteer  to  only  have  one  child.8  Since  the  law  was   implemented  in  1979  about  250  million  births  have  been  prevented  and  has  saved   China  from  a  population  explosion.8  Conversely,  the  policy  has  also  been  noted  for   its  negative  social  consequences,  particularly  sex  discrimination.  In  Chinese  culture,   boys  are  valued  more  than  girls,  which  result  in  many  female  infanticides.8  After   1986,  when  ultrasounds  and  abortions  were  more  common,  the  gender  imbalance   in  China  widened.8  To  help  prevent  this  phenomenon,  China  banned  prenatal  sex  

4

Dunas, Felice, Dr. “A Brief History of Sex as Medicine in China.” Yang Sheng (Nurturing Life). Last modified July 15, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://yang-sheng.com/?p=3576. 5 Li, Ying, Randall R. Cottrell, Donald I. Wagner, and Maosheng Ban. “Needs and Preferences regarding Sex Education among Chinese College Students: A Preliminary Study.” International Family Planning Perspectives 30, no. 3 (2004). Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3012804.html. 6 Guo, Wei, Zheng Wu, Yue Qiu, Gong Chen, and Xiaoying Zheng. “The Timing of Sexual Debut Among Chinese Youth.” International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 38, no. 4 (December 2010): 196-204. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://jstor.org/stable/23343637. 7 Aresu, Alessandra. “Sex Education in Modern and Contemporary China: Interrupted Debates across the Last Century.” International Journal of Educational Development 29, no. 5 (2009): 532-41. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ849417. 8 Fitzpatrick, Laura. “China’s One-Child Policy.” Times, July 27, 2009. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html.


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screening in  1944,  but  studies  still  found  that  China  has  32  million  more  boys  than   girls  under  the  age  of  20.8  Although  the  One-­‐Child  Policy  has  proven  to  be  relatively   effective  in  slowing  China’s  population  growth,  many  issues  are  still  at  hand.   Couples  are  prohibited  from  having  more  than  one  child,  but  are  engaging  in  sexual   intercourse  more  than  once  in  their  relationship.8  Without  any  knowledge  of   contraceptives  or  access  to  proper  sex  education,  people  are  having  unprotected   sex,  getting  pregnant,  and  having  numerous  abortions  in  order  to  avoid  penalties.9   Young  people  are  inevitably  going  to  experiment  with  sex  at  some  point  and   married  couples  will  continue  to  have  sex  in  their  relationships.  It  is  crucial  that   people  are  informed  about  contraceptives  in  order  to  prevent  unwanted   pregnancies,  especially  if  they  wan  to  obey  the  One-­‐Child  Policy  without  health   risks.    

The lack  of  sex  education  for  China’s  youth  has  negative  affects  on  their  

health, social  life,  and  psychology;  in  addition,  it  is  causing  long-­‐term  problems  for   the  State.    One  would  expect  that  after  three  decades  of  the  One-­‐Child  policy  people   of  China  would  know  how  to  have   intercourse  without  getting  

Illustrates the  average  number  of  abortions   performed  each  year.  

pregnant, but  that  is  not  the  case.   In  July  of  2009,  Chinese  health   officials  declared  that  13  million   abortions  are  performed  in   registered  medical  clinics  each   year.3  When  taking  into  account   unregistered  medical  clinics  and   the  10  million  abortion-­‐inducing   pills  sold  every  year,  the  number   is  much  greater.3  The  question  is   why  these  millions  of  abortions  

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-­‐news/one-­‐child-­‐policy-­‐abortions-­‐ in-­‐china-­‐most-­‐are-­‐forced-­‐21819.html

are occurring  every  year  in  China,   and  the  answer  is  merely  lack  of   sex  education.  In  an  interview  done  by  Michelle  Tsai,  she  met  with  a  local  college  


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student, Hu,  and  asked  her  questions  relating  to  her  past  experience  with  sex   education  and  her  current  experience  with  sexual  relationships.  Hu  said,  “People   born  in  the  1980s  and  ‘90s  are  most  in  danger.  We’re  liberal  but  we  didn’t  have  any   sex  education.”3  Hu  and  her  college  roommates  all  arrived  at  college  as  virgins,  and   by  the  end  of  her  fourth  year  one  of  her  roommates  had  had  three  abortions  in  one   year.3  Sister  Siyu,  a  popular  question  portal  that  teens  in  China  send  their  questions   to,  receives  questions  ranging  from,  “I  am  18,  and  my  girlfriend  is  16.  We  held  and   kissed,  so  I  am  afraid  that  she  will  get  pregnant.  Will  she?”  to,  “I  am  20  years  old,  and   I’ve  had  four  abortions.  Can  I  have  a  child  when  I  get  married  in  the  future?”3  The   wide  variety  of  questions  that  Siyu  receives  illustrates  the  incredible  lack  of   knowledge  Chinese  teens  have  about  sex  and  the  negative  implications  of  their   ignorance  According  to  China   Daily,  a  survey  conducted  by  a   Shanghai  hospital  found  that   less  than  30  percent  of  hot  line   callers  knew  how  to  prevent   pregnancy.3  At  Beijing   University,  peer  educators  are   not  only  asked  questions  about   contraceptives  and  sex,  but   also  basic  questions  about   menstruation  and  how  often  to   change  maxi  pads.3  Not  only  is   the  lack  of  sex  education   affecting  teens  on  a  social  level,   http://www.nimh.nih.gov/images/news-­‐items/r2_adult-­‐hiv-­‐prevalence.jpg  

it is  also  causing  serious  health  

threats. In  2012  a  total  of  17  hundred  students  in  China  were  reported  with  HIV.   This  was  a  increase  of  24.5  percent  from  the  year  before.3  Specialist  Hu  Jia  examines   this  phenomenon  and  believes  that  sex  education  could  “act  as  a  safeguard  to  help   ward  off  the  disease.”9  China  is  home  to  more  than  seven  thousand  students  who  are   infected  with  HIV  or  AIDS  patients.9  The  National  Health  and  Family  


35

Planning34Commission reported  that  about  85  percent  of  newly  registered  HIV   cases  were  contacted  through  sex.9  These  statistics  show  how  poor  awareness  of   safe  sex  practices  are  putting  young  people  at  risk  of  being  infected  by  HIV.   Professor  Niu  Weni  from  the  School  of  Public  Health  at  Peking  University  believes   that,  “…health  education  may  be  regarded  as  an  effective  social  vaccine.  Therefore   continuing  to  carry  out  health  education  is  very  important  as  it  can  play  a  crucial   role  in  the  prevention  of  AIDS.”9  Sex  education  needs  to  be  recognized  in  schools,   and  even5students  are  starting  to  desire  for  the  lesson.  Middle  school  students  are   beginning  to  complain  that  they  are  not  receiving  enough  sex  education  from  their   teachers.10  Most  teachers  skip  over  the  sex  related  sections  in  textbooks  or  have  the   students  read  the  independently.  Expert  Geng  Wenxiu,  a  professor  from

 

9

Agencies. “Sex education key to HIV prevention among students in China.” Global Times, December 2, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/829175.shtml#.UzsttVFdXWM. 10 China Daily. “Sex Education Needs More Attention.” China.org. Last modified April 18, 2001. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Apr/11288.htm. 11 “HIV/AIDS PSA Series.” Chang Ai Media Project. Video file. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://www.campfilms.org/projects/aids/psas.htmlHI.


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East China  Normal  University,   says,  “Sex  education  in  China  is   not  a  problem  of  sex  

Magic Johnson  and  Yao  Ming  pose  for  a  picture  during   their  filming  for  Chang  Ai  Media  Project’s  PSA  series.  

knowledge, but  a  lack  of   proper  education.”10  When   students  are  looking  for   answers  to  their  sex-­‐related   questions  they  turn  to  videos   and  the  internet,  which  can   expose  teens  to  pornography   and  incorrect  information.10   Porn  reinforces  sex-­‐related  

http://www.campfilms.org/images/high-­‐res/YaoMing&MagicJohnson01.jpg

misperceptions into  teens’   minds  and  that  information  leads  to  situations  of  regret.10  Fortunately,  China  is   starting  to  realize  the  need  for  sex  education  for  their  young  people  and  is  slowly   starting  to  create  projects  to  spread  awareness  of  the  issue.  China  is  using  the  power   of  media  and  mass  conducted  surveys  to  gain  information  and  implement  new  sex   education  curriculums.  Chang  Ai  Media  Project  produced  a  handful  of  short  public   service  announcements  to  talk  about  HIV/AIDS  and  protection.11  Jackie  Chan,  Yao   Ming,  and  Magic  Johnson  took  part  in  the  PSA’s  to  talk  about  the  important  of   condoms  to  prevent  the  spread  of  HIV/AIDS.  Some  of  the  other  PSAs  discuss  how   children  infected  with  HIV/AIDS  are  still  safe  to  be  around  and  should  not  be   abandoned.11  These  PSAs  have  gone  viral  in  China  and  are  being  used  to  spread   awareness  about  HIV/AIDS.11  A  Head-­‐Royce  student,  Jenny  Zhang,  who  is  from   China,  voiced  her  opinion  on  the  controversy  of  sex  education:  “Sex  education   classes  in  schools  are  often  very  brief,  and  because  most  students  are  shy  around  


37

the topic,  very  few  will  speak  up  and  create  discussions.  The  secrecy  around  the   subject  in  turn  makes  the  students  feel  more  curious,  and  they  usually  browse  the   internet  for  information  (many  of  which  are  false).  Solutions  for  this  problem  is  not   Students  in  a  Chengdu  classroom  listen  to  their  teacher   talk  about  where  they  come  from.  

so simple  since  much  of  it  comes   from  the  conservative  culture,   but  it  will  help  if  parents  can   openly  discuss  the  subject  with   their  child.”  Some  of  the  more   liberal  thinkers  in  China  also   have  the  same  view  as  Jenny   Zhang  and  decided  to  take  the   matters  in  their  own  hands.   Unknown  producers  recently  

http://p4.img.cctvpic.com/program/newsupdate/20111201/images/13227333883 18_1322733388318_r.jpg

created a  handful  of  sex   education  related  videos  that  

went viral.13  The  videos,  all  in  Chinese,  discuss  a  variety  of  issues  ranging  from   puberty,  to  cleansing  private  parts,  to  sex  and  love.13  It  is  suggested  that  these   videos  are  intended  for  parents  to  view  with  their  young  children  since  the  message   is  depicted  with  simple  language  and  playful  drawings.13  CCTV  aired  a  short  video   segment  about  a  new  sex  education  curriculum  being  used  in  Chengdu.14  The   curriculum  focuses  on  using  art  as  a  form  of  teaching.14  One  of  the  teachers   discussed  how  it  is  difficult  for  China  to  implement  a  set  sex  education  curriculum  in   all  schools  because  of  how  massive  the  country  is.14  Xu  Zhenlei,  Secretary  General  of   China  Sexology  Association  states,  “Each  of  China's  regions  differs  a  lot…The   education  ministry  is  doing  a  lot  of  work.  They're  planning  to  set  up  a  curriculum  on   sex  education,  but  the  nation  is  too  big,  so  it's  really  hard  to  centralize  sex   education.”14  Another  way  China  is  working  to  improve  its  sex  education  curriculum   is  by  conducting  surveys  to  local  students.  Some  of  these  surveys  ask  college   students  about  what  education  they  have  received  in  the  past  and  what  type  of   education  they  want  to  receive  or  wish  that  had  received.5  These  surveys  are  


38

providing experts  with  information  to  work  with  that  will  help  to  create  a  beneficial   and  comprehensive  sex  education  for  all  of  China’s  youth.    

As a  youth  member  at  Forward  Together,  my  work  with  reaching  out  to  the  

Asian community  in  Oakland  has  presented  me  with  many  challenges  when   attempting  to  break  down  barriers  around  a  conversation  about  sex.  Many  of  the   young  Asian  people,  such  as  myself,  do  not  struggle  with  discussing  sex-­‐related   topics  amongst  friends,  but  when  it  comes  to  our  parents,  who  are  mainly   immigrants,  it  is  a  whole  other  story.  Asian  parents  who  were  not  born  and  raised  in   America  tend  to  possess  the  more  traditional  views  on  sex  and  sex  education:  it  is  a   forbidden  subject.  These  views  lead  to  many  problems  when  children  are  not  able  to   fully  communicate  with  their  parents  because  their  parents  just  do  not  understand,   which  is  where  my  work  with  Forward  Together  comes  into  play.  In  addition  to   working  to  implement  a   comprehensive  sex   education  into  OUSD,  we   also  produce  campaign   posters  and  videos  to  start   discussion  amongst  youth   and  their  parents   regarding  topics  of  sex   education.  Breaking  these   traditional  barriers  with  

“Never Ever  Getting  Sti’s  Together”  

immigrant parents  is  not  an   easy  task,  but  it  is  definitely  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfkaLq91nvA

possible and  worth  the  fight   because  the  final  outcome  will  reap  many  positive  benefits.  Older,  more  traditional,   mindsets  need  to  realize  that  sex  education  is  not  about  teaching  young  people  how   to  have  sex.  It  is  about  teaching  young  people  about  safe  sex,  health,  body  image,   anatomy,  and  so  forth.  This  research  paper  has  inspired  me  to  further  my  work  with   sex  education  and  to  one  day  take  my  passion  and  work  to  China.  China  has  a  long  


39

way to  go,  but  has  definitely  made  headway  into  improving  its  sexual  health  and   education  curriculum  for  its  young  people.6                                                

12

Zhang, Jenny. E-mail interview by the author. Head-Royce School Oakland, CA. May 5, 2014. Carter, Liz. “China’s Viral, Minut-Long Sex Ed Videos.” Tea Leaf Nation. Last modified November 5, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/11/chinas-viralminute-long-sex-ed-videos/. 14 WealthOfHealth4. “Sex Education in China.” Youtube. Video file. Posted December 1, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnUC7lAP6fg. 13


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    Final  Annotated  Bibliography   1)  Abby.  "China's  Viral  Sex  Education  Videos."  Global  Voices.  Video  file.  Posted   January  15,  2014.  Accessed  March  6,  2014.   https://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/15/chinas-­‐viral-­‐sex-­‐education-­‐ videos/.   This  short  video  is  one  of  the  many  viral  sex  ed  videos  China  has  recently   produced.  This  specific  video  focuses  on  the  penis  and  I  assume  is  meant  to   teach  young  boys  how  to  take  care  of  their  genitals.  It  uses  a  form  of  art  to   convey  its  message  and  a  little  bit  of  relatable  humor  as  well.  This  could  be   useful  when  writing  about  the  sex  education  curriculum  in  China.       2)  Agencies.  "Sex  education  key  to  HIV  prevention  among  students  in  China."  Global   Times,  December  2,  2013.  Accessed  April  3,  2014.   http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/829175.shtml#.UzsttVFdXWM.   This  article  discusses  the  spread  of  HIV/Aids  in  China  and  provides   incredible  statistics  about  the  increase  in  HIV/Aids  and  the  reported  cases  of   unprotected  sex  that  have  resulted  in  HIV/Aids.  The  information  will  be   helpful  for  me  when  I  am  writing  about  why  sex  education  in  China  is  needed   -­‐  as  a  "social  vaccine"  to  prevent  the  spreading  of  HIV/Aids.       3)  Aresu,  Alessandra.  "Sex  Education  in  Modern  and  Contemporary  China:   Interrupted  Debates  across  the  Last  Century."  International  Journal  of   Educational  Development  29,  no.  5  (2009):  532-­‐41.  Accessed  February  22,   2014.  http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ849417.   This  essay  provides  extensive  information  on  the  history  of  sex  education  in   China.  It  discusses  how  the  debates  over  sex  education  in  China  developed   and  how  history,  politics,  and  social  context  play  a  role.  Before  writing  this   annotation,  I  had  access  to  the  full  essay,  as  of  today  I  can  only  access  the   abstract/summary.  I  will  continue  to  look  for  the  full  essay,  but  even  without   it,  the  essay  abstract  has  plenty  of  useful  information.       4)  Beijing  Review  (Beijing,  China).  "Is  Sex  Education  Appropriate  for  Middle  School   Students?"  January  25,  2007,  Forum.  Accessed  April  1,  2014.   http://www.bjreview.com.cn/forum/txt/2007-­‐01/25/content_53732_2.htm.   This  news  article  has  lots  of  information  and  opinions  on  the  controversy  of   sex  education  in  China  and  why  the  Chinese  fear  teaching  sex  education.  The   information  in  this  article  will  be  helpful  for  discussing  the  reasons  China   lacks  sex  education  and  how  the  Chinese  are  working  to  alter  the  views  of  it   and  create  a  good  curriculum.        


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5) Bullough,  Vern  L.,  and  Fang-­‐fu  Ruan.  "Sex  Education  in  Mainland  China."  In  Health   Education,  16-­‐19.  Vol.  21.  Buffalo:  n.p.,  1990.  Accessed  February  22,  2014.   http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00970050.1990.10616184# preview.   This  excerpt  article  is  originally  from  a  book  about  Health  Education  in  China.   It  provides  information  on  how  Western  bourgeoise  has  influenced  China's   outlook  on  sex  education.  It  discusses  why  China  has  moved  away  from  sex   education  due  to  its  concern  with  becoming  Westernized.  It  also  gives  a  brief   overview  of  sex  education  in  China.  I  am  hoping  to  find  access  to  the  full  book   for  further  research.       6)  Carter,  Liz.  "China’s  Viral,  Minute-­‐Long  Sex  Ed  Videos."  Tea  Leaf  Nation.  Last   modified  November  5,  2013.  Accessed  March  6,  2014.   http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/11/chinas-­‐viral-­‐minute-­‐long-­‐sex-­‐ed-­‐ videos/.   This  article  provides  written  information  and  the  viral  sex  education  videos.   The  videos  are  in  Chinese,  so  I  can  understand  a  little  bit  here  and  there,  but  I   will  use  Ms.  Gong  as  a  resource  to  translate  the  videos  for  me.  The  written   portion  provides  some  statistics  on  the  number  of  schools  that  do  and  do  not   teach  sex  ed,  and  how  these  videos  are  actually  intended  for  parents  and  not   for  children.  The  writer  discusses  how  the  language  of  the  videos  is  probably   out  of  the  vocabulary  of  a  first  grader;  therefore,  the  videos  were  produced  to   aid  parents  in  the  birds  and  bees  discussion.       7)  China  Daily.  "Sex  Education  Needs  More  Attention."  China.org.  Last  modified  April   18,  2001.  Accessed  February  22,  2014.   http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Apr/11288.htm.   This  short  article  discusses  how  some  educators  in  China  are  concerned  that   sex  education  does  not  get  enough  attention.  Many  parents  do  not  discuss  the   topic  of  sex  so  their  children  are  afraid  to  ask.  Therefore,  they  get  their   information  from  unreliable  sources  and  end  up  with  more  problems.  The   writer  talks  about  how  the  problem  is  not  lack  of  knowledge,  its  lack  of   proper  education.       8)  Dunas,  Felice,  Dr.  "A  Brief  History  of  Sex  as  Medicine  in  China."  Yang  Sheng   (Nurturing  Life).  Last  modified  July  15,  2011.  Accessed  March  5,  2014.   http://yang-­‐sheng.com/?p=3576.   This  article  discusses  how  in  Ancient  China  sex  was  used  as  a  form  of   medicine  and  way  of  healing.  It  talks  about  how  ancient  rulers  kept  journals   about  their  experience  with  sex  and  their  female  teachers.  It  even  begins  to   go  into  how  it  has  influenced  modern  Chinese  medicine.  This  could  tie  into   my  research  paper  by  connecting  it  with  historical  views  of  sex  in  China.       9)  Fitzpatrick,  Laura.  "China's  One-­‐Child  Policy."  Times,  July  27,  2009.  Accessed   March  10,  2014.   http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html.  


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This brief  article  from  Times  discusses  the  history  of  the  one-­‐child  policy  and   the  opinions  of  China's  leaders  at  the  time.  It  is  helpful  for  my  historical   summary  because  I  can  talk  about  the  ins  and  outs  of  the  policy  -­‐  how  it   works,  how  it  doesn't  work.       10)  Gong,  Ying.  Interview  by  the  author.  Head-­‐Royce  School  Oakland,  CA.   I  asked  Ms.  Gong  questions  about  her  experience  with  sex  education  as  a   primary  school  student  in  China.  The  questions  covered  whether  or  not  she   received  a  sex  education,  how  she  was  affected  by  the  lack  of  or  not  lack  of   sex  education,  and  her  feelings  on  the  topic  now.  Also,  the  general  ideology  of   sex  education  in  her  home  and  hometown.  I  also  added  a  question  about  her   view  on  the  One-­‐Child  policy  and  if  she  thinks  it  is  effective.       11)  Guo,  Wei,  Zheng  Wu,  Yue  Qiu,  Gong  Chen,  and  Xiaoying  Zheng.  "The  Timing  of   Sexual  Debut  Among  Chinese  Youth."  International  Perspectives  on  Sexual  and   Reproductive  Health  38,  no.  4  (December  2010):  196-­‐204.  Accessed  March   11,  2014.  http://jstor.org/stable/23343637.   This  report  provided  to  me  by  Ms.  Goglio  is  super  informative  about  the   sexual  debut  of  Chinese  youth.  It  talks  about  a  study/research  it  did  and   background  information/history  of  sex  education  in  China.  Moreover,  where   the  ideologies  come  from  and  what  events  took  place  to  establish  those  ideas.       12)  Henneberger,  S.  "History  of  the  Policy."  China's  One  Child  Policy.  Last  modified   2007.  Accessed  March  10,  2014.   http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall07/Henneberger/History.html.   This  website  provided  me  with  a  brief  summary  of  the  history  of  the  one-­‐ child  policy.  It  helps  to  guide  me  in  a  more  specific  direction  regarding   China's  one-­‐child  policy.  This  information  will  be  used  in  my  historical   summary.  It  also  ties  in  the  Cultural  Revolution  and  the  population  growth.   From  this  exact  link,  I  am  able  to  look  through  the  rest  of  the  website's  tabs   that  discuss  implementation,  resources,  outcomes,  etc.  I  will  also  use  that   information  for  further  guidance.       13)  "HIV/AIDS  PSA  Series."  Chang  Ai  Media  Project.  Video  file.  Accessed  April  8,   2014.  http://www.campfilms.org/projects/aids/psas.htmlHI.   There  are  four  short  PSA  videos  that  were  used  to  spread  the  awareness  of   HIV/AIDS  prevention  and  how  not  protecting  oneself  can  result  in  continued   spreading  of  the  disease.  They  are  interesting  clips  that  use  famous  stars  and   young  children  to  help  share  the  message.  These  videos  will  be  helpful  when   writing  about  what  China  is  doing  to  help  improve  sex  education  in  China.       14)  Li,  Ying,  Randall  R.  Cottrell,  Donald  I.  Wagner,  and  Maosheng  Ban.  "Needs  and   Preferences  regarding  Sex  Education  among  Chinese  College  Students:  A   Preliminary  Study."  International  Family  Planning  Perspectives  30,  no.  3   (2004).  Accessed  February  22,  2014.   http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3012804.html.  


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This journal  did  an  amazing  research  study/survey  on  the  needs  and   preferences  of  teenagers  in  China  related  to  sex  education.  It  goes  over  the   methods  of  survey,  results  with  discussion,  and  the  conclusions  and   recommendations.  It  is  a  very  thorough  journal  with  extensive  and  useful   research  information  that  I  will  definitely  use  in  paper.  It  is  not  so  much   about  history,  and  more  about  today.       15)  Shanghai  Municipal  Government.  "Importance  of  parents  role  in  sex  education   for  teenagers  stressed."  Shanghai.gov.  Last  modified  June  28,  2013.  Accessed   April  8,  2014.   http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node27118/node27818/u22ai7259 0.html.   This  article  from  Shanghai's  government  discusses  why  parents  of  children  in   China  need  to  have  a  role  in  sex  education  for  their  children.  It  also  talks   about  how  both  the  school  and  parents  need  to  have  an  active  role  in   teaching  the  children  about  sex  education.  It  is  not  just  about  the  sex,  but  also   about  puberty  and  protecting  their  bodies.  The  outcome  of  parents  not   relaying  any  focus  on  their  children's  sex  education  usually  leads  to   unexpected  teenage  pregnancies.  This  article  will  be  helpful  when  I  write   about  the  negative  effects  of  no  sex  education.       16)  Tsai,  Michelle.  "Everything  You  Always  Wanted  To  Know  About  Sex  (But  Didn't   Learn  Because  You  Grew  Up  in  China)."  Slate.  Last  modified  November  4,   2009.  Accessed  March  6,  2014.   http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2009/11/eve rything_you_always_wanted_to_know_about_sex_but_didnt_learn_because_yo u_grew_up_in_china.2.html.   This  article  was  extremely  interesting  and  intriguing  on  many  levels.  The   writer  interviewed  college  students  about  their  sex  lives  and  their  past   experiences  with  sex  education  and  many  of  the  answers  were  the  same.   Along  the  lines  of  "my  teacher  didn't  want  to  teach  us,  so  she  had  us  read  the   book  and  we  couldn't  ask  questions"  and  "I've  had  3  abortions  over  the  last   year".  These  college  students  are  going  to  college  without  any  sex  education   knowledge  and  having  sex  without  protection  and  without  caution.  This   article  also  talks  about  the  attitudes  of  birth  control.  This  will  be  extremely   useful  in  my  paper  when  discussing  current  views  and  the  negative  effects   not  teaching  comprehensive  sex  ed.       17)  WealthOfHealth4.  "Sex  Education  in  China."  Youtube.  Video  file.  Posted   December  1,  2011.  Accessed  March  6,  2014.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnUC7lAP6fg.   This  short  interview  segment  is  from  CCTV  and  it  interviews  teachers  and   students  in  Chengdu  about  its  sex  education  curriculum.  The  curriculum   focuses  on  using  art  as  a  form  of  teaching.  Some  of  the  teachers  discussed   how  it  is  difficult  for  China  to  implement  a  set  sex  ed  curriculum  in  all   school's  because  of  how  massive  it  is.  It  goes  into  talk  about  how  sex  


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education in  changing  in  China  and  what  dilemmas  parents  face.  It  is  helpful   for  the  current  state  of  sex  ed  in  China.       18)  Zhang,  Jenny.  E-­‐mail  interview  by  the  author.  Head-­‐Royce  School  Oakland,  CA.   May  5,  2014.   This  interview  was  conducted  via  email.  I  asked  Jenny  a  few  questions   relating  to  sex  education  in  China,  specifically  her  view  on  the   topic/controversy  and  her  outlook  on  the  One-­‐Child  Policy.  Her  answers   were  more  thorough  than  I  had  expected.  She  even  provided  me  with  insight   on  what  her  parents  thought  of  the  situation.            


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News Coverage in the Middle East: Examining the Biases of Al Jazeera by Frankie Paris May, 2014

Abstract In my research, I examined the history and biases of the Middle Eastern news station Al Jazeera. Founded in 1996 by the Qatari government, Al Jazeera has expanded from Doha to the rest of the Middle East, much of Europe, and the United States. It played a critical role during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and again in the Arab Spring of 2011. I focused in on its coverage of the post-revolution period of Egypt’s Arab Spring and examined the controversy of its work during and after the rule of President Mohamed Morsi. To determine if the public’s accusations of Al Jazeera as a pro-Muslim Brotherhood tool of its government were accurate, I looked at analysis from the Middle East and the West, statistics from Al Jazeera articles, and a personal account of an Egyptian living in America and watching the station.


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In 2000, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dropped in unannounced on the Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Qatar and commented: “All this trouble from a matchbox like this?”1 Since its inception in November 1996, the Qatari-based news station has stirred up the Middle East and the West alike with its reports of conflict in the region. It has been called pro-Israel, a “mouthpiece for terrorists,” a spy for Mossad, and countless other conflicting allegations. In the summer of 2013, seventeen years after Al Jazeera sprung up from the barren desert of Qatar, and when I was, coincidentally, seventeen years old, I first learned about the news organization through a documentary called “Control Room.” The film launched my journalism class headfirst into the world of controversy surrounding media coverage of the war in Iraq. Produced in 2004, the documentary depicted a complex struggle between the blue-eyed American Lieutenant as the mouthpiece for the United States and the dedicated staff of Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha. The lieutenant tried to explain coalition actions that he believed in inherently and grew frustrated with the relentless questions of the Al Jazeera reporters who often had footage or reports discrediting the coalition; over the course of the documentary he began to see the Al Jazeera staff not as the enemy, but as allies in the effort for peace to which he was committed. Shortly after the documentary was filmed, the lieutenant joined Al Jazeera as a staff member. The video played right into my desire to work in international journalism, and instantly a job at Al Jazeera became my holy grail. From the documentary’s analysis of Al Jazeera’s coverage of Iraq, I saw unbiased and thorough journalists displaying amazing dedication and passion, and I believed in them and in the station instantly. Though the video was almost a decade old, I couldn’t fathom that the station could change so dramatically that it would no longer appeal to my own standards of good journalism. Later, I would find out that at the exact same time as I had discovered and fallen in love with the station, in July 2013, twenty-two Al Jazeera journalists had walked out of the Egypt bureau in protest over biased coverage of Arab Spring. When I read that news, I began to struggle with my original image of Al Jazeera. Was it possible that a station that had apparently engaged in unbiased and thorough journalism despite pressure from home and abroad -- and 1 1

Miles, Hugh. Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That is Challenging the West.


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despite living in constant danger that accompanied any journalistic efforts during the conflict in Iraq -- could be a pro-Muslim Brotherhood tool of the Qatari government? Had I misinterpreted the station’s intentions from the start? My own experience in the Middle East is limited to one trip in Egypt when I was thirteen years old. I remember staying in a hotel after a volcano eruption prevented us from flying home. Each morning, I ate breakfast while looking at a bridge in the center of Cairo. Almost exactly one year later, that bridge would be flooded with angry protesters and fire during the Arab Spring. I decided that the revolution that took place in 2011 could be the centerfold for my exploration of Al Jazeera’s biases, though I later learned that the real story lay in the succession of events afterwards. To fully understand Al Jazeera’s role in the Middle East, however, I started at the beginning. Against the backdrop of the history of media in the Middle East, Al Jazeera sticks out as a striking point of contrast. In 1865, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire decreed that journalists had to “report on the precious health of the Sultan.” The result was that all new and old forms of media were used only as propaganda tools for the government, pre-censoring their own content and completely avoiding anything that even resembled dissent. This decree determined, in practice if not in law, how news organizations operated up through the 1990’s. Newspapers arrived in the Middle East in the 19th century, when Al-Ahram, an Egyptian paper, was considered the finest Arab paper. In the mid-20th century, radio journalism emerged as outlets for Allied and Axis propaganda, followed by a series of international stations broadcasting for Arabs, including Voice of America and BBC Arabic.2 Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser created Voice of the Arabs during the Second World War to spread his own imperialist propaganda, promoting pan-Arabism and painting unflattering portraits of his enemies.3 Television began broadcasting in the sixties, which was a considerable advancement for the media, since some countries in the Middle East still have well over 50% illiteracy rates, especially for women. In the seventies and eighties, there was a surge in regional newspapers. Nevertheless, despite the expansion of the media, it remained tightly controlled by the governments. Wealthy Saudi Arabian princes funded media empires designed to promote sympathy for themselves. A Minister of Information for each country ensured that government2

Miles, 24. Doran, Michael Scott. "The Heirs of Nassar: Who Will Benefit from the Second 3 Arab Revolution?" 3


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backed news organizations put a significant focus on the day to day business of that country’s leader and stopped any possibility of dissent.4 In 1972, the Editor of Al-Ahram, Egypt’s secondoldest and most popular newspaper, Mohammed Hassanein Haykal, was a good friend of the late Egyptian President, and “the semi-official voice of the Egyptian Government” according to readers.5 Fatima Osman, an Egyptian immigrant to Berkeley, invited me into her home to talk about Al Jazeera and media as she saw it in Egypt. As she poured me a glass of homemade orange juice and offered me Egyptian sweets, she recounted the history of news agencies to which she had grown up accustomed. “We always made fun of local news,” Osman said of her experience with news before Al Jazeera’s birth. It was, according to her, unprofessional, technologically sluggish for the time, and nearly always biased, if not outright government propaganda. For her, Al Jazeera’s appearance was “refreshing.”6 For many, it was also surprising. In a region where free press was an almost unimaginable concept, Al Jazeera’s inception was an outlier. In the proper context, however, its origins do not seem so unexpected. Qatar is a peninsula in the Middle East slightly smaller than Connecticut, which borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. A barren desert stretches over most of the arid country, and only 1.2% of the land is arable. Despite the apparent lack of natural resources, this little country with a population of just over two million has the highest GDP per capita in the world at 102 thousand US dollars: the nation’s wealth is a direct result of the major petroleum deposits located under the country. Oil and gas account for more than half of the GDP and about 85% of export earnings. The population is only 40% Arab but over three-quarters Muslim, with a 96% literacy rate that hardly differs between men and women, who are expected, on average, to spend the same number of years in school.7 4

Miles, 24. Turck, Nancy B. "The Authoritative Al-Ahram." Saudi Aramco World, September/ 5 October 1972. 6 Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. 7 "The World Factbook." Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/ 7 publications/the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html. 5


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Much of the gender equity stems from reforms by former Emir Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, and his second wife, Sheikha Moza. Al Thani, who seized power from his father in 1995, was a “Western-educated technocrat”8 and the youngest ruler in the Gulf at forty-four. He and Sheikha Moza worked from the outset of his rule to elevate Qatar’s position on an international scale, incorporate more elements of democracy, increase the national level of education, and implement many other reforms that defied the status quo, both for Qatar and for the entire Middle East. It was in this atmosphere that the Emir issued a decree to establish a satellite news channel that would be independent of his control: Al Jazeera. With the Emir’s grant of $140 million, Al Jazeera -- literally translated as “The Peninsula” -- began broadcasting on November 1, 1996.9 By 1999, Al Jazeera had a foothold on the news market in the Middle East, and it expanded from six to 24 hours a day. The network did not make a splash on the international scale, however, until the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. In an article published October 8th, 2001, the day after the United States and the United Kingdom launched the joint Operation Enduring Freedom, New York Times reporters Jim Rutenburg and Bill Carter conceded that “networks have not had an easy time stationing people in Taliban-held Afghanistan.”10 That language is a broad understatement: after the events of September 11th, foreign journalists could only get access to northern areas of Afghanistan held by the Northern Alliance, and Al Jazeera had the only camera crew in the Taliban-controlled zone.11 Al Jazeera’s biggest advantage was that it was there, on the ground, during each conflict, a feat that no Western news channel could compare with12. As a result, many overseas news stations had no choice but to use Al Jazeera’s footage, with its watermark, for their own broadcasts about the conflict -- and many viewers worldwide began watching the channel itself. With international publicity came harsh scrutiny from the West. In the years since its founding, Al Jazeera had been rebuked and accused of purposeful malice by almost every government in the Middle East; however, none attacked the outlet with as much vitriol as the Western world. Starting from Al Jazeera’s broadcast of a message pre-recorded by Osama bin 8

Miles, 14. "Al Jazeera Timeline." http://www.journalism.org/2006/08/22/al-jazeera-timeline/ 10 Rutenberg, Jim, and Bill Carter. "A Nation Challenged: Media; After the Military 10 Strikes, Solid Information and Details Were Slow in Arriving." New York 10 Times, October 8, 2001. 11 Miles, 114 12 Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. 9


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Laden on September 16th, 2001, following the September 11th attack, the United States media and government both called for Al Jazeera to be censored or at least discredited. A CNN article from October 3rd, 2001 reported that the Bush administration asked the Qatari government to restrain Al Jazeera since the network “continues to run an old television interview with Osama bin Laden and has invited anti-American guests who have argued that U.S. foreign policy was to blame for the September 11 terrorist attacks.”13 US accusations and complaints about Al Jazeera’s intentions continued in the same fashion throughout the war, but they had very little effect on the station’s viewership: though the major United States broadcasters made a point of putting disclaimers on all Al Jazeera footage they used, if they wanted direct footage of the war, they had no choice but to continue to use the stations’ clips. Just as CNN’s favorable position during the Gulf War made that channel, Afghanistan rocketed Al Jazeera from international obscurity to a well-known news station, and its work in Iraq only continued that trend. Al Jazeera’s role during the war in Iraq further depicts both its rocky relationship with Western media and governments as well as its unique position on the ground. In March 2003, Al Jazeera had the only news team in the city of Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, inside of which the living conditions had deteriorated significantly. When international pressure was focused on the coalition, in part due to Al Jazeera, to assist the people, British troops gathered outside of the city. Faced with the decision of either sending in ground troops, which would cause considerable losses of coalition forces, or launching an air raid, which would result in numerous civilian casualties, the coalition did not act immediately. After a short time, a convenient rumor came to pass: that a popular uprising had taken to the streets. After the fullscale artillery assault had slowed, Al Jazeera’s Basra correspondent showed the world those streets, deserted and silent, with no sign of an uprising. Shortly afterward, Al Jazeera disproved another coalition claim, by doing a live interview with the head of the Iraqi 51st Division in

13 13

Koppel, Andrea, and Elise Labott. "U.S. Pressures Qatar to Restrain TV Outlet." CNN, October 3, 2001.


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Basra, whom the coalition had reported had given himself up.14 Al Jazeera approached its coverage of Iraq in the same fashion as the events in Basra throughout the whole war. It stuck to its policy of “the opinion and the other opinion,” interviewing, among others, “Ba’athists, neoconservatives, anti-war Europeans, Kurdish and Arab nationalists,” with “an impressive display of diversity,” according to Saudi-Arabian-born and Western-educated journalist Hugh Miles.15 Western media also eventually gave some praise about Al Jazeera’s work in Iraq: the documentary Control Room tried to portray to Westerns who had strong biases against any news coming out of the Middle East a more accurate picture of Al Jazeera’s thorough coverage. To be sure, Joan Tucker, manager of AlJazeera.net, pointed out in “Control Room” that, especially in a war, “this word objectivity is almost a mirage.”16 Miles wrote of Iraq that Al Jazeera’s tone was often “sympathetic to Iraqis,” but that it was a natural consequence of speaking the same language and sharing the same culture; for the most part, he believed, Al Jazeera’s coverage of the war appeared to have been holistic.17 For Fatima Osman, this period of coverage by Al Jazeera was something to be grateful for. By broadcasting in Arabic, her language, and showing the point of view of the Arabs, Al Jazeera filled a hole in the media. As an Arab abroad, she found that it was a window both to the Arab perspective on huge events, like the war in Iraq, and the everyday life in Egypt. And in contrast to some of the news stations she had grown up with in Egypt, the coverage was “impeccable.” She was struck by how professional the program was, from the grammatically correct, formal language to the thorough research; for her, up until 2012, Al Jazeera was “a joy to watch.” In my research of Al Jazeera pre-Arab Spring, I found both criticism and praise of the station’s work, but a majority of both Westerner and Middle Eastern opinions were favorable 14

Miles, 246 Miles 244 16 Shillue, Edith. “Objectivity in the Mirage: Al-Jazeera and the Struggle to Report a War.” Vietnam Veterans Against the War. 17 Miles, 355 15


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towards the station. I knew that Al Jazeera was funded almost entirely by the Qatari government, a fact which friends and family to whom I mentioned the project never failed to point out, but I saw little indication that its funding had ever had any significant impact on its output. Upon occasion, Al Jazeera’s aggressive coverage actually stirred up trouble for Doha. During conflicts in the Middle East, from the Second Intifada through the Iraq War, a large number of Arab governments criticized Qatar when Al Jazeera reported on something that portrayed them in an unflattering light; several even temporarily suspended diplomatic relations or withdrew an ambassador over the stations’ work. During the war in Iraq, though Qatar was the United States’ ally of choice in the region, Al Jazeera did not hesitate to show images or footage that directly undermined official coalition statements or even provoked anti-American sentiment, though they often played side by side with criticism of the Iraqi regime. It seemed that the station was providing exactly what it promised: “the opinion and the other opinion.” When I turned my research to more recent events, during and after the revolutions that sprung up all over the Middle East in 2011, I found a different story entirely. For Western news organizations, coverage of Arab Spring was an exercise in parachute journalism. The term refers to news organizations “parachuting” or entering without context into a conflict-filled region. At the outset of the Egyptian Revolution, the demand for news about Egypt was higher than ever: the Pew Research Journalism Project found that 56% of all news coverage during the week of January 31st, 2011, was focused on Egypt.18 The Western news media’s capability to provide this news, however, was somewhat lacking. A report issued in June 2012 by the BBC Trust, which analyses and governs the work of the BBC, found that the BBC’s coverage of the unfolding events in the Middle East though generally “commendable” lacked “breadth and context.”19 Matthew Kalman, a foreign correspondent from Cambridge University working in Jerusalem, pointed out that Western journalists are attracted to the excitement of events like Arab Spring, but often enter places like the Middle East with little knowledge of the country or the whole picture. The more high-profile the journalist or anchor is, the less time he may have to stay in the country, and the more difficult it is to produce an unbiased, realistic

18

Pew Research Center. “The Fall of Mubarak and the Media.” Pew Research Journalism Project. Last modified February 12, 2011. 19 BBC Trust. “BBC’s ‘Arab Spring’ coverage remarkable and generally impartial, but could have benefited from more breadth and context, Trust review concludes.” News release. June 12, 2012.


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description of events. This sort of coverage, Kalman claimed, when it does not cause inaccuracies, frequently leads to sensationalism.20 Al Jazeera’s key advantage during the Egyptian Revolution in Arab Spring, therefore, was its deep familiarity with Egyptian politics, culture, and history. Similarly to the beginnings of the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, Al Jazeera had a fully-staffed bureau in Egypt and was wellprepared to cover the events as they unfolded. “I was glued to Al Jazeera,” Osman recalled. “Everyone turned to Al Jazeera for coverage. It was one of the only ways to see the protests, and it brought more people to them.” She said that many of the Egyptian news channels showed pictures of the Nile with “the sun shining,” and gave no indication of the monumental events taking place in Cairo, while Al Jazeera was on the ground, interviewing protesters and actually encouraging people to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak. It repeatedly broadcast one clip from Tahrir Square entitled “The Will of the People,” and even after Mubarak had their offices shut down, they continued broadcasting the protests with their cellphones.21 Protesters held up signs and banners expressing their gratitude towards Al Jazeera for allowing the rest of the world to watch the revolution. For Al Jazeera, early 2011 was a high point, a “watershed moment” according to Guardian reporter James Cameron.22 For Osman, it was the last time that the station would hold credibility in her eyes. Al Jazeera’s coverage of the events that followed the revolution revealed fundamental issues in the station that had never been so clear in its history. The language used in Western media to describe Al Jazeera’s reporting from the period after the Egyptian Revolution is eerily similar to the language used during the wars in 20

Davies, Neil. “Parachute journalism leads to poor Middle Eastern reporting.” The Digital Universe, March 4, 2014. 21 Eldar, Shlomi. “The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera.” Al Monitor, July 14, 2013. 22 Cameron, James. “Journalism and a world in transition: Wadah Khanfar’s James Cameron memorial lecture.” The Guardian, October 7, 2011.


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Afghanistan and Iraq. One article from The Commentator from 2013 calls Al Jazeera a “propaganda broadcaster” and insinuates that it works as a tool for the Qatari government, both of which were common jabs thrown at the station by many Western politicians during the early 2000’s. For example, in 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the United States knows “that Al Jazeera has a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again,” but retrospective research of Al Jazeera’s role demonstrates that that is not the case.23 There is no shortage of historical examples of governments tossing names and accusations at Al Jazeera as punishment for unfavorable coverage; therefore, it is important to consider reports of Al Jazeera’s heavily biased coverage from both a Middle Eastern and a Western perspective. In this case, criticisms of bias have been evident throughout the international community: Middle Easterners and Westerners alike can see that Al Jazeera has been virulently supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi. Al Jazeera’s own staff’s reaction to its coverage from Egypt has shown that bias clearly. On July 8th, 2013, just after the ousting of President Morsi by the military, 22 staff members resigned from Al Jazeera’s bureau in Egypt in protest over its pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant. Al-Jazeera correspondent Haggag Salama claimed that the station was “airing lies and misleading viewers.”24 Fatima Nabil was a journalist and news anchor who was among the 22 to quit. “We received explicit instructions to support the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said, “during all discussions that took place in the studio.” She said that she and her colleagues wanted to prevent a civil war, “like other journalists,” but they were being instructed to encourage the Muslim Brotherhood to revolt. “That would have led to bloodshed.”25 Perhaps the most striking example of Al Jazeera’s bias is evident in the coverage of the protest that precipitated Morsi’s ousting and the exodus of staff members. On June 30th, 2013, an enormous crowd of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir square and in the surrounding streets to protest the Muslim Brotherhood. The estimates of how many people were actually in the protest ranges from half a million to 30 million; an anonymous military source told Reuters that estimates from helicopters above the city suggested 14 million, while a Guardian article stated that only 500,000 Egyptians joined in the protest. Nevertheless, the protests were immense by 23

Curiel, Jonathan. “Whose truth in Iraq? / Arab network profiled in superb documentary.” SF Gate, June 11, 2004. 24 Chasmar, Jessica. “‘We aired lies’: Al-Jazeera staff quit over biased Egypt coverage.” Washington Times, July 9, 2013. 25 Eldar, Shlomi. “The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera.”Al Monitor, July 14, 2013.


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any account: "The scenes of protests are unprecedented in size and scope,” attested Michael Hanna, a Century Foundation fellow and longtime Egypt analyst, in the article from the Guardian, “and seemingly surpass those during the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak.”26 Al Jazeera coverage, however, downplayed considerably the extent of the protests and supported Morsi with little consideration for “the other opinion.” One Al Jazeera article from July 2013 condemns the large estimates of protesters, repeating several times that the only sources have been anonymous military members, and referring to the protest as a “mirage” and an “unsavory military coup.”27 The latter part almost directly echoes Brotherhood politician Essam El-Erain’s denunciation of the protests as a “coup attempt,” in a statement which he published on the Brotherhood’s website at the time of the protests.28 Another article from the same month claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters “represent a large part of Egypt's population, perhaps half or more;”29 however, a Washington Times report placed public support for the Muslim Brotherhood between 25 and 29 percent of the population. Another discrepancy lay in the legitimacy of the ousting of Morsi. Both the Washington Times report and the Reuters article touched upon the frustration of the Egyptian people with the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Al Jazeera’s reports on the situation described the protests and eventual ousting as a military coup that was undoing all of the progress the country had made towards democracy after Mubarak had been overthrown. One government critic, quoted in the Washington Times, refuted that claim. Though Morsi had been elected democratically, businessman Hassan Shanab noted that he had not governed in the same fashion. “Since he took over, everything’s been polarised,” said Shanab. “All of a sudden, we see ourselves part of an Islamic regime like Iran. Morsi’s answerable to the Brotherhood, but they are not answerable to us.”30 Similarly, a Reuters article claimed that many of the protesters believed the Muslim Brotherhood was “using electoral victories to monopolize power and impose Islamic law.”31

26

Kingsley, Patrick. “Protesters across Egypt call for Mohamed Morsi to go.” The Guardian (Cairo), June 30, 2013. 27 Blumenthal, Max. “People, power, or propaganda? Unraveling the Egyptian opposition.” Al Jazeera, July 19, 2013. 28 Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh. “Millions flood Egypt’s streets to demand Mursi quit.” Reuters. 29 Dersso, Solomon. “June 30th: Egypt’s Pandora’s Box.” Al Jazeera, July 26, 2013. 30 Chasmar, Jessica. 31 Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh.


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Many within and outside of Egypt believe that Al Jazeera’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant is the result of the Qatari government’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood date back to the 1960’s, when the Qatar recruited a wealth of Islamist Egyptian teachers, including Abdul-Badi Saqr, who helped set up the young country’s educational system. During the Arab Spring, Qatar supported the Muslim Brotherhood as it gained popularity, seeking to increase its own status in the Middle East.32 A direct result of that support was the Doha’s increased control over Al Jazeera’s coverage of the events in Egypt, which it was able to exercise because Al Jazeera is funded almost entirely by the government. The public reaction to Al Jazeera’s recent bias has been noticeable. “Al Jazeera’s credibility has fallen in Egypt,” said Osman. In contrast, she has always had a lot of respect for the work of the BBC in the Arab world. BBC Arabic’s recent rise in viewership, a gain of more than 10 million in 2012, suggests that others like Osman could be turning their backs on Al Jazeera after recent events. The question remains, of course, of how and why Al Jazeera’s direction shifted. In reality, its biases did not magically appear in 2012; they have been a factor since the channels’ inception. In 2011, the station was strongly supportive of deposing Mubarak; however, the bias went largely unnoticed since it was a belief also held by millions of Egyptians. Al Jazeera has always received nearly all of its funding from Qatar, and has a history of downplaying any potential criticism against the Qatari government, even on the same issues that it challenges other nations on. Yet, in a culture within which free press has never flourished, this may be the only way for a local news channel to do the kind of job that Al Jazeera has done. Nevertheless, while Al Jazeera’s pro-Qatar and pro-supporters of Qatar slant may have always existed, it was largely irrelevant for the first decade and a half of the station’s existence -and perhaps unavoidable. At the World Affairs Council that I attended in March, Ray Suarez, an American journalist recently hired by Al Jazeera America, received a question from the audience 32

Williams, Lauren. "Inside Doha, at the heart of a GCC dispute." The National.


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asking if he believed Al Jazeera was a Middle Eastern news organization with a Middle Eastern slant. “Is the BBC a British news organization with a British slant?” he responded.33 Prior to its coverage of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Al Jazeera was able to provide coverage that was ahead of any other station in the Middle East in terms of both objectivity and quality. In addition to unique coverage and well-researched news, Al Jazeera provided the impetus for local Middle Eastern news stations to improve -- and even training for some of their journalists. Though few rival Al Jazeera in terms of professionalism and technical skill, many of the stations that Fatima Osman once made fun of have had to make advances to stay competitive. Osman, who is one of many Egyptians at home and abroad who are resisting Al Jazeera by turning to other news sources, admitted that they owe it in part to Al Jazeera’s presence that there are other channels worth watching. I no longer want to work for Al Jazeera, not as it stands right now, because I believe that the station’s bias can not be changed by the individual reporters, as witnessed by their exodus from the bureau in Egypt in 2013. But even though its story has turned a dark corner recently, I am still impressed by the channel, which is only appropriate; Al Jazeera has left a huge impression on the Middle East and the world. From its ground-breaking coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to its role in spurring on the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, Al Jazeera has swept the Arab world and given many hope. It has played a role in raising standards for journalism all over the region, and it has given the rest of the world access to world-changing conflicts. Al Jazeera’s recent coverage comes as a huge disappointment to me, considering the initial impression I garnered from “Control Room;” nonetheless, it does not entirely erase the hope and inspiration that the station’s earlier work instilled in me. If anything, it challenges me to examine the news that I hear every day, from Fox to NPR. Bias is, after all, a universal issue. As someone who wishes to deliver the news one day, but also as just a citizen who is besieged by news from every direction in this age of new media, it is my responsibility to look for and begin to understand those biases, so I can understand the different lenses through which we all look at the world.

33

Suarez, Ray. Interview by Jane M. Wales. San Francisco, CA. March 21, 2014.


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Bibliography Al Jazeera. "Memo: Bush wanted Aljazeera bombed." November 22, 2005. http://www.aljazeera.com/ archive/2005/11/2008410151627996559.html. Al Jazeera's account of the bombing memo incident of 2005. The information provided here is very similar to that in most other publications; since the memo was never published, there isn't very much concrete evidence. Several very anti-American Middle Easterners quoted here. Interesting ideas about US/Middle East relationship with respect to journalism.

"Al Jazeera Timeline." http://www.journalism.org/2006/08/22/al-jazeera-timeline/. Pew Research Center's history of major events regarding Al Jazeera from its inception through 2006, around when the attitude of the US towards Al Jazeera appeared to be shifting. Good and unbiased overview, with interesting specific details that are relevant to the US/Middle East press relationship.

Aly, Ramy, Brian Whitaker, Roger Hardy, and Marwan Bishara. "Covering the Arab Spring: Are the Media Getting it Wrong?" Speech, London School of Economics and Political Science, November 24, 2011. English, American and Middle Eastern perspectives on coverage of Arab spring and its reflection of broader international journalistic work. 45 minutes, with some focus on social media (less relevant), but significant time devoted to very relevant ideas.

BBC Trust. "BBC's 'Arab Spring' coverage remarkable and generally impartial, but could have benefited from more breadth and context, Trust review concludes." News release. June 12, 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2012/arab_spring.html. BBC Trust is an organization that works independently from the BBC to review the network's quality. Useful view of western criticism of its own media, though fairly vague in its details of actual coverage. Particularly useful to look at in comparison to a BBC article.

Bin Laden, Osama. Interview by Tayseer Allouni. October 2001. Primary document. 2001 interview that Al Jazeera did with Osama bin Laden, which provoked serious controversy among western media, who claimed Al Jazeera was giving a voice to terrorism.

Blumenthal, Max. "People, power, or propaganda? Unraveling the Egyptian opposition." Al Jazeera, July 19, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/2013717115756410917.html. An entire report that contests the number of protesters proposed by the international media, which Al Jazeera claims ranges from 14 to 30 million (in reality, estimates start as low as 500,000 and stay well below 30 million for the most part). Proposes that no more than 2.8


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million people could have been in the protest and suggests that "the people" aren't behind this. Refers to the ousting of Morsi as a "unsavory military coup" and the protests as a "mirage."

Cameron, James. "Journalism and a world in transition: Wadah Khanfar's James Cameron memorial lecture." The Guardian, October 7, 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/07/ james-cameron-memorial-lecture-al-jazeera. An examination of Al Jazeera just months after the revolution. The latter part of the article looks at the media in the Middle East before and during Arab Spring, with only the first section focusing on Al Jazeera's coverage. Al Jazeera portrayed in a heroic, celebratory light.

Chasmar, Jessica. "‘We aired lies’: Al-Jazeera staff quit over biased Egypt coverage." Washington Times, July 9, 2013. A brief summary of the events of July 8th 2013, made up mostly of quotes from a couple of staff members. All accusations against Al Jazeera in the article come from former staff members and another Arab journalist.

Curiel, Jonathan. "Whose truth in Iraq? / Arab network profiled in superb documentary." SF Gate, June 11, 2004. http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/ Whose-truth-in-Iraq-Arab-network-profiled-in-2750357.php. A positive review of the documentary "Control Room" touching on many of the film's major points, which also highlights some of the controversy over the film (the censorship of Lieutenant Rushing since it aired, the potential effect of American viewers' biases on their interpretations of the film's biases).

Davies, Neil. "Parachute journalism leads to poor Middle Eastern reportig." The Digital Universe, March 4, 2014. http://universe.byu.edu/2014/03/04/ parachute-journalism-leads-to-poor-middle-eastern-reporting/. A summary of Matthew Kalman, Jerusalem-based foreign correspondent, talking about the pitfalls of parachute journalism, and its effects during the Arab Spring. Interesting comparison to Al Jazeera's on the ground coverage.

Dersso, Solomon. "June 30th: Egypt's Pandora's Box." Al Jazeera, July 26, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/20137239598320302.html. In considering the legitimacy of the ousting of Morsi, the article compares it to the ousting of Mubarak. Considers the Egyptian support for the Muslim Brotherhood to be half the population ("or more"), which is twice the estimate of most other news sources. Condemns the protests of June 30th for reversing all of Egypt's democratic progress.


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Doran, Michael Scott. "The Heirs of Nassar: Who Will Benefit from the Second Arab Revolution?" Information relates mainly to politics and revolution, with little focus on the media; however, there is information about the Nasserite Voice of the Arabs radio station, which was mentioned in Miles' book.

Eldar, Shlomi. "The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera." Al Monitor, July 14, 2013. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/al-jazeera-political-agenda.html#. Al Monitor is a Middle Eastern news agency founded recently with journalists from all over the Middle East. This article is a thorough examination of Al Jazeera's coverage in the past few years, and particularly in Egypt, but appears to be very heavily anti-Al Jazeera, as the entirety of the piece attacks AJ. Interesting example of the interplay within the Middle Eastern media.

Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh. "Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit." Reuters. http://Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit. Contains some numerical discrepancies related to June 30th, but takes a questioning stance against some of the higher estimates. Focuses less on the exact number of protesters and more on the meaning and impact of the protest. Some examination of the possibility that the protests are a "coup," and consideration of pro- and anti-Morsi Egyptians' voices.

Hashem, Ali. "The Arab spring has shaken Arab TV's credibility." The Guardian, April 3, 2012. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-spring-arab-tv-credibility. Focuses on Arab Spring as a whole rather than events in Egypt, but echoes the same ideas evident in other, Egypt-specific articles, about the shift in Al Jazeera coverage and that of Arab media as a whole. Written by a Lebanese journalist who previously worked for Al Jazeera, before quitting in protest over coverage of Syria.

Hussein, Ghaffar. "The collapse of Al-Jazeera's credibility." The Commentator, February 18, 2013. http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2741/the_collapse_of_al_jazeera_s_credibility. Seems to be heavily biased against Al Jazeera. Much of the language is reminiscent of anti-Al Jazeera speech made during Afghanistan and Iraq by US government officials, including Donald Rumsfeld (eg: the word propaganda is used multiple times).

Interview by Matthew Schweitzer and Dahr Jamail. February 14, 2012. Primary document: an interview with the Online News Producer for Al Jazeera, who worked independently as a journalist during the Iraq War. He talks succinctly about the media's fight to censor the press, both Middle Eastern (Al Jazeera) and US (Jamail, at the time). He also brings up the concept of blacklisting by the US army during the Iraq War.


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"Iraq." Freedomhouse. http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/iraq#.Uxlg3UtX9Ts. Detailed year by year reports from 2002 onward about the state of the press in Iraq (it has the same for other Middle Eastern countries, but Iraq connects to the other research I've done). Very useful, dense information about specific cases of journalists being censored, injured, arrested, and killed, that connect to broader patterns regarding freedom of the press in Iraq.

Kholaif, Dhalia. "Egypt coup spotlights local media complaints." Al Jazeera (Cairo), July 24, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/201372481744205475.html. Al Jazeera's report on media biases in Egypt addresses the ever present threat of danger for journalists that is underplayed in many western media articles on Middle Eastern reporting. Briefly addresses Al Jazeera's own situation, but focuses mostly on the journalistic situation in Egypt as a whole.

Kingsley, Patrick. "Protesters across Egypt call for Mohamed Morsi to go." The Guardian (Cairo), June 30, 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/30/mohamed-morsi-egypt-protests. Description of the events of June 30th, 2013, with no exact count; the issue of the discrepancy in numbers is addressed briefly and is not the focus of the artice. Input from proand anti-Morsi Egyptians, as well as context for the protests.

Koppel, Andrea, and Elise Labott. "U.S. Pressures Qatar to Restrain TV Outlet." CNN, October 3, 2001. http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/10/03/ret.us.qatar/. Fairly unbiased CNN article on the specific incident of the Bush administration requesting the Qatari government to reign in Al Jazeera's unflattering reporting of American actions before the war in Afghanistan began officially. Many important public statements from US and Qatari officials included.

Miles, Hugh. Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That is Challenging the West. An examination of Al Jazeera's position in the cross-hairs of the West and the Middle East. Discusses how Al Jazeera is criticized and censored by Middle Eastern governments, while called a mouthpiece for terrorists by the web.

Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. I spoke with Fatima about her personal experience watching Al Jazeera. Though she came to the States more than two decades ago, Al Jazeera has been her primary news source for years, and her story is a first-hand account of its meteoric rise in the 90's and 2000's and its loss of credibility in the eyes of Middle Easterners after the fall of President Mubarak.

Pew Research Center. "Events in Egypt Trigger Record Coverage." Pew Research Journalism Project. http://www.journalism.org/2011/02/05/pej-news-coverage-index-january-31-february-6-2011/.


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Pew report on the end of January in the media, and the huge international media focus on Egypt, with an analysis on why it was captivating to American viewers.

———. "The Fall of Mubarak and the Media." Pew Research Journalism Project. Last modified February 12, 2011. http://www.journalism.org/2011/02/12/ pej-news-coverage-index-february-713-2011/. Broad overview of American coverage of the fall of Mubarak. Shallow but widely ranging glance at the reactions of a number of US newspapers/television news stations that, taken as a whole, seem to reflect the US media as a whole.

Political Crisis in Egypt. "Al-Jazeera Staffers Quit Over Alleged Bias In Egypt Coverage." Natl. Public Radio. July 10, 2013. Hosted by Robert Siegel. http://www.npr.org/2013/07/10/200823466/ al-jazeera-staffers-quit-over-alleged-bias-in-egypt-coverage. Interview with Courtney Radsch, formerly of Freedomhouse, Arab media expert. Fairly positive view Al Jazeera, even in light of 22 staff members quitting. Consideration of Al Jazeera's controversial coverage in relation to the general events in Egypt.

Reeve, William. "Al-Jazeera Kabul Offices Hit in US Raid." BBC News, November 13, 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1653887.stm. Primary document that reflects attitudes in the West towards Al Jazeera at the time of the missile that hit the Kabul bureau. Similar context about Al Jazeera in Afghanistan as other articles, but particular details about the incident.

Rutenberg, Jim, and Bill Carter. "A Nation Challenged: Media; After the Military Strikes, Solid Information and Details Were Slow in Arriving." New York Times, October 8, 2001. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/08/business/ nation-challenged-media-after-military-strikes-solid-information-details-were.html. Primary document: examination of the US' lack of media capability in Afghanistan at the time of the first strikes. Acknowledgment and description of Al Jazeera's role in delivering news from the area.

Seib, Philip. The Al Jazeera Effect. N.p.: Potomac Books, 2008. In-depth analysis of Al Jazeera's effect on foreign and domestic policy. Several chapters on freedom of the press and its connection to the democratization of the Middle East. Analysis of Al Jazeera's modern news techniques and the effects of those on how the Middle East connects to the rest of the world. Found it as a cited source on a Wikipedia article about the history of Al Jazeera.

Shaban, Mohamed Hassan. "22 resign from Al-Jazeera Egypt in protest over bias." Asharq Al-Awsat


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(Cairo), July 10, 2013. http://www.aawsat.net/2013/07/article55309195. Almost entirely fact-based article. Describes the recent departure of 22 members of the Egypt bureau with brief context. Interesting quote from one particular reporter about AJ's potential bias towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

Shillue, Edith. "Objectivity in the Mirage: Al-Jazeera and the Struggle to Report a War." Vietnam Veterans Against the War. http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=531. A review of the 2004 documentary Control Room, focusing on the idea of objective reporting during war time as it is explored in the film.

Suarez, Ray. Interview by Jane M. Wales. San Francisco, CA. March 21, 2014. World Affairs Council interview with Ray Suarez, host of Inside Story on Al Jazeera America. For the first part of the question and answer session, he talks about Al Jazeera as a Middle Eastern news organization and how he perceives its slant.

Turck, Nancy B. "The Authoritative Al-Ahram." Saudi Aramco World, September/October 1972. 1972 article on another source of media in the Middle East: Egypt's Al-Ahram. Balanced view of the newspaper, with minor focus on the influence of the government and more on the history and logistics of the paper. Useful as a first-hand source of public opinion on the paper, which has been influential in Egyptian media history.

Williams, Lauren. "Inside Doha, at the heart of a GCC dispute." The National. http://www.thenational.ae/world/qatar/inside-doha-at-the-heart-of-a-gcc-dispute. Simple and succinct examination of Qatar's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood both in the past and currently.

"The World Factbook." Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/ the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html. Broad overview of Qatar and all Middle Eastern countries with regards to population, geography, economics, politics, and more -- very useful and rich source of background information and context. Pictures: 1.

Qatar - https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1346/5122771659_d881ed8e20_z.jpg

2.

Cartoon - http://www.greenberg-art.com/.Toons/.Toons,%20Media/qqxsgAlJazeera.gif

3.

“The Revolution has been televised” - http://static.guim.co.uk/sysimages/Guardian/About/General/2011/10/7/1318005956848/Al-Jazeera-007.jpg

4.

“Al Jazeera = Freedom?” - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-springarab-tv-credibility

5.

Cover picture: http://mediablinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/aljazeera-jobs.jpg


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Sierra Leone: Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Aid in a Developing Country By Hindoveeh Etheridge-Bullie In this paper, I explore the benefits and drawbacks of foreign aid in Sierra Leone. Through mostly personal narratives, I try and paint the picture of the current state of the country, and how it got to be where it is. I add analysis as to where the country is headed, and what the country must do to capitalize on its immense potential that has so far, gone misused by the likes of foreigners and corrupt systems. I explore what certain governmental and non governmental groups claim to be doing, and also give personal opinions based on my own research. In the end I find that the answer to my question of whether foreign aid is benefitting the country or not is much more complex than it initially seemed to be, and can be interpreted in many different ways.

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Recently, I accompanied my father on a trip to Sierra Leone, West Africa, to visit his place of birth. On June 19th I arrived at Lungi Airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Within twenty minutes, I came to a sudden and shocking realization: this wasn't at all what I had pictured. The grim, nightmarish idea that was imprinted in my mind since the day I had found out I was coming here, of a disorderly and chaotic city that had fallen to a rebel army, was quickly replaced with the much more pleasant reality of tightly knit communities where everyone seemed to genuinely care for each other. This was unlike anything I had ever witnessed in the Bay Area. Initially when my dad brought up the idea of going to Sierra Leone with him, more than anything I was hesitant and somewhat reluctant to agree because while I recognized that I would learn a tremendous amount my heritage and extended community in the country, I was also worried about how I’d assimilate given that he planned to stay for a month at the very least. On the one hand, I felt a strong affinity for this culture because after all, a whole side of my family lives over there. On the other hand, I knew nothing about them and had more questions than connections with my father, Joseph Bullie’s, family. I knew I would certainly have trouble communicating and identifying with them due to the simple fact that I was not (and still am not) at all proficient in either languages that they speak, nor do I share any similar experiences with them because I’ve grown up in such a different environment. At least that’s what I initially thought. Whenever I discussed my upcoming trip to Sierra Leone with my friends from HeadRoyce, the first question I got was, "Isn't that the place where 'Blood Diamonds' was filmed? The country with the child soldiers?”. There was a death toll of approximately 50,000 as a result of the decade long war, and even after five years of peace, it still ranked as the second lowest country on the U.N.’s human development index list1. From that point on I could sense that there was an aspect of unspoken judgment from some of my peers directed at the people in Sierra Leone, my people. More than anything I think my friends' reactions served as an incentive for me to go and see for myself how life really was there. I remember getting all of my vaccinations for the trip and thinking to myself “what have I gotten myself into?” Of course I knew my dad wouldn’t take me somewhere unsafe, but there was no question that I’d be out of my element. My father had returned to his village only a few times since the day my grandfather had adopted him and brought him to Berkeley, a story which

1

"FACTBOX-Sierra Leone's Civil War." | Reuters. N.p., 02 Aug. 2007. Web. 3 May 2014. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/08/02/uk-leone-warcrimes-war-idUKL0286217420070802>.


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I will go into more detail later, and he had been reluctant to take me previously due to the ongoing civil war between the rebel group and the government army, as well as the tension and animosity a lot of people felt towards foreigners because they felt as if it weren’t for the intervention of foreigners in their countries affairs (mainly politics and resource harvesting) they would not be in this violent state. This trip has sparked my interest in the diverse community of Sierra Leone. Though the country itself is commonly described as “undeveloped,” I believe that this description could not be any further from the truth. Booker T. Washington stated that, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”; his words seem to encapsulate what I witnessed. By our standards, Sierra Leone is far from an appealing country. On the contrary, true beauty is in the eye of the beholder; given its difficult past of imperialism and civil war, Sierra Leone really has come a long way, which is why I feel that it’s simply misperception that tends to drive us to view the country in this respect. In the future I want to give back by continuing to learn about Sierra Leone and my family there. My only question now is how can I most effectively do so? Before I can even start to answer this question, I think I must understand more the history of the country itself, in order to more accurately assess what went wrong, so to speak.

Sierra Leone’s history up until the present day, has essentially been dictated by external influences. Though there is a strong sense of nationalism within the country in the sense that they all identify as Africans, dating to at least 1787 there has historically been some sort of external presence shaping the route that the country takes2. Unfortunately, from what I have researched, this foreign existence gave some reason for the population not to simply identify as ‘Sierra Leonian’ instead. What once was a country made up of countless tribes, all ruled by various different kings, became a place glued together (for lack of a better phrase) by the introduction of European settlers in the late 18th century which lead to the centralization of people for trade and commercial purposes3. Dating back to the fifteenth century, towards the beginning of the slave trade, western European ships would regularly visit the coasts of western Africa where they were able to convince local rulers to export human slaves in exchange for European fortunes

2

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 3

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1.


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such as cloths, beads, muskets, and liquor4. This process continued well over two hundred years and severely impacted the demographics and power dynamics of the country. The tribes that did the most ‘exchanging’ (human trafficking) were the wealthiest and plentiful in terms of resources, whereas the ones that did not, suffered from a scarcity of resources in the ever-changing times, and eventually assimilated into other tribes. Around the same time, a group of peoples called the ‘Mane’ people from further down the Western coast of Africa, invaded Sierra Leone, further causing the indigenous groups to consolidate into one large group. Over the span of two decades of fighting and conflict, the better armed and equipped Mane people were able to conquer the majority of the Sierra Leone land, calling themselves the ‘Mende’ tribe, which is to the day considered the ‘warrior clan’ 5. The second minority group was the Temne people, made up of the original Temne clan, and those who went up to northern Sierra Leone to seek refuge from the fighting6. This war itself may not initially seem an important factor to the development of the country, but in fact, this event sparked a huge militarization and downright obsession with war strategy within Sierra Leone. The Mende only were able to conquer so much land because they were more equipped for battle, so after having fought these series of battles, tribes improved their techniques in archery, refined their weapons, and adjusted their tactics in ways that capitalized more on the layout of the land that they knew so well7. As times progressed, European physical presence increased in the country. By 1787, London became aware of its ‘problem’ with too many free slaves, so in efforts to put them in a place where they’d ‘best live and be employed’, the former slaves were transported to a settlement currently known as Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone8. After a rocky start and a relocation to a nearby area, the settlement was established as permanent by the English government and welcomed many other slaves from the

4

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 5

"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 6

"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 7

"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 8

"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.


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Caribbean and various of other slave trading countries9. Unfortunately, with no common language spoken by the people, English missionaries (who were frequently in Sierra Leone) were able to transform their ways to what resembles European culture. They provided them with a common language of English, and common religion of Christianity 10. In 1896, Britain formally declared Sierra Leone as a territory, which subjected the people in Sierra Leone to British laws. Though Britain was able to profit greatly off of the exploitation of the workers there and exportation of countless amounts of natural resources, after World War II, this operation of imperialism was increasingly seen as immoral. In 1961 Sierra Leone was given its independence, however the outside influence had all but ceased to exist11. This brings up the ethical question, how long should a country have to develop before outside forces are needed to intervene? In the case of Sierra Leone, even with externalities, they quickly spiraled down the wrong path. After numerous different failed elections and power struggles, in 1997 the country erupted in civil war stemming from a violent military coup set out to oust President Kabbah and put in place the rebel group leader Foday Sankoh12. The civil war lasted for approximately a decade, throwing the country back from years of subtle progression. Families were torn apart, children kidnapped (some killed, some mutilated, others picked to fight in the war), and thousands were killed in the crossfire of the brutal internal conflict13. Only following a UN intervention of 17,000 troops in Sierra Leone, was the rebellion brought to a halt, and those who initiated it apprehended and imprisoned. An estimated 50,000 people were killed and over twice that many displaced14. The UN proceeded to hold an election 2002, where President Kabbah was voted back into office by over 70% of the voters15. While the country was on the right track, they still needed assistance.

9

"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.

10

"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.

11

"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.

12

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 13 14

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York, NY: Sarah Crichton Books, 2007.

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1 15

"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1


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Infrastructure was dismantled, the country had nothing to capitalize on in the world economy, and frankly the people were traumatized from the decade of instability. When the war ended, groups such as the UN and other countries as well as NGO’s, have remained in the country to maintain peaceful interactions and rebuild the community. Nigeria sent approximately 700 of their troops over to aid the rebuilding Sierra Leonian army, and UN sent over one thousand peacekeepers as well16. While in the country, I observed some of native’s hesitance to trust the outside forces; because they felt as if they were put into this position by outside forces in the first place, yet it seems like there are two sides to this discussion. On one hand, groups like ‘Campaign for Good Governance’ works in the country to promote democracy, gender equality, and human rights. On the other hand, private companies who claim they are in the country to employ people and bolster development, really have an agenda to steal resources and valuable materials from the country, while paying the workers barely enough to make a living. It seems as if these external forces can be used as great means for foundation of the rebuilding of the country; however if the people of Sierra Leone want to direct their own history, they must learn to become independent; the most difficult task for a country that has always had some sort of outside involvement. The concept of foreign aid is critical to address. Ultimately, what it comes down to is one essential question: is the country benefiting from foreign aid or not? The way I see it is that; because Sierra Leonians don’t necessarily identify as one people, they will continue to have internal tensions and will continue to rely on the ‘help’ of external forces, which can be beneficial in the short term, but stifle the countries natural growth and self-governance. My dad and my grandpa, for example, perfectly characterize the affect foreign aid can have on a micro level. After graduating from graduate school in 1968, to avoid the draft into the Vietnam war my grandfather entered into the Peace Corp, specifically requesting West Africa for his placement, because this was not a region that not many other volunteers put down for their first choice. He saw it as a sure fire way to exempt himself from any future calling to fight. In hindsight, my grandpa describes his experience in the Peace Corp as nothing more than “a tool of America’s foreign policy”, though the mission description stated that “Sierra Leonean Youth will further their educational and 16

"UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone - Background." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unamsil/background.html>.


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employment opportunities through the provision of quality education in English, Science and Mathematics and relevant extra curricular activities”17. He goes on to say that, “by going there [Sierra Leone] and doing a good job, we attempted to better America’s foreign relations however that is not what happened. In some ways, they were better hating America so they can separate themselves from our culture and make a path of their own”18. Yet at the time, he saw his involvement with the Peace Corp as a great opportunity to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich, and in essence to create opportunities for some kids who otherwise would have a very hard time making a living for themselves. The peace Corp itself was established 53 years ago under the issue of president John F. Kennedy. The group is completely volunteer based and the volunteers have the option of working with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. My grandpa chose to work as a teacher because he felt that he could best contribute to the community in this area. Over the course of his threeyear service as a teacher, he and my father developed a close bond, in and outside of the classroom. My dad assisted my grandfather in getting around and doing chores at his house, and in return my grandfather paid his school fees and tutored him. According to him, my dad was one of the most hard working, genuine, and bright students he had ever had the pleasure of working with over the course of several years, so when his time was up in the Peace Corp, he wasted no time in returning home and immediately getting papers in line for my dad’s student visa. In my dad’s village, this is seen as a huge opportunity; every parent dreamed of having a kid who was able to obtain a western education so that one day they would come back and better the community he/she was born in. With this in mind, and the fact that my dad’s birth father had died recently adding a strain on my dad’s eldest brother to provide by himself the bare minimum he can for a family of seven, my dad’s family was in favor of letting him leave the country. Interestingly enough, when I asked my grandfather if he still thinks it was the best move to bring my dad here. He simply said he didn’t know because, “There is no one ‘perfect’ place to live. Your dad was forced to adjust to and adopt to a new culture. With that came a whole new set of challenges, a lot of which I couldn’t help him with because I myself didn’t understand how the world worked. I like to 17 18

"Projects." Sierraleone. Peace Corp, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://sierraleone.drupalgardens.com/content/projects>. "Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014.


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think that I provided him with a better alternative, but can I confidently say that this was the right decision. Absolutely not”.19 On the other hand, my dad is certain that he benefitted from leaving the country at such a young age. Particularly because soon after he left, the country broke out into civil war in 1991. One can only imagine what his life would have been like had he stayed. Years later, my dad goes back to his village semi-frequently to build houses, implement improvements to the local schoolhouse, and try to increase the locals skills set in such a way that they are able to produce something as a village that they can profit on in the small market. Unfortunately, according to him he has not seen very much progress since when he left at the age of thirteen. A big part of this can be attributed to the civil war and the tremendous destruction it caused, not only in terms of infrastructure and government, but also in terms of leaving a generation of kids to grow up without parents. In the brutal conflict, families torn apart, and thousands of peoples were displaced in an attempt to save their own lives. My dad says that, “This war, as well as the internal corruption within the government, has only lead to bad things in Sierra Leone, and many other African nations like it. I’m not sure if the Sierra Leonian people should be held accountable, or frankly the foreigners who pressure the population of people, typically those from the city, to think and act in a certain demeanor. I can’t necessarily say one or the other was responsible, probably a combination of the two, but I’m certain that the war was a by-product of years of civil discontentment”20. So far, it seems as if the answer to my question is pretty clear then, foreign aid is certainly taking a toll on the civilian life, and so far we have seen no clear progress, so it must be bad..right? Because Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations, there is a satellite headquarters in Freetown where the government works in partnership with the UN. This headquarters, called the United Nations Integrated Office In Sierra Leone, was established in 2006 after the war as a result of ‘Resolution 1620’ which essentially was a unanimously voted piece of legislature that seeks to maintain peace following the fighting. Along with this, the country has over 75 different NGO groups21 working to better the country from within; so apparently the answer is not that simple. The NGO I was briefly able 19 20 21

"Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014. "Interview With Dad About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2014.

"List of Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone." Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone -. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.


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to get in contact with, Amnesty International, argued that they in fact were making significant contributions to the country by providing refugees with opportunities to make a life in America for themselves and their families, as well as providing them with some sort of schooling. What I took away from this is that they almost thought the best thing to do at the moment was to take the younger generation of people from the country, in order to give them a better chance at receiving an adequate education and hope that they would then return to their country and work to make it better; similar to what the families in my dad’s village thought. Whether this has worked or not thus far, I am not too clear; the IRC wouldn’t get back to me the more I sent them emails, but basically it looks as if what they see as right, from an outsider point of view, is in complete contrast with what my grandpa and father think after having lived in the country for so long. After a month of living in Sierra Leone, I returned to my privileged lifestyle in the Bay Area, however I have not forgotten the meaningful lessons that I learned from my relatives. For instance, while I was there I was constantly observing how everything they had in their possession was treated with respect and value; even the small and so called insignificant things I would typically pay no mind to. The discarded and dilapidated toys that I wouldn’t think twice about in America provided endless hours of play for my younger family members, while the old eating utensils and books donated to them were highly appreciated by the elders. However, most striking to me during my trip was my family’s collective efforts to include me in every conversation and discussion, even though we did not speak the same language. While initially problematic, the language barrier did not pose much of a complication for long because my family was just as interested in hearing me, as I was in them. To be quite honest, I think the research I did for this project only confused me more on why this country, and other countries like it have yet to flourish. I understand that Sierra Leone has a tragic history and their growth has been repeatedly restrained by conflict, however what I do not grasp is why they have remained in a state of stagnancy. In relation to external aid services, it is hard to determine whether they are effective or not because the only people who truly are aware of what is going on is the people who lead them. My efforts to reach out to them proved to be useless, which alludes to the idea that maybe there are some things they intended to keep from the eyes of the public. Personally, my takeaway is that external forces in Sierra Leone can be extremely helpful; and in most cases vital to development. However there is a spectrum that must be kept in mind. I think Sierra Leone is certainly negatively impacted by a ‘brain drain’ within the country, however as the country


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currently stands there are virtually no ways for someone of the youth population to further their education within the state. In the near future, I hope to contribute to the community of Sierra Leone and give back to the less fortunate in the best way that I see fit. There is not necessarily a ‘right answer’ in addressing where to start aiding the country, but there is no doubt that aid is needed. I think the most important thing the country needs is a stable, trustworthy and transparent government that the citizens can rely on, in order to work as a basis for growth and a support system for the new generation. If this were to be achieved civil unrest would decline, and the populations faith in their country will be renewed, ultimately leading to a more unified people. I am predicting that in this decade, Sierra Leone will capitalize on their premier beaches that or on the western coast of the country, and slowly begin to build a market around commercial tourism. Though ideally this would not be the sole source of income, this will surely serve as a foundation for something larger in the future. The country of Sierra Leone has a lot of potential and I’m sure i am not the only one that recognizes this; all that is needed now are the crucial first steps to bring all the pieces they have together.                  


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Bibliography Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York, NY: Sarah Crichton Books, 2007. "History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leone-part-1>. "FACTBOX-Sierra Leone's Civil War." | Reuters. N.p., 02 Aug. 2007. Web. 3 May 2014. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/08/02/uk-leone-warcrimes-war-idUKL0286217420070802>. "Country Profile: Sierra Leone." In The World Factbook. Last modified July 2013. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html. Diaz, Philippe. "The Empire in Africa." Top Documentary Films. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ empire-africa/. "History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/ wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45. "Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/ country/sierra-leone.html?pageno=1.

Sierra Leone Government. "List Of NGO." Sierra Leone Web. Last modified 2013. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.sierra-leone.org/links-ngo.html. "U.S. Trade Goods With Sierra Leone." United States Census Bereau. Last modified 1992. Accessed 2013. https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7470.html. "6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons...and More." How To Fix Africa In 3 Easy Steps. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. <http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-to-fix-africa-in-3-easy-steps>.


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"CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND CO-OPERATION IN RESPECT OF INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION." Hague Confrence On Private International Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.hcch.net/upload/conventions/txt33en.pdf>. Dodani, Sunita, and Ronald E. LaPorte. "Abstract." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Apr. 0006. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275994/>. "Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014. "MS 206ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY VOLUNTEERS." Peace Corp. United States Government, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://files.peacecorps.gov/manuals/manual/200_Volunteers/200_209_Eligibility_and_Standards/MS_2 06/Adoption_of_Children_by_Volunteers.pdf>. "Non-governmental Organization." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization>. "Understanding the Hague Convention." Adoptions Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/overview.php>. "UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone - Background." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unamsil/background.html>. "Projects." Sierraleone. Peace Corp, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://sierraleone.drupalgardens.com/content/projects>. "List of Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone." Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone -. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.


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The Taliban’s Afghanistan: Sharia Law and Its Religious Justifications By Madeline Cook “I say to the Taliban: surrender the terrorists; or surrender power. It's your choice.” -Tony Blair “We will continue our Jihad” -Taliban commander Mullah Zahid “These gentlemen are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers” -Ronald Reagan about the Taliban

Afghanistan Flag vs. Taliban Flag


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Though I began the semester entertaining the idea of writing about terrorism, I quickly realized that the controversy of Islam was far more interesting to me than an isolated attack by radical Muslims. Therefore, I chose the Taliban’s establishment of Sharia Law in between 1996, after the storming of Kabul and overturn of the Soviet-supported government, and 2001, when US armies forced the Taliban out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. I explore many aspects of this topic, beginning with the history of Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion in 1979. After that I discuss the individual edicts of the Taliban’s “constitution,” including punishments for committing a crime. I then turn to the Qur’an itself to find passages supporting and/or disparaging Sharia Law. Finally, I follow the Taliban out of Afghanistan in 2001 and explore the future of Afghanistan as the United States withdraws its forces. Looking forward, the Taliban remains in a very fragile place as it prepares to undergo its first handover of power as President Karzai is constitutionally required to relinquish his spot in office for new democratically elected leader. I grew up Catholic, and constantly felt betrayed by the church as it lashed out against gay rights, abortion rights, and many other things in which I believed. I knew there were passages in the bible condemning homosexual relationships, and I was aware of the underlying sexism exhibited in scenes like the Garden of Eden, when Eve consumes the forbidden fruit. I was confused, however, because the bible also contains verses with messages of unconditional love and acceptance. In a way, I felt like I could relate to Muslims who felt betrayed by the leaders of their church, those who felt like their religion was receiving bad publicity and were hurt by it. Many Muslims and Christians, like me, who try to overlook the parts of their religion they disagree with, are called unbelievers and betrayers of the church. Meanwhile, extremists who are doing the same thing, disregarding parts of the Qur’an or Bible that advocate peace and love in favor of the parts that argue power, have all the control. And then two planes hit the world trade center, one hit the pentagon, and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania. The ability for extremists to overlook messages of love in favor of hate reached a scale unfathomably violent. Terrorism became the foremost word associated with Islam, and a frightening sense of insecurity began to take hold. Since then, I’ve been deemed part of the “9/11 generation” without ever knowing what it meant. What was my association with the event? Was I supposed to know something as an insider and member of this “generation”? Sure, I knew about the plane hijackings, Osama Bin Laden, and Al Qaeda, but nobody could ever tell me why it


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happened in the first place. What was the justification for the attack? I always thought religion advocated peace and harmony. I wanted the truth, and that meant finding an impartial opinion. I enrolled in the 9/11 GOA course and found a lot of the answers I was looking for, like how the event was accomplished financially and strategically. I quickly realized, however, that secret meetings, hiding cells, and untraceable phone calls were not the real answers. Rather it was Sharia law, the ancient governing code that allowed violence in the name of Islam to be lawful. With Afghanistan’s recent history of the Taliban insurgency, their establishment of Sharia Law, and direct relationship to Bin Laden, it seemed like a good place to start. The birthplace of the Taliban, or more specifically the rebel groups that would eventually become the Taliban, can be traced back to time of Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. After the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan overthrew King Zahir Shah during the Saur Rebellion in 1978, a socialist government with close ties to the Soviet Union took his place1. Quickly, communist rebel groups became prominent throughout Eastern Afghanistan. Following a friendship treaty at the end of the year between Afghanistan and the USSR, the United States began to fund these “Mujahedeen” rebels.2 A couple years of limbo between Soviet leaders and Afghan leaders led seamlessly into an Afghan civil war between Soviet forces and Mujahedeen rebels, who were now a fully equipped army. It is estimated that the Reagan administration gave roughly $20 million to the rebel forces that battled the communist government. Despite that aid, the Soviet Union remained a large force in the country, continuing to use Afghanistan in order to establish a stronghold of power in the Middle East.

1 2

Barnett R. Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, Yale University Press, 2002 Admin, “A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan,” PBS Newshour, May 4th 2011


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Russian Troops cross the border into Afghanistan

American and Russian armies withdrew in 1989, around the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union, but left in their tracks a war-torn country with rebels unable to accept defeat. Internal violence raged as Mujahedeen forces sought to overthrow the Soviet backed President, Mohammed Najibullah. They succeeded in 1994 when rebels stormed the capital, Kabul, and installed Burhannudin Rabbani, the leader of the Northern Alliance, as President.3 The country, however, was in disarray as 6.2 million refugees had already fled and those that remained were poor, scared, and in mourning.4 Enter the Taliban. The Taliban seized control of Kabul in 1996,5 at which point a very sick and tired Afghanistan was quick to succumb to their promise of peace and religious harmony. Rather, they established strict Islamic law, and it wasn’t long before the whole world began to realize what a nightmare Afghanistan had become.

3

“Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Afghanistan 10 years after Soviet pull-out,” UNHCR, February 12, 1999 5 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. 4


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Kabul in 1996, shortly after the Taliban insurgence

In November 1996, after the storming of Kabul, the Taliban released a list of edicts that all Afghan citizens were required to follow based on their interpretation of Sharia Law.6 These laws could be grouped into three areas: women and families, hospital rules, and general rules. Women were prohibited from leaving their home in anything short of a full body veil, and tight fitting clothing was deemed illegal: “In case women are required to go outside the residence... they should cover themselves in accordance with Islamic Sharia regulation. If women are going outside with fashionable, ornamental, tight and charming clothes to show themselves, they will be cursed by the Islamic Sharia and should never expect to go to heaven.” (Maruk, Munkar 1996) Furthermore, it was the responsibility of other family members to make sure that women were following these rules, or they too would face consequences: “...these women will be threatened, investigated and severely punished as well as the family elders by the forces of the Religious Police” (Maruk, Munkar 1996). Women were unable to have jobs outside the home, says Mullah Nooruddin Turabi: "If a woman wants to work away from her home and with men, then that is not allowed by our religion and our culture.”7 The last edict stated that “the Religious Police have the responsibility and duty

6

Isambard Wilkinson & Ashraf Ali, “Taliban unveils hardline Afghan constitution,” The Telegraph, September 29, 2007 7 Turabi, Mullah, Taliban Minister of Justice


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to struggle against these social problems and [would] continue their effort until evil is finished,” virtually depriving citizens of the right to a fair trial. The next section of edicts entitled “Hospital Rules and Prohibitions,” mostly concerned itself with the relationship between a male physician and female patient. Ideally, this interaction would never take place, as “female patients should go to female physicians” (Omar 1996). But in a necessary situation, “the female patient should be accompanied by her close relative” (Omar 1996). In addition, the male physician could not examine any other part of the female body except that which was affected, and both persons were required to wear full hijab when in consult. Female physicians had to “wear simple clothes” (Omar 1996) and were prohibited from wearing makeup. They were banned from entering a male patient’s room; likewise, male physicians could not enter a female patient’s room at night, regardless of the emergency. Lastly, all hospital staff was required to pray in the mosque on time, despite their job duties. Similar to the first section: “The Religious Police [were] allowed to go for control at any time and nobody [could] prevent them” (Omar 1996). There were extensive rules to regulate personal activities, which affected the day-to-day lives of every Afghan citizen. The list of illegal acts is long and the Taliban prohibited many seemingly trivial things, including music, shaving, kite flying, and dancing. Shopkeepers could not own cassette tapes for fear of imprisonment, and if cassettes were found in a car then the driver would be thrown in jail: “To prevent music. In shops, hotels, vehicles and rickshaws cassettes music are prohibited... If any music cassette found in a shop, the shopkeeper should be imprisoned and the shop locked… If cassette found in the vehicle, the vehicle and the driver will be imprisoned.“ (Maruf 1996) Anyone caught with a shaved beard was to be incarcerated until his or her beard had grown out. This law was enacted one and a half months after the original list was published. Kites and all shops selling kites were destroyed immediately, and dancing was a crime: “To prevent music and dances in wedding parties. In the case of violation the head of the family will be arrested and punished” (Maruf 1996).


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Idolatry and sorcery were both prohibited, and all magicians were locked up until they repented. Additionally, gambling and the use of narcotics were both deemed illegal. In urban areas, nobody was allowed to play with birds, and so all pigeons found on the street were to be killed. Meanwhile, in rural areas, women could no longer wash their clothes in a river or lake.

The religious police strictly regulated these new laws, and breaking one of them often earned the perpetrator a lot more than jail time. Public punishments were a common occurrence, often in the form of floggings during halftime shows at sports events, public stoning and amputation.89 In fact, many of the typical punishments can be found in the Qur’an, and so can Sharia Law. The Qur’an is the primary source of Sharia Law because it is considered the direct word of God.10 The Qur’an can be arranged into three sections: speculative theology, ethics, and rules of human conduct; the last section is where most Sharia Law interpretations originated. The second source of Sharia Law is Sunnah, which is the

8

Scott Baldauf, “Life under Taliban cuts two ways,” The Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2001 9 “The Status of Women in Afghanistan,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 10 Mutahhari, Morteza. "Jurisprudence and its Principles". Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. Retrieved 2008-07-26.


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hadith of Muhammad, a collection of traditions based upon sayings by Muhammad.11 Sharia law is defined as “Islamic canonical law prescribing both religious and secular duties and retributive penalties for law breaking” (New Oxford American Dictionary).12 The Taliban considers itself deeply religious and knowledgeable about the right way of life. That said, how did they rationalize what is considered by the western world as an unjust totalitarian rule that violated fundamental human rights? The answer lies in the Taliban’s unique interpretation of Sharia Law, the Qur’an, and Islam.

A woman who has most likely committed adultery is buried alive

Sharia Law is ambiguous, and as a result, incredibly controversial. Furthermore, it’s origins in ancient texts cause obscurity in its application to the modern world. It was largely developed by the 10th century, but continuously debated and edited according to rulings by groups of religious scholars.13 In places like Afghanistan where Sharia Law is regulation, Qadis, Sharia judges, decide on Islamic jurisprudence. The line remains blurred, however, and there are many interpretations that range from

11

Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Sunnah.com New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc. 13 Sadakat Kadri, Sharia History: A Timeline of 1,400 Years of Islamic Jurisprudence, Huffingtonpost.com, June 1st 2012 12


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extreme to minimal. Some see it as a way of life, and for others it’s merely a set of beliefs. Whose opinion is right? What does Muhammad’s message from Allah mean? Where in the Qur’an does it support or undermine different interpretations? The problem is that brings it right back to the vagueness of the document. Granted, many elements of the version of Sharia Law that was practiced by the Taliban can be found in the Qur’an. For example, it does sanction misogyny and spousal violence in this passage: Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. (Qur’an 4:34) Another translator maintains the antifeminist stance: “Men are guardians of women, because Allah has made one superior to the other” (Qur’an 4:34). On the other hand, it labels men and women as equals in other passages: “Their Lord responded to them: I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female you are equal to one another” (Qur’an 3:195). The Qur’an also contains verses confirming many trivial laws; like gambling and drinking: “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, in them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit” (Quran 2:219). Some scholars believe that because the Taliban (and other extremists) use other religious documents as a source for Sharia Law, like the Sunnah, they are able to pick and choose more carefully which passages to ignore and which to adhere to, all while remaining rightful Muslims in the eyes of Allah. The Qur’an also contains punishments should a Muslim break Sharia Law. For adultery, both men and women are to be “…flogged with one hundred lashes. Absolutely no mercy is to be given. It is to be witnessed by a group of Muslims. The adulterers can only marry a person who has been found guilty of the same crime or an


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unbeliever in the religion or Islam” (Qur’an 24:2,3). Many punishments made an attempt to fit the crime; the unlawful act was to be reciprocated upon the culprit. For example, death was punished with death unless the family of the murdered forgave and “…Men or women who steal must have their hands cut off as a reward for their deeds. This will be an example for others” (Qur’an 5:38). Radical Islam is only one way of practicing the religion, and extremist remain a small, but prominent, sect. Of the 1.3 billion Muslims, only around 91 million (7%) are suspected radicals, not to mention that only a small portion of those would take their devotion to a violent level.14 Other Muslims consider radical Islam to be a completely different religion. Many are ashamed and embarrassed, but are still treated as dangerous beings because their Religion is associated with violence. After 9/11, the Organization of the Islamic Conference issued a statement saying: “These terrorist acts contradict the teaching of all religions and human and moral values." Furthermore, Bernard Haykel, a professor at New York University noted that millions of Muslims have publicly condemned Bin Laden. He also said “it is extremely important for Muslims to realize that the phenomenon of bin Laden is as dangerous to Islam as it is to the West.” Other countries considered the Taliban’s radical interpretation of Islam an internal matter. The US looked the other way for many years, even choosing to ignore the role they had in funding the Mujahedeen forces that eventually became the Taliban. But when the national application of Sharia law escalated to attempts at imposing it on an international scale, the US, UN and other countries began to notice the threat Afghanistan posed to democracy.

14

Abe Greenwald, Muslim survey “challenges” west, commentary magazine, 2/27/2008


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Taliban troops maintaining order

The Taliban’s downfall began the moment they started aiding Osama Bin Laden’s growing passion for violent religious takeovers. His mission to create an Islamic world by destroying anything that stood in his way seemed to correspond directly with the Taliban’s habit of using violent means in their quest to make Afghanistan a pure, religious state. During Soviet Afghanistan times Operation Cyclone, a CIA program called that channeled funds through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, and the Saudi Arabian government were the two biggest financial contributors15 of Mujahedeen forces. They in turn shared that money with their allied jihad (holy war) members. Osama Bin Laden received a lot of this money, using it to establish training camps throughout Afghanistan, the very same ones that would later become the base camps for Al-Qaeda and their anti-American campaign. In 1998, three years after the Taliban takeover, Al-Qaeda bombed two American embassies in Eastern Africa, killing 300 civilians.16 The United States, with support from the UN, demanded the extradition of Bin Laden. The Taliban refused, however, so the UN bombarded them with trade and economic sanctions, thus alienating them from the western world. After 9/11, the US

15

"1986–1992: CIA and British Recruit and Train Militants Worldwide to Help Fight Afghan War". Cooperative Research History Commons. 16 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009.


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again called for the turnover of Bin Laden. The Taliban refused again17. Then, U.S. and British forces launched airstrikes over Afghanistan, and the Taliban responded with a statement that they were ready for jihad. In October of 2011, with the help of British armies and the Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban group, the US invaded Afghanistan and moved quickly south.18 By early December, the Taliban surrendered its last province, Zabul, and left Afghanistan for Pakistan, officially ending Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Just 18 years earlier, in 1983, Reagan welcomed the Taliban to the White House

Unfortunately, they left behind an Afghanistan similar to that after Soviet withdrawal in 1989, and therefore highly susceptible to internal strife and chaos. American forces remained in Afghanistan, establishing an Islamic Republic led by president Hamid Karzai. The country continues to be heavily influenced by Islam; the Supreme Court has passed many laws decreasing women’s rights, and it was voted the third most corrupt country19 in the world. Moreover, the government has shown constant

17

“Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. 19 "Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 Results." Transparency International. 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011 18


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signs of fraudulence. Though the 2004 reelection of Karzai was well done, the 2009 reelection was discredited due to lack of turnout and suspected cheating. This all makes for a very interesting 2014 election. Karzai is unable to run again do to term limits, so for the first time since the removal of the Taliban, Afghanistan is having their first democratic turnover of power.20 Before primary elections there were eleven candidates “…ranging from the man who first invited Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan to a chat show host and retired pilot” (Emma Graham-Harrison). The first round of voting occurred April 5th, and since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the final election will take place on June 7th. There are eight candidates still running, and opinion polls show Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani as the frontrunners.21 The Independent Election Committee is working hard to keep the elections fair and safe, but that outcome is uncertain. For example, upon registration, voters receive cards that confirm that they are approved for voting, but many fake cards were circulated in past elections. This year, it is hard to determine which cards are true or false. In addition, the Taliban has threatened to launch attacks on Afghan citizens waiting to vote. As a result, a solid voting turnout was questionable up until the election. Luckily, the primary elections received over 6 million voters, an impressive number for Afghanistan.22

20

"Afghanistan presidential vote date is announced". BBC News. 30 October 2012. “Afghanistan Election Guide: Everything you need to know,” Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian. 3 February 2014. 22 “2014 Election Results,” IEC.org, 5 April 2014 21


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Taliban women waiting in line to vote with their registration cards

The future of the Taliban remains uncertain. As the US aims to have all troops withdrawn by December 2014,23 the Taliban is threatening to return to Afghanistan. This threat and the upcoming election make for an unstable Afghanistan. Last time Afghanistan was unstable, after the withdrawal of US and Soviet troops in the 90s, they turned to Sharia Law for comfort, causing a decade of human rights violations and civil unrest. On the other hand, Afghanistan is in an incredible position to start down a path towards strength and security. If they prove to themselves they can survive these next few years, who knows what can be accomplished next.

Annotated Bibliography: “Video allegedly showing Arafat Waheed Khan,” BBC News Video, 0:10, April 4th 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7330367.stm "I would like to thank Allah for giving me this opportunity to bless me with this Shahada [martyrdom]. I ask Allah to forgive me for all my sins, to accept me as a martyr. I ask Allah to help the Mujahedeen everywhere in every way." “Video allegedly showing Waheed Zaman,” BBC News Video, 0:20, April 4th 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7330367.stm "May he raise us on the Day of Judgment to be with the prophets, martyrs and people in the right path. May Allah bless the Mujahedeen with victory upon victory wherever they may be and may he focus their

23

“CIA falls back in Afghanistan,” The Daily Beast, Kimberly Dozier, 5 April 2014


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aim and may he make them of the patient ones. I have not been brainwashed. I have been educated to a high standard. I am old enough to make my own decisions." Admin, “A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan,” PBS Newshour, May 4th 2011 Bin Laden formed Al Qaeda in September 1988, 11 years after the Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan. His followers opposed the communist regime, lending support to Mujahideen forces and bringing new energy to a raging civil war. American and Russian armies withdrew in 1989, but internal violence continued as Mujahideen rebels sought to overthrow the soviet backed President, Mohammed Najibullah. They achieved success in 1992 when rebel forces stormed Kabul, the capital, and installed Burhannudin Rabbani, the leader of the group Northern Alliance, as president. The Taliban seized control in 1996, with the help of Al-Qaeda. The war torn Afghanistan was quick to succumb to their promise of peace and religious harmony. Unfortunately they established strict Islamic law, for example prohibiting women to work and creating “Islamic” punishments such as stoning and amputation. It wasn’t until 1998 that outside countries began to pay careful attention to the Taliban, after Bin Laden was accused of bombing two US embassies in Africa. The US attacked Al Qaeda training camps, failing to hit any targets, and UN imposed an air embargo and financial sanctions to force Afghanistan to hand over Bin Laden. The Taliban refused. In September of 2001, after the hijacking of the planes that flew into the twin towers, pentagon, and field in Pennsylvania, the US again demanded Bin Laden, the primary suspect. The Taliban again refused. In October of 2011, with the help of British armies and the Northern Alliance, an anti-taliban group, the US invaded Afghanistan and moved quickly south. By early December, the Taliban surrendered its last province, Zabul, and left Afghanistan for Pakistan, officially ending Taliban rule in Afghanistan. “Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. The Taliban began as a faction of the Mujahideen rebel forces during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It was populated mostly by Pashtuns, an ethnic group in Southeastern Afghanistan, Due to substantial aid from America and other NATO allies, the Taliban and Mujahideen were able to combat soviet forces with greater strength, eventually causing their withdrawal. After that, Pakistan provided the Taliban with ample machinery to help them take over Afghan cities. They surged Kabul in 1994, officially ruling Afghanistan with minimal pressure from the Northern Alliance. In 1997, the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, united with Osama Bin Laden, providing him with space and money to establish Jihad training camps in Kundahar. Isambard Wilkinson & Ashraf Ali, “Taliban unveils hardline Afghan constitution,” The Telegraph, September 29, 2007 -Women are fully veiled and educated according to Sharia Law -human rights are ignored if they are contrary to the teachings of islam -On freedom of speech the Taliban charter, which is written in Pashto and Dari, is clear: "Every Afghan has the right to express his feelings through his views, writings or through other means in accordance with the law." However "un-Islamic thought" is strictly forbidden and "violators will be punished according to sharia" - under the Taliban's strict interpretation of Islamic teachings. Scott Baldauf, “Life under Taliban cuts two ways,” The Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2001 -Taliban aiming for pure fundamentalist rule -Socioeconomic fabric of country has been drastically disrupted -By 2001, more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s population (25 million) relies entirely on aid agencies for food and other resources -"They have made a very good peace, they have collected weapons from the people, they stopped poppy cultivation [a source of opium], they stopped foreign interference - and especially religious conversions of our Muslims - and they started electricity in Afghanistan. That is their legacy." -Abdul Qudus, an ethnic Afghan and religious scholar who runs a madrassah, or religious school, for young Afghans in the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan


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-Rural communities say their lives haven’t changed much because they followed Sharia Law already, but urban centers had a more difficult time adhering to strict rules. -Laws: No Music No bead cutting, or else imprisonment until beard is bushy again No Idolatry No washing cloth by young ladies along the water streams in the city. Violator ladies should be picked up with respectful Islamic manner, taken to their houses, and their husbands severely punished -The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is police -Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar banned opium because Sharia bans addiction -Only three nations - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates - have granted official recognition to the Taliban government -US needs to take responsibility for their role, during Soviet invasion they encouraged muslims to unite and fight soviets, then abandoned the country when soviets left Feminist Majority Foundation, “Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls,” Feminist.org -Banished women from the work force -Closed schools to girls and women and expelled women from universities -Prohibited women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative -Ordered the publicly visible windows of women's houses painted black and forced women to wear the burqa (or chadari) - which completely shrouds the body, leaving only a small mesh-covered opening through which to see -Prohibited women and girls from being examined by male physicians while at the same time prohibited female doctors and nurses from working 9. http://middleeast.about.com/od/afghanista1/a/me080907c.htm “The Status of Women in Afghanistan,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/afghanistan-taliban-war-onwomen-1998.pdf **Refer to page 29 for history of Afghan Women (may or may not be necessary) -public is summoned to watch amputations, stonings, and executions -Every Friday, the Taliban terrorizes the city of Kabul by publicly punishing alleged wrongdoers in the Kabul sports stadium and requiring public attendance at the floggings, shootings, hangings, beheadings, and amputations -Men are beaten and jailed for not wearing beards of sufficient length -page 33 “Women’s Health and Human Rights Survey,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 -Subjects consisted of female heads of household who had lived in Kabul at least two years before September 1996. -71% of women reported a decline in health since Taliban Insurgents -37% reported their health conditions interfered with daily activities -20% reported no access to healthcare -81% of women reported a decline in mental health since Taliban Insurgents -Self reported symptoms→ (42%) respondents met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD; 155 (97%) met criteria for major depression, 86% demonstrated symptoms of anxiety -69% of responders reported a family member had been temporarily detained by Taliban Police -Detention of men can include not being at a mosque for prayer time, flying a kite, playing music, laughing too loudly Andy King, “The Taliban’s Interpretation of Islam,” Normlife.com, 2003, http://www.normlife.com/documents/original/the_talibans_interpretation_of_islam.htm -Sunni Islam is the major sect of Islam with ninety percent of all Muslims adhering to the Sunni beliefs


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-Its name comes from the importance of the Sunnah or the example set by the life of the prophet Muhammad (Sunni Islam). The Sunnah connects to the establishment of Shari’a, or Islamic law, as the examples of how Muhammad lived his life were taken as how every Muslim should live (Sansal). Sunni Islam is very literal in its interpretation of the Koran. -All of the laws in Shari’a and how they were enforced came from the Taliban’s education in Deoband schools. http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/document.php?page_id=918 Note→ These are (primary source) excerpts from the Quran, all of which provide substance for Sharia Law. I have not decided specifically which ones to use yet. Citation: (Koran Sura, Versse) Nate Rawlings, “Opium Production in Afghanistan Hits Record High,” Time, November 13th, 2013 -in 2000, the country accounted for roughly 70 percent of the world’s heroin supply -in 2001, the Taliban banned poppy, citing Islamic prohibition against drugs, and wiped out 99 percent of the country’s production of the crop Rashid, Ahmed, “Taliban: Militant, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Second Edition,” Yale University Press, April 13th, 2010 **List of rules/edicts declared by Taliban in 1996… too long to copy here Refer to this link: http://www.amazon.com/reader/0300163681?_encoding=UTF8&page=28


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Statelessness: An Overview of a Destructive and Preventable Issue 

         


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  Ramah Ali  G block Global Issues  5/13/14   My day started like any other. The crowing roosters beat my phone alarm by a few minutes as I  groggily woke up. My shower was once again exceptionally cold, since we didn't have a water heater in the  flat. I took my work clothes off the wire rack again, where I had hung them out to dry the night before. After  ironing out my outfit and putting my badge on, I looked quickly in the pantry to find something to eat before  remembering that it was still the middle of Ramadan, and I had a few weeks to go before I could merrily eat  and drink at all hours again. With a sigh, I started out for the United Nations office a half mile away.    I greeted the security officers in my limited French and they let me into the compound for another day  of work. Today would be another open­conference room day for Liberian refugees to receive their residence  cards. These were people who had undergone a long process of transitioning from their refugee status to  productive members of their newly adopted home in Guinea. Many of the refugees directly experienced the  brutal conflict of civil war, and were now angry at the bureaucratic inefficiencies that plague all big  organizations, even the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. And on top of that, a fair number of  refugees were fasting just like I was.    When Ruth Myers walked in, everyone reacted. This woman commanded attention w Begs for more  information here about who she is. Caroline, a Liberian woman who was volunteering as a refugee liaison to 


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the UN and helping me out with my duties, simultaneously rolled her eyes and laughed when Ms. Myers  walked in. She looked like the blind woman from The Princess and the Frog, except somehow more  ridiculously dressed. The colors on her robes were garish even by Guinean standards. “Can I please have your  refugee card, ma'am?” I asked her. “Young man, why do you need my refugee card? I shouldn't have to give  you anything! I can tell you all the information you need to hear,” she replied in the most indignant of tones. I  looked at Caroline, who simply laughed in response. Caroline really wasn't helping me out at this moment, so I  was left to deal with this force of nature on my own as the other refugees sitting on the side of the room  watched with amusement. “Miss, can I just please have your refugee card? It makes it much easier for me to  write your information down that way.” The way her face looked after I said this was not reassuring. “You  want me to make things easier for you? I am a refugee! I survived the Liberian Civil War! You want to know  where I'm originally from? You won't ever guess, I promise you.” At this point, I noticed her accent was quite  different from the other Liberians I had talked to, and I was curious to know where she really was from.  “Baltimore, Maryland, born and raised! That's right, you didn't expect that, did you? I renounced my US  citizenship and moved to Liberia of my own free will after marrying my husband, and now here I am dealing  with some kid who needs me to make his life easier!” Apparently I looked very uncomfortable after that last  little bit because she quickly moved to reassure me. “Hey kid, you know I'm just teasing, right? I got nothing  against you! I've just got a lot of issues with the UN people right now.” I had no idea how to react to this.  Here was a woman who essentially had no papers declaring where she was from. She clearly needed the  UNHCR's help more than most, because without a residence card she would remain stateless. 


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A moment of levity in the UNHCR Conakry office   

Not to be confused with refugees, stateless people are people who are not considered a national of  any country in the world. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “everyone has  the right to a nationality”. With these words, the international community recognized that every individual,  everywhere in the world, should hold a legal bond of nationality with a state. But despite this firm international commitment, new cases of statelessness have continued to arise. There are at least 10 million stateless people around the world today. In practice many stateless persons are left without legal residence, consular protection, or the right to return to their country of origin. No government takes responsibility for their protection. For those who have fallen through the cracks in this way, the consequences are serious, according to Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the Washington, DC office of


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the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She stresses that Congress needs to do more in order to advance the rights of stateless populations in the United States, and works in order to negotiate with both the Senate and the House in pursuit of a resolution.

Just 37 States that have ratified both the 1954 Convention and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The 1954 Convention aims to regulate the status of stateless persons and to ensure the widest possible enjoyment of their human rights, and is complemented by the relevant provisions of international human rights treaties. It crucially defines what statelessness is, a key aspect of the convention that states still refer to in the absence of reliable data on the issue. Meanwhile, the 1961 Conventionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose is to prevent statelessness, thereby reducing it over time. The 1961 Convention is the only universal instrument that elaborates clear, detailed and concrete safeguards to ensure a fair and appropriate response to the threat of statelessness. Accession to the 1961 Convention equips states to avoid and resolve nationality-related disputes and mobilize international support to adequately deal with the prevention and reduction of statelessness.

The agency in charge of preventing statelessness, among other problems, throughout the world


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Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) confirms that everyone has a right to a nationality, it does not set out a specific nationality to which a person is entitled. Responsibility for conferring nationality lies with individual states. Against this background, the 1961 Convention sets out additional standards that States have agreed to ensure further international cooperation and agreement to prevent and reduce statelessness. The wording of the UDHR ensures that rather than entitling everyone to having a nationality, existence as a stateless person merely creates a large loophole through which multiple articles of the UDHR are violated.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has stated that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The issue of statelessness has been left to fester in the shadows for far too long. It is time to take the necessary steps to rid the world of a bureaucratic malaise that is, in reality, not so difficult to resolve. It is simply a question of political will and legislative energy.â&#x20AC;? The fundamental issue with statelessness is that no nation has any real obligation to a person who is not one of its citizens. This is why many countries do not even find it worth their while to ratify the UN conventions on statelessness, preferring instead to let others handle the issue. Commissioner Guterres has shown an acute awareness to this sentiment, declaring that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many States already have legislation that is compliant with the provisions of the Convention and implementing it costs very little. Yet few States are parties to this instrument. We need to change that. I


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pledge the full support of my Office to governments wishing to become parties.”

The largest concentrations of statelessness in the world. 

Around the world, many state courts have worked to redefine and analyze the impact of statelessness  in their own countries. In the United States, the landmark Supreme Court case Trop v. Dulles cited the Eighth  Amendment in ruling that it was unconstitutional for the government to revoke the citizenship of a citizen as  punishment, making reference to evolving standards of decency in its interpretation of “cruel and unusual  punishment”. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the decision that "denationalization as a punishment is barred  by the Eighth Amendment" as this is "the total destruction of the individual's status in organized society." In the  dissent, Justice Felix Frankfurter pointed out that the court had effectively declared that “loss of citizenship is  worse than death.” This is indeed the feeling that many stateless are consigned to.  Altagracia Jose, a woman  made stateless by the Dominican Republic's controversial new court decision, states that, "I cried when they  told me I was not Dominican. I cannot choose another country. I've never been to Haiti – I am no more  Haitian than I am Puerto Rican or American. If I am stateless, I am nobody."   


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The ruling passed down by the Dominican Republic is a key one in determining the power nations have  to render its citizens stateless. The 11­2 decision of the constitutional court, dated September 23,  found that  the provision on citizenship in the 1929 Dominican constitution, which recognizes as a citizen anyone born in  the country, should not apply to the children of parents who were not “legal  residents” at the time of their  birth, on the basis that their parents were “in transit”.The order effectively strips citizenship rights from the  descendants  of Haitian migrants settled in the Dominican Republic since the start of the 20th century, despite  the fact that the current  constitution declares as Dominican anyone who enjoyed Dominican citizenship prior to  2010. The vast majority of these individuals will be left stateless. In essence, the Dominican Republic is  exploiting a way to try and reverse its illegal Haitian immigration problem by removing those whose parents  and grandparents immigrated there through completely legal channels. If left unchecked, this establishes a  dangerous legal and international precedent in which supreme courts can retroactively alter the wording of  national constitutions in order to exclude more citizens from enjoying citizenship. 

The problem in the Dominican Republic may have been exacerbated by the court's decision   

Statelessness has also been used as a threat against suspected terrorist activities. The Al­Jedda case in  the UK is an example of governments protecting the 1954 and 1961 UN Convention agreements. Hilal  Al­Jedda, originally Iraqi, became a naturalised British citizen, but the Home Secretary wanted to take away 


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his British citizenship because of alleged terrorist activities. Under British law, the court ruled that he cannot be  deprived of that citizenship if that would make him stateless. The Court of Appeal decided that Al­Jedda had  already lost his Iraqi citizenship and that this meant he could not have his British citizenship taken away.  UNHCR and the Open Justice Society Initiative urged the court to rule in favor of Al­Jedda, recognizing that  this case would be pivotal in setting an example to the rest of the world. In a unanimous judgment given by  Lord Wilson, the Supreme Court accepted the case put by Al­Jedda and the Justice Initiative. The court  pointed out the vast numbers worldwide that are affected by statelessness, noting that “worldwide legal  disabilities with terrible practical consequence still flow from lack of nationality”. They held that it would leave  the law ‘mired in deeper complexity’ if states could rely on possible future acquisition of nationality to defeat  claims to statelessness status.    As outlined by Commissioner Guterres, the path to a viable solution for the world's stateless is by no  means an impossible proposition, requiring only a declaration of political will and minimal resources to alleviate  the current problem and prevent future occurrences of statelessness. The European Network on Statelessness  has identified 5 key areas in order to tackle this international challenge. These are fulfilling international  obligations, raising visibility of the issue, solidifying identification procedure, granting protection status to current  stateless populations, and eventually implementing a durable solution by granting citizenship. To the first point,  states must accede to the relevant legal instruments for dealing with this issue, most notably ratification and  enforcement of the 1954 and 1961 UN Conventions, as well as supplementary international frameworks. To  the second, states must address the issue of unreliable statistics by mapping the areas of concern within their  own boundaries, and they must adopt a statelessness determination while making an effort to educate their  masses on the issue and extent of statelessness. To the third point, “An effective and protection­oriented  stateless status determination procedure should be in place which is regulated by specific legal provisions, in 


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order to identify stateless persons in need of protection.” Furthermore, a legal status should be created for  those who are stateless, and deportation measures should be suspended where possible. To the fourth,  stateless persons should be able to enjoy a protected, well­defined, and clearly regulated status on a long term  basis in order to have a chance at becoming productive members of a society and living dignified lives. And to  the last point, stateless persons should eventually be granted a path to citizenship in the countries they live in,  provided that they are allowed effective judicial review of their status and exemption from proof of loss of any  prior citizenship.    The issue of statelessness is one that is easily solved. In Guinea, many of the refugees who fall under  temporary statelessness are granted residence under the UNHCR­Guinean government partnership. This  model should be extended to the 12 million who for one reason or another lack the papers that allow them to  be free members of modern civilization. People like Ruth Myers, who might have lost their papers due to the  stresses of war, should not be forced to prove or demonstrate how they lost their prior citizenship. And rulings  such as the one handed down by the Dominican Republic pose a danger to the existing stateless population  and causes new ones to suffer the same fate. Instead of following the Dominican Republic model, states should  aspire to follow the model of the UK, which has so far demonstrated admirable levels of compliance with the  UNHCR's initiatives. By traveling to Guinea and interacting with people like Ruth Myers, the issue of  statelessness has been humanized to a large extent for me. It is absolutely inconceivable that anyone would  stand for denial of health care, military protection, and a host of other basic human rights simply for missing  documents brought upon by circumstance. Bringing visibility to this otherwise invisible issue is now the single  biggest hurdle between 12 million people and freedom.   


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Bibliography Blitz, Brad K., and Caroline Sawyer. 2011. “Analysis: The Practical and  Legal Realities of Statelessness in  the European Union.” In Statelessness in the European Union: Displaced, Undocumented,  Unwanted, edited by Caroline Sawyer and Brad K. Blitz. London: Cambridge University Press.  281-305.  A discussion of the unique legal and social challenges faced by stateless people caught within EU  member states.      “Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.” UNHCR. Last modified 1954.  http://www.unhcr.org/3bbb0abc7.html.  A comprehensive list of UN member states’ compliance with the 1954 Convention to the rights of the  stateless.      Cox, Simon. “Case Watch: UK Supreme Court Delivers Victory against Statelessness in Al­Jedda Case.”  Open Society Foundations. Last modified October 8, 2013.  http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/case-watch-uk-supreme-court-delivers-victory-against -statelessness-al-jedda-case.  In this landmark case, the UK Supreme Court directly addressed the deprivation of citizenship as  punishment, citing that under British law, one cannot be deprived of that citizenship if that would make  him stateless.    “Dominican Republic Court Ruling Raises Mass Statelessness Threat.” Open Justice Society Initiative. Last  modified October 2, 2013.  http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/press-releases/dominican-republic-court-ruling-raises-mass-st atelessness-threat.  The 11­2 decision of the constitutional court, dated  September 23,  found that the provision on  citizenship in the 1929 Dominican  constitution, which recognizes as a citizen anyone born in the  country,  should not apply to the children of parents who were not “legal  residents” at the time of their  birth, on the basis that their parents  were “in transit”.The order effectively strips citizenship rights from  the descendants  of Haitian migrants settled in the Dominican Republic since the start of the 20th  century, despite the fact that the current  constitution declares as Dominican anyone who enjoyed  Dominican  citizenship prior to 2010. The vast majority of these individuals will  be left stateless. If left  unchecked, this establishes a dangerous legal and international precedent in which supreme courts can  retroactively alter the wording of national constitutions in order to exclude more citizens from enjoying  citizenship.    “Effective Protection of Stateless Persons in Five Steps.” European Network on Statelessness. Last modified  2012.  http://www.statelessness.eu/sites/www.statelessness.eu/files/attachments/resources/ENS%20kick-off %20seminar%202012%20-%205%20steps%20to%20protection%20of%20stateless%20persons.pd f.  This document by the European Network on Statelessness cites 5 “strategic steps and  recommendations based on the 1954 Statelessness Convention and other international legal  instruments, soft law, and best practices”.     


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Kohn, Sebastian. 2012. “Statelessness in Sweden – Changes Ahead?”  European Network on Statelessness,  12 September. Accessed 5 May 2014.  www.statelessness.eu/blog/statelessness-sweden-changes-ahead.  This article emphasizes the extent of how troubling the lack of international legal action remains in  dealing with the issue of statelessness. Despite being a leader in human rights and being one out of just  4 countries to pledge to address statelessness through foreign policy, Sweden has done remarkably  little in the international arena to solve this problem ­­ an alarmingly common problem among  perceived leaders in combating this issue.    “LHR Makes Statelessness Submission before Parliament.” News release. 2012.  http://www.lhr.org.za/news/2012/press-statement-lhr-makes-statelessness-submissions-parliament.  Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) briefed the South African Parliament’s portfolio  committee on  home affairs on the escalating number of stateless people  in South Africa, reiterating many of the legal  implementation problems that third world countries face in attempting to protect their stateless.    Refugee Protection Act of 2013, S. 645, 113th Cong. (2013).  The Refugee Protection Act of 2013 proposes a pathway for stateless people held in the US in legal  limbo to attain citizenship in its list of reforms. Good primary document    Reyes, Rachel. “The Stateless in the United States.” Center for Migration Studies. Last modified May 28,  2013. http://cmsny.org/the­stateless­in­the­united­states/.  The US lacks a consistent legal framework for dealing with stateless  individuals, leaving many in  protracted deportation proceedings and  exposing many more to exploitation by employers, landlords,  and law  enforcement officials.    “Stateless People.” UNHCR. Accessed May 5, 2014. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c155.html.  An overview of the definition of statelessness and the UNHCR’s role in preventing it.    Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 102 (1958).  In this landmark decision the Supreme Court struck down a law authorizing the deprivation of  citizenship as punishment for conviction by court martial of wartime desertion. The court’s description  establishes a precedent for avoiding the use of statelessness in any punishment, describing such an act  as constituting “the total destruction of the individual’s status in organized society”.    UNHCR. 2011. Helping the World’s Stateless People. Geneva, Switzerland: UNHCR.  http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?page=search&docid=4e55e7dd2&skip=0&q uery=%22legal%20ghosts%22.  An overview of possible solutions for governments to consider in fighting the growing issue of  statelessness.    UNHCR. Last modified 1961. http://www.unhcr.org/3bbb24d54.html.  States parties to the 1961 convention on the reduction of statelessness.   


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United Nations UNHCR. Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the US. By David Baluarte.  N.p.: n.p., 2012.  This report focuses primarily on the especially vulnerable population of stateless individuals residing in  the United States who have no path to acquire lawful status or become naturalized U.S. citizens under  the current law.    Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. Accessed 4 May 2014.  http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a15.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is valuable in looking at the rights that stateless people are  denied and ought to be able to enjoy fully.      Image Credit  my own image  http://eudo-citizenship.eu/docs/images/UNHCR.jpg  http://www.csmonitor.com/var/archive/storage/images/media/world-s-greatest-populations-of-stateless -persons/8258536-1-eng-US/World-s-greatest-populations-of-stateless-persons_full_600.jpg  4. http://cronkite.asu.edu/buffett/dr/images/index/13stateless.jpg    1. 2. 3.


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Abstract Over the last four years, Women's Studies has been a reoccurring theme for me. It began in the ninth grade when I wrote my fourteen page I-Search paper on the balance of work life and family life for women. I was interested in the topic because I knew it would be a dilemma I would face in the future, and I wanted to be prepared. This exact same curiosity also sparked my interest in the culture of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), specifically computer science. I examined environmental factors affecting female interest in STEM, recent efforts made by schools to attract more women, reports on the topic, and the personal experiences of women in computer science. From my research I realized the issue is more complicated than I expected, and there is no one simple solution to the problem. However, I am hopeful for the future. Today, the younger generation is being introduced to technology both in and out of the classroom. Encouraging and inspiring the next generation will yield even greater advances in global citizenship, medicine, platforms for social media, and more. This fall I will take my first computer science course in college. Thanks to my research, I will have the knowledge and advice of other women to guide me, and I will not let any preconceived notions deter me. I have seen the positive efforts being made by individuals across the country, and I am optimistic that slowly things are changing for the better.

My mother pulls up to the curb. I see the familiar green awnings of Starbucks and the constant in and out of adults with their hot coffees in tow. I hop out of the car, and walk into the coffee shop. I scan the room looking for a woman, and I find her. We sit down at a tall, cramped table where the chairs are way too high for anyone to sit gracefully. She begins to ask questions about my academics and extracurriculars like any other college interview. I have practiced with my parents and in the mirror many times; I am prepared for anything. She inquires about my favorite subject in school, but with a look of disinterest on her face as if she has asked too many times to even care anymore. I disregard her apparent boredom and respond, “Math,” as if it is a reflex. I see her face perk up with intrigue. I am always greeted with such a response, so that I almost expected by now. People’s eyes widen ever so slightly, and I can detect an air of self-consciousness because they immediately try to conceal their shock. Trying not to miss a beat they ask, “Why math?” I respond, “Because each problem has an absolute answer, and you are either right or wrong. There is no gray area, but there is still a challenge to each problem that keeps me on my toes.” Their faces remain impassive, but their eyes read fascination. In this busy Starbucks I continue to focus on her face. I can read the interest and skepticism in her eyes. She remarks, “In all my years and of all the girls I have interviewed, none

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have wanted to study mathematics in college.â&#x20AC;? I am in turn startled, but maybe I should not be. I realize math is a less popular subject for girls to pursue, but for the majority of my life I never believed this to be the case despite evidence to the contrary. For example, this year in my BC Calculus class only four of the nineteen students are girls. Even confronted with such facts I never considered myself to be a statistic, to be fighting against any cultural oppression, or to be doing anything out of the ordinary. I grew up following my passion for math, and I plan to continue doing so in college and beyond. I cannot imagine myself in any career where I cannot use mathematics. I know my experience is quite atypical, and I wonder how and where along my academic career did I differ from others. I also wonder what cultural stereotypes feed into the psyche of young girls and discourages them from studying STEM. Also, why are only 20% of engineers or computer programmers female in an arguably equitable and progressive society like our own? As I fast approach college, I have considered majoring in computer science because of its growing relevance to everyday life. I grew up in an era where so many are glued to their electronic devices, there is an app for anything, and any question can be answered using Google. Our society is dependent upon technology like oxygen, and none of the technological luxuries we enjoy today would exist without computer science. However, studies shows that interest in the field has been on the decline in the United States, and that in the near future there will be a shortage of qualified programmers. One estimate suggests the U.S. economy is producing 1.4 million programming jobs, but less than half a million students are graduating college with a degree in computer science.1 Furthermore, on average only 10% of all computer science graduates are women.2 Without tapping into one of the most under utilized resources, women, the field of programming and the economy will suffer. To counter such an outcome, new efforts have been made by schools, universities, and organizations that specifically target women of all ages. The quality, aim, and content of the courses offered in schools today are a major contributing factor to girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interest in STEM. My own school, Head-Royce School (HRS), a private K-12 school in California, has begun to revamp and integrate more technology into its classrooms. Since the current HRS 1

Mike Cassidy, "Women Missing out on Lucrative Careers in Computer Science," Silicon Valley, last modified February 25, 2014, accessed March 7, 2014, http://www.siliconvalley.com/mike-cassidy/ci_25224467/womenmissing-out-lucrative-careers-computer-science. 2 "Science,Technology and Innovation MetaData: Women in Science," UNESCO, accessed March 20, 2014, http://data.uis.unesco.org/index.aspx?queryid=118&export. 3


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seniors participated in their lower school computer classes - almost twelve years ago - advances in technology have taken off exponentially. When we were in kindergarten. iPods were only just slowly becoming popular and BlackBerry smart phones were exclusively used by executives. Back then computer classes focused solely on the front-end, computer user experience with typing practice and math or strategy games. These two activities remain as key fixtures in current classes, but there is a greater push to introduce and expose children to the real world applications of the skills and technology they are being taught. I visited one of the second grade tech class taught by Tatyana Koziupa, Head-Royce’s tech integrationist, where the students are working on lego robotics. In class, students build lego creations that can perform simple tasks. For example, one bot was a motion sensor alligator that chomped on anything placed in front of it’s mouth. The students work in tandem with a computer program called We-Do, which guides them in the building process. The We-Do app also has a feature where students can design and build their own robot. They simply construct a set of qualities and functions and the program churns out instructions for the student. Many of the children were extremely enthusiastic about the exercise, and Koziupa hopes that by introducing technology and computer science in a “fun and nonthreatening” way it can garner greater, positive responses. and fuel future interest and pursuit.3

3

Tatyana Koziupa, interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 23, 2014. 4


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Examples of the robots Koziupa’s second grade classes are building with the We-Do app. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-uR8BZN5hAMs/TXAtKYmyRXI/AAAAAAAAV9k/MA8Kzu0Vlt0/s1600/LEGO+5+2.jpg

Koziupa’s role as tech integrationist at HRS is to introduce students to computer science and the use of computer programs in all subjects. In her technology classes, Koziupa presents her students with the “foundational basis” of computer science by introducing the basic logic behind programming languages. She is also developing and building off the current curriculum to streamline the technology exposure and skills learned throughout the grade levels. The program is in the beginning stages of a larger technology integration restructuring, so the long-term impact of the project is not measurable or quantifiable now. However, there is a strong correlation between exposure and interest. Every student has access to and is utilizing the numerous tech resources available to them, such as off hours computer lab time, elective based engineering or programming courses, and summer school coding classes; all of these opportunities help foster an interest in students at a young age. To be fair, a private institution in the Bay Area is not an accurate representation of school efforts across the country. However, many organizations have recognized the greater need for code-savvy individuals such as Girls who Code, Girls Teaching Girls to Code, and Girl Develop It. The sole purpose of these efforts, as Koziupa put it, is to help students “understand the logic behind computers, but also help them become problem solvers and flexible thinkers. The world that they are entering is not going to be stable and .... they are going to be changing careers. Even if they are not coding, they are going to need to know the language of coding.”4 Finding such passionate, patient, and encouraging 4

Koziupa, interview by the author. 5


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teachers is essential to the success of students in any discipline and important in retaining more girls in the sciences. The weight of a teacher’s words, whether inspiring or discouraging, is large. I recently spoke to Rohini Sankaran, a Stanford graduate who is working towards her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in Materials Science and Engineering. She whole heartedly believes she is “not good” at math, which may stem from how poorly some teachers treated her in school. In one incident, she was struggling with a particular topic in her pre-calculus class, parametric equations. She had spent hours studying, rewriting notes, and redoing all the practice problems, but still performed poorly on the exam. She approached her teacher for advice, but Ms. Finley simply said, “Sometimes [you] just reach a limit of your understanding of a subject and it happened to me and maybe this is your limit.”5 Such behavior by a teacher is only detrimental as it causes individuals to internalize a mentality of defeat and disinterest. Not only is the influence of teachers and parents important, but also the pressures of society and peers. Stereotypes limit an individual’s potential when they are allowed to define oneself. Some people, for example, believe that men excel more in the sciences than women. Such assumptions steer women away from occupations they believe are “inappropriate for their gender.”6 It even encourages girls to undervalue their own abilities in such subjects even with equal or better test performance compared to boys. However, Carol Dweck, a social and developmental psychologist at Stanford University, found that having a “growth mindset” counters such stereotypes. When an individual believes his or her intelligence is not limited and not determined by setbacks, gender has no impact on student performance. Furthermore, students excel more when positive stereotypes are reinforced prior to testing according to Dweck.7 Such evidence can be too optimistic as overcoming criticism is not easier with a growth mindset. However, having a fixed mindset, the opposite to a growth mindset, could explain the underperformance of American students in science and math.

5

Rohini Sankaran, interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 16, 2014. Catherine Hill, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," American Association of University Women (AAUW), last modified February 2010, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/Why-So-Few-Women-in-ScienceTechnology-Engineering-and-Mathematics.pdf. 7 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 6

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The United States has recently fallen behind on a number of educational metrics such as student performance on international examinations. Every year, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is administered to fifteen year olds from around the globe. In 2012, the United States scored below average in all three sections - mathematics, reading, and science. On the other hand, Shanghai, one of China’s top performing cities, placed first in all three categories.8

Students in the major metropolis scored on average 132

points

higher

mathematics

in

section

the than

students in the United States, and 83 points higher

in the science portion. The Organization for Economic

Co-operation

and

Development

(OECD), which administers PISA found a strong

correlation

between

economic performance

the

status

parents’

and

the

socio-

students’

in contained situations; however, the children of manual laborers in China outperformed

the substantial

kids of professionals in the U.S. by a margin.9 The data is more than a measure of ability, but also an indicator of declining interest in

other

subjects such as computer science for American

students. In recent years, enrollment in computer science has been on a downward trend in the United States. The percentage students

8

of

taking

high the

school

Advanced

Joe Weisenthal, "Here's The New Ranking Of Top Countries In Reading, Science, And Math,” Business Insider. Last modified December 3, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-201312. 9 "Do Parent's Occupation Have an Impact on Student Performance?," Organsiation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), last modified February 2014, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/PISA-in-Focus-N36-(eng)-FINAL.pdf. 7


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Placement

test

for

computer

to 19% today.10 Furthermore, of the few high

science has decreased from 25% in the 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

schools that do offer the course, it does

not

mathematics,

which

fulfill or

any

science, requirements,11

graduation

further

disincentives students

from enrolling in the course. Girls are also greatly underrepresented as they only account for a fifth of the AP computer science test takers.12 In Head-Royce School, females constitute less than a third of the computer scienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s class roster on average. In some years females consist of about half the class, and in years like 2010 no females were enrolled at all.13 The data from the last five years also suggests that girls at HRS typically score lower than their male counterparts on the AP exam. For example, in 2011, the year with the greatest score variance, the average female score was a 2.25 out of 5, but the average male score was two whole points higher with a 4.28. AP scores and grades are sometimes signs of achievement and aptitude for students, and receiving such low scores may dissuade girls from continuing to pursue the topic. Research also shows that males are more inclined to major in CS than females. One figure suggests that 74% of high school age boys believed that computer science would be a suitable major in college, but only a third of females said the same.14 In reality, however, fewer than 20% of women graduate college with a computer science degree, which begs the question: What about college deters women from pursuing programming?

10

"CS Education Statistics," Exploring Computer Science, accessed March 11, 2014, http://www.exploringcs.org/resources/cs-statistics. 11 Keith Wagstaff, "Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?," Time, last modified July 16, 2012, accessed March 11, 2014, http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/can-we-fix-computer-science-education-in-america/. 12 "CS Education Statistics," Exploring Computer Science. 13 Steve Gregg, e-mail interview by the author, Oakland, CA, March 6, 2014. 14 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 8


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Some argue that negative and implicit stereotypes surrounding computer science majors are contributing to declining female interest. Those who pursue a career in STEM are sometimes deemed “male in character” because determinants for success in certain occupations are defined by male performance. Also, in a study conducted by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, two professors at Carneige Mellon University, they found that mainly female students felt alienated and discouraged because they held uncommon views and interests on the subject than their male peers.15 Many participants in the study also associated computer science with “nerds,” and yet two-thirds of female students and a third of male students did not agree with such a description. In another study conducted by Joshua Aronson, an associate professor of developmental, social, and educational psychology at New York University, he examined cognitive gender differences and formed a theory of “disidentification.” His findings show that individuals will distance

15

Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 9


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themselves from something due to a negative stereotype. For example, girls may seem disinterested in mathematics because stereotypically boys are seen as more suited for the subject. Aronson’s theory of disidentification is a possible explanation for the low number of women electing to take computer science in college. Computer science majors have seen great waves of female interest in the last fifty years. In 1966, only 15% of college women held a bachelor’s degree in the field, and the number promisingly increased to 36% twenty years later16; however, in the following decades the number has dramatically declined back to 18% as of 2013.17 Historically, the percentage of women enrolled in computer science has been on a cyclical trend, but with enrollment figures declining it begs the question whether such numbers will be on the rise once again in the near future. As colleges are increasingly recognizing the barriers to success for women - such as

16

Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). Ali Partovi and Hadi Partovi, "How Code.org Is Extending Computer Science beyond ‘the Lucky Few’," Venture Beat, last modified November 9, 2013, accessed March 16, 2014, http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/09/how-code-orgis-extending-computer-science-beyond-the-lucky-few/. 17

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stereotypes –- fixed mindsets and negative stereotypes--many institutions are making great efforts to change. Some of the top universities in America have begun to revamp their CS curriculum to alleviate the deficit of female computer science students. Colleges such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Harvey Mudd are restructuring current course offerings and designing new introductory courses, which focus on the greater, more attractive applications of programming. Harvey Mudd’s President, Maria Klawe, said, “The difference is, females in general are much more interested in what you can do with the technology, than with just the technology itself.”18 So, the university is offering introductory courses where no computer science experience is required, presenting more research opportunities to female students, and encouraging more women to attend conferences where they can meet role models in the field. Harvey Mudd began its initiative seven years ago and has increased female enrollment from 10% to an astounding 43%.19 Stanford and Berkeley have reported some smaller improvements; for both universities female participation has increased from 12% to 21% in the last five years.20 Many universities and professionals are attempting to innovate and equalize the computer science field by utilizing the power of women as a valuable resource. They hope to sustain the U.S. economy in this new era of technology; however, at the moment, the United States seems to still be falling behind its international counterparts. China is beginning to surpass the U.S. in educating and preparing a larger number of its students for the future demands of society and technology. For several decades, Eastern Asia has transitioned from developing nations to industrialized powerhouses. As nations like Japan and China lead the way in creating new technology, both countries are rigorously preparing its future generation by heavily emphasizing the sciences in their studies. In 2008, almost a third of all bachelor degrees awarded in China were for engineering; while in the United States the percentage was a meager 4%.21 The brand name of American universities has also attracted the attention of many international students, especially students from China. Throughout the 1990s 18

Mike Cassidy, "Can Early Computer Science Education Boost Number of Women in Tech?," San Jose Mercury News, last modified February 22, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.mercurynews.com/mikecassidy/ci_25201424/can-early-computer-science-education-boost-number-women#top. 19 Cassidy, "Can Early Computer Science," San Jose Mercury News. 20 Kristen V. Brown, "Tech Shift: More Women in Computer Science Classes," SF Gate, last modified February 18, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Tech-shift-More-women-in-computerscience-classes-5243026.php#photo-5899823. 21 "Higher Education in Science and Engineering," National Science Foundation, accessed February 22, 2014, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c2/c2h.htm. 11


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and 2000s, students from China earned a quarter of all the United States’ doctorate degrees in science and engineering.22 Also, in 2009 China had 30 million students enrolled in higher education while America had only half of that.23 To be fair, there is greater education equality in the United States than in China. For example, a greater percentage of American students, about 70-89%, are pursuing a degree in higher education, whereas only 10-29% of young people in China are doing the same.24 With the United States staggering behind in international test cores, one may point to educational barriers as the main culprit, but the office environment is another strong candidate. According to Margolis and Fisher, many women are dissatisfied with the work culture of computer programming.25 For example, Chrystal Henke, a computer programmer manager at Arcadis, feels that computer science can sometimes be a “boys club.”26 Henke is reaching out and mentoring young women interested in the field, which she hopes will positively alter the work atmosphere. According to a report by Cathy Trower, research director of Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at Harvard University, she found that the lack of mentors for women limits the advice required for “navigating the workplace ... and advancing in their careers.”27 Another study suggests that females report lower job satisfaction in STEM careers because of “feelings of isolation, an unsupportive work environment, extreme work schedules, and unclear rules about advancement and success.”28 Contrary to such accounts, some reports on work culture claim that many barriers to achievement for women no longer exist.

22

"Chapter 2: Higher Education in Science and Engineering," National Science Foundation, last modified July 6, 2012, accessed March 16, 2014, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/pdf/c02.pdf. 23 Cheng, Surpassing Shanghai, 27. 24 Dan Smith, The Penguin State of the World Atlas, ninth ed. (New York City, NY: Penguin Group, 2012), 31. 25 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 26 Chrystal Henke, telephone interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 12, 2014. 27 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 28 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 12


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Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams, two professors at Cornell University, found that women are not inhibited by sex discrimination, but rather a lack of resources in the workplace. Ceci and Williams discovered with all things equal - employer, institution, discipline, and experience - men and women performed equally well. Surprisingly, it was also noted that a woman with a PhD was more likely than a man of equal qualifications to be interviewed and offered a tenure-track position at a university. However, women were also less likely to remain in such occupations due to attempts to balance their family and work life.29 Many positive and negative factors are discouraging women from this highly lucrative field, and may account for some of the gender pay gap. One of the highest paying jobs for a woman in 2012 was a computer and information systems manager, who makes on average

29

Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science," National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), last modified February 22, 2011, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044353/. 13


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$80,000 a year, but only a quarter of managers are female.30 Recently, President Obama is making attempts to narrow the wage gap with his Paycheck Fairness Act, which will place tighter regulations on companies to ensure equal pay for equal work.31 Hopefully, with the redesigned educational curriculum, altered mentalities, and increased mentorship the culture of computer science will become a more egalitarian and conducive environment. When I began my research, I was discouraged by the statistics and unappealing descriptions of the “frat boy” culture. Yet, the data and information seemed so far removed that it was unreal. It was hard for me to understand the true depth of the issues present in the workforce. When I spoke to other women in STEM, there was a consensus that some things needed to change. To be honest, for some time this information left me disheartened. It even caused me to more recently re-evaluate my decision to major in computer science. At the same time, I have also been inspired by the deep, rewarding work of the people in programming. When I visited Henke at her office, we reviewed the artist renderings for a new app her company is creating, discussed the possible framework of the coding, and examined the intricacies involved in creating the final product. I realized for myself there is more to programming than the lone individual typing away at the keyboard. The field is much more dynamic and collaborative than I had previously thought. Through the process I also came to more greatly appreciate technology and computer science. For someone who grew up in an era of technology it is easy to take for granted the power of a computer, but I realize computers only do what they are told and are only as smart as the person who programmed it. I have also learned to appreciate the product of computer science first. Universities like Cal, Stanford, Harvey Mudd and others are offering more access points for students to approach the material and are trying to hook students on the product before the process, which I can attest has its merits. I am still unsure if programming is in my long term plans, but I will pursue it in college because I am optimistic about the future of computer science. All the efforts being made by schools, big universities, and individuals in the field inspires hope. Hope that the climate of computer science will expand and change from a male dominated, “nerdy” one of the past to a more progressive and positive one.

30

Cassidy, "Women Missing out on Lucrative," Silicon Valley. Aamer Madhani, "Obama to Take Executive Action on Equal Pay Rules," USA Today, last modified April 7, 2014, accessed May 5, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/07/obama-equal-pay-executiveaction/7423401/. 31

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Bibliography "Achieve Universal Primary Education." United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.us.undp.org/content/china/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg2/. The article discusses the steps China has taken in the last 10 years to provide free compulsory primary education, which is still a struggle in rural parts of China. This article was a related link from another UNDP article. American College Testing. "2013 ACT National and State Scores." ACT.org. Accessed March 10, 2014. https://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2013/states.html. The website provides a breakdown of how well students in all 50 states did on the ACT for 2013. This website was more helpful than the College Board's information on the SAT score breakdown because the ACT is only taken in the United States. I found the site through google. Brown, Kristen V. "Tech Shift: More Women in Computer Science Classes." SF Gate. Last modified February 18, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Tech-shift-More-womenin-computer-science-classes-5243026.php#photo-5899823. This article describes how colleges in the Bay Area such as Cal and Stanford are attempting to revamp CS courses to attract more women. It also provides statistics on the increases in CS enrollment for both universities. Ms. Goglio forwarded me the article. "California Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Over: 1940 to 2000." United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/census/halfcentury/files/CA.pdf. Provides educational attainment statistics for the last 70 years specific to California. It was a related link from another US Census on national educational attainment. Cassidy, Mike. "Can Early Computer Science Education Boost Number of Women in Tech?" San Jose Mercury News. Last modified February 22, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_25201424/can-early-computer-science-educationboost-number-women#top. The article describes college trends of female enrollment in a computer science major. It also further describes how successful initiatives by Harvey Mudd College have been in increasing female enrollment. I found the article while searching through Inside Bay Area's website. Cassidy, Mike. "Women Missing out on Lucrative Careers in Computer Science." Silicon Valley. Last modified February 25, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mikecassidy/ci_25224467/women-missing-out-lucrative-careers-computer-science. The article provided information about the top median salaries for women in 2012, which included four CS jobs. The article endorsed the idea that more women in CS would be both lucrative and beneficial to society. I found the article through Ms. Goglio, who suggested I look at a few Oakland Tribune articles about women in programming. Ceci, Stephen J., and Wendy M. Williams. "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science." National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Last modified February 22, 2011. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044353/. This source claims that women are not inhibited in STEM fields by sexism, but rather a lack of resources and a personal preference for part-time employment. The article included evidence that women applying for tenure-track jobs were more likely to be interviewed and hired than men; however, women with children tend to avoid such jobs. Irene forwarded me the link to this report from one of her other classes.

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Central Intelligence Agency. "China." The World Factbook. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html. I found a few statistics about China's literacy rate among young men and women. CIA World Factbook was a resource I knew about previously. Central Intelligence Agency. "The United States." The World Factbook. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html. I found statistics like education expenditures as a percentage of GDP and literacy rates among men and women. Again, CIA World Factbook was a resource I previously knew about. Cheng, Kai-ming. Surpassing Shanghai. Edited by Marc S. Tucker. N.p.: Harvard Education Press, 2011. This excerpt provides historical and cultural context surrounding China's educational system. It also provides information on the reforms China is making towards a more equitable national educational system. I found this book through Asia Rising/ Ms. McKenna. "CS Education Statistics." Exploring Computer Science. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://www.exploringcs.org/resources/cs-statistics. The website provides recent national and state AP computer science test scores among girls and boys. It also has statistics on the decrease in the number of students taking the AP Computer Science exam. I found the site through a google search. Diprete, Thomas A., and Claudia Buchmann. "The Rise of Women Table and Figuers." Russell Sage Foundation. Accessed March 16, 2014. https://www.russellsage.org/sites/all/files/diprete_figurestables.pdf. The pdf provided numerous tables and figures regarding gender differences in US education for the past 50 years. Was a related link on the Russell Sage website. "Do Parent's Occupation Have an Impact on Student Performance?" Organsiation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Last modified February 2014. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/PISA-in-Focus-N36-(eng)-FINAL.pdf. This article argues there is a huge correlation between parent's occupation/socio-economic status and children's test performance; however, only when examining data from one contained country and not comparing two countries. I found this article while browsing through the homepage of the OECD/PISA's website. "Elementary and Secondary Mathematics and Science Education." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c1/c1h.htm. This article provided college enrollment percentages, student performance on STEM exams (like the OECD), and average GPAs in certain subjects all based upon ethnicity and/or gender. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. Fan, Maureen. "Illiteracy Jumps in China, despite 50-Year Campaign to Eradicate It." The Washington Post. Last modified April 27, 2007. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/04/26/AR2007042602452.html. The article argues that China's reported literacy rates are highly inaccurate. Many adults living in rural parts of the country often times forget much of what they were taught in primary education. Also the compulsory nine years of education is not feasible for many as it is either too far or too expensive. Google search. Fitzpatrick, Laura. "China's One Child Policy." Time. Last modified July 27, 2009. Accessed March 19, 2014. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html. 16


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The article provided a brief overview of China's One Child Policy that was helpful in my summary of China's attitude towards females. Google search. "Gender Equality." UNICEF. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.unicefchina.org/en/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=lists&catid=135. The article describes the inequality females face in China regarding education and social health. Google search. Gregg, Steve. E-mail interview by the author. Oakland, CA. March 6, 2014. I asked Mr. Gregg for some AP CompSci exam data for the past 5 years. Henke, Chrystal. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 12, 2014. Ms. Henke is my senior project manager. While speaking to her about the parameters of my project I asked about her experience in CS. "Higher Education in Science and Engineering." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c2/c2h.htm. This site provided statistics on the number of students majoring and receiving doctorates in STEM for the US and China as well as statistics on women in STEM in higher education. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. Hill, Catherine, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose. "Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." American Association of University Women (AAUW). Last modified February 2010. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/Why-SoFew-Women-in-Science-Technology-Engineering-and-Mathematics.pdf. This major report included many useful graphs and statistics as well as several hypotheses on the lack of women in STEM and possible solutions. One study mentioned in the report focused mainly on the female experience as a computer science major in college. I found this site through a simple google search. Koziupa, Tatyana. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 23, 2014. Ms. Koziupa (the LS/MS tech teacher and HRS tech integrationist) and I spoke about the tech classes in the lower school and the larger vision of the whole school on tech integration and computer science. I also observed one of her second grade tech classes to survey for myself the level of interest among students and observe the content of their classes. Madhani, Aamer. "Obama to Take Executive Action on Equal Pay Rules." USA Today. Last modified April 7, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2014. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/07/obama-equalpay-executive-action/7423401/. The article provides some context on President Obama's Paycheck Fairness Act. Ms. McKenna suggested I look at this piece of legislation. Miller, Claire Cain. "Technologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Man Problem." The New York Times. Last modified April 5, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/technology/technologys-manproblem.html?src=rechp&_r=0. The article shadows the trials and tribulations of being a woman in CS by incorporating several varying (and shocking) viewpoints and personal quotes from women. Rohini Sankaran, one of my interviewees, forwarded me this article. "The National Science Foundation Provides $5.2 Million Grant to Create New Advanced PlacementÂŽ Computer Science Course and Exam." College Board. Last modified June 13, 2013. Accessed March 17


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11, 2014. https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2013/national-science-foundation-provides-52million-grant-create-new-advanced-placement-compute. The article describes the new AP Comp Sci Principles exam the National Science Foundation is funding, and other programs the NSF is funding. Google search. Paris, Frankie. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 15, 2014. Ms. Sarkar suggested that I get the perspective of a girl deterred from STEM. Frankie has quite an interesting perspective on math in that she enjoys and values the humanities more, but is still looking to utilize her math abilities in some capacity in journalism, her intended career path. Paul, Mya. E-mail interview by the author. Oakland, CA. March 6, 2014. Ms. Paul sent me Head-Royce school testing data such as student performance on the ACT, SAT, SAT II, and AP exams in STEM subjects. Plafker, Ted. "China's Long â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but Uneven â&#x20AC;&#x201D; March to Literacy." The New York Times. Last modified February 12, 2001. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/12/news/12ihtrchina.t.html. Describes the governmental/political push for literacy/educational reform in China. The author also voices some skepticism about China's reported statistics. Google search. "Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) Result from PISA 2012." Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Last modified 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014P. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-US.pdf. This article includes information on US student performance in mathematics. For example, a student's motivation to learn math, anxiety toward math abilities, and completion of highest level of math. I found the site while browsing through the OECD's website. "Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women." United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.us.undp.org/content/china/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg3/. The article describes the UNDP and China's current efforts in educating women in China. It also touches upon problems that have yet to be addressed. Google search. Raheji, Garima. "Why Teens Need to Learn Computer Basics." Inside Bay Area. Last modified March 6, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_25288015/why-teens-need-learncomputer-basics?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com. The article describes how Code.org is trying to encourage teenagers to learn coding. Ms. Goglio suggested I look at some Oakland Tribune articles, and once on their website I did a general search about programming. Resmovits, Joy. "New SAT to Bring Back 1600 Point Scale - with Optional Essay." The Huffington Post. Last modified March 5, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/newsat-test_n_4899565.html?utm_hp_ref=education. This article provides information on how the College Board is attempting to revamp the SAT for 2016 in order to be more equitable for families of different incomes and for testing knowledge and skills with real-life applications. It will attempt to get rid of the unfair test prep culture created by tricky SAT questions, to follow CCSS standards of what students should be learning in school, and to have questions with greater real-life applications. I found the article while browsing through the Huffington Post's Education section. "Resources." Women in Technology. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.womenintechnology.org/witef/resources. The site provides female STEM interest statistics, STEM career statistics, and other data. Google search. 18


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"The Rise of Women: Seven Charts Showing Women's Rapid Gains in Educational Achievement." Russell Sage Foundation. Last modified February 21, 2013. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.russellsage.org/blog/rise-women-seven-charts-showing-womens-rapid-gains-educationalachievement. The article provided tables of educational attainment for women and men in the US for the past 50 years, which conflicts with previous information from another source. Google search. Sankaran, Rohini. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 16, 2014. Ms. Sankaran is a friend of Mr. Kinney. She is currently at Cal receiving her doctorate in Materials Sciences and Engineering. During the interview we discussed her upbringing and experiences in STEM. "Science and Engineering Labor Force." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c3/c3h.htm. This site provided the percentages of women in different STEM fields such as biological/medical sciences, engineering, and computer/mathematic sciences. It also included the growth rate of the number of researchers in both China and the US. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. "Science,Technology and Innovation MetaData: Women in Science." UNESCO. Accessed March 20, 2014. http://data.uis.unesco.org/index.aspx?queryid=118&export. The site compiled the percentages of female researchers in STEM in some Chinese cities like Hong Kong and Macau. I found it browsing through the UNESCO site. Smith, Dan. The Penguin State of the World Atlas. Ninth ed. New York City, NY: Penguin Group, 2012. I found statistics and cute graphics tracking the quality of life, distribution of wealth, and gender equity in both China and the US. This book was a resource available in the classroom. "Stagnant 2013 SATÂŽ Results Are Call to Action for the College Board." College Board. Last modified September 26, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2014. https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2013/stagnant2013-sat-results-require-action. This article describes the average results from the 2013 SAT exam and hypothesizes some of the possible reasons for such low test averages. I found the article while browsing the College Board's website. "Statistical Communique 1998." National Bureau of Statistics of China. Last modified March 31, 2002. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/StatisticalCommuniqu/200203/t20020331_61429.html. The article provides a general overview of the status of China. It provides educational statistics and rural residential statistics. I found the name of the National Bureau of Statistics of China from another article and searched its site for information on China's education. "Statistical CommuniquĂŠ of the People's Republic of China on the 2012 National Economic and Social Development." National Bureau of Statistics of China. Last modified February 22, 2013. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/StatisticalCommuniqu/201302/t20130222_61456.html. Provides statistics on educational attainment levels and the migration of rural residents to urban cities in China. I found the National Bureau of Statistics of China from another article and searched its site for information on China's education.

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Stout, Kristie Lu. "Mind the Gap: China's Great Education Divide." CNN. Last modified December 17, 2013. Accessed March 2, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/world/asia/china-education-gap-stout/. This article exposed the inequity in China's educational system and questions the validity of China's performance on the OECD as it only tracks high performing students in urban areas. I found the website through google. Tsang, Mun C. "Education and National Development in China since 1949: Oscillating Policies and Enduring Dilemmas." Cnefr.net. Last modified 2000. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://cnefr.net/yjdh/wxlb/qt/images/2009/1/18/407.pdf. Provides a general time line of political and educational changes in China. Google search. Turner, Barry, ed. The Stateman's Yearbook 2013. New York City, NY: Macmillan Publishers, 2012. I found some information on the government's role in education in both countries. For example, government spending on education, reforms, and laws. This book was a resource available in the classroom. "Unemployment, Youth Total." The World Bank. Accessed March 19, 2014. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS. The site has unemployment statistics for Hong Kong for the last 20 years at least. Found the site as a related link from gapminder.org, which is a resource from Mr. Davies' Economics class. United Nations. Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2013. N.p.: United Nations Pubns, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/statistical-yearbook-asiapacific-country-profiles-education-2013-en.pdf. The site provides educational, literacy, and employment statistics for China. Found it while browsing through UNESCO's website. "United States Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Over: 1940 to 2000." United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/census/half-century/files/US.pdf. Provided data for the last 70 years of educational attainment among men and women for high school diplomas and bachelor's degrees. Google search targeting the census bureau. Wagstaff, Keith. "Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?" Time. Last modified July 16, 2012. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/can-we-fix-computer-scienceeducation-in-america/. The op-ed explores why there is a decrease in students who are interested in CS. Google search. Wang, Yan. "A New Direction for Education Reform in China." OECD Education Today. Last modified December 16, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2013/12/anew-direction-for-education-reform-in.html. This article provided information on the most recent educational reforms in China, which include revamping the college entrance exams and the decrease of governmental bureaucratic control of education. I found the website through a google search, and this site has provided me several other links to related articles. Weisenthal, Joe. "Here's The New Ranking Of Top Countries In Reading, Science, And Math Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-2013-12#ixzz2uqOkagvm." Business Insider. Last modified December 3, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/pisarankings-2013-12. This article provided 2013 OECD test scores with a breakdown of points for each of the three test sections. It compared China (Shanghai), the US, and the OECD test average for all three test sections as well. I found the site using a google search. 20


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Yoder, Brian L. "Engineering by the Numbers." American Society of Engineering Education. Last modified 2011. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.asee.org/papers-and-publications/publications/collegeprofiles/2011-profile-engineering-statistics.pdf. This website included statistics on female attainment of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in STEM compared to men. I also found several helpful graphs that display such information. I found the site using a google search.

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The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges By Colin Leach

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Abstract Acts of intolerance have been a large issue at soccer stadiums throughout Europe for decades up to the present. Different leagues throughout Europe vary in how they attempt to fight problems such as racism, with some leagues making no attempt at all. Therefore, some leagues have been more progressive in how they have eliminated racism from soccer. The next step, given that acts of racism keep occurring, is for the larger soccer organizations such as FIFA to start responding to intolerance. Unfortunately, even with sanctions, acts of racism may not ever stop occurring at soccer matches.

The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges

After living in London, England I became completely submerged in the culture of football. I quickly became a fan of a local club in the English Premier League called Arsenal. The beautiful game is the most popular sport in the world. Many also consider the game a form of art. That is why it is hard to see acts of intolerance take place in the sport. The game I have grown to love and have enjoyed playing, is being tainted by random acts of bigotry. Competitive ball games have been present in almost all cultures of the ancient world. Soccer, more commonly known as Football, originated from different sports around the world that require the use of feet. The first forms of balls that could be kicked date all the way back to 2000 BCE. During the Beijing Football Expo

in 2004, Sepp Blatter

to declared

China as the home of

soccer.17 This

statement was fueled

by the Chinese

game cuju, which

translates to

kickball. In China,

cuju was a

kicking game that

became

popular under the

Han. The game was played with a stitched leather ball stuffer with fur or feathers. There was a marked field with two goals on two ends. The goals in this game were moon or crescent shaped. In some accounts the goal was a hole in a

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silk sheet that was hung between two bamboo posts. The game was most likely popular in the army as a form of training and recreation. As the game evolved, so did the ball, which became increasingly hollow. This new ball was not fit for the heavily aggressive style of play. Eventually two different versions of cuju evolved. There was the more popular version and then the courtly version of the game. Over time the Han dynasty declined and the Ming dynasty replaced it in the fourteenth century. With this change, the game cuju disappeared.8 Even though cuju disappeared, the game spread as China expanded and established trade routes, which led to new developments of kicking games around the world. For example, Sepak Raga was a game played in the Malay Peninsula. Sepak (Malay) Raga (Thai) also means kickball. The sport was a cross between football and volleyball that was played with a ball made out of rattan. On the other hand, another game called kemari emerged in Japan, which dates back as far as the sixth century BCE according to Japanese historians. Kemari was very similar to cuju, at least the courtly version, but this game was being played in Japan long before cuju became popular in China. Kemari was plaed on a six or seven meter dirt square marked by four trees placed at its corners. That is why the game was also referred to as ‘standing among the trees’. The trees were cherry, willow or maple. Pine trees were also used but they were considered to have high status. Eight players would play at a time, standing in pairs with one person on each side of the trees. The ball was hollow and made with deerskin. The ball was either painted white using albumen or dyed yellow using smoke from pine needle flames. The team with the highest status would start the game. The objective of this game was to keep the ball in the air as long as possible. Teams used their trees off which to bounce the ball if necessary. Teams and individuals would be praised for their ball skills and would receive extra kicks for specific teams.8 To end a game of kemari, the player of the highest status would kick the ball high into the air and catch it in his kimono.

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The sport became popular among the Japanese elite during the twelth and thirteenth centuries. Eventually houses of kemari were created with each house having a distinct version of rules, and training. While active emperor, emperor Gotoba established the dress code of the game: specific color socks would be worn depending on social rank. Kemari made it as a sport as far as the nineteenth century, however it did die out as a sport in Japan as the nation made efforts to industrialize. The game quickly became insignificant, only being played by those close to the emperor to hold ties to the country’s past. By the end of World War II the game ultimately vanished. While these early sports in the Far East and Mesoamerica had their audiences, Europe was different because that’s when large stadiums start to be seen. For example, Rome was host of the most impressive stadium of its time. The Coliseum was a five story 50,000 seat stadium that remained the greatest stadium until the twentieth century when it was surpassed.8 However, sports in Europe were not as significant as elsewhere. The culture of sport in Europe was more focused on violence. This was caused by the constant warfare that took place in Europe. Gladiators were combatants that fought to entertain crowds in during the Roman Empire. This was a sport that was quite popular in this empire and left no room for a game involving a ball. In addition, there was jousting and hunting which were also sports but during the Middle Ages. These sports were favored because they were fit for mounted warriors, which were common back then. Even though Europe did not initially focus on football it slowly became popular in the northwestern corner of Europe, which was excluded from the control of Rome. In addition, this region was not completely absorbed by the wave of Christianity. Christianity was not completely adopted by the region; it kept its initial tribal belief systems. This region includes the Celtic culture. The Celtic culture heavily influenced the outcome of English football. The fact that ball sports were played in this region speaks on the idea that the culture remained separate throughout

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the medieval era. Therefore they avoided the aggressive Roman Empire. In addition, Celtic societies avoided the wave of Christianity that struck throughout Europe. Had Celtic societies fallen under these influences, football probably would not have made it to the present. Roman invasion would have destroyed the Celtic societies that would maintain the sport. Furthermore, had Christianity taken hold in Celtic society, the culture around the sports that eventually would have led into soccer would have been altered; the culture itself may have been eliminated. The actual sport of soccer dates back to the fourteenth century when observers described the game as one where players ‘roll the ball across the ground or striking it with feet.’ The game was banned somewhere between 1450 and 1650 in provincial towns such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Leicester. Despite that, the people continued to play, fueled by strong disapproval of the sanctions and driven by the sport’s social significance—especially for lower classes. Due to the chance course of history and the Anglo-Celtic conflict of the eighteenth century, modern football was created.8 The next step for football after its creation was its growth in Britain. This growth started in British schools. Football grew as a result of boys in British schools being too violent. Teachers gathered and proposed a class specifically designed to relieve students of this violent nature. In addition, the educators believed it built character; students would learn about cooperation and competition through sports. Soon, soccer made its way into this class at public schools. Yet, the sport was only a minor recreational pastime for the upper class in the early 1870s. It was on July 20th 1871, that soccer in England really took off. On that day, the Football Association (FA) created a tournament for football clubs. The tournament was called the Football Association Challenge Cup. C. W. Alcock, the Secretary for the FA announced on the day that the tournament was created that, “It is desirable that a challenge cup should be established in connection with the association, for which all clubs belonging to the association

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should be invited to compete.” For the first FA Challenge cup, fifty teams were eligible, but only fifteen teams entered the tournament. Some teams declined participating in the tournament strictly due to the costs and difficulty of nationwide travel. This tournament was significant outside of that that it was the first FA Challenge Cup, the FA also established the official rules of the tournament that would be the start of the rule system of football of the present. Fields in the 1870s were much larger than modern-day pitches, almost twice as large. Initially there were four flags to mark the boundary of these large fields. Lines were not painted on the field as boundaries at this point in football’s history. For goals there were too goal posts that were attached by tape. The tape served as a makeshift crossbar until the actual crossbar was included as part of goals in 1882.8 The first time actual nets of a goal were added was ten years later. Furthermore, goalposts were square at this point in time. Goalposts only became circular in the twentieth century. Soccer’s storied history and origins have long been intertwined with incidents of intolerance, including religious and racial abuse. Even as outlooks on the sport have changed, with many of the wealthiest and highest-level leagues now including players from around the world, acts of racism have still been prevalent in recent years. It is highly possible that racism will remain existent just as long as soccer, however, the main concern is what precautions are being taken to keep intolerance from tainting “the beautiful game.” Before examining acts of intolerance, it is important to find the roots of the conflict. Football grew into a global game from a game played only among the elite of British society.8 This may have begun the ill feeling toward inclusion of others whether this was regarding race or social class. In the present acts of intolerance are still occurring today and these feelings may originate in the prejudices established in the world of football by British aristocrats. Today many reasons that racism occurs stem from immigration,9 as evidenced by how citizens of different European countries responded to players of different

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ethnicities going to play football early on in the professional sport’s history. Why the targeting of immigrants? Immigrants have often been blamed for taking advantage of social services and abusing the welfare state. This is primarily true in times of economic downturn. In football specifically, players of minority were entering Europe to play football professionally. Some viewed this as an act of stealing job opportunities, but the backlash was mostly in response to immigration on a large scale. Soccer players from other countries bore the brunt of larger bigotry and economic complaints. There is a relationship between the number of incidents involving intolerance and how open countries are to diversity, so tackling this conflict may be key to fixing problems inside the stadium. When it comes to knocking intolerance out of football, England has led by example. England as a country has taken many preventative measures regarding racism, which have led the country to host a variety of players from around the world. In England, 25% of all professional players are black.15 In 1976 England created the Commission for Racial Equality, which enforced antidiscrimination laws. Only fifteen years later, England took another precaution to defend professional football players from racist abuse. The Football Offences Act, passed in 1991, made racist chants at a football field a criminal act. In addition to this law, advancements in technology have also been key in eliminating intolerance at football games in England. Every stadium is now equipped with high-quality cameras that can focus in on any spectators who may possibly be shouting racist chants at players. However, even with these renovations, still only 1% of fans that attend professional matches in England are black.1 Now another problem that England must deal with is keeping racism off the field. Within the past two years there have been problems with racism between players. In 2011 Liverpool player Luis Suárez was accused of using a racial slur toward Manchester United player Patrice Evra. Suárez was given an 8-match ban and then a fine of $40,000. A similar event occurred in 2012 when Chelsea player John Terry racially abused Queens Park Rangers player Anton

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Ferdinand. John Terry received a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine for his actions.16 Even though these events occurred fairly recently, England is still doing much better than other countries at keeping racism out of the sport on a large scale. It is obvious that different countries have tackled these problems very differently, but it is still a mystery why other leagues haven’t taken these precautions. It is obvious that Italy has taken a different path from England. No matter the country, extremist groups such as ultras and neo-Nazis have used stadiums as platforms for their views.9 The ultras ultimately started chants of intolerance in Italian soccer stadiums. At first these chants started when people from Northern Italy were articulating their views toward Southern Italians, but eventually things got out of hand and spread to immigrants as neo-Nazi groups began to develop. The main reason that groups still gather at Italian stadiums and harass players and fans of opposing teams is because there is a lack of police enforcement. Security guards are scared of entering the hostile crowds to make arrests.7 That is why, to this day, events involving racist or anti-Semitic chants in Italy still appear in the news. The larger organizations in Italy now are prosecuting these actions. Teams may be fined for disrespectful fans. Teams may be forced to play homes games at an away location. If conditions are extreme enough then teams may be kept out of certain league or even international competitions. These precautions may help in finally making a change in Italian football.

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In Italy, there was recently an incident of racism which occurred when

Serie A team AC Milan played local club side Pro Patria in an exhibition match. During the game, players on AC Milan including Kevin Prince Boateng and M’baye Niang were victims of racial abuse.18 Pro Patria fans threw bananas at the two black players and directed monkey chants at them. Pro Patria was fined $20,000.14 That is one of many acts of abuse toward AC Milan, a team with numerous players of African descent. As a result of all the racist abuse directed toward AC Milan, FIFA was forced to establish and enforce stricter sanctions against racism and policies to prevent racism. Spain is another country that suffers from acts of racism in football. In 2006, Samuel Eto’o was still a striker for Catalan club FC Barcelona. During a game against Real Zaragoza he was receiving so much racist abuse that he almost walked off the field. In an attempt to show the foolishness of the fans’ racism, he pointed to Zaragoza defender Alvaro who is also black. Unfortunately, there was no punishment for this event.11 However, La Liga has come a long way in terms of sanctions. Dani Alves, another FC Barcelona player, was a victim of racial abuse as recently as April 27th 2014. While Dani Alves was preparing to take a corner, a fan of the opposing team, Villareal, threw a banana at him. The Barcelona defender impulsively responded by taking a bite out of the banana. Later, in response to the larger situation, Villareal received a €12,000 fine and the fan who threw the banana, who was also a member of a Villareal youth team, was removed from the Villareal youth system and was banned from ever returning to a Villareal match again.17 What bigots in these countries don’t recognize is that these leagues are only known for the highest levels of football because of the immigration of key players, if put simply practical vs. ethical terms. Opening up the market to players from around the world brought better talent to these leagues and brought financial dominance as well. Honestly, the reason that the English Premier League has reached the peak of football as the most competitive league in the

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world is because players do not hesitate at the idea of taking their talent to England. England took the steps in order to invite talent from around the world while protecting their human rights. That is what all leagues must do in order to become as successful as possible, not to mention to become as accepting and tolerant as possible. It’s easy to look at Europe as a location where all these problems are still prevalent. However, one must ask are the United States any better? After interviewing Karen Mihara, the Program Administrator of Safe Haven, I learned a little more about the answer to that question. Karen Mihara, as part of the Safe Haven program, responds to acts of intolerance in youth soccer leagues. Safe Haven is a program that works with the American Youth Soccer Organization with the ultimate goal of protecting the players and teaching the players how to interact with one another. Karen Mihara informed me that racism in not a frequent issue that occurs in youth soccer leagues, however, it has happened before. While conducting an interview with the administrator of Safe Haven I was informed that the worse case of racism she ever had to deal with was with five year olds. One boy used a racial slur when referring to two African-American players on his team. In response to the incident, the child and his parents apologized. Despite acts of racism occurring only twice a year for Safe Haven, it is extremely surprising that this event happened between five year olds. It is clear that the kid was learning from his parents according to Karen Mihara, but it is also evident that racism is still very alive in the United States. Outside of soccer, racial intolerance has still made its way into sports with a heavier American focus such as basketball and American football. When it comes to the Washington Redskins, Rob Lake, the Head of the Head-Royce School believes that it is necessary to change the name of that franchise for the sake of the Native American community--even at the risk of angering fans. Another incident that has happened very recently has been the Los Angeles Clippers scandal

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about the basketball organization’s owner, Donald Sterling, who made racist remarks toward black people. It is clear that racism is still prevalent today. Acts of racism occur every now and then and it appears that these acts may never stop. There are still reasons to be hopeful because these acts of racial abuse are becoming less frequent, usually happening only once or twice a year. Rob Lake explains why he is optimistic about the world and eliminating racism. He is patient, and believes that the world is moving in a direction of more and more tolerance with each new generation. However, Rob Lake also emphasized the possibility that racism will always be present. One way that racism in football could be challenged is by having players of color or differing religious views play for teams with intolerant fans. These players would perform for these fans and make them happy and that may be a step that in the right direction of eliminating racism in football. Another method would be to punish teams whether the punishment is through fines or if it means keeping certain club or national teams out of international competitions or if it means deducting points from teams in terms of table placement. These methods seem to be the best methods because some locations have gotten out of control with intolerance that police force can no longer ease the problem. In addition, some teams are part of million dollar, even billion dollar organizations so fines will not stop teams like that with fines worth thousands of dollars. Nonetheless, it is necessary that larger football organizations are taking action against intolerance; their response is long overdue. They are the catalysts for substantial change.

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17. “Villareal  Fined  €12,000  for  Banana  Thrown  at  Barcelona’s  Dani  Alves.”   Theguardian.com.  Guardian  News  and  Media,  07  May  2014.  Web.  08  May  2014   http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/may/07/dani-­‐alves-­‐villarreal-­‐ barcelona-­‐racism-­‐banana     Images:   18. Gibson,  Owen.  “World  Cup  2010:  Sepp  Blatter  Performs  U-­‐turn  over  Goalline   Technology.”  The  Guardian.  Guardian  News  and  Media,  30  June  2010.  Web.  02  May   2014.     http://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/jun/29/sepp-­‐blatter-­‐goalline-­‐ technology   19. “Pro  Patria  Sanctioned  after  Boateng  Racist  Chants.”  Capital  Sports  RSS.  N.p.,  n.d.   Web.  05  May  2014.     http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/sports/2013/01/09/pro-­‐patria-­‐sanctioned-­‐after-­‐ boateng-­‐racist-­‐chants/   20. “Caribbean  Strongman  to  Lead  FIFA  Anti-­‐racism  Task  Force.”  SportsKeeda.  N.p.,  n.d.   Web.  07  May  2014.     http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/caribbean-­‐strongman-­‐to-­‐lead-­‐fifa-­‐anti-­‐ racism-­‐task-­‐force/      

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Jordan Perteet   Global  Issues    

The Evolution  of  Hip  Hop:     From  an  Underground  Culture  to  a  Global  Market        

     


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      Abstract   This  paper  dives  into  the  evolution  of  hip-­‐hop  from  a  culture  into  a  global  business.   Explaining  the  markets,  backdoor  dealings,  and  historical  pillars  of  the  hip-­‐hop  industry,   this  essay  is  a  must  read  for  hip  hop  enthusiasts  who  want  to  understand  how  decisions  are   made  in  the  business  world  of  hip-­‐hop.  I  conducted  interviews,  read  blogs  and  books,   analyzed  song  lyrics,  studied  business  models,  and  browsed  various  media  news  websites   compiling  all  of  the  information  presented,  and  am  much  more  prepared  to  work  to  enter   the  hip-­‐hop  industry.                        


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I was  surrounded  by  the  sound  of  scattered  conversations,  Yurie’s  loud  and  

unending laughter,  and  the  frustrated  groans  of  Paul  and  Mel  losing  in  StarCraft.  It  was  a   typical  Tuesday  lunch  for  most  people  in  the  Wells/Correa  homeroom,  but  not  for  me.  I  had   my  laptop,  MIDI  keyboard,  ear  buds,  and  the  determination  to  finish  the  track  I  was   working  on.  I  had  just  plugged  in  my  headphones  and  shut  out  the  surrounding  world  when   my  screen  was  suddenly  pulled  back  so  that  an  intruding  face  could  see  what  I  was  working   on.    

“Oh God  he’s  trying  to  make  music,”  Lex  groaned,  creating  quotation  marks  with  his  

hands as  he  said  the  word  ‘music’.  “Jordan  there’s  nothing  impressive  about  what  you’re   doing–all  you  have  to  do  is  push  a  button  on  your  computer.  And  if  you’re  making  hip-­‐hop,   that’s  even  worse!  That  stuff  isn’t  music,  it’s  just  noise!”  I  jumped  out  of  my  seat,  ready  to   argue,  but  then  thought  to  myself,  it’s  not  worth  the  effort.  I  had  had  this  debate  with  Lex   many  times  before  and  was  completely  done  with  trying  to  prove  my  point.      

For me,  hip-­‐hop  has  been  much  more  than  just  music.  It’s  been  a  form  of  self-­‐

expression when  words  don’t  suffice,  an  escape  from  stress,  a  motivator  in  times  of  high-­‐ pressure,  and  so  much  more.  For  over  seven  years  now,  hip-­‐hop  has  been  sustenance  for   my  soul,  and  to  hear  the  constant  degradation  of  the  culture  that  helps  to  raise  me  up  feels   extremely  disheartening.  In  just  under  60  years,  hip-­‐hop  has  grown  from  a  way  of  life   hidden  in  the  slums  of  New  York,  to  a  multi-­‐billion  dollar  industry  that  touches  people  in  all   corners  of  the  world,  but  at  the  same  time,  it  has  become  synonymous  with  a  culture   promoting  sex,  drugs,  and  money.  Media  conglomerates  have  boosted  music  featuring   these  values  to  the  mainstream,  which  has  contributed  to  the  stigma  associated  with  the   hip-­‐hop  movement.  In  fact,  at  its  core,  hip-­‐hop  is  a  positive  culture  that  is  built  from  


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struggle and  pain.  These  values,  while  not  lost  among  hip-­‐hop  heads  around  the  world,  are   almost  unknown  to  listeners  on  the  outskirts  of  the  hip-­‐hop  audience.   Hip-­‐hop,  while  still  a  young  and  developing  culture,  now  plays  a  major  role  in  the   lives  of  different  generations  of  people  around  the  globe,  but  the  lifestyle  is  most  prevalent   in  American  culture,  where  it  has  its  roots.  There  are  four  main  pillars  that  make  up  Hip   Hop  culture:  graffiti,  DJ‘ing,  breaking,  and  MC’ing1.  All  of  these  cultural  pillars  have  played   their  part  in  the  advancement  of  not  only  African-­‐American  culture,  but  in  shaping  the  pop   cultures  of  a  variety  of  nations.   In  the  late  1960’s,  graffiti  emerged  in  America  as  a  way  for  gangs  to  mark  their   territory  and  for  political  activists  to  express  their  opinions  in  a  way  that  a  broader   audience  of  people  could  relate  to.  In  Hip  Hop  culture,  graffiti  was,  and  still  is,  used  as  a   method  of  controlled  and  mature  rebellion  against  those  who  do  not  recognize  the   legitimacy  of  their  opinions,  ideas,  thoughts,  and,  most  importantly,  their  art.  In  relation  to   the  other  pillars  of  Hip  Hop,  DJ’s  and  MC’s,  also  known  as  rappers,  enlisted  graffiti  artists  to   create  flyers  promoting  their  shows  and  parties2.    

                                                                                                                        1  Laurence, Rebecca. "40 Years on from the Party Where Hip Hop Was Born." BBC. Last modified August 9, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130809-the-party-where-hip-hop-was-born.

2

Element, Kevin. "Hard Hitting Modern Perspective on Hip Hop Graffiti." Graffiti.org. Last modified 1996. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.graffiti.org/faq/element.html.


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The Invite  Sent  Out  for  DJ  Kool  Herc’s  1973  Back  to  School  Party3  

One example  of  this  is  the  invitation  to  the  most  important  even  in  the  history  of  Hip   Hop:  DJ  Kool  Herc’s  Back  to  School  Party  at  1520  Sedwick  Ave  in  the  Bronx.  The  invites   were  created  on  notecards,  but  used  the  bubble  art  specific  to  graffiti  art  of  the  time.   DJ  Kool  Herc’s  Back  to  School  Party  is  where  many  argue  that  hip-­‐hop  music  was   born.  Kool  Herc  was  an  Afro-­‐Caribbean  New  Yorker  who  experimented  with  mixing   cultural  West  Indian  music  with  the  popular  disco  tunes  of  the  1970’s4.  At  this  legendary   party,  Herc  took  the  break  of  a  disco  track,  which  is  the  instrumental  part  that  was  best  for   dancing,  and  he  looped  it.  After  looping  the  break,  he  decided  to  pick  up  a  microphone  and   put  some  rhyming  lyrics  over  it.  This  had  never  really  been  done.  The  closest  thing  was   spoken  word,  but  Herc  took  the  poetry  and  set  it  to  music.  The  birth  of  a  genre  came  out  of   this  party,  and  DJ’s  all  around  New  York  started  teaming  up  with  MC’s,  and  creating  more   intricate  breaks  by  mixing  two  different  tracks.  Through  the  birth  of  MC’ing,  so  came  the   birth  of  the  producer:  the  person  who  created  or  played  the  track  that  was  being  used  for   performances5.   The  break  of  a  song  is  the  best  time  for  dancing,  and  DJ’s  tend  to  extend  the  breaks   to  allow  for  longer  periods  of  dancing.  The  dances  form  that  evolved  from  these  periods  has   grown  into  its  own  culture:  breaking.  Also  known  as  break  dancing  or  B-­‐Boy’ing,  breaking   is  a  staple  of  hip-­‐hop  culture.  With  influences  from  legends  such  as  James  Brown,  breaking   became  a  way  for  youth  to  express  themselves  and  settle  disputes  through  battles.  It  was  a   positive  form  of  self-­‐expression  that  kept  disputing  gangs  from  resorting  to  violence,  just  as                                                                                                                           3  DJ Kool Herc Back to School Party Invitation. Photograph. BBC. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/624_351/images/live/p0/1d/wg/p01dwgjw.jpg. 4

Reyes, Elvin, MC Greg Nice, Curtis Sherrod, DJ Silva-Sirfa, Mark Naison, and Dr. Marcyliena Morgan. Interview by Tufuku Zuberi. Http://www-tc.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/static/media/transcripts/2011-05-21/611_hiphop.pdf. 2008. 5

PBS. Last modified 2006. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/about_hiphop.htm.


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graffiti was  used  to  mark  a  gang’s  area,  breaking  was  used  to  win  territory  from  another   gang6.  One  notorious  group  of  breakers  from  the  Bronx  was  the  group  called  the  Zulu   Kings,  who  were  associated  with  the  hip-­‐hop  activist  group  Zulu  Nation.  Zulu  Nation,   founded  by  Afrika  Bambaataa,  was  a  group  dedicated  to  using  music  and  dance  to  solve   issues  that  created  division  and  tension  among  African-­‐Americans  within  their  own   culture.  Afrika  Bambaataa  represented  a  political  movement  in  the  projects  of  the  Bronx   and  used  their  aggressive,  yet  non-­‐violent,  techniques  of  music  and  dance  to  let  their  voices   be  heard7.   The  most  popular  pillar  of  hip-­‐hop  is  the  MC’ing.  The  MC,  also  known  as  the  Master   of  Ceremonies  is  the  lyricist  who  lays  down  rhymes  over  the  breaks  given  to  them  by  DJ’s.   As  I  mentioned  earlier,  Kool  Herc  was  the  first  to  “rap”  over  a  record  and  kick  off  the  Hip   Hop  music  movement,  but  the  first  recorded  rap  song  is  one  that  every  knows,  and  one  that   took  America  by  storm.  ‘Rapper’s  Delight”  by  the  Sugar  Hill  Gang  is  the  most  influential   track  of  all  time.  It  started  off  with  a  group  of  three  different  youth  cyphering,  or  rapping  in   a  circle.  They  were  three  guys  who  had  never  met  in  their  life,  but  who  had  been  united   through  their  art  and  love  of  rhyming.  The  group  of  youth  impressed  music  professional   Sylvia  Robinson,  who  took  them  under  her  wing  and  recorded  their  hit  song  under  the  label   Sugar  Hill  Records.  The  record  was  an  ‘instant  hit”  and  showed  the  world  that  hip-­‐hop  was   real  and  something  to  be  taken  seriously.    Sylvia  then  went  on  to  record  another  hip-­‐hop   classic  with  Grandmaster  Flash  and  the  Furious  Five:  “The  Message,”  which  proved  that  not   only  could  hip-­‐hop  be  a  fun  thing  to  listen  to  and  bond  over,  but  that  it  could  carry                                                                                                                           6  "Breakdancing with Mr.Fresh & The Supreme Rockers." Global Darkeness. Last modified 2002. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/history%20of%20breaking.htm.   7  Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.


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messages and  represent  the  political  consciousness  of  African-­‐American  people8.  At  that   time  in  history  (the  1980’s),  racial  tension  in  New  York  was  at  a  peak,  and  Black  people,  as   a  collective,  were  struggling9.  The  chorus  of  “The  Message”  completely  embodies  the   mindset  of  that  generation  of  Black  youth:    

       

The  Chorus  of  “The  Message”  by  Grandmaster  Flash  &  The  Furious  Five10  

These four  pillars  of  Hip-­‐hop  are  deeply  intertwined  with  each  other  and  are   responsible  for  uniting  a  wide  span  of  generations.  Hip-­‐hop  gives  people  a  way  to  make   their  voice  heard,  and  it  gives  them  a  chance  to  spend  their  time  doing  something  positive   and  constructive.  This  rebel  culture  has  taken  the  world  by  storm,  becoming  integrated  in  a   variety  of  cultures  around  the  globe.  Today,  breaking  has  become  a  large  part  of  French   dance  culture.  Hip-­‐hop  is  found  in  various  American,  European,  Asian,  and  Afro-­‐Caribbean   cultures,  and  Eastern  European  cultures  have  put  their  own  spin  on  DJ’ing  and  producing   with  the  creation  of  electronic  synthesizers  and  instruments.                                                              

                                                                                                                      8

Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.  

9

"History of New York (1978- Present)." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_York_City_(1978–present). Explanation of racial tension in the 1980's in New York 10

Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. "The Message Lyrics." Rap Genius. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://rapgenius.com/Grandmaster-flash-and-the-furious-five-the-message-lyrics.


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“Taking  electronic  music  to  include  hip  hop  as  well  as  house  and  techno  –  basically,  records  without  guitars  –we  see  a  decline  from  1983   (18%)  to  1998  (9.5%),  then  a  rise  to  17.5%  in  2001;  a  slump  to  4.5%  in  2005;  followed  by  a  swift  upward  trajectory  to  its  all-­‐time  high  of   40%  in  2012.  This  has  been  driven  mainly  by  the  surging  popularity  of  rap  since  the  early  ‘00s,  but  also  an  increasing  appetite  by  Triple  J   listeners  for  th  electronic  of  the  Presets,  Prodigy,  Fatboy  Slim,  and  the  chemical  Brothers  but  latterly  driven  by  acts  like  Flume,   Pendulum,  Calvin  Harris,  and  Skrillex11 .”  

Hip-­‐hop has  had  a  major  influence  on  cultures  all  around  the  world,  yet  ever  since  

the emergence  of  hip-­‐hop  music,  controversy  has  followed  the  art  across  the  globe,   shrouding  the  hip-­‐hop  movement  in  violence  and  sex.  Hip-­‐hop  started  off  as  a  culture  of   struggle  –  a  battle  to  be  the  best  artist  you  could  possibly  be,  an  effort  to  makd  the  best  out   of  situations,  a  fight  through  art  to  reach  a  greater  goal.  Hip-­‐hop  is  supposed  to  be  about   building  a  community,  as  we  saw  in  the  Zulu  Nation’s  fight,  but  more  recently,  feuds  have   started  to  define  hip-­‐hop  culture.  The  most  well-­‐known  feuds  include  conflicts  between   artist  like  Notorious  B.I.G.  and  Tupac,  50  Cent    and  the  Game,  and  most  recently,  Kendrick   Lamar’s  declaration  of    war  on  what  might  almost  be  categorized  as  the  entire  hip-­‐hop                                                                                                                           11  The Ascent of Electronic Music. Photograph. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.aux.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ScreenShot-2014-01-30-at-11.28.52-AM.png.  


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industry12. Today  artists  duel  over  who  has  the  most  skill,  money,  and  street  credit  (the   determining  factor  in  how  “gangster”  a  rapper  is),  which  verifies  the  artists  authenticity.   These  spats  between  artists  have  always  been  a  part  of  hip-­‐hop  culture,  but  the  level  of   danger  in  these  arguments  is  always  unpredictable.  One  artist  might  respond  to  being   called  out  lyrically,  while  another  may  attempt  an  assassination.  Fortunately,  within  recent   years,  resorting  to  violence  is  less  common  among  younger  rappers  in  the  industry.  The   violence  was  mainly  an  issue  in  the  early  2000’s  and  left  many  legends  deceased.      

Rolling  Stone  Magazine  Cover  Showing  the  Feud  Between  50  Cent  and  Kanye  West  for  the  Title  of  “King  of  Rap”  

Nowadays,  artists  spend  more  time  provoking  lyrical  attacks  by  sarcastically  poking  fun  at   each  other.  Hip-­‐hop  heavyweight  50  Cent  has  been  involved  in  both  types  of  feuds.      

While the  violent  culture  has  somewhat  died  down,  Hip-­‐hop  has  become  much  more  

sexualized. A  large  number  of  artists  constantly  degrade  women  in  their  songs,  and  the   terms  they  have  cultivated  to  describe  women,  such  as  “bi**h”,  “thot”,  “ratchet”,  and  “ho”,   have  taken  over  the  daily  dialect  of  today’s  youth.  The  year  2012  was  even  coined  “the  year   of  the  ratchet”  by  Ebony  Magazine13.    It  does  not  help  that  influential  female  artists  in  the   Hip-­‐hop  world  use  these  words  to  describe  themselves  as  superior  to  each  other.  Nicki                                                                                                                           12  Rosenthal, Jeff. "The 10 Wildest Rap Beefs of All Time." The Rolling Stone. Last modified August 15, 2013. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-10-wildest-rap-beefs-of-all-time-20130815.   13  Young, Damon. "2012: The Year of the Ratchet." Ebony. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.ebony.com/entertainmentculture/2012-year-of-the-ratchet.


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Minaj, who  has  been  at  war  with  Lil’  Kim  for  years,  released  a  track  titled  “Stupid  Ho”  to   diss  Lil’  Kim,  and  to  raise  herself  up  as  the  “baddest  bi**h.”.  While  sex  is  a  theme  that  has   always  been  around,  the  topic  has  only  become  more  aggressively  promoted  in  recent   years.  Why  is  that?  It  is  because  sex  sells.  It  has  been  a  marketing  strategy  that  has  been   employed  for  years  in  different  industries,  and  once  the  Hip-­‐hop  business  became  less   authentic  and  more  commercialized,  sex,  in  addition  to  violence,  has  dominated  the   airways.  As  of  2011,  92%  of  Billboards  Top  100  Song  Chart  is  tracks  promoting  sexual   themes  and  activities14.    

How is  it  that  the  great  grass-­‐roots  culture  that  is  Hip-­‐hop  evolved  to  become  co-­‐

dependent with  corporate  America?  The  four  pillars  have  expanded,  and  as  hip-­‐hop  started   its  journey  to  becoming  a  multi-­‐billion  dollar  industry,  more  and  more  people  wanted  to  be   involved.  First,  record  labels  started  to  pop  up.  One  of  the  very  first  of  these  labels  is   Warner  Brothers.  When  struggling  to  succeed  as  movie  production  company,  the  Brothers   looked  to  combine  music  with  their  movies,  and  started  to  sign  artists  to  create   soundtracks  for  their  movies.  This  was  partially  motivated  by  the  fact  that  their  contracted   actors,  such  as  Tab  Hunter,  had  been  scoring  and  recording  films  for  their  rival,  Paramount   Pictures.  After  they  realized  that  this  was  working  for  them,  they  invested  more  in  their   involvement  in  music  and  started  Warner  Music  Group  and  purchased  Frank  Sinatra’s   Reprise  Records.  Now  Warner  is  considered  one  of  the  top  major  labels  and  has  produced   many  great  artists15.    

                                                                                                                      14  Ruderman, Zoe. "92 Percent of Top Songs About Sex." Cosmopolitan. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/92-percent-songs-in-billboard-top-100-about-sex. 15

"Warner Music Group." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Music_Group#History.


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Chart  Showing  Market  Ownership  Divided  Between  the  Four  Major  Labels  and  all  Indie  Labels16  

Most people  realize  that  Time  Warner  owns  Warner  Brothers,  but  what  they  don’t  

realize is  that  Time  Warner’s  major  shareholders  are  investment  management  firms  that   are  involved  with  a  variety  of  other  corporations.  Two  of  these  management  firms  are   named  Vanguard  Group  Inc.  and  Blackrock.  Blackrock  is  not  only  Time  Warner’s  largest   shareholder,  but  Viacom’s  as  well.  Both  Time  Warner  and  Viacom  are  giants  in  the  world  of   media  conglomerates,  and  they  own  a  large  number  of  businesses  that  are  major   contributors  to  the  hip-­‐hop  community.  Vanguard  is  also  a  heavy  investor  in  both  Time   Warner  and  Viacom,  as  the  group  is  the  third  largest  shareholder  for  both  conglomerates.     Why  are  Vanguard  and  Blackrock  significant?  The  media  is  a  very  versatile  industry,   and  like  other  businesses,  the  parties  involved  in  the  media  industry  are  dependent  on   shareholders  to  support  their  ventures.  What  really  made  these  two  catch  me  eye  are  the   other  companies  that  they  invest  in.  Vanguard  Group  Inc.  is  the  number  one  shareholder   for  CCA  (Corrections  Corporation  of  America)  and  the  third  largest  shareholder  for  the  GEO   group,  both  of  which  are  correctional  groups  that  are  associated  and  responsible  for                                                                                                                           16  "Market Share by Label Ownership Picture." http://a2im.org/files/2013/01/LOGO_MktShrByLblOwnership1.JPG.


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prisons across  the  country.  Blackrock  is  also  a  large  supporter  of  these  two  correctional   groups;  they  are  the  number  two  shareholder  (second  behind  Vanguard)  for  CCA,  and  the   sixth  largest  shareholder  for  GEO17.  Now,  why  is  an  investment  firm  that  is  so  heavily   involved  in  the  prison  industry,  be  concerned  with  the  media  industry?  I  believe  that,  since   prisons  are  so  profitable,  these  firms  that  have  invested  so  heavily  in  them  are  trying  to   influence  the  media  conglomerates  to  keep  sex,  violence,  and  substance  abuse  in  the   mainstream,  so  that  people,  especially  youth  of  color,  are  exposed  to  these  exploits.  Once   people  have  been  exposed  to  these  themes  in  high  volume,  it  is  only  a  matter  of  time  until   the  slowly  embed  themselves  in  the  listeners  consciousness.  I  am  not  the  only  person  who   shares  this  theory.  In  2012,  a  detailed  letter  was  anonymously  released,  telling  the  story  of   a  meeting  between  influential  businessmen  in  the  music  industry.  These  men  had  been   invited  to  encourage  artists  to  promote  these  values  because  companies  that  had  invested   in  them  had  also  invested  in  private  prisons.  There  is  extremely  limited  information  on   how  true  this  letter  is,  as  no  names  were  mentioned,  but  extremely  heated  internet  debates   have  occurred,  arguing  whether  or  not  the  letter  is  valid  in  any  way18.     While  hip-­‐hop  has  constantly  been  controlled  by  the  corporations,  the  culture  has   grown  beyond  record  labels  and  artists,  into  a  booming  multi-­‐faceted  global  market,  and   the  industry  would  not  be  where  it  is  now,  had  it  not  been  for  the  honest  corporations  that   looked  to  partner  with  and  build  up  the  hip-­‐hop  community.  Fashion  lines  have  been  born,   TV  series,  commercials,  and  films  have  been  aired  starring  hip-­‐hop  artists  and  showcasing   the  beauty  of  hip-­‐hop,  and  artists  are  able  to  branch  away  from  music  to  venture  into                                                                                                                           17  D, Davey. "The Facts About Hip Hop and Prison Profit." Davey D's Hip Hop Corner. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2013/04/24/jailhouse-roc-the-facts-about-hip-hop-and-prison-for-profit/. 18

"'The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation.'" Hip Hop Is Read. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.hiphopisread.com/2012/04/secret-meeting-that-changed-rap-music.html.


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starting their  own  business19.  The  two  most  relevant  artistic  entrepreneurs  of  today  are   Kanye  West  and  Andre  Young.  Kanye  West  has  successfully  started  his  own  fashion  line  in   partnership  with  APC  Paris,  directed  and  starred  in  major  and  independent  films,  such  as   his  short  film  titled  Runaway,  collaborated  with  other  artists  as  a  producer  and  label   owner,  and  worked  with  a  number  of  luxury  fashion  designers  and  labels,  such  as  Louis   Vuitton  and  Giuseppe  Zanotti  to  create  clothes  and  footwear20.  Andre  Young,  also  known  by   his  stage  name,  Dr.  Dre,  has  gone  into  the  world  of  music  technology,  where  he  has  been   extremely  successful  in  providing  music  fanatics  with  new  headphones  and  speakers  to   enhance  the  process  of  listening  to  and  creating  music.  He  has  also  invested  in  the   education  of  future  music  moguls.  In  the  fall  of  2014,  the  University  of  Southern  California   will  be  opening  the  doors  of  the  Iovine-­‐Young  Academy,  a  school  where  students  will  gain   the  knowledge  necessary  to  succeed  in  the  music  business  as  artists,  engineers,   businessmen,  and  entrepreneurs.     These  artists  have  proven  that  hip-­‐hop  is  only  negative  if  it  is  made  to  be  that  way;   the  art  form  can  be  used  to  do  great  things  for  their  communities  and  to  inspire  youth   across  the  world.  That  is  why  hip-­‐hop  has  grown  into  such  an  immense  global  market.   France  is  the  nation  that  is  home  to  the  second  largest  market  for  hip-­‐hop  in  the  world,   after  the  United  States.  Hip-­‐hop  has  become  extremely  relevant  in  the  lives  of  French  youth,   especially  in  the  world  of  dance.  Break  dancing  has  taken  France  by  storm;  the  country  is   well  known  for  sending  phenomenal  teams  to  the  Battle  of  the  Year,  the  Olympics  of   breaking.  The  two  most  notable  dance  crews  in  the  country  are  the  Vagabonds  and                                                                                                                           19 20

ABC News. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=89840  

"How High-Fashion Marginalizes The Black Community." Huffington Post. Video file, 33:29. Posted by Marc Lamont Hill, October

16, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/fashion-hip-hop-kanye-kimmel-classism-modelcasting/525840f978c90a26c40004a5.


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Pockemon, both  of  which  have  won  the  Battle  of  the  Year  on  multiple  occasions21.  French   rap  music  is  also  taking  off  and  spreading  across  the  world  with  the  most  notable  hit   released  in  May  of  2013:  Papoutai,  by  Stromae.  While  a  large  number  of  global  listeners   have  no  idea  what  is  being  said  in  the  song,  the  video  took  the  internet  by  storm,  reaching   140  million  views  in  under  a  year,  almost  five  times  as  much  as  American  hip-­‐hop  legend   Jay-­‐Z  has  gained  after  releasing  the  video  for  Holy  Grail  four  months  later.     Stromae  must  be  doing  something  right  if  he  has  surpassed  the  hit  song  of  someone   who  many  hip-­‐hop  heads  consider  untouchable.  The  question  is:  what?  Thousands,  if  not   millions,  of  young  artists  are  working  this  very  minute,  hustling,  trying  to  get  their  break  in   the  music  industry,  but  how  exactly  do  they  do  that?  What  steps  go  into  being  discovered   and  given  a  chance  at  fame?  I  interviewed  a  former  Head-­‐Royce  sophomore  in  the  class  of   2016  to  track  down  my  answer.  Alex  Newell  and  his  band,  Black  Bones,  have  just  sealed  a   recording  deal  and  are  currently  working  on  their  debut  album.  While  they  are  still   working  on  a  small-­‐scale  level  and  are  not  necessarily  looking  to  break  into  the  hip-­‐hop   industry,  what  they  have  achieved  is  worthy  of  notice  because  of  the  amount  of  time,  talent,   and  dedication  required  to  be  discovered.   I  asked  him  what  he  did  to  reach  the  level  he  is  at  now  and  this  was  his  response:  “I   was  really  just  being  prolific  with  my  song  writing.  Just  constantly  coming  up  with  new   creations.  I  used  the  powers  of  the  internet  to  get  myself  out  there  and  also  just  playing  a   lot  of  shows  and  seeing  a  lot  of  faces.  You  never  know  who  could  be  watching  your  show.22”   While  his  answer  was  modest  and  seemed  self-­‐evident,  it  resonates  and  as  a  musician,                                                                                                                           21  "French Break-Dance Scene." Streets United (blog). Accessed May 9, 2014. http://streets-united.com/blog/french-break-dancescene/. 22  Newell, Alexander. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014.  


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myself, I  see  the  truth  behind  what  he  says,  especially  in  his  last  phrase  about  who  is  paying   attention  at  your  show.  The  industry  is  all  about  who  you  know,  and  if  you  have  no  one  on   the  inside,  you  have  no  way  inside.  As  an  avid  follower  of  Alex’s  music,  I  know  for  a  fact  that   he  is  always  working.  If  he’s  not  with  his  band,  he  is  at  home  producing  music;  at  one  point   in  time  he  was  putting  out  a  new  song  every  other  day.  Manager  of  DB2  and  Najee  the  1,   and  professor  at  the  Clive  Davis  Institute  of  Recorded  Music,  Marat  Berenstein,  reinforces   this  idea.  He  said  that  if  you  really  want  to  get  your  big  break,  you  have  to  start  small  and   create  an  online  presence.  “Build  your  foundation  first  and  enable  everyone,  from  fans  to   the  industry,  to  come  to  you.  To  discover  you.  To  enter  your  world  and  play  in  your   universe,  so  to  say.  Create  this  environment  using  social  media,  but  use  it  correctly.  Each   platform  has  its  own  set  of  rules  and  there  is  no  one  size  that  fits  all.  Use  Instagram,  Tumblr   to  curate  the  visual,  SoundCloud  to  post  music,  and  Twitter  to  spread  the  word  and   network.  Craft  your  own  personal  brand  and  make  it  unique.  Have  style.    Don't  go  for  the   same  blogs  and  sites  everyone  else  is  going  for.  Find  your  own  angle  and  connect  with   other  like-­‐minded  artists/creatives.  Develop  a  live  show  and  work  on  that  just  as  much  as   you  work  on  your  online  presence23.”  This  online  presence  helps  artists  to  build  up  a   following  of  people.  Since  hip-­‐hop  is  “the  toughest  genre  of  the  entire  music  business,”   there  is  no  way  to  succeed  without  a  proper  support  group,  also  known  as  fans.  When  I   studied  with  Marat  at  New  York  University  this  past  summer,  this  is  what  he  taught  me,   and  I  have  gone  straight  to  work  building  up  my  network.  If  you  have  a  fan  base,  there  is  no   way  that  labels  can  ignore  you.  This  proved  to  be  true  after  my  favorite  artist,  Logic,  was   signed  to  Def  Jam  in  2013.  He  had  already  been  on  a  world  tour  and  multiple  tours  around                                                                                                                           23

Berenstein, Marat. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014  


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the country,  and  had  huge  global  fan  base.  Going  on  tour  across  the  world  is  something  that   takes  massive  amounts  of  money,  and  he  spent  almost  his  entire  signing  bonus  making  the   tour  possible  creating  merchandise,  and  establishing  relationships  with  his  fans  across  the   globe.  This  business  model,  in  my  opinion,  is  the  most  successful  one  that  I  have  ever  come   across.  Focusing  on  building  up  his  fan  base  has  rocketed  him  to  fame,  and  addition  to   being  signed  to  a  major  label,  Logic’s  contract  grants  him  100%  creative  freedom  and   allows  him  to  keep  the  team  of  producers,  Dj’s,  and  other  artists  he  has  put  together  over   the  past  six  years.  As  a  result  of  Logic’s  dedication  to  the  preservation  of  his  music,  his  fan   network,  which  he  calls  the  Rattpack,  is  one  of  the  most  dedicated  and  loyal  fan  groups  that   I  have  ever  heard  of,  let  alone  been  a  part  of.  If  I  could  achieve  a  fan  base  that  seriously   believed  in  what  I  was  doing,  I  will  have  found  true  happiness.   Ever  since  I  was  first  introduced  to  the  great  culture  that  is  hip-­‐hop,  I  have  read,   listened  to,  and  internalized  every  piece  of  information  related  to  the  history  and   development  of  the  genre,  in  my  attempt  to  become  an  expert  on  this  industry,  and  though   I  have  been  doing  this  for  almost  a  decade,  I  have  so  much  more  to  learn.  The  hip-­‐hop   industry  is  complex,  with  multiple  hidden  layers  in  management,  music  creation,   marketing,  publication,  law,  and  more.  It  takes  hustle,  connections,  determination,  and   experience  to  survive  in  the  world  of  hip-­‐hop,  but  most  of  all,  one  has  to  study  the  field  to   enter  the  playing  field.  I  plan  on  finding  my  path  in  the  world  of  hip-­‐hop  music  as  a   producer  and  entrepreneur,  and  understanding  how  the  hip-­‐hop  industry  has  evolved  to   where  it  is  today  is  essential  for  my  success.  I  have  spent  the  last  four  years  of  my  life   learning  the  art  of  production,  expanding  my  knowledge  of  music  theory,  and  networking   with  industry  professionals,  but  I  never  really  took  the  time  to  sit  down  and  study  the  


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world I  was  hoping  to  enter.  Now  that  I  have  all  of  this  information,  I  am  much  more   prepared  to  embark  on  my  journey  into  the  global  music  community.                             Bibliography   ABC News. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=89840.   I found this article, from Forbes, but posted on ABC News when searching about the evolution of the hip hop business. The industry started off small scale, but now artists have started multiple different business ventures and pair up with bigger conglomerates to make more money.    

The Ascent of Electronic Music. Photograph. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.aux.tv/wpcontent/uploads/2014/01/Screen-Shot-2014-01-30-at-11.28.52-AM.png.  

Berenstein, Marat. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014. Interview conducted by email. Questions are being drafted and will be sent within the next two days. Marat is an artist manager and instructor at the NYU Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music. He was one of my instructors this summer at NYU    


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"Breakdancing with Mr.Fresh & The Supreme Rockers." Global Darkeness. Last modified 2002. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/history%20of%20breaking.htm. I found this article while researching how breaking was a part of hip hop culture. It helped me to understand how dancing started political movements that created a voice for the African-American communities in the Bronx Projects, and gave them a way to share their opinions without leading to violence.    

D, Davey. "The Facts About Hip Hop and Prison Profit." Davey D's Hip Hop Corner. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2013/04/24/jailhouse-roc-the-facts-about-hiphop-and-prison-for-profit/. This article shows the relationship between music labels/ media conglomerates and the corporate prison industry.    

DJ Kool Herc Back to School Party Invitation. Photograph. BBC. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/624_351/images/live/p0/1d/wg/p01dwgjw.jpg. I found this invitation when researching the roots of hip hop music. This is an invitation to the party where hip hop was first born and it shows the use of graffiti to promote hip hop music.    

Drissel, David. Hip-Hop Hybridity for a Glocalized World: African andMuslim Diasporic Discourses in French Rap Music. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing LLC, 2009. France is the number 2 market for hip hop and 5 for music -Most hip hop artists in France are descended from African-Americans I found this book while researching what countries represented the biggest hip hop markets, and this helped to explain the expansion into more traditional African roots and culture    

Element, Kevin. "Hard Hitting Modern Perspective on Hip Hop Graffiti." Graffiti.org. Last modified 1996. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.graffiti.org/faq/element.html. I wanted to study all four pillars of Hip Hop culture, because there is more to the movement than just music. Graffiti is probably the first aspect of Hip Hop culture to emerge in America, and has been very controversial in debates on whether or not its art or vandalism. This article will help me understand how graffiti showed up and the role it plays in Hip Hop culture    

Flores, Lucien J. "Hip Hop is For Everybody: Examining the Roots and Growth of Hip Hop." Student Pulse: The International Student Journal, 1-2. This article was useful in determining the demographics of hip hop supporters and finding out more about the global market of hip hop in other countries. I found this article while researching the demographics of hip hop on Google.    

Forman, Murray. "Talking hip hop as a global medium of expression." Northeastern. Last modified August 11, 2010. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2010/08/hip-hop/.


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I found this source by searching up the authors of one of the books I was recommended. This article talks about the expansion of hip hop across the globe and how hip hop should be integrated into global culture education.  

"French Break-Dance Scene." Streets United (blog). Accessed May 9, 2014. http://streetsunited.com/blog/french-break-dance-scene/. This blogpost describes the French hip hop and breakdancing scene.    

Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. "The Message Lyrics." Rap Genius. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://rapgenius.com/Grandmaster-flash-and-the-furious-five-the-message-lyrics.  

"History of New York (1978- Present)." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_York_City_(1978–present). Explanation of racial tension in the 1980's in New York    

"How High-Fashion Marginalizes The Black Community." Huffington Post. Video file, 33:29. Posted by Marc Lamont Hill, October 16, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/fashion-hip-hop-kanye-kimmel-classism-modelcasting/525840f978c90a26c40004a5. This video was useful in understanding the marginalization of black Hip Hop artists in the fashion industry and how, though hip hop is constantly promoting fashion companies like Versace and, even now, Tom Ford, they refuse to work with the artists and just take the free promotion. I found this source while researching the different branches of the hip hop industry, specifically fashion.    

Laurence, Rebecca. "40 Years on from the Party Where Hip Hop Was Born." BBC. Last modified August 9, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130809-the-party-where-hip-hop-was-born. I also found this article by searching up the history of hip hop on Google. What was useful about this article is that it gives more historical context regarding Kool Herc's back to school party where hip hop music was created. It also provides a place to start looking for the emergence of general hip hop culture as it gives us a glimpse into the four elements that make up the culture: Dj'ing, graffiti, music, and dance.    

"Market Share by Label Ownership Picture." http://a2im.org/files/2013/01/LOGO_MktShrByLblOwnership1.JPG.  

Newell, Alexander. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014. I am drafting interview questions to be sent to Alex. These questions would be about his journey and the work he put into being signed as an artist, and his experience as a music producer while signed as part of a band.    

PBS. Last modified 2006. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/about_hiphop.htm. This article was found by searching "PBS mysteries: hip hop" on Google. I had found that PBS had some pretty informative articles and interviews on the culture of hip hop, so


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I decided to stay on that path. I came across this timeline, which shows the evolution of hip hop from Kool Herc's party to present day, and even mentions an album that was a potential precursor to Kool Herc's party.  

Reyes, Elvin, MC Greg Nice, Curtis Sherrod, DJ Silva-Sirfa, Mark Naison, and Dr. Marcyliena Morgan. Interview by Tufuku Zuberi. Http://wwwtc.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/static/media/transcripts/2011-05-21/611_hiphop.pdf. 2008. I found this interview by searching "the history of hip hop" on Google. I had to do some digging before I found this transcript on the PBS history detectives website, but it was a very interesting interview with different input from professionals in the hip hop industry. This article allowed me to trace back the roots of hip hop music to a back to school party in the South Bronx. I now have a location and time period to start looking for the emergence of hip hop culture, and an original source to compare modern day hip hop to.    

"The Roots of Hip Hop." RM Hip Hop Magazine. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/roots_of_hiphop.htm This article was also found by looking up the history of hip hop music on Google. This article was particularly helpful because it goes back to before Hip Hop originated, to the cultural influences and historical events that led to the creation of the culture. It talks about not only the emergence of hip hop music, but the other elements such as breakdancing and DJ'ing.    

Rosenthal, Jeff. "The 10 Wildest Rap Beefs of All Time." The Rolling Stone. Last modified August 15, 2013. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-10-wildest-rap-beefs-ofall-time-20130815.  

Ruderman, Zoe. "92 Percent of Top Songs About Sex." Cosmopolitan. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/92-percent-songs-in-billboard-top-100about-sex.  

"'The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation.'" Hip Hop Is Read. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.hiphopisread.com/2012/04/secret-meeting-thatchanged-rap-music.html. The anonymous letter that introduced the world to a hip hop conspiracy involving investing in private prisons and controlling rap music to promote prison culture.    

The Tanning of America. VH1. February 24, 2014. Hosted by Steve Stoute. I found this source through Twitter. I had the chance to meet Steve Stoute while attending New York University this summer, and since then I have followed him on Twitter. In the past couple of weeks he was especially active in advertising his latest television series: The Tanning of America. I believe that this short television series will help me in understanding the development of hip hop culture as it has become a major influence in American pop culture. From what I have watched so far in the first episode, film played a large role in the advancement of color people and the promotion of Black Hip Hip culture.  


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Tapper, Jake, and Marie Nelson. "Is corporate America to blame for hip hop violence." ABC News. Last modified April 22, 2005. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/News/story?id=694982. This article gave me information about how record labels "glamorize" violence and the gangster image of hip hop. It focuses in on instances where Reverend Al Sharpton has voiced his opinions about how hip hop needs to move away from thug culture and even mentions that the government should be involved in censoring music so as to promote a better image of the genre.    

"Warner Music Group." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Music_Group#History.  

Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005. Ms. Goglio brought this book to my attention, and I have taken every free moment I have to bury my nose in it. The book tells of the birth of hip hop music and culture, and the effects that the movement has had on both African-American culture, and the greater American culture.    

Young, Damon. "2012: The Year of the Ratchet." Ebony. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/2012-year-of-the-ratchet.  


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Online Learning: The Future of Women’s Education in Saudi Arabia By Pippa O’Brien

http://islam.ru/en/sites/default/files/img/news/2013/04/saudi-woman.jpg


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Abstract We made a promise in the final journal write of Islam class to find a way to help the people in the Islamic world, and my promise was to find a better way to bring education to women, especially in Saudi Arabia. Global Issues was the perfect platform for me to explore my options for supporting women’s education in Saudi Arabia. Through my research I learned about the obstacles women face in their society that make it difficult for them to pursue an education: the government’s regulation of the internet, the traditional woman’s role in the home, the lack of acceptance from their male counterparts in the classroom, and the more limited opportunities women have in the workplace. I was interested in exploring ways that women could overcome these barriers to education, for example online learning. In this paper, I question whether online schooling is a good option to further women’s education in the future? And what are the ways that Saudi Arabian society can more fully incorporate women into the public sphere?


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In the last scene of the movie “Wadjda” released in 2013, the title character and her mother are huddled on the roof looking out on a huge tent across the street filled with laughter and music. They both felt neglected. Wadjda is proud of her mother for being a strong woman and angry with herself for being a girl. Wadjda is the reason her father has acquired a new wife: he needs a son in order to have honor. Holding back tears, her mother slips away, and when she returns, Wadjda turns around to find the bike she’s been saving up for. Originally her mother is against the bike, especially since it is considered unladylike in their Saudi Arabian society. But in the end, the mother gives it to her because she wants Wadjda to live a happier life than she herself has endured. This movie really struck a chord with me because Wadjda’s life is so different from my own. While this was not a documentary, there are many women in the Arab world who experience similar injustice. In my own life I am used to being an equal at school. My father is proud of me and that has nothing to do with my gender, and I have the opportunity to choose my own future. Women in the Middle East, for the most part, are trapped in a social and religious rulebook that doesn’t allow them to express themselves or even educate themselves. On the last day of Islam class. My teacher Mr. Scott had us choose an issue from our study of the Middle East and write about how we as students could be a part of the solution. I wrote about how if I had the time and resources I would attempt to bring women education, using the internet as my way of reaching them. When I arrived in the Global Issues research and writing class, I felt like I finally had a platform for carrying out my aspirations from the Islam journal write. This is why I want to look further in to the issue of women’s access to education in the Middle East, specifically women in Saudi Arabia. There are so many factors that will be roadblocks to giving women more equality, but hopefully by understanding the issue better, I can at least be more conscious of the work that can be done to help. Currently, only half of their population in Saudi Arabia is contributing to the educated world, if we can help these women then they could solve all kinds of problems and play even bigger roles in the global community.

Women in the Arab states are known for having fewer rights than their male

counterparts. There is a general stigma around the low status of women in the Middle


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East, and rightfully so due to their lack of freedom in society. For decades, it has been thought that women must be separate from men due to the Islamic traditions laid out in the Koran; however, the original texts have been changed over time to control women under Islamic law. Saudi Arabia is known for being one of the most oppressive in terms of women’s rights because its corruption of the Islamic legal code is most pervasive. It is important to note that the women are fighting for rights such as driving privileges, the ability to go places without a male “guardian,” the right to work outside of the home, and of course, access education. There is a difference of opinion on how women should progress because there are many conservatives who want to strictly follow sharia law and cultural norms1. Islam did not start as a religion with misogynistic values; the prophet was actually a feminist for his time. The Islamic FAQ on Equality recalls a point made by the prophet, “The Holy Prophet of Islam knew the essential part women had to play in the development of society, so he laid great stress on the upbringing of girls by saying: ‘A man who has two daughters and brings them up and educates them to the best of his capacity shall be entitled to paradise.’” But through the years people have been able to manipulate and create their own sectors of Islam that actually are misogynistic. There are many events and extreme groups throughout the history of Islam that have brought the Muslim states to where they are today. Taking a look farther into the history and the current situation of women in Saudi Arabia helps to understand the future of women _

there, and especially in the realm of education. Overall literacy rates in Saudi Arabia in total have always been generally good, meaning significantly more than half can read and write. Through the years there has been more balance and literacy between both genders, and that continues to improve year over year. In 2011, the literacy rate for women in Saudi Arabia was 82.2% while the men were at 90.8% out of a total literacy rate of 87.2%. This basically means almost all of the

                                                                                                              1  Katherine Zoepf, "Talk of Women's Rights Divides Saudi Arabia," New York Times, last modified May 31, 2010, accessed March 22, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/world/middleeast/01ihtsaudi.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0.  


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people 15 and over can read and write2. It is important to keep in mind, however, that in the Islamic world, most people learn to read and write so they can understand the text of the Koran better. Even if people don’t have formal school training, they might still be literate to the extent that they can read the Koran, if only because their family has taught them. In other words, literacy does not necessarily reflect education or schooling. Islam is not just a religion; it is a way of life. The laws of Islam apply to everyday activities which is more of an incentive for the population to be able to read the Koran. Yet literacy alone does not indicate education, and Saudi Arabia is a good example of a country where access to education for women is limited. Only 57% seek higher education. This limits their social mobility and reinforces their low status. It is wrong to see the struggle for women’s rights and education in Saudi Arabia as one-sided, that all of the women want equality and freedom. To some extent most of the women want the respect of their society, but there are many women who believe the more extreme Sharia laws that state, for example, that they can’t go anywhere or sign any documents without their male guardians. It is important to recognize that there is a dissention in society over whether or not women should be breaking down barriers and becoming more independent1. The movie “Wadjda” was able to shed some light on the restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia. Not only is the young girl, Wadjda, faced with abiding by societal norms for girls, she is also shunned by her father when he gets remarried. This is practice is obviously demoralizing for women and indicative of the problem they face because it reveals women are not valued or honored as individuals. This is not the viewpoint of Mohammed the prophet, but over time Islam has been manipulated the way men want to run their countries. The director of “Wadjda”, who was the first Saudi woman director, actually had to lead her crew from inside a van because it was improper for her to be out working with everyone else. In the interview Haifaa Al Mansour stated, “I came back to work in Saudi in early 2000s, I wanted to assert myself in the workplace and everything and it was hard for me. As a woman, I felt invisible, and it was low point.” Her experience in the Saudi workforce was similar to most women there who wanted to do something other than raise a family. This is a first-hand testament                                                                                                               2   "Literacy," World Factbook, last modified 2011, accessed March 22, 2014, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html.  


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to the struggle of women. The director did want to point out what life is like in Saudi Arabia, but she also wanted to leave Muslim women feeling empowered instead of trapped. Her struggle reflects the day-to-day hardships of many Saudi women, making her story the perfect example of what it’s like for women trying to follow their desires in Saudi Arabia. Mansour remarked on how she wants to impact the young girls, “when [the girls I went to public school with] were kids, they had so much to offer to the world, but because the world is very - their families and the small society around them is very limiting. They gave up so much. And I wanted to make a film that tells them that they shouldn't. That they should be true to themselves and continue and embrace their potential. And they - those girls can change the world if they are given the chance and if they believe in themselves”. Her inspirational message is helping to lead women’s rights efforts3. What are the main obstacles that Saudi women encounter when they seek education? There are many roadblocks that make education for women in Saudi Arabia difficult, (you could detail some here before launching into online learning) especially online. Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia is policed by the government, which means that they restrict the sites that their citizens can use. Most of the regulations are in place to stop political demonstrations and filter out western ideals that might influence their population in a negative way. They also deny access to human rights websites. Even though Saudi Arabia has an extensive and obvious control over the internet, they do not openly display the list of banned sites. This being said, the educational system online that women can access is run by the Saudi government. While this doesn’t seem like a huge issue, there is a risk that the education the women are receiving could be below international standards, or skewed to fit the ideals of the kingdom. The kingdom actually sponsors the news outlets which gives them power over what content is relayed to the public4. One of the Saudi Princesses, Ameerah Al-Taweel, brought up women’s rights in Saudi Arabia at the Clinton Global Initiative. A striking statistic she shared was that                                                                                                               3  Haifaa Al Mansour, interview by Michel Martin, Tell Me More, National Public Radio, September 12, 2013. 4

"Saudi Arabia," Freedom House, last modified 2012, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/saudi-arabia#.U0ONh15BYdJ.


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women make up 57% of the college graduates in Saudi Arabia, but they merely make up 15% of the workforce. She commented on what needs to happen in order for women’s rights to move forward, and one of her main arguments besides written civil rights for Saudi women was for the implementation of NGO’s5. Unfortunately, NGO’s are banned in Saudi Arabia. Ironically, all NGO’s must be approved by the Saudi government, which kind of defeats the point of a non-governmental organization. They have countless laws and regulations for any NGO that wants to be present in Saudi Arabia, which makes it virtually impossible to implement them6 There are ways to get around that, such as the use of change.org and other petition sites which can act as virtual NGO’s. Change.org has been active in the movement to help women in Saudi Arabia receive the right to drive. Through this website, people can sign a petition online and show their support for a cause. In this case, not only are the Saudi women able to compile all of their efforts but they can gain support on a global scale. However, the one caveat to the success of online petitions is the close surveillance of the Saudi government on the internet. They can ban any sites that people try to use for political reforms or campaigns. Basically, the use of this could lead to the improvements of women’s rights but they will have to be executed under the radar of the kingdom.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedomnet/2012/saudiarabia#.U20EIF5P4dK This graph depicts the internet penetration and restrictions on the internet in Saudi                                                                                                               A. Dolan, "Saudi Princess Ameerah Speaks out for Saudi Women's Rights, Again," Forbes, last modified October 9, 2012, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2012/10/09/saudi-princess-ameerah-speaks-outfor-saudi-womens-rights-again/   6   "NGO Law Monitor: Saudi Arabia," The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, last modified February 14, 2014, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/saudiarabia.html.   5  Kerry


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Arabia. This site determines whether or not there is freedom on the internet, and clearly Saudi Arabia is not free. Note that 0 means most free and 100 is least free, with Saudi Arabia falling at 71. The issues  of  access  and  the  process  of  learning  online  also  pose  as  obstacles   to  Saudi  Arabian.  Often  men  will  have  internet  access  at  work  and  at  home,  whereas   the  women  only  have  the  chance  to  use  it  at  home.  But  it  is  still  not  easy  for  women   with  a  home  computer  to  gain  online  education  since  their  husbands  and  children   take  precedence7.  Learning  environments  are  harder  for  the  women  to  set  up   because  of  their  duties  around  the  house.  When  women’s  education  started   becoming  more  prevalent  in  Saudi  Arabia,  there  were  many  conservative  families   who  were  worried  that  there  wouldn’t  be  enough  enforcement  of  the  women’s  role   in  the  home  and  taking  care  of  her  family.  They  didn’t  want  the  education  of  women   to  lead  to  a  lack  of  interest  in  family  life.  These  worries  harken  back  to  the  strict   implementation  of  Sharia  law  where  women  need  to  have  a  balance  of  education   and  devotion  to  Islam8.    While  Sharia  law  is  limiting,  it  is  not  misogynistic  as   explained  by  the  Islamic  FAQ  on  equality,  “Women [have] the right of inheritance and accordingly they received their due share as prescribed by the Shariah Law (Islamic Law).” This quote refers to all Muslim female rights to ownership of property. However, the site also fleshes out the nuances involved in the equality of the sexes, “Islam recognizes that such equality does not mean that men and women are the same. It notes their different physical and emotional strengths and in view of this sets out their key roles in life…For example men have been assigned the duty to work and provide for their family and women have been assigned the role of motherhood and of looking after the household.9” This statement is the same sentiment found in most documents surrounding women’s struggle to get an education and simultaneously raise a family. Over the years,                                                                                                                 Von Prümmer, "Gender Issues and Learning Online," in Using Learning Technologies: International Perspectives on Practices   8   Comparative Education (n.p.: Taylor & Francis, 1991), [Page #], accessed March 22, 2014,   9  "Islamic FAQ on Equality," Al Islam: The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, accessed May 9, 2014, http://www.islamicfaq.org/equality/index.html.   7  Christine


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the Sharia laws have encompassed more restrictions for women, but they are a result of misinterpretation of the original rules.

On a  larger  scale,  there  is  a  problem  with  Saudi  education  that  both  men  and  

women have  run  up  against.  The  kingdom  had  an  abundance  of  administrative  jobs   where  people  could  work  for  the  government  doing  menial  tasks  in  order  to  make  a   good  living.  This  means  they  needed  little  education.  There  were  enough  of  these   types  of  jobs  to  go  around,  but  the  people  who  sought  a  higher  education  in  a   specialized  field  did  not  have  any  job  opportunities.    As  the  kingdom  grew,  it   developed  a  need  for  specialization.  Today,  the  tables  have  turned.  The  Kingdom   cannot  support  its  population  with  only  governmental  jobs,  so  they  need  some   specialists.  But  there  aren’t  enough  students  interested  or  trained  in  the  fields  that   country  is  seeking.  The  lack  of  specialization  has  come  back  to  haunt  Saudi  Arabia10.      

There actually  is  some  promise  for  women  in  higher  education  to  use  

distance learning  as  their  platform.  If  they  can  balance  their  household  and  their   education  then  it  actually  can  be  a  great  way  for  them  to  learn.  But  the  problem  with   women  seeking  a  higher  education  after  starting  a  family  means  that  they  are   already  pigeon  holed  to  their  societal  norms  and  will  have  a  difficult  time  breaking   out  of  their  household  roles  to  use  their  education.  I  was  hoping  to  research  the  use   of  online  learning  for  secondary  education,  helping  girls  at  a  younger  age  which   would  probably  be  more  helpful  in  the  long  run.  However,  there  weren’t  any  sources   that  could  tell  me  about  high  schools  online  for  the  girls  and  whether  or  not  they   would  have  access  to  them  in  the  first  place.  This  tells  me  that  there  is  still  room  for   improvement  in  the  Saudi  Arabian  educational  system,  especially  online.  It’s   important  to  note  that  Saudi’s  do  have  internet  and  despite  the  regulations,  they  are   more  advanced  than  other  countries  that  cannot  seek  education  online  because  they   barely  have  electricity.11  I  think  that  online  education  is  plausible  and  potentially   helpful,  but  since  the  kingdom  is  slow  at  any  kind  of  reform,  it  will  take  a  long  time                                                                                                                   10  Ursula Lindsey, "Saudi Arabia's Education Reforms Emphasize Training for Jobs," The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010,   11  Sue Pon, Mrs, telephone interview by the author, Oakland, CA, May 8, 2014.  


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to get  to  where  it  needs  to  be.  Another  huge  takeaway  is  that  once  the  women   receive  the  education,  they  need  a  society  that  will  allow  them  to  use  their   knowledge.  One  of  the  speakers,  Marc  Grossman,  from  the  World  Affairs  Conference   during  a  talk  on  Pakistan  and  Afghanistan  said  that  we  want  the  fathers  of  the  girls   being  educated  in  the  Arab  world  to  be  proud  of  their  daughters,  and  excited  that   they  are  going  to  school.  If  part  of  the  society  is  unsupportive  then  women  won’t   have  a  place  to  use  their  expertise.  Many  women  end  up  leaving  Saudi  Arabia  to  seek   education  because  they  can  find  work  and  will  be  a  part  of  a  society  that  is   supportive  of  women  working.  Also,  there  are  a  lot  more  civil  rights  for  women  and   men  outside  of  Saudi  Arabia.  All  this  analysis  of  education  is  on  my  mind  as  I  go  off   to  college  myself.  Understanding  the  inequalities  that  young  women  deal  with  on  a   daily  basis  makes  me  grateful  for  my  education  and  the  learning  opportunities  that   lie  ahead.  There  are  organizations  such  as  The  Online  School  for  Girls,  which  is   mostly  based  in  America,  but  could  branch  out  to  give  core  classes  to  women  across   the  globe,  that  I  would  be  interested  in  working  with12.  The  notion  that  I  can  make  a   difference  started  as  a  hopeful  journal  write,  but  has  now  blossomed  into  an   informed  desire  to  help  bring  education  to  the  Middle  East.  In  the  long  run,  we  want   education  on  a  high  school  level  to  be  quality  and  up  to  international  standards.  This   will  help  the  young  minds  of  Saudi  Arabians  to  be  able  to  think  critically  and  decide   for  themselves  what  is  just  and  fair  in  the  world,  overall  improving  their  country  as   the  new  generations  take  on  leadership  roles.            

                                                                                                              Bradley, Dr., interview by the author, Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA, May 5, 2014.  

12 Karen


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Bibliography   Aljabre, Abdulaziz. "An Exploration of Distance Learning in Saudi Arabian Universities: Current Practices and Future Possibilities." International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology 2, no. 2 (March 2012).   This is specific to my topic (minus the part where it's about universities) but still it looks at distance learning in Saudi Arabia and the role of women in the online programs. This not only his a wealth of topic specific information, but it focuses on what is working and isn't working in online learning. The author's analysis of societal roles women are pigeon hold to and how education ties in to that is fascinating and helpful. His breakdown of factors that effect the person who is using online education is also great information.     Al Mansour, Haifaa. Interview by Michel Martin. Tell Me More. National Public Radio. September 12, 2013.   This is an interview of the Director of the movie Wadjda. She talks about how she wanted to portray society in Saudi Arabia. Instead of the women being victims and the men oppressors, she focus's on how everyone in their country is tied down by their conservative and strict society. She wanted to make a movie that left young Saudi's feeling empowered and the global community feeling better educated on what it's like in Saudi Arabia. This is a helpful source because she gives direct quotes on the struggles of women in the Saudi Arabian society and what the mentality for change should be.     http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=221738137 this is the link to the transcript of the interview     Alsuwaigh, Siham A. "Women in Transition: The Case of Saudi Arabia." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 20, no. 1 (1989).   While this article is notably dated (1989!) it is actually really interesting because there are so many aspects about women and education and societal norms that are the same today as they where almost two decades ago. This demonstrates the 1) lack of traction women's reforms have in Saudi Arabia and 2) the sense of urgency surrounding women's rights in the middle east because they have been waiting for too long. The fact that societal honor and placement still are huge roadblocks to equal rights for women means that there needs to be a big social change that won't be easy, but is necessary.     Arab Human Development Report of 2005: Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World.   This is similar to the other report on human development, however it focuses in on the topic of women in all the Arab states. I used it to gather more information about how women fit in to the Arab states in the educational and working spheres.    


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Bradley, Karen, Dr. Interview by the author. Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA. May 5, 2014. I was able to ask Dr.Bradley about her experience teaching through the global online academy and the difficulties and advantages it has. She told me her thoughts on online vs. classroom learning. She also commented on the participation from Arab countries.     Comparative Education. N.p.: Taylor & Francis, 1991. Accessed March 22, 2014. https://docs.google.com/a/headroyce.org/file/d/0B_tui2cAX5InbFBSMHpMYjhm NDA/edit.   This book talks about the education of women in Saudi Arabia. Not unlike the source from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, it has information regarding the equality that is being strived for in the educational system. It states that while women may be very educated, their role is still to take care of the home.     The Concept and Measurement of Human Development.   This is the Arab Human Development Report and it is an analysis of the way things are run in Saudi Arabia. From education, to gender issues, to jobs and sanitation, it talks about it all. I used the sections on women's rights and women's roles in education and the job market.     "Deputyship for Planning and Information: Women in Higher Education: Saudi Initiatives and Achievements." Ministry of Higher Education. Last modified 2010. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.mohe.gov.sa/ar/Ministry/DeputyMinistry-for-Planning-and-Information-affairs/The-General-Administration-ofPlanning/Documents/women_in_higher_edu.pdf.   This is probably from a database, but I'm not sure which one Ms.Golio found it on, so I will re-cite it when I find out. This is a report on Saudi Arabian higher education for women. But the twist is that it was compiled by the Saudi Government, which means they are overly celebrating the education of women and claiming to have better academics than the rest of the world. This is fascinating to read against reports of the education of women in Saudi Arabia and how much access they actually have.     Dolan, Kerry A. "Saudi Princess Ameerah Speaks out for Saudi Women's Rights, Again." Forbes. Last modified October 9, 2012. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2012/10/09/saudi-princess-ameerahspeaks-out-for-saudi-womens-rights-again/.   One of the Saudi Princesses talks about the struggles of women in the Saudi Arabian society, especially in education and civil rights. She spoke out about the installment of NGO's. There is something brewing for women in Saudi Arabia, but they need to start changing the society around them in order to use their education to their full potential.    


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"Islamic FAQ on Equality." Al Islam: The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.islamicfaq.org/equality/index.html. This outlines the views of Muslims on women and their roles in society. It also talks about the prophet's views on women and education, thus supporting the point that Islam is not misogynistic.     Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education. The Achieved Process in the Field of the Eradication of Illiteracy in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The General Administration for Eradication of Illiteracy Programs.   This talks about different aspects of Saudi Arabia but focuses on education. I found it interesting that they state education should be in place for both genders. They supposedly want equality. It does have more focus on the role of Islam within education.     Lindsey, Ursula. "Saudi Arabia's Education Reforms Emphasize Training for Jobs." The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010.   This article is more about jobs and education in Saudi Arabia on a broader scale. It seconds the notion that education does not lead to jobs in Saudi Arabia because the Kingdom has so much money most people just work for the government. There is a cultural norm of taking high paying jobs that need little training. Fortunately, the Saudi's are seeking higher education. Unfortunately, they don't have anywhere to implement that education in Saudi Arabia, and even if they do, the job doesn't pay as well as a government one would.     "Literacy." World Factbook. Last modified 2011. Accessed March 22, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html.   This site has all of the literacy rates for the world's countries, Saudi Arabia included. It breaks down male vs. female and general population. This was helpful in understanding what the literacy rate was back in 2011, and gave me the background numbers for my historical summary.     "NGO Law Monitor: Saudi Arabia." The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Last modified February 14, 2014. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/saudiarabia.html.   This is a comprehensive list of all the laws on NGO's in Saudi Arabia. It is important to look at in the wake of the Saudi Princess's reforms to have more NGO's to inspire civil rights for women in Saudi Arabia. It is interesting to look at their restrictions on non-profits and lends some insight to what the kingdom's fears may be in embracing NGO's.     Pon, Sue, Mrs. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 8, 2014.   Sue Pon is Emma Hurlbert's mother. She was the one who set up my senior project, where I am helping adult women learn to speak and write in English. She is an adult education and head of the program at Oakland Family Literacy. I


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wanted her perspective on the impact of online learning and why the Middle Eastern women seek education here rather than in their home country.   "Saudi Arabia." Freedom House. Last modified 2012. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/saudiarabia#.U0ONh15BYdJ.   This article is a compilation of data surrounding the issue of internet penetration in Saudi Arabia. It not only has hard numbers but also gives background and current (isn) information on the state of internet penetration and freedom of usage in Saudi Arabia. This is an imperative for understanding the future of distance learning.     Von Prümmer, Christine. "Gender Issues and Learning Online." In Using Learning Technologies: International Perspectives on Practices.   This highlighted the nuances in women and online learning. The author specifically talks about the things that are present in women's lives that can hinder their learning on and offline. Also, the author provides graphs to illustrate the differences between men and women in distance learning. (note that I am not positive the book name is what I put down, I only posses the chapter not the book so I have to look further in to it.)     Zoepf, Katherine. "Talk of Women's Rights Divides Saudi Arabia." New York Times. Last modified May 31, 2010. Accessed March 22, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/world/middleeast/01ihtsaudi.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0.   This article goes in to great detail about different women who are trying to receive more equality for women in Saudi Arabia, as well as talking about the view points of women who don't want to change society. There are two sides to this argument and it is important to recognize both. A lot of the women think that the west in influencing the women who want to see social change, others think it is time for Saudi Arabia to join the rest of the world in giving women their rights. It helped me touch on more topics than just education, such as driving, jobs, guardians, fashion, shariah law, etc.      


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Asian American Mental Health The Flaw of the “Model Minority”

By: Irene Tran


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Abstract: The issue I am addressing is the current state of mental health among the Asian American (AA) population. My personal experience with depression during my sophomore and junior years in high school sparked my interest in the subject because I was particularly reluctant to get professional help. When I learned that in fact many Asian Americans choose to not seek out mental health care when needed, I consulted various sources to explore the causes of the underutilization of mental health treatment among Asian Americans despite them having the highest rates of suicide in particular age groups.

It all began with a feeling. At first, something just seemed off, but putting that feeling into words was nearly impossible. Then everything was off. The smallest things were the biggest deals. Nothing was under control. My closest friends became distant strangers. Before I knew it, I just felt awful. It was as though someone I love dearly just died, but no one was there to comfort me. There was no solid reason for my sadness, and that was frustrating to know. Every time I picked myself up, someone kicked me back down to the ground. My heart and stomach actually hurt. Nothing seemed to go my way. My mind and heart were at war with one another; my heart cried out for help while the voice inside of my head told me that I did not deserve any. In the blink of an eye, everything good in my life was eclipsed by feelings of despair, guilt, and dejection.


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Figure 1: A photo I took and edited last year.

Mental health is a pressing issue. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), approximately 43.7 million American adults (or 19.3%) and twenty percent of children suffer from mental illnesses.1 2 In 2008, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 58.7 percent of adults in the United States with a serious mental

                                                                                                              National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_ADULT.shtml. 2 ———. "Any Disorder Among Children." NIH Statistics - Any Disorder Among Children. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_CHILD.shtml. 1


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illness received mental health treatment.3 The most common mental disorder in the United States is major depressive disorder.4

Major depressive disorder (MDD), or major depression, is a common and serious psychiatric disease that results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological influences.5 Symptoms include fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleeping, thoughts of suicide, and feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness etc. Approximately 14.8 million of American adults aged 18 years and older are affected by MDD each year.6 Alone, depression is the leading factor of suicide risk and is predicted to increase from fourth to second highest global burden of disease by 2030.7 According to SAMHSA, a majority of people receiving mental health treatment has depression (See Figure 2).3                                                                                                               ———. "Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/ 3USE_MT_ADULT.shtml. 4 Williams, Zachary. "10 Most Common Psychological Disorders in America." https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Accessed March 4, 2014. https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. 5 Sullivan, Patrick F., and Michale C. Neale. "Genetic Epidemiology of Major Depression: Review and Meta-Analysis." The American Journal of Psychiatry 157, no. 10 (October 1, 2000): 1552-62. 6 National Institute of Mental Health. "The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America." NIMH The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. 7 Chen, Hong-xia, Zeng-liang Jin, Li-ming Zhang, Rui Xue, Xiao-dan Xu, Nan Zhao, Zhi-kun Qiu, Xian-wang Wang, You-zhi Zhang, and Ri-fang Yang. "Antidepressant-Like Activity of YL-0919: A Novel Combined Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor and 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist." PLoS One 8, no. 12 (2013). 3


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Figure 2: Graphs of the percent of people who receive mental health treatment have depression. 8 I was part of the 74.2% of females who received mental health treatment for depression. It was not an easy road for me to get that treatment, however. In fact, I was reluctant to attend therapy sessions until I was given an ultimatum: either I see a therapist weekly or I will no longer be able to attend Head-Royce. When asked why I refused to see a therapist, I made up excuse after excuse. It was simply something I felt I could not do because my family would find out about my mental health issues, though I did not quite understand why that would be such a bad thing at that time. All I knew was that mental health was not something I could talk about with my family, which only made matters worse because I felt guilty about hiding such a big secret from my family. It was                                                                                                               Service Use/Treatment Among U.S. Adults with Depression by Sex and Age. Image. NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/images/ NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg.

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practically shameful to admit to having depression. I was, after all, part of the “model minority.” However, I soon learned that the term “model minority” does not apply to Asian Americans when discussing mental health.

According to former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, minorities in the United States “suffer a disproportionate burden of mental illness”.9 In fact, Dr. Satcher suggests that minorities are overrepresented among those most vulnerable and in need of mental health treatment.11 More specifically, Asian Americans, a minority whose elderly population is expected to grow 199% by 2030, rarely use mental health services.10 11 While some data suggest that Asian Americans are less likely to develop mental health issues, the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) reports that Asian Americans do not tend to seek out emotional or mental help as much as white Americans do, regardless of gender, age, and geographic location, which likely accounts for the seemingly low mental health prevalence rates among the Asian American population.12 13 14

A study led by Loyola Marymount University in 2007 found that less than 9% of Asian

                                                                                                              Goode, Erica. "Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities." Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities - New York Times. Last modified August 21, 2001. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/27/us/ disparities-seen-in-mental-care-for-minorities.html. 10 Sorkin, Dara H., and Hannah Nguyen. "Assessing the Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Care Among a Diverse Sample of Asian American Older Adults." Journal of General Internal Medicine 26, no. 6 (June 2011): 595-602. 11 Herrick, CA. "Underutilization of mental health services by Asian-Americans residing in the United States." Abstract. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 19, no. 3 (May/June 1998): 225-40. 12 Meyers, Laurie. "Asian-American mental health." American Psychological Association, February 2006, 44. 13 Lu, Francis G. "The poor mental health care of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 224. 14 Sue, S., JK Cheng Yan, and CS Saad. "Asian American mental health: a call to action." The American psychologist. 67, no. 7 (October 2012). Abstract. 9


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Americans seek mental health services, compared to 18% of Americans.15 Preliminary studies show that approximately 20% of Japanese American and 29% of Chinese American elders have some degree of depression, compared to the 6.7% of American adults.6 12

More than four decades ago, Jeannie Wong emigrated from Hong Kong and ultimately sank into depression as a result of the abuse from her ex-husband, disconnection from her two sons, feelings of isolation, and lack of support during the rough patches in her life.17 Unfortunately, because of her mental disorder, she “wanted to just walk across the street and be hit by a car, but finally [she] didn’t have the courage to do it.”17 This is not uncommon among elderly Asian American women, as they had the highest suicide rate of any other ethnic group in that age bracket between 2004 and 3007 with 6.5 suicides per 100,000 people.17 However, suicide is not uncommon among young Asian Americans.

On April 16th, 2007, a South Korean undergraduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Seung-Hui Cho, murdered 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.16 The former president of the Asian American Psychological Association, Alvin Alvarez, stated that Cho’s behavior is

                                                                                                              Lee, Stephanie M. "Asian Americans struggle with suicide." Asian Americans struggle with suicide - SFGate. Last modified January 24, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. 16 Effron, Lauren. "Mass School Shootings: A History." Mass School Shootings: A History - ABC News. Last modified December 14, 2012. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-school-shootings-history/ story?id=17975571. 15


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“representative of mental illness”.17 In December of 2005, Cho was admitted overnight to Carilion St. Albans hospital after his roommate became concerned when Cho threatened to commit suicide.18 While Cho had access to mental health services from Virginia Tech as well as therapists that are not associated with the school, he did not fully take utilize these services and refused to attend therapy sessions.20

Why did Seung-Hui Cho and I both choose to not receive help even though we both had access to it? In 2002, Kramer et al. reported several components of the Asian American culture that may have an effect on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses in this population: language, level of acculturation, age, gender, family structure, and intergenerational issues etc.19 All of these issues can result in an increased level of stress, which greatly increases the chances of developing mental disorders.

To better understand the effects of stress on the likelihood of developing mental disorders, one must first understand the neurobiological effects of stress in humans. Normally, in response to stress, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) to the anterior pituitary gland, which then secretes adrenocorticotropic                                                                                                               17 Benson, Heidi. "Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings." Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings - SFGate. Last modified April 20, 2007. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/ Asians-less-likely-to-seek-therapy-Complex-2575880.php. 18 Friedman, Emily. "Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released." Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released - ABC News. Last modified August 19, 2009. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/seung-hui-chos-mental-health-records-released/ story?id=8278195&singlePage=true. 19 Kramer, Elizabeth J., Kenny Kwong, and Evelyn Lee. "Cultural factors influencing the mental health of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 227-31.


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hormone (ACTH) to the adrenal cortex, which emits cortisol (a glucocorticoid) (See Figure 3).20 Cortisol binds to the glucocorticoid receptors (GR) on the hippocampus, which inhibit the release of CRH to regulate the amount of cortisol in the body.22 Too much stress leads to chronic hyperactivity in these glands and ultimately hypercortisolism (a condition where one has too much cortisol in the body), which is linked to dysregulation of serotonin secretion.21 Having serotonin levels that are too low has been widely accepted as one of the main causes of depression. In 2001, Pariente et al. found that the function and expression of GR is reduced in patients with major depression, which would result in an increase in cortisol levels in the brain.22 According to Pariente et al., this is because reduced sensitivity to the inhibitory effects of the glucocorticoid receptors is a primary feature of HPA axis hyperactivity.22

                                                                                                              Bear, Mark F. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 3rd ed. N.p.: LWW, 2006. 21 Hernandez, María Eugenia, Danelia Mendieta, Mayra Pérez-Tapia, Rafael Bojalil, Iris Estrada-Garcia, and Sergio Estrada-Parra. "Effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and immunomodulator on cytokines levels: an alternative therapy for patients with major depressive disorder." Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 22 Pariente, CM. "Glucocorticoid receptors in major depression: relevance to pathophysiology and treatment." Biological Psychiatry 49, no. 5 (March 201): 391-404. 20


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Figure 3: The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis controls the secretion of cortisol in the body in response to stress.23

Animals injected with CRH into their brains developed behaviors that are similar to those of individuals with major depression: insomnia, decreased appetite, and decreased sex drive.22 Additionally, Krahn et al. showed that a persistent elevation of CRH caused a syndrome similar to anorexia nervosa.24 In a study conducted by Gold et al. in 1986, they found that anorexic patients had marked hypercortisolism.25 However,                                                                                                               23 Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Image. What is the HPA axis? http://www.montana.edu/wwwai/imsd/alcohol/Vanessa/vwhpa_files/image003.jpg. 24 Hasan, Tasneem Fatima. "Anorexia nervosa: a unified neurological perspective." International Journal of Medical Sciences 8, no. 8 (2011): 679-703. 25 Gold, P. W., H. Gwirtsman, P. C. Avgerinos, L. K. Nieman, W. T. Gallucci, W. Kaye, D. Jimerson, M. Ebert, and R. Rittmaster. "Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in anorexia nervosa.


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three to four weeks after their body weight had been restored to normal, their cortisol levels normalized.26 Both of these studies suggest that increased levels of CRF in the brain lead to depression and anorexia nervosa. The amount of CRF in the brain is directly related to cortisol levels, which is directly correlated to the amount of stress in an individual. Simply put, too much stress can lead to affective and eating disorders.

Asian Americans endure a disproportionate amount of stress in their lives, putting them at a particularly high risk of developing mental health issues, yet they are the most reluctant group of people to seek out treatment because of the aforementioned components of the Asian American culture. To begin, in many Asian households, English is a foreign language, and this language barrier is perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the lack of access to and utilization of treatment.21 According to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, more than 40 percent of Chinese American, Vietnamese American, and Korean American households are linguistically isolated, meaning no one in the household aged fourteen years or older speaks English well.21 In a phone interview, Marla Lev, a Caucasian therapist in the Bay Area, told me that she has only had two Asian patients over the course of her more than twenty years of practice, which she believes is because of the language barrier.26 Thus, it is imperative that there are a sufficient number of bilingual mental health professionals. However, with such a limited number of mental health

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pathophysiologic mechanisms in underweight and weight-corrected patients." Abstract. The New England Journal of Medicine 314, no. 21 (May 22, 1986): 1335-42. 26

Lev, Marla. Interview by the author. CA. April 24, 2014.


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professionals who are fluent in at least one Asian language, removing this barrier for many Asian Americans can be understandingly difficult.

Moreover, the opposing gender roles of Asian American women place them at a particularly high risk for the development of psychiatric disorders.21 The more traditional role for women is to be especially submissive toward their husband, whereas the American culture places an emphasis on independent thinking, achievement, and selfsufficiency.21 Finding a balance between these two cultures creates stress, which ultimately contributes to the 96.3% increase in completed suicide rates in Asian American females from 2000 to 2009.27 Furthermore, many Asian Americans are raised in a traditionally Asian household, but have a lot of exposure to the American culture. According to Dr. Anna Lau, this culture clash can lead to stress, conflict, and confusion in the family.14 This conflict in values can pave the way for several alarming outcomes: stress in teenagers that may lead to withdrawal and ultimately depression, spousal conflict, and low self-esteem that can cause Asian Americans to refuse psychiatric treatment.14 When I spoke to a Asian American teenager who asked to remain anonymous, this person admitted to feeling a lot of stress and confusion in the early teens trying to find the balance between the two cultures and ultimately seeking out mental health care because those feelings culminated into depression, anxiety, and bulimia.28 Additionally, this culture clash may make way for a rarely discussed and acknowledged issue among the Asian American population: domestic and/or interpersonal violence.14                                                                                                               27 Hyeouk, Hahm, Ph.D., LCSW, Jisun Jang, M.A., Cecilia Vu, B.A., L. Melissa Alexander, B.A., and Kelsie E. Driscoll, B.A. "Drug use and suicidality among Asian American women who are children of immigrants." Substance Use & Misuse 48, no. 14 (December 2013): 1563-78. 28 Anonymous. Interview by the author. CA. April 26, 2014.


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Data show that Asian Americans who are born in the U.S are more likely to commit or be a victim of domestic violence.14

With so many factors that can lead to the lack of diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues in Asian Americans, how does one go about improving this troubling situation? Former Surgeon General David Satcher suggests integrating mental health into primary care so that more Asian Americans can be properly diagnosed and treated for mental illnesses that can create many devastating effects in their lives.4

While much effort has been put in thus far to improve the state of mental health treatment for Asian Americans, there is still much more work to be done to resolve this issue. Several clinics and organizations have been leading the way by working toward increasing the utilization of mental health services among Asian Americans. For example, Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA) works to provide community-driven behavioral health services to underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities in the Bay Area.29 Asian Health Services provide health care services to the Asian and Pacific Island community regardless of language, culture, income, insurance status, and immigration status.30 However, with the Asian American population expected to rise drastically, there needs to be a greater movement and more work towards bridging this gap in mental health for Asian Americans, particularly in the rest of the United States.                                                                                                               CHAA. "About CHAA." About CHAA. http://www.chaaweb.org/about/history. 30 Asian Health Services - About Us. http://www.asianhealthservices.org/ handler.php?p=about. 29


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Cited Sources: 1. Anonymous. Interview by the author. CA. April 26, 2014. 2. Asian Health Services - About Us. http://www.asianhealthservices.org/ handler.php?p=about. 3. Bear, Mark F. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 3rd ed. N.p.: LWW, 2006. 4. Benson, Heidi. "Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings." Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings - SFGate. Last modified April 20, 2007. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/ Asians-less-likely-to-seek-therapy-Complex-2575880.php. 5. CHAA. "About CHAA." About CHAA. http://www.chaaweb.org/about/history. 6. Chen, Hong-xia, Zeng-liang Jin, Li-ming Zhang, Rui Xue, Xiao-dan Xu, Nan Zhao, Zhi-kun Qiu, Xian-wang Wang, You-zhi Zhang, and Ri-fang Yang. "Antidepressant-Like Activity of YL-0919: A Novel Combined Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor and 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist." PLoS One 8, no. 12 (2013). 7. Effron, Lauren. "Mass School Shootings: A History." Mass School Shootings: A History - ABC News. Last modified December 14, 2012. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-school-shootings-history/ story?id=17975571. 8. Friedman, Emily. "Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released." Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released - ABC News. Last modified August 19, 2009. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/seung-hui-chos-mental-health-records-released/ story?id=8278195&singlePage=true. 9. Gold, P. W., H. Gwirtsman, P. C. Avgerinos, L. K. Nieman, W. T. Gallucci, W. Kaye, D. Jimerson, M. Ebert, and R. Rittmaster. "Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in anorexia nervosa. Pathophysiologic mechanisms in underweight and weight-corrected patients." Abstract. The New England Journal of Medicine 314, no. 21 (May 22, 1986): 1335-42. 10. Goode, Erica. "Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities." Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities - New York Times. Last modified August 21, 2001. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/27/us/ disparities-seen-in-mental-care-for-minorities.html.


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11. Hasan, Tasneem Fatima. "Anorexia nervosa: a unified neurological perspective." International Journal of Medical Sciences 8, no. 8 (2011): 679-703. 12. Hernandez, MarĂ­a Eugenia, Danelia Mendieta, Mayra PĂŠrez-Tapia, Rafael Bojalil, Iris Estrada-Garcia, and Sergio Estrada-Parra. "Effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and immunomodulator on cytokines levels: an alternative therapy for patients with major depressive disorder." Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 13. Herrick, CA. "Underutilization of mental health services by Asian-Americans residing in the United States." Abstract. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 19, no. 3 (May/June 1998): 225-40. 14. Hyeouk, Hahm, Ph.D., LCSW, Jisun Jang, M.A., Cecilia Vu, B.A., L. Melissa Alexander, B.A., and Kelsie E. Driscoll, B.A. "Drug use and suicidality among Asian American women who are children of immigrants." Substance Use & Misuse 48, no. 14 (December 2013): 1563-78. 15. Kramer, Elizabeth J., Kenny Kwong, and Evelyn Lee. "Cultural factors influencing the mental health of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 227-31. 16. Lee, Stephanie M. "Asian Americans struggle with suicide." Asian Americans struggle with suicide - SFGate. Last modified January 24, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. 17. Lev, Marla. Interview by the author. CA. April 24, 2014. 18. Lu, Francis G. "The poor mental health care of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 224. 19. Meyers, Laurie. "Asian-American mental health." American Psychological Association, February 2006, 44. 20. National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Disorder Among Children." NIH Statistics - Any Disorder Among Children. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_CHILD.shtml. 21. National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_ADULT.shtml. 22. National Institute of Mental Health. "The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America." NIMH -


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The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. 23. National Institute of Mental Health. "Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/ 3USE_MT_ADULT.shtml. 24. Pariente, CM. "Glucocorticoid receptors in major depression: relevance to pathophysiology and treatment." Biological Psychiatry 49, no. 5 (March 201): 391-404. 25. Sorkin, Dara H., and Hannah Nguyen. "Assessing the Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Care Among a Diverse Sample of Asian American Older Adults." Journal of General Internal Medicine 26, no. 6 (June 2011): 595-602. 26. Sue, S., JK Cheng Yan, and CS Saad. "Asian American mental health: a call to action." The American psychologist. 67, no. 7 (October 2012). Abstract. 27. Williams, Zachary. "10 Most Common Psychological Disorders in America." https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Accessed March 4, 2014. https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Images: 1. From the PBS presentation, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, on Asian American women and depression. Photograph. APALA. http://www.apalaweb.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/06/tieayellowribbon-300x200.jpg. 2. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Image. What is the HPA axis? http://www.montana.edu/wwwai/imsd/alcohol/Vanessa/vwhpa_files/image003.jpg . 3. Service Use/Treatment Among U.S. Adults with Depression by Sex and Age. Image. NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/images/ NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg.


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Haley Land-­‐Miller   4/24/14   G-­‐Block          

Fighting Climate  Change:   What  Cuba  Can  Teach  Us  About  Finding  Sustainable  Solutions      

Satellite Photo  of  Cuba.  Source:  http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=64374  

   

 


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  Abstract:  Through  my  research,  I  investigated  the  environmental  history  and  policy   of  Cuba  as  a  potential  model  for  sustainability.  I  start  with  my  personal  connection   to  environmental  movements,  from  Head-­‐Royce  divestment  to  the  Keystone  XL   Pipeline  protest  I  attended.  I  focused  on  the  questions,  how  do  we  create  change  for   a  more  sustainable  world?  What  factors  drive  environmental  movements,  and  how   can  political  and  economic  circumstances  push  people  towards  solutions?  I  then   look  at  the  state  of  Cuban  ecosystems  and  the  diversity  of  wildlife,  and  investigate   how  the  history  of  the  country  has  impacted  its  relationship  with  the  environment.   Specifically,  in  what  ways  have  the  US  Embargo  since  the  1960’s  and  the  collapse  of   the  Soviet  Union  in  1991  influenced  Cuba’s  environment?  I  focus  on  the  importance   of  organic  urban  agriculture,  as  well  as  the  role  of  government  policy  in  shaping  the   current  state.  Ultimately  I  ask,  what  can  Cuba  teach  us  about  where  solutions  to   climate  change  will  come  from  in  the  rest  of  the  world?    


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  “Hey,  Obama,  we  don’t  want  no  pipeline  drama!”    

A couple  hundred  people  walked  ahead  and  behind  me  through  the  streets  of  

San Francisco  as  I  struggled  to  carry  a  heavy  picket  sign  that  read  “Climate  justice   NOW!”  My  classmates  and  I  joined  the  gathering  outside  the  San  Francisco  Ferry   Building  early  on  a  Monday  morning  to  speak  up  in  opposition  to  the  Keystone  XL   Pipeline,  a  several-­‐thousand-­‐mile  pipeline  that,  if  approved,  would  carry  gallons  of   tar  sands  from  Canada  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  for  processing.  We  were  marching  in   support  of  398  students  in  Washington  DC  who  had  been  arrested  for  civil   disobedience  the  week  before,  after  chaining  themselves  to  the  White  House  fence   in  protest  of  the  pipeline.      

I came  with  a  group  of  students  and  one  teacher  from  my  school,  and  while  

we were  waiting  for  everyone  to  arrive,  we  started  talking  to  some  of  the  other   protesters  about  environmental  issues  and  our  motivation  for  being  there.  A  group   of  Stanford  students  were  wearing  little  orange  squares  of  felt  pinned  to  their  shirts,   and  they  told  us  that  they  were  part  of  the  Stanford  divestment  movement.      

The movement  to  divest  institutions’  endowments  from  the  fossil  fuel  

industry was  something  we  were  all  intimately  familiar  with.  Our  two  student  body   presidents  Dylan  and  Thomas  initially  brought  the  idea  to  Head-­‐Royce,  introducing   it  during  their  campaign  speech.  Since  then,  our  school  community  had  held   widespread  discussions  about  whether  or  not  the  Board  of  Trustees  should,  and   would,  divest  the  school’s  twenty-­‐million  dollar  endowment  from  mutual  funds  that   included  some  investments  in  the  fossil  fuel  industry.  Our  senior  class  included   many  passionate  activists,  and,  inspired  by  Thomas  and  Dylan,  many  of  us  had   become  particularly  invested  in  the  movement  at  Head-­‐Royce.  


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Quote from  Christina  Figueres,  UNFCCC  Executive  Secretary,  in  an  address  on  divestment     at  Brown  University.  Image  courtesy  of  the  UNFCCC’s  official  Facebook  page.  

The  global  divestment  movement  is  modeled  after  a  movement  in  the  1980’s   aimed  at  creating  social  and  economic  pressure  on  South  Africa  in  protest  of   Apartheid.  Universities  and  cities,  including  the  City  and  County  of  San  Francisco   and  the  entire  University  of  California,  decided  not  to  invest  in  banks  and  companies   doing  business  in  South  Africa  in  order  to  pressure  the  government  to  enter   negotiations  about  ending  Apartheid.  This  movement  was  considered  to  be  partially   responsible  for  the  abolition  of  Apartheid  in  1991,  and  inspired  several  future   movements  including  divestment  from  the  tobacco  industry.  The  goal  of  the  current   movement  is  to  create  a  moral  and  social  imperative  to  cap  the  earth’s  rise  in   temperature  and  take  away  fossil  fuel  companies’  social  license  to  devastate  the   climate.  Today,  several  universities  and  cities  have  already  committed  to  divesting   from  fossil  fuels,  including  the  city  of  San  Francisco,  and  we  wanted  to  make  Head-­‐ Royce  the  first  secondary  school  in  the  country  to  join  the  movement.1                                                                                                                     1  Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees," April 15, 2014. Google Document.    


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  Many  of  my  friends  and  classmates  walked  beside  me  as  we  marched  toward  

a building  that  housed  offices  of  TransCanada,  the  corporation  that  was  building  the   Keystone  XL  Pipeline.  We  chanted,  “Hey,  Barack,  you  talk  the  talk;  now  walk  the   walk!”  Eventually,  we  gathered  outside  the  building,  and  several  protesters  forced   their  way  inside  the  building  and  sat  down  in  front  of  the  entrance  before  guards   blocked  it.  As  we  stood  outside  the  glass  doors,  the  protest  organizers  invited   anyone  to  go  up  to  the  front  and  talk  about  what  made  the  pipeline  an  important   issue.  My  classmate  Eian  spontaneously  gave  one  of  the  most  powerful  speeches  of   the  day,  declaring,  “What  makes  me  want  to  come  out  here  today  is  because  I   feel…that  my  generation  has  been  labeled  as  complacent.  And  I  refuse  to  accept   that.”2    

As we  stood  in  front  of  the  building,  though,  I  looked  around  at  the  small  

crowd and  wondered,  where  is  everyone?  I  thought  that  San  Francisco  was  one  of  the   most  climate-­‐conscious  cities  in  the  country;  several  cities  in  the  Bay  Area  have   comprehensive  compost  systems,  and  we’re  known  for  being  “super  green”.  If  the   movement  was  going  to  happen  anywhere,  it  was  going  to  be  here.  And  yet,  when  I   looked  around  me,  I  saw  mostly  radical  activists,  and  not  very  many  of  them  at  that.   Where  were  the  normal  people  who  knew  that  polluting  our  world  was  wrong?  I   couldn’t  help  but  wonder,  could  we  really  create  change  this  way?  Does  real  change   come  from  grass  roots  movements  like  divestment,  governmental  policies,  or   circumstances  that  leave  us  no  choice?       One  thing  is  for  certain,  over  the  past  few  centuries,  human  activity  has  had  a   profound  impact  on  the  world  we  live  in.  Massive  deforestation,  pollution  of  natural   resources  and  the  release  of  carbon  dioxide  and  other  gasses  into  the  atmosphere   have  led  to  a  shift  in  the  earth’s  climate  and  impacted  the  lives  of  every  creature  on   this  planet.  So  far  global  temperatures  have  climbed  1  degree  Celsius,  causing  sea   levels  to  rise  and  weather  patterns  to  shift.  The  increasing  frequency  of  extreme   weather  events  like  drought,  floods,  blizzards  and  hurricanes  has  made  it  harder  to                                                                                                                   Eian. Speech, Keystone XL Pipeline Protest, San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2014.    

2 Peters,


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grow food  in  many  places,  impacting  our  ability  to  support  our  exponentially   growing  population.3  Poor  countries  will  be  less  able  to  adapt  to  a  changing   environment,  and  climate  change  has  the  potential  to  worsen  inequality  and   poverty,  impede  development,  and  heighten  conflicts  over  resources  in  many   different  parts  of  the  world.  Climate  experts  currently  suggest  that  unless  we  reduce   carbon  dioxide  emissions,  we  will  face  a  global  temperature  rise  of  2˚  C,   consequences  of  which  would  drastically  increase  the  negative  impacts  of  climate   change  worldwide.4   The  biggest  international  response  to  the  climate  crisis  comes  from  the   United  Nations  Framework  Convention  on  Climate  Change.  On  December  11,  1997,   the  Kyoto  Protocol  was  adopted,  a  set  of  binding  commitments  to  lowering  carbon   emissions.  The  Marrakesh  Accords,  or  rules  for  the  Kyoto  Protocol’s  implementation   were  adopted  in  2001,  and  the  agreement’s  first  commitment  period  was  from  2008   to  2012  with  192  Parties  involved.  In  December  of  2012,  the  Parties  adopted  the   Doha  Amendment  to  the  Kyoto  Protocol,  starting  a  new  commitment  period  that   will  last  from  2013  to  2020.  The  Protocol  originally  provided  emission  reduction   goals  based  on  a  country’s  economic  status  and  emissions  in  1990;  for  example,   more  developed  countries  were  assumed  to  have  a  greater  ability  to  decrease   emissions  than  poorer  countries  had.  Overall,  the  treaty  called  for  a  5%  decrease  in   1990  levels  of  CO2  emissions,  and  the  Doha  Amendment  suggested  additional  cuts.   However,  the  UNFCCC  recognizes  that  even  the  decreases  suggested  in  current   international  treaties  would  not  be  sufficient  to  decrease  emissions  to  the  level   necessary  to  avoid  a  2˚  C  rise  in  global  temperatures.  5      

                                                                                                              3  350.org. "The Science." 350.org. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://350.org/about/science/.   4  McKibben, Bill. "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math." Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math20120719.   5  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, Japan: United Nations, 1997. PDF.    


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Million of  tons  of  CO2  emissions  from  1996-­‐2007  by  country.6  

 

Map of  the  world,  each  country  shown  proportional  to  their  2009  carbon  emissions.  Map  created  by   Benjamin  Hennig,  Sasi  Research  Group,  University  of  Sheffeild.    

 

                                                                                                              6  Rogers, Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014.  


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  Clearly,  the  US  has  not  been  a  leader  in  cutting  greenhouse  emissions  since   the  introduction  of  the  Kyoto  Protocol,  and  we  currently  have  the  second  highest   rate  of  emissions,  behind  only  China7.  Climate  activists  have  been  forced  to  look   elsewhere  for  inspiration  and  possible  solutions  to  high  levels  of  greenhouse  gasses.   Many  have  turned  to  other  countries  for  promising  ideas,  and  the  socialist  island  of   Cuba  is  a  popular  example.  Because  of  its  singular  political  history  and  several   severe  economic  crises,  the  country  has  had  to  adapt  to  the  changing  environment   in  different  ways  than  the  rest  of  the  world,  and  it  is  often  looked  to  as  an  example  of   alternative  solutions.  For  instance,  according  to  teacher  Laura  Galligan,  The   Transitions  Movement  in  the  Bay  Area  is  “an  attempt  to  build  strong,  local   community  bonds  among  people  who  are  developing  the  skills,  tools…and   connections  to  each  other  necessary  to  transition  to  a  world  in  which  economic  and   environmental  crises  will  become  more  and  more  common”8,  and  this  movement  is   inspired  in  many  ways  by  Cuban  sustainability.  In  2007,  Cuba’s  per  capita  carbon   emissions  were  at  2.2  tons,  as  compared  to  the  US’s  19.9  tons7.  Cuba  is  the  only   country  declared  to  have  achieved  sustainable  development  by  the  World  Wildlife   Fund9,  and  the  country  has  one  of  the  most  widespread  systems  of  urban  organic   agriculture  in  the  world.        

In 1992,  Cuban  dictator  Fidel  Castro  gave  his  perspective  on  climate  change  

at the  Earth  Summit  in  Rio:  “An  important  biological  species  –  humankind  –  is  at  risk   of  disappearing  due  to  the  rapid  and  progressive  elimination  of  its  natural   habitat….”10  Through  the  rest  of  the  speech,  Castro  pointed  to  the  cultures  of   capitalism  and  consumerism  in  developed  nations  as  the  cause  of  the  environmental   degradation  that  the  world  was  facing.  As  an  island  and  Socialist  state  cut  off  from                                                                                                                   Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014. 8  Galligan, Laura. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 4, 2014. 9  Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006. Gland, Switzerland: World Wildlife Fund for Nature, 2006. PDF. 10  Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late." Speech presented at Rio Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992. Responding to Climate Change.     7  Rogers,


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  American  capitalism  since  1960,  Cuba  has  had  a  very  unique  relationship  with  the   world’s  changing  climate  in  the  past  several  decades.  In  some  ways,  the  country  has   been  positively  spared  from  harmful  aspects  of  globalization  by  its  isolation  and   unique  political  history.  For  example,  many  Latin  American  countries  like  Ecuador   have  witnessed  the  extremely  detrimental  impacts  of  big  oil  on  their  ecosystems,   but  Cuba’s  isolation  has  sheltered  it  from  these  influences.  In  other  areas,  the   government  has  proactively  worked  towards  sustainability,  creating  policies  that   were  by  no  means  accidental.     Cuba’s  environment  is  the  richest  and  diverse  of  any  in  the  region.  The   country  has  more  than  3000  miles  of  undeveloped  coastline,  the  largest  and  most   well  preserved  wetland  in  Latin  America,  and  more  preserved  rainforests  and  reefs   than  any  of  the  other  Caribbean  islands11.  The  Florida  Straits,  just  off  the  coast  of   Cuba,  hold  the  most  marine  biodiversity  in  the  Northern  hemisphere.  The  country’s   government  has  protected  22%  of  the  island’s  land  in  some  way,  which  is  one  of  the   highest  ratios  of  environmental  protection  in  the  world.  12  Because  of  its  geographic   location,  Cuba  has  species  from  both  North  and  South  America,  with  an  extremely   high  diversity  of  species.    While  there  are  relatively  few  mammals,  reptiles  and   plants  of  all  sorts  thrive.  The  island  holds  a  hundred  different  species  of  palm  tree   alone.  50%  of  all  plant  species  and  more  than  32%  of  animal  species  are  endemic13:   unique  to  the  habitat  in  which  they  evolved  and  are  therefore  more  susceptible  to   changes  in  that  ecosystem.  Many  species  are  extremely  distinctive;  for  example,   Cuba  houses  a  tree  dwelling  rodent,  a  two-­‐foot  wide  fish-­‐eating  bat,  and  the  world’s   smallest  bird  and  scorpion.14  

                                                                                                              Daniel, and Orlando Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment: Efforts to Design and Implement Effective Environmental Laws and Policies in Cuba." Cuban Studies 37 (2006): 73-103.   12  Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." Smithsonian, May 2003, 94-106. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS.   13  Santana, Eduardo C. "Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in Cuba." Conservation Biology 5, no. 1 (March 1991): 13-16. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2386333.   14  Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." 94-106 11  Whittle,


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  Along  with  a  unique  ecosystem,  the  country  has  its  own  set  of  environmental   challenges.  Historically,  deforestation  has  been  one  of  the  biggest  threats  to  Cuban   wildlife;  by  1959,  sugar  cane  production  had  taken  over  more  than  70%  of   previously  forested  land,  destroying  4.4  million  hectares  of  forest.15    Today,  around   76%  of  the  land  that  could  be  used  for  agriculture  has  some  sort  of  damage  from   erosion  and  deforestation.  Eleven  of  the  fourteen  provinces  of  Cuba  have  witnessed   deforestation,  and  desertification  is  also  a  problem.  16  However,  much  progress  has   been  made  through  a  dedicated  reforestation  effort.  Before  1900,  54%  of  the   island’s  land  was  covered  in  forest;  by  1959,  this  number  decreased  to  14%.17  Since   1990,  the  number  of  forests  has  been  steadily  increasing  and  655  thousand  hectares   of  forest  have  been  restored.18  Today  27%  of  the  island  is  forested17.     The  island’s  political  history  has  had  a  profound  impact  on  the  ecosystems  in   place.  Cuba’s  many  endemic  species  were  first  threatened  with  the  arrival  of   Spanish  colonialism  and  foreign  species  that  came  with  it.  As  the  country’s  industry   grew,  tobacco  and  sugar  cane  plantations  took  over  many  species’  natural  habitats   and  water  and  air  pollution  increased  greatly.  However,  in  the  past  century,  several   political  events  and  circumstances  have,  arguably  accidentally,  pushed  the  country   to  a  more  sustainable  lifestyle.  After  the  1959  revolution,  the  Cuban  government   adopted  environmental  policies  that  were  not  drastically  different  from  those  of   other  countries;  however,  the  socialist  country’s  economic  policy  focused  more   heavily  on  agriculture  than  industry,  unintentionally  sparing  the  island  from  a  great   deal  of  pollution.  In  addition,  the  US  Embargo  blocked  all  trade  and  travel  between   the  two  countries,  putting  a  massive  strain  on  the  Cuban  economy  but  also   protecting  the  country  from  the  environmental  degradation  that  rapid  economic  

                                                                                                              and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103   16  Chelys. "Deforestation in Cuba and Haiti." Earth Snapshot. Last modified January 18, 2014. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://www.eosnap.com/climatechange/deforestation-in-cuba-and-haiti/.   17  Riera, Lilliam. "In the Midst of an Economic Crisis, Cuba Strengthens Its Environmental Agenda."   18  Rhett A. Buttler. "Cuba Deforestation Rates and Related Forestry Figures." Moongabay. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/.   15  Whittle


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  development  brought  to  many  countries  touched  by  American  capitalism  and   consumerism19.     The  US  Embargo,  implemented  in  1960,  blocked  all  trade  between  the  US  and   Cuba.  From  1960  to  1991,  Cuba  was  the  most  significant  stronghold  of  communism   and  support  for  the  Soviet  Union  in  the  Western  Hemisphere,  and  the  embargo  was   justified  by  worries  about  national  security.  The  original  goal  of  the  embargo  was  to   undermine  Fidel  Castro’s  regime;  the  past  fifty  years  have  proven  that  while  it  has   done  significant  economic  damage  to  the  country,  the  embargo  has  failed  in  this   respect.  Furthermore,  the  embargo  gives  Castro  and  his  brother  a  convenient   scapegoat  for  economic  problems  and  poverty  of  the  Cuban  people,  allowing  the   Cuban  government  to  avoid  taking  responsibility  for  some  of  its  own  failures.  That   said,  it  is  undeniable  that  the  embargo  has  had  a  significantly  detrimental  impact  on   the  Cuban  economy  and  may  be  rightly  to  blame  for  some  of  the  nation’s  poverty20.   However,  Cuba  is  considered  to  have  one  of  the  highest  standards  of  living  of   developing  nations,  with  the  fifth  highest  Human  Development  Index  in  Latin   America  and  is  classified  as  a  middle-­‐income  country  according  to  2003  data  from   the  United  Nations  Development  Program21.      

                                                                                                              19  Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-the-accidental-eden/a-briefenvironmental-history/5830/.   20  Griswold, Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure: The U.S. Embargo against Cuba." Speech presented at James A. Baker III Institute Program, Cuba and the United States in the 21st Century, Rice University, Houston, TX, October 12, 2005. Cato Institute. Last modified October 12, 2005. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.cato.org/publications/speeches/four-decades-failure-us-embargoagainst-cuba.   21  Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006.    


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Example of  an  urban  farm  in  Havana.  Part  of  a  photo  essay  on  organopónicos  by  Noah FriedmanRudovsky in 2012. https://nacla.org/news/2012/10/18/urban-agriculture-cuba-photo-essay    

While the  Soviet  Union  lasted,  its  support  helped  shield  Cuba  from  the  full   effects  of  the  US  Embargo.  However,  when  the  Communist  bloc  collapsed  in  1991,   Cuba  was  thrown  into  a  severe  economic  depression  known  as  the  “Special  Period”,   sparking  a  dramatic  shift  towards  organic  urban  farming22.  After  the  Soviet  Union’s   collapse,  Cuba  struggled  to  immediately  adapt  to  the  lack  of  Soviet  oil  and  food   imports.  The  country  lost  80%  of  its  international  trade  and  more  than  3.1  million   tons  of  fertilizers  were  lost23.  Hunger  became  a  pressing  problem;  there  was  a   massive  plunge  in  the  per  capita  calorie  intake,  decreasing  from  2600  Calories  per   day  in  late  1980’s  to  1000-­‐1500  per  day  in  199324.  The  situation  was  only  made   worse  by  a  tightening  of  the  US  Embargo  in  1992.  Food  imports  also  decreased,  so                                                                                                                   22  Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History."   23  Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." Ecologist, December 1999, 457-60. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS.   24  Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." The Guardian. Last modified April 3, 2008. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/apr/04/organics.food.    


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the country  had  to  find  a  way  to  spark  a  massive  increase  in  its  food  production  with   a  huge  loss  in  fertilizers  and  pesticides.  Cuba’s  population  initially  responded  with   the  only  option  they  had,  and  began  to  garden  in  every  available  space,  especially  in   Havana.  The  state  soon  got  behind  the  urban  farming  movement,  a  sustainable   method  of  food  production  initiated  out  of  pure  necessity,  and  created  an  Urban   Agriculture  Department  in  the  Cuban  Ministry  of  Agriculture.  25    Several  different   types  of  gardens  and  farms  sprung  up;  25,000  allotments  called  huertos,  or  small-­‐ scale  gardens,  and  many  larger-­‐scale  organopónicos  existed  in  the  city  of  Havana   alone  by  1995.  Methods  of  farming  changed  drastically  as  well.  Oxen  took  over  the   jobs  of  tractors,  and  worm  composting  and  bio-­‐pesticides  became  staples  of   farming.  In  2002,  daily  per  capita  calorie  intake  had  risen  back  to  260026.  Whether   the  shift  was  brought  about  by  choice  or  economic  necessity,  Cuba’s  organic   revolution  shows  a  transition  to  urban  organic  agriculture  is  feasible  if  enough   motivation  is  in  place.     Critics  may  wonder,  have  these  sustainable  measures  been  detrimental  to   economic  development  or  the  standard  of  living  in  Cuba?  Perhaps  not:  Cuba  has   been  praised  for  its  success  with  sustainable  development,  economic  progress  that   exists  in  harmony  with  the  environment  instead  of  in  conflict  with  it.  A  2003  study   of  human  development  and  ecological  footprints  conducted  by  the  World  Wildlife   Fund  declared  that  Cuba  was  the  only  country  that  met  the  criteria  for  sustainable   development.  It  passed  the  qualifying  measures  both  in  hectares  of  land  per  person   and  the  United  Nations  Development  Program’s  measure  of  Human  Development   Index,  which  takes  into  account  education,  life  expectancy,  and  GDP  per  capita27.   From  1992  to  1998,  the  Cuban  government  amended  the  constitution  to  include  the   goal  of  sustainable  development,  the  National  Environment  and  Development   Program  was  created,  and  a  national  program  for  environmental  education  also   emerged28.  In  his  1992  speech  at  the  Rio  Earth  Summit,  Fidel  Castro  emphasized  the                                                                                                                   Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." 457-60.   26  Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution."   27  Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006.     25  Warwick,


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  necessity  of  sustainable  development  in  searching  for  a  solution  to  climate  change,   simultaneously  pointing  a  finger  at  capitalism  and  consumerism  as  the  source  of  the   problem:  “Stop  transferring  to  the  Third  World  lifestyles  and  consumer  habits  that   ruin  the  environment….  Use  science  to  achieve  sustainable  development  without   pollution.  Pay  the  ecological  debt.  Eradicate  hunger  and  not  humanity.”29  Castro’s   words  suggest  that  we’re  looking  at  sustainability  from  the  wrong  angle.  It’s  a  call   towards  the  world’s  superpowers,  begging  them  to  use  their  powers  and  privileges   for  good,  and  not  for  evil.  This  same  message  echoes  through  environmental   movements  today;  through  divestment,  we’re  pleading  with  our  academic   institutions  to  use  the  tremendous  economic  power  they  have  to  make  the  world  a   better  place  and  build  a  cleaner  future.      

Fidel Castro  giving  his  speech,  “Tomorrow  Will  Be  Too  Late”  at  the  1992     Rio  Earth  Summit.  Source:  UN/Michos  Tzovaras  

Is  Cuba’s  sustainability  at  least  in  part  due  to  government  policy,  as  Castro  

seems to  suggest?  Some  argue  yes.  A  2001  article  in  the  Cuban  newspaper  Granma   International  insists  that  the  Cuban  government  has  remained  steadfastly   committed  to  sustainability,  even  through  harsh  economic  times.  From  1960                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident." TreeHugger. Last modified April 20, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/why-cuba-sustainability-notaccident.html.   29  Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late."   28  Cernansky,


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through  the  mid-­‐nineties,  environmental  policy  was  spread  through  many  different   agencies  in  the  government,  and  lack  of  enforcement  was  a  big  issue.  The  National   Commission  for  Environmental  Protection  and  the  Rational  Use  of  National   Resources  (COMARNA),  which  was  established  in  1976  and  reestablished  in  1990,   had  very  little  power  within  the  government  and  was  ineffective  in  creating   significant  progress30.  However,  an  amendment  to  the  constitution  was  added  after   the  1992  Rio  Summit,  during  an  extreme  economic  recession,  emphasizing  that  both   the  people  and  the  government  have  a  responsibility  to  build  a  sustainable  world31.   Several  other  reforms  were  pushed,  and  in  1994  the  government  created  the   Ministry  of  Science,  Technology,  and  the  Environment  (CITMA),  which  was  far   better  positioned  to  enforce  protection  than  its  predecessor  COMARNA.  CITMA   includes  several  different  parts:  the  Environmental  Directorate  helps  write  climate-­‐ related  laws,  the  National  Center  for  Protected  Areas  deals  with  national  parks  and   other  protected  lands,  the  Center  for  Environmental  Management,  Education,  and   Information  implements  governmental  actions  that  relate  to  the  climate,  and  the   Environmental  Agency  oversees  many  different  organizations  doing  environmental   research.  In  1997  the  government  also  enacted  the  Law  of  Environment  and  a   National  Environmental  Strategy,  which  emphasized  sustainable  development  and  a   higher  prioritization  of  environmental  issues30.  While  American  politicians  often   demonize  Castro’s  regime,  it  has  made  huge  strides  towards  sustainability  for  its   country.  The  United  States,  as  one  of  the  worst  offenders  in  contributing  to  climate   change,  could  learn  a  great  deal  about  protecting  the  world  we  live  in  if  we  could   bare  to  take  an  example  from  those  who  we  see  as  “backwards”.       Ultimately,  how  did  Cuba  end  up  with  the  sustainable  systems  it  has  now?   Was  the  country  more  impacted  by  political  and  economic  circumstances  that   unintentionally  pushed  it  towards  sustainability  or  a  committed  government   creating  genuine  and  effective  policies?  There  isn’t  one  clear  answer;  both  factors   have  undoubtedly  had  a  profound  impact  on  the  country’s  relationship  with  its                                                                                                                   and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103   31  Cernansky, Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident."   30  Whittle


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environment. It  seems  unlikely  that  without  such  dramatic  isolation  from  American   capitalism  the  country’s  resources  would  have  remained  unexploited;  the  recent   histories  of  many  other  Latin  American  countries,  like  Ecuador,  suggest  that  Cuba’s   environment  dodged  a  bullet  in  that  sense.  However,  without  governmental  policies   that  purposefully  took  economic  struggles  as  opportunities  for  sustainable  changes,   Cuba  would  never  have  reached  the  place  it  is  at  today.  One  of  the  biggest  questions   about  sustainability  in  Cuba  is,  what  does  the  future  hold?  The  Embargo  has  been   denounced  by  people  from  both  parties  in  the  US,  and  President  Obama  has  taken   action  to  loosen  its  restrictions  in  recent  years.  Many  people  agree  that  the   Embargo’s  ineffectiveness  and  the  current  trajectory  of  Cuban-­‐American  relations   suggest  that  its  time  is  coming  to  an  end32.  What  happens  to  the  Cuban  environment   when  the  Embargo  is  lifted  will  be  very  telling  about  the  roots  of  the  current   movement.  Some  people  predict  that  the  opening  of  Cuba’s  economy  will  cause  a   deterioration  of  the  progress  that  the  country  has  made  in  the  last  half-­‐century  in   favor  of  economic  development.  On  the  other  hand,  others  suggest  that  the  solid   environmental  policies  created  by  the  Castro  regime  could  survive  new  economic   pressure  and  sustainable  development  would  continue,  if  these  policies  were   sufficiently  enforced.   What  does  Cuba  show  us  about  where  environmental  progress  could  come   from  in  the  rest  of  the  world?  One  thing  is  for  certain;  we  can’t  rely  on  drastic   economic  and  political  circumstances  to  always  force  us  into  living  sustainably  on   our  planet.  That  said,  the  Organic  Revolution  is  an  inspiring  reminder  that  good   things  can  come  out  of  bad  situations.  The  success  of  sustainable  development   suggests  that  maybe  we’re  looking  at  things  wrong;  maybe  we  don’t  have  to  pit   economic  success  against  sustainable  living.  Whether  or  not  accidental  factors  were   the  sole  reason  for  Cuba’s  successful  preservation  of  its  rich  natural  resources,   there’s  no  doubt  that  these  factors  were  instrumental  in  sparking  the  change.  Where   can  we  find  this  same  pressure  and  motivation  if  it’s  not  going  to  come  from  some                                                                                                                   Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure” Whittle and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103    

32 Griswold,


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  external  government  or  extreme  economic  conditions  cutting  us  off  from  certain   resources?  Will  it  come  from  our  own  leaders,  people  committed  to  fighting  for   change,  or  the  drastic  reality  that  sets  in  when  we  don’t  have  any  more  options  but   to  adapt  to  climate  change?     In  a  letter  to  the  Board  of  Trustees,  our  student  body  presidents  Thomas  and   Dylan  suggested  that  our  school,  and  all  the  institutions  we  are  a  part  of,  could  be   tools  with  which  we  try  to  change  the  world33.  When  I  think  about  the  divestment   campaign,  though,  I  can’t  help  but  wonder  what  will  be  enough  to  make  change   happen,  even  on  the  small  scale  of  just  our  school.  We  currently  have  287  signatures   on  our  petition;  they  came  from  students,  faculty,  parents  and  alumni  who  feel,  as   we  do,  that  climate  change  is  one  of  the  most  pressing  issues  of  our  time  and  that  we   have  a  duty  to  do  whatever  we  can  to  fight  it.  Maybe  some  external  force  will  appear   and  motivate  the  administration  to  take  action;  maybe  prospective  parents  will   suddenly  be  less  interested  in  a  school  that  has  citizenship  as  one  of  its  moral  pillars   but  refuses  to  take  the  most  necessary  steps  in  the  path  to  global  citizenship.  At  the   moment,  though,  it  looks  like  we’re  going  to  have  to  create  that  force  within   ourselves,  keep  pushing  until  our  voices  are  heard  and  progress  is  made.     This  doesn’t  just  apply  to  Head-­‐Royce.  Cuba  is  an  example  of  how  far  we  can   go  towards  a  sustainable  world,  if  only  enough  pressure  is  applied.  But  this  pressure   isn’t  going  to  come  from  the  outside  world  and  hit  us  here  in  Oakland,  California,   until  it’s  too  late.  Are  we  really  going  to  wait  for  a  hurricane  that  floods  the  streets  of   San  Francisco,  a  disease  that  spreads  as  mosquitos  fly  to  warming  areas,  or  the  day   that  the  mountains  in  Tahoe  are  bare  and  dry  in  January?  We  can’t  wait  until  the   negative  impacts  of  climate  change  break  through  the  buffer  of  civilization  we’ve   created  and  shock  us  in  action;  it  has  to  happen  now,  and  it  has  to  come  from  within.   As  Fidel  Castro  said  at  the  1992  Rio  Climate  Summit,  “Tomorrow  will  be  too  late  to   do  what  we  should  have  done  a  long  time  ago.”34  

                                                                                                              33  Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees,"   34  Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late."  


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  Bibliography   350.org. "The Science." 350.org. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://350.org/about/science/.   350.or is the environmental Non-Profit that members of the Head-Royce community have often sited about issues like divesting the school's endowment from the fossil fuel industry. 350.org organized the San Francisco protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline which I attended. Their website has a lot of background information about the impacts of climate change, and in addition research explaining why 2ËšC is too big of a temperature shift for the world to cope with.     Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late." Speech presented at Rio Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992. Responding to Climate Change. Last modified May 4, 2012. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://www.rtcc.org/2012/05/02/countdown-torio20-fidel-castros-1992-speech/.   Speech given by Fidel Castro at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, condemning the negative impacts that capitalism and consumerism have had on both the environment and global poverty, urging for sustainable development of developing countries. A quote from this speech was used in a PBS article on Cuba's environmental history, and I searched the speech to find its entire text.     Cernansky, Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident." TreeHugger. Last modified April 20, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/why-cuba-sustainability-notaccident.html.   TreeHugger is a leading media outlet focused on sustainability. This article gives a lot of information about sustainability in Cuba in general, including bicycle culture, deforestation, and environmental legislation. The main thesis of the article counters a popular belief in the environmental field: that Cuba unintentionally landed on environmentally sustainable culture out of economic necessity and other circumstances. Interesting and useful counterbalance to many of my sources that support this point.     Chelys. "Deforestation in Cuba and Haiti." Earth Snapshot. Last modified January 18, 2014. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://www.eosnap.com/climatechange/deforestation-in-cuba-and-haiti/.   Provides several statistics about deforestation in Cuba as well as reforestation efforts.     Díaz-Briquets, Sergio, and Jorge Pérez-López. Conquering Nature: The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Digital file.   Book on the impact of socialism on Cuba's environment. Entire book is available online through the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Additions library.     Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Accessed March 9, 2014.


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  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-the-accidental-eden/a-briefenvironmental-history/5830/.   PBS Website detailing the ecological history of Cuba, especially in relation to the US Embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Great information on the environmental impacts of the political and economic history of the country.     Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." The Guardian. Last modified April 3, 2008. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/apr/04/organics.food.   Article describing the agricultural revolution in post-USSR Cuba, how it came about and where it was in 2008. Description of farmers and farms, called "organopónico". Statistics about hunger in Cuba.     Galligan, Laura. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 4, 2014.   Short interview with Sra. Galligan about the Bay Area Transitions Movement, which was conducted via email.     Griswold, Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure: The U.S. Embargo against Cuba." Speech presented at James A. Baker III Institute Program, Cuba and the United States in the 21st Century, Rice University, Houston, TX, October 12, 2005. Cato Institute. Last modified October 12, 2005. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.cato.org/publications/speeches/four-decades-failure-us-embargoagainst-cuba.   Speech given by an extremely pro-free-market researcher about the negative impacts of the US Embargo on Cuba and the US. Statistics about food imports, titles of environmental legislation, and reference to Venezuelan oil imported to Cuba.     Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006. Gland, Switzerland: World Wildlife Fund for Nature, 2006. PDF.   Long, detailed report by the World Wildlife Fund, Zoological Society of London, and the Global Footprint Network. Collects and combines data in order to review the state of the natural world and humanity's impact upon it. Very helpful information on sustainable development, including statistics about the Human Development Index.     Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." Smithsonian, May 2003, 94-106. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS.   Discusses vast biological diversity of Cuba and why it is valuable. References conservation efforts in the country.     McKibben, Bill. "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math." Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/globalwarmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719.   Article by the prominent climate activist Bill McKibben detailing the most recent statistics surrounding climate change, including the 2ËšC maximum change in


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  temperature and the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that our world can handle. Thanks to Thomas Peterson for sending this to me.     Morgan, Faith, and Pat Murphy. "The Power of Community: Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy Interview." Peak Oil News and Message Boards. Video file, 4:32. Posted by Link TV, December 21, 2010. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://peakoil.com/generalideas/the-power-of-community-faith-morgan-and-patmurphy-interview.   Short interview with the filmmakers of "The Power of Community. How Cuba Survived Peak Oil". Discusses the massive economic and agricultural crisis that came from the loss of Soviet Union oil in 1991, and the subsequent conversion to entirely organic agriculture. Saya sent me the original documentary, and I looked up the filmmakers to find this interview.     Peters, Eian. Speech, Keystone XL Pipeline Protest, San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2014.   My friend Eian Peters gave a spontaneous speech at the Keystone XL Pipeline protest which I attended with about 15 of my classmates. He was quoted my many supporters of the protest afterwards about whether or not we are the generation of complacency. I saw the speech in person but found the exact wording of the quote I wanted by watching this video about the protest: http://vimeo.com/88125298.     Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees," April 15, 2014. Google Document.   Letter written by Dylan and Thomas to the HRS Board of Trustees urging for divestment. They cite statistics about climate change as well as providing background information on divestment and emphasizing our duty to fight for change.     Rhett A. Buttler. "Cuba Deforestation Rates and Related Forestry Figures." Moongabay. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/.   Many statistics about the Cuban environment, mostly focusing on deforestation and reforestation efforts.     Riera, Lilliam. "In the Midst of an Economic Crisis, Cuba Strengthens Its Environmental Agenda." Granma International (La Habana, Cuba), June 10, 2001.   Article from a Cuban newspaper that details the strengthening of the country's environmental plan during tough economic times, including the special period. Statistics on deforestation, education, pollution and protected zones.     Rogers, Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/datablog/2009/dec/07/copenhagenclimate-change-summit-carbon-emissions-data-country-world.   Article describing global CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2007. Large graphic with bubbles that illustrate emissions per country, data about specific countries' emissions.  


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Santana, Eduardo C. "Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in Cuba." Conservation Biology 5, no. 1 (March 1991): 13-16. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2386333.   Very scientific overview of the Cuban environment as of 1991. Many statisticsmostly positive, some negative. Some references to specific environmental legislation and other relevant political information.     Solis, Dianne. "Energizing Cuba." Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX), September 20, 1998.   Short article describing Cuba's energy market in 1998 and how many oil companies were showing interest in doing business with the country. Some discussion of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impact that had on energy in Cuba, as well as the connections between political power and oil in Cuba.     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, Japan: United Nations, 1997. PDF.   Text of the original Kyoto Protocol (English version) found on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Published in 1997, it does not reflect the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in Doha, Quatar in 2012. The original Kyoto Protocol set out international, binding commitments to emissions reductions for its Parties.     Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." Ecologist, December 1999, 457-60. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS.   Discusses impact of US Embargo and collapse of the USSR on Cuba's industrial agriculture and the transition to organic farming out of necessity. Also describes the surprising efficiency of the farming methods created.     Whittle, Daniel, and Orlando Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment: Efforts to Design and Implement Effective Environmental Laws and Policies in Cuba." Cuban Studies 37 (2006): 73-103.   Published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Cuban Studies is considered one of the foremost scholarly journals on Cuba. This article gives a diverse and detailed view of environmentalism and environmental policy in Cuba, focusing mostly on 1960-present day (written in 2006).      


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Exposing  Injustice  in  the  Justice  System:   A  Report  on  Racial  Bias  in  Jury  Selection   By  Olivia  Lucas   Global  Issues   5/9/2014    

Source: Google  Images  

 


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Abstract:   The  issue  I  am  addressing  is  racial  bias  in  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System,   particularly  regarding  the  selection  of  juries  and  the  impact  of  peremptory   challenges.  My  own  experience  working  an  Oakland-­‐based  restorative  justice   program  that  has  successfully  deterred  many  minority  youth  from  entering  the   Criminal  Justice  System  has  led  me  to  question  the  fairness  and  impartiality  of   America’s  courts.  My  research  aims  to  reveal  the  racially  discriminatory  effect  that   the  lack  of  diversity  among  court  officials  and  jury  members  has  on  the  many   defendants  of  color  that  are  tried  in  criminal  court.  This  paper  brings  awareness  to   numerous  case  studies  in  which  juries  were  not  representative  of  their  diverse   communities.  Through  my  research,  I  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that  America’s   Criminal  justice  System  is  innately  bias  and,  through  many  of  its  practices,   perpetuates  inequality,  instead  of  fulfilling  its  purpose  of  equally  protecting  the   rights  of  all  citizens,  regardless  of  race  or  ethnic  background.                  

 


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Our country,  which  we  affectionately  call  “the  melting  pot,”  “land  of  the  free,”   and  “land  of  opportunity,”  has  not  lived  up  to  its  name.  The  very  freedoms  and  civil   liberties  America  prides  itself  on  have  historically  been  countered  by  institutions   and  practices  that  explicitly  and  implicitly  discriminate  against  certain  groups.   During  the  era  of  slavery,  blacks  were  brought  to  America  and  routinely  held  against   their  will  in  involuntary  servitude  for  long  spans  of  time  and  even  for  life.  Even  after   the  abolition  of  slavery,  blacks  were  still  excluded  from  voting  or  serving  in  public   office,  prohibited  from  traveling  freely,  denied  access  to  education  and  employment,   and  suffered  stricter  punishment  than  whites  who  committed  the  same  crimes.1   How  far  has  our  nation  progressed  from  this  institutionalized  subjugation  of  African   Americans?  I  would  argue,  not  very  far.   “Like  slavery,  mass  incarceration  operates  as  a  tightly  networked  system  of   laws,  policies,  customs,  and  institutions  that  operate  collectively  to  ensure  the   subordinate  status  of  a  group  defined  largely  by  race,”  explained  Michelle   Alexander,  author  of  The  New  Jim  Crow.2  Essentially,  mass  incarceration  is  the                                                                                                                   Parson, E. Earl, and Monique McLaughlin. “Citizenship In Name Only: The Coloring Of Democracy While Redefining Rights, Liberties, and Self Determination for the 21st Century.” Columbia Journal of Race and Law 3, no. 1 (2013). Outlines the historical developments in the struggle to achieve full citizenship rights for African Americans, specifically focusing on jury service and the right to vote. Chapter 3, Jury Participation: The Systematic Exclusion, was most useful and relevant to my research as it provided detailed information about the historical degradation of African Americans through jury exclusion.   2 Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow. Revised ed. New York, NY: The New Press, 2012. A frequently referenced book that discusses the mass incarceration of African Americans and challenges the notion that America has progressed from its racist history. It addresses the history that led to this injustice and the consequences that the African American community is now experiencing and will continue to experience in the future if we do not solve the problem soon. 1

 


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modern form  of  institutionalized  slavery.  According  to  Alexander,  there  are   currently  more  blacks  in  prison,  in  jail,  on  probation,  and  on  parole  than  were   enslaved  in  1850.  This  disproportionate  representation  of  African  Americans,   specifically  black  males,  in  prison  populations  is  a  direct  result  of  policies  that  were   implemented  as  early  as  1971  and  especially  targeted  minorities.  Less  than  10  years   after,  Martin  Luther  King  Jr.  delivered  his  “I  Have  A  Dream  Speech,”  President   Richard  Nixon  declared  the  War  on  Drugs,  which  many  sources  say  deliberately   Source:   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/primer/  

targets and   disproportionately  impacts   African  Americans.  In  the   impending  years,  higher   minimum  drug  sentences   for  substances  commonly   used  in  black  neighbor-­‐ hoods  and  the  implement-­‐

ation of  the  “three  strikes”  law  led  to  a  significant  increase  in  the  number  of  African   Americans  entering  the  Criminal  Justice  System.  3   There  are  a  myriad  of  past  factors  that  have  contributed  to  the  present  mass   incarceration  and  mass  disenfranchisement  of  the  African  American  community.  In                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3  Sterling, Eric E. "Drug Laws and Snitching: A Primer." PBS Frontline. Accessed May 1, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/primer/.   This informative web page written by the President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association clearly outlines the history and long-term impacts of mandatory minimum drug sentences.      

 


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our current  Criminal  Justice  System,  I  believe  the  root  of  the  problem  stems  from  the   frequent  absence  of  an  African  American  perspective  and  voice  in  the  courtroom,   which  often  contributes  to  a  racial  prejudice  prematurely  skewed  against  the   hundreds  of  thousands  of  African  Americans  who  are  tried  in  criminal  court  each   year.  Ideally,  the  jury  exists  to  counteract  these  prejudices,  deliver  an  impartial   opinion  on  the  case  at  hand,  and  provide  an  opportunity  for  the  accused  to  be  tried   by  his  or  her  peers.  Nevertheless,  unjust  exclusion  and  dismissals  of  African   Americans  from  juries  have  compromised  the  administration  of  justice  in  our   nation’s  Criminal  Justice  System  and  pervaded  the  courts  with  even  more  racial   biases.  In  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System,  where  African  Americans  make  up  the   majority  of  defendants  on  trial,  but  less  than  4%  of  district  attorneys,  prosecutors,   state  court  judges,  and  appellate  judges,  maintaining  jury  diversity  is  absolutely   essential  to  preserving  the  impartiality  of  the  judicial  system  and  ensuring  equal   representation  for  people  of  color.4   The  most  common  manner  in  which  African  Americans  are  unfairly  removed   from  juries  is  by  way  of  peremptory  challenges.  Following  voir  dire,  a  specified  time   for  the  judge  and  attorneys  to  question  and  dismiss  prospective  jurors  “for  cause,”   attorneys  are  allowed  a  designated  number  of  peremptory  challenges  that  grant   them  “the  right  to  challenge  a  juror  without  assigning,  or  being  required  to  assign  a  

                                                                                                              Reynolds, Chantal. Interview. Oakland. April 9, 2014. Chantal Reynolds is an employee at the regional NAACP office and the Youth Development and Leadership Coordinator for the Oakland Youth Commission.

4

 


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reason for  the  challenge.”  5  In  other  words,  peremptory  challenges  enable  an   attorney  to  reject  any  potential  jurors  he  believes  may  have  the  slightest  bit  of   partiality  without  providing  a  plausible  reason  for  doing  so.  Too  often,  attorneys,   especially  prosecutors,  tend  to  abuse  peremptory  challenges  for  the  sake  of  striking   primarily  African  Americans  from  jury  venires  and  jury  pools.  Although  the  U.S.   Supreme  Court  has  forbidden  peremptory  strikes  based  on  race,  the  Equal  Justice   Initiative  asserts  that  “there  is  perhaps  no  arena  of  public  life  or  governmental   administration  where  racial  discrimination  is  more  widespread,  apparent,  and   seemingly  tolerated  than  in  the  selection  of  juries”.6   According  to  a  study  on  the  psychological  forces  that  influence  peremptory   challenges,  ethnically  diverse  juries  tend  to  reduce  racial  bias  and  encourage  more   thorough  deliberations.7  These  more  thoughtful  discussions  are  likely  a  result  of                                                                                                                   “Peremptory Challenge.” In West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2nd ed.This dictionary entry clearly defines a peremptory challenge as “the right to challenge a juror without assigning, or being required to assign, a reason for the challenge”.

5

6

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). “Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy.” The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010. Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.

7

Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. “Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate.” American Psychologist, September 2008. I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges.

 


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being able  to  draw  on  the  experiences  of  others  and  considering  other  perspectives   from  which  to  judge  the  case  on  trial.  Consider  high  school  class  discussions:  aren’t   they  much  more  rich  and  fulfilling  when  students  contribute  diverse  opinions  and   thoughts  based  on  their  own  unique  life  experiences?  Imagine  if  every  student  lived   in  the  same  neighborhood  and  had  the  same  exact  upbringing,  socioeconomic  status,   ethnicity,  and  political  and  religious  views:  discussions  would  likely  remain  very   monotone  and  follow  one  train  of  thought.  It’s  the  same  story  with  juries.  Since  a   disproportionate  number  of  people  of  color  enter  the  Criminal  Justice  System,  it  is   important  that  jury  members  are  able  to  relate  to  or  hear  from  another  juror  the   unique  experience  of  being  a  minority  in  society  to  truly  understand  the  nature  or   motive  of  a  crime  that  has  been  committed.  Without  knowledge  of  other   perspectives,  we  naturally  revert  to  our  innate  ethnocentric  mindsets  that  inhibit  us   from  overlooking  our  own  prejudice  and  bias  when  judging  a  situation.     Source:  ArrestRecords.com  

 

 


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On the  other  hand,  when  a  jury  is  comprised  of  individuals  with  different   backgrounds  and  perspectives,  it  is  more  apt  to  reach  a  fair  and  accurate  verdict   because  jury  members  can  correct  one  another’s  misunderstandings  or   misinterpretations  of  the  evidence  presented  at  trial.8    Results  from  a  second  study   support  these  claims.  The  study  revealed  that  in  cases  where  no  blacks  were  on  the   jury,  black  defendants  were  convicted  at  an  81%  rate  and  white  defendants  at  a   66%  rate,  whereas  when  the  jury  included  at  least  one  black  member,  conviction   rates  were  much  more  comparable:  71%  for  black  defendants  and  73%  for  whites.9  

Source:  see  footnote  9  

                                                                                                              Henley, Patricia. “Improving the Jury System: Peremptory Challenges.” Public Law Research Institute - UC Hastings Law School, 2004. This journal discussed the major landmarks in the development of jury selection processes, specifically the application of peremptory challenges, over the years. I really like this source because it also clearly outlines the pros and cons of peremptory challenges.   9  Anwar, Shamena, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials." Oxford Journals, The Quarterly Journal of Economics ser., April 17, 2012.  This article examines the impact of jury racial composition on 8

 


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In addition,  the  first  study  further  concluded  that  juries  that  do  not   accurately  represent  the  racial  demographics  of  their  communities  tend  to  elicit   skepticism  rather  than  confidence  in  the  system.10  According  to  the  Sixth   Amendment  of  the  U.S.  Constitution,  all  defendants  tried  in  a  criminal  proceeding   are  entitled  to  a  jury  of  their  peers11.  Recurring  jury  exclusions  and  peremptory   challenges,  on  the  other  hand,  continue  to  deprive  African  Americans  of  their   constitutional  rights.  If  the  jury  is  supposed  to  be  a  reflection  of  one’s  peers,   shouldn’t  the  accused  be  able  to  identify  with  at  least  one  person  on  the  jury  in  some   obvious  shape  or  form?     Through  my  work  at  Centerforce  Youth  Court,  I  have  been  able  to  see  the   effect  that  the  jury’s  ability  to  relate  to  the  defendant  and  vice  versa  has  on  both   parties.  Centerforce  Youth  Court  is  a  restorative  justice  program  where  at-­‐risk   youth  in  Oakland  who  have  committed  a  first  offense  are  defended,  prosecuted,  and   tried  by  their  peers.  At  Centerforce  Youth  Court,  the  jury,  judge,  and  attorneys                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             trial outcomes using a data set of felony trials in Florida between 2000 and 2010. The study reveals a lot of facts and figures that support the points I make throughout my paper. I came across this article while reading a CNN article about jury pools.     10  Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. "Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate." American Psychologist, September 2008. I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges.   11

 

Jefferson, Thomas. “Articles I - X of U.S. Constitution.” In The Bill of Rights. New York, NY, 1789.The first ten Articles of the Constitution are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. Article 6 is most relevant to my research as it states the requirements for due process of law.

 


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Source: Centerforce  Youth  Court  

reflect both  the  racial  and  socioeconomic  diversity  of  Oakland.  By  virtue  of  this   representation,  youth  offenders  often  feel  more  confident  in  the  jury’s  decision   because  they  find  solace  in  knowing  that  their  background  or  experience  might  be   better  understood  and  more  accurately  perceived.  As  both  a  prosecutor  and  a   defense  attorney,  I  have  used  this  characteristic  of  the  courtroom  to  my  advantage.   For  example,  when  I  prosecuted  an  individual  who  committed  a  crime  at  school,  I   began  my  opening  statement  by  saying,  “Raise  your  hand  if  you  went  to  school   today.”  I,  along  with  more  than  half  of  the  individuals  in  the  courtroom,  including   the  defendant,  the  jury,  and  the  attorneys,  all  raised  our  hands.     Now  picture  me  arguing  a  case  involving  a  young  African  American  male  in   the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System.  Would  half  or  even  a  quarter  of  the  courtroom  be   able  to  raise  their  hand  when  asked:  Do  you  know  what  it  feels  like  to  be  bombarded   by  negative  reflections  of  yourself  in  the  media?  Are  you  ever  afraid  to  walk  down  the  

 


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street in  your  own  neighborhood  out  of  fear  of  being  stopped  and  searched  by  a  police   officer?  Have  you  ever  had  to  work  twice  as  hard  as  others  to  get  only  half  of  what  they   already  have?  I  doubt  that  many  of  the  jury  members,  judges,  or  lawyers  would  be   able  to  identify  with  most  of  these  experiences.  Nevertheless,  these  and  many  other   circumstances  are  very  important  in  fully  understanding  an  African  American’s   background.  I  believe  that  if  there  were  more  individuals  of  color  involved  in  the   judicial  process  who  could  relate  to  the  experiences  of  African  Americans,  there   would  be  a  more  balanced  scale  of  justice,  a  heightened  sense  of  integrity,  and  a   greater  proclivity  toward  equality  in  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System.   Realistically,  most  courtrooms  in  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System  are  not  as   reflective  of  their  diverse  communities  as  those  at  Centerforce  Youth  Court.  An   exonerated  death  row  prisoner  quoted  in  the  Equal  Justice  Initiative  report   eloquently  summed  up  his  experience  as  an  African  American  in  the  Criminal  Justice   System;  “I  looked  around  the  courtroom.  The  judge  was  white.  The  prosecutor  was   white.  My  lawyer  was  white.  The  jury  was  white.  Even  though  I  was  innocent,  I   knew  I  had  no  chance.”12   Of  the  individuals  in  the  quote  mentioned  above,  the  group  that  generally   holds  the  most  power  in  determining  the  final  verdict  is  the  jury.  Interestingly                                                                                                                   Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010.  Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.    

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enough, this  group  is  also  the  one  that  is  supposed  to  be  most  reflective  of  the   community.  In  many  situations,  however,  this  is  not  the  case.   The  Equal  Justice  Initiative  report  revealed  that  exclusion  of  African   Americans  from  juries  has  become  increasingly  apparent  in  the  South,  especially  for   serious  criminal  and  capital  cases.  The  study  found  that  from  2005  to  2009,  in  cases   where  the  death  penalty  was  imposed,  prosecutors  in  Houston  County,  Alabama,   used  peremptory  strikes  to  remove  80%  of  the  African  Americans  qualified  for  jury   service.  Consequently,  half  of  the  Houston  County  juries  were  all-­‐white  and  the   remaining  juries  had  only  a  single  black  member,  despite  the  fact  that  the  county  is   27%  African  American.  The  report  further  showed  that  prosecutors  commonly   justify  the  peremptory  striking  of  African  Americans  by  attesting  to  reasons  strongly   associated  with  racial  stereotypes.  Prosecutors  frequently  claim  to  strike  African   American  jurors  because  of  their  perceived  “low  intelligence”  or  “lack  of  education”,   or  because  they  live  in  a  “high  crime”  predominantly  black  community.  In  Louisiana,   a  prosecutor  recently  admitted  that  he  removed  a  juror  because  he  was  a  “single   black  male  with  no  children.”  In  a  different  Louisiana  case,  the  prosecutor  struck  a   black  juror  because  the  prosecutor  thought  he  “looked  like  a  drug  dealer.”  In   Georgia,  a  prosecutor  even  struck  a  juror  because  he  had  a  son  in  an  interracial   marriage.13    

                                                                                                              13  Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010.  Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights  

 


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Source: MatadorNetwork.com  

When  a  prosecutor  routinely  strikes  people  of  color  from  juries,  he  or  she   rarely  suffers  any  consequences  because  court  officials,  most  of  whom  are  white,   often  deem  the  reason  for  the  strike  to  be  justified  and  therefore,  acceptable.  The   continued  exclusion  of  African  Americans  from  juries  reveals  an  indifference  to   racial  discrimination  in  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System  and  a  lack  of  concern  for  the   preservation  of  impartiality  and  fairness.  Additionally,  the  nature  of  peremptory   challenges  perpetuates  stereotypes.  This  unjustified  prejudgment  of  potential  jurors   that  systematically  excludes  certain  groups  of  individuals  from  the  jury  leads  me   question  the  role  of  our  criminal  courts.  Are  they  fulfilling  their  purpose  of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.        

 


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promoting equality,  securing  justice,  and  protecting  the  rights  of  citizens,  or  are  they   working  against  it?  Can  juries  truly  craft  a  verdict  that  accurately  reflects  the  values   of  the  entire  community,  if  all  members  of  the  community  are  not  represented?      

The framework  for  these  injustices  in  our  so-­‐called  “justice”  system  was  

shaped by  the  case  of  Robert  Swain  v.  Alabama  (1965),  in  which  a  black  man  was   sentenced  to  death  by  an  all-­‐white  jury  for  raping  a  white  woman.  In  Talladega   County,  where  the  trial  took  place,  no  African  American  had  served  on  a  trial  jury   since  1950  because  all  blacks  in  the  jury  pool  were  always  removed  by  peremptory   strikes.  After  15  years  of  completely  non-­‐black  juries,  it  comes  as  no  surprise  that   the  six  African  Americans  on  Robert  Swain’s  jury  panel  were  peremptorily  struck  by   the  prosecutor.  After  the  defense  attorney  objected  to  the  strikes  and  appealed  to   Supreme  Court,  the  U.S.  Supreme  Court  declared  the  strikes  did  not  violate  Swain’s   constitutional  rights  because  the  facts  did  not  adequately  prove  the  prosecutor   intentionally  discriminated  against  black  jurors.  14  Swain  v.  Alabama  established  a   heavy  burden  of  proof  to  prove  a  prosecutor's  discriminatory  intent,  making  it   increasingly  hard  for  defense  attorneys  to  challenge  peremptory  strikes  in  future   cases.    

                                                                                                              Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010.   Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.    

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Since Swain  v.  Alabama  there  have  been  significant  advancements  in  policies   regarding  peremptory  challenges.  In  the  opinion  for  Batson  v.  Kentucky,  Supreme   Court  Justice  Powell  stated  that  “a  state  denies  a  black  defendant  equal  protection   when  it  puts  him  on  trial  before  a  jury  from  which  members  of  his  race  have  been   purposefully  excluded.”  The  ruling  on  Batson  v.  Kentucky  reduced  the  defendant’s   burden  of  proof  to  simply  show  the  prosecutor’s  use  of  racial  discrimination  in  the   defendant’s  own  jury  selection,  as  opposed  to  also  proving  the  prosecutor’s  previous   use  of  discrimination  and  illegal  peremptory  strikes.  While  Batson  v.  Kentucky  ruled   that  the  defendant  be  a  member  of  the  same  racial  group  as  the  juror  who  was   stricken  to  claim  racial  discrimination,  Powers  v.  Ohio,  later  ruled  that  the  defendant   could  argue  intentional  racial  discrimination,  regardless  of  his  or  her  race.  15   Although  remedies  to  address  corrupting  racial  prejudices  in  our  courts  are   being  slowly  achieved,  Supreme  Court  Justice  Thurgood  Marshall  long  ago  asserted   that  “eliminating  the  shameful  practice  of  racial  discrimination  in  the  selection  of   juries  .  .  .  can  be  accomplished  only  by  eliminating  peremptory  challenges  entirely.”16  

                                                                                                              Patricia. "Improving the Jury System: Peremptory Challenges." Public Law Research Institute - UC Hastings Law School, 2004.  This journal discussed the major landmarks in the development of jury selection processes, specifically the application of peremptory challenges, over the years. I really like this source because it also clearly outlines the pros and cons of peremptory challenges.     16  Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. "Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate." American Psychologist, September 2008.  I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges.     15  Henley,

 


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U.S. Supreme  Court  Justice   Thurgood  Marshall     Source:    Google  Images  

I  agree  with  Justice  Marshall.  Without  the  elimination  of  peremptory   challenges,  African  Americans  will  continue  to  be  subjected  to  a  system  that  they   have  very  little  say  in  or  power  over.  This  phenomenon  directly  contradicts  the  aim   of  the  Criminal  Justice  System.  When  grave  disparities  exist  among  the   demographics  of  a  community,  the  racial  groups  represented  on  a  jury,  and  the   incarcerated  population  of  a  certain  group,  the  many  injustices  in  what  our  nation   calls  its  “justice”  system  become  very  clear.  African  Americans  make  up  less  than   13%  of  the  U.S.  population,  but  represent  over  60%  of  individuals  that  are  in  prisons    

 


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and jails.17  In  many  counties,  however,  most  eligible  African  Americans  are  never   seated  on  a  jury  and,  therefore,  do  not  have  the  chance  to  rectify  any  racial   prejudices  consciously  or  unconsciously  exercised  against  their  peers  in  jury   deliberations.  The  result  is  that  a  vast  number  of  African  Americans  are  negatively   impacted  by  the  stereotypes  our  society  has  formed  about  them  and,  consequently,   incarcerated  for  crimes  they  did  not  commit  or  given  longer  sentences  than   necessary.     The  mass  incarceration  of  African  Americans  reinforces  the  negative   stereotype  that  African  Americans  are  violent,  belligerent,  and  deserve  to  be  in   prison.  Thus,  the  chronic  cycle  of  racial  bias  continues.  It  is  time  to  break  the  cycle   that  has  endured  for  centuries  by  eliminating  practices  and  procedures,  such  as   peremptory  challenges,  that  promote  institutionalized  racism  in  the  U.S.  Criminal   Justice  System.   Although  the  elimination  of  peremptory  challenges  and  racially-­‐driven  jury   exclusions  may  not  be  feasible  in  the  immediate  future  because  of  the  need  for   policy  changes,  efforts  can  be  made  now  to  move  our  society  a  few  steps  closer  to   decreasing  racial  bias  in  our  Criminal  Justice  System.     The  starting  point  of  this  effort  is  engaging  the  entire  community  in  the   judicial  process.  Though  certain  individuals  may  be  excused  or  not  asked  to  be  on  a                                                                                                                   17  Glaze, Lauren E. "Appendix Table 3." Bureau of Justice Report on U.S. Correctional Populations in 2010, December 2011, 8. PDF.  The Correctional Populations report by the U.S. Department of Justice is conducted annually; however, 2010 was the most recent year that the report included data on inmate populations based upon race. The cited table demonstrates the disparity between the number of White, Black, and Hispanic inmates in 2010. The table also contains data that shows how these numbers differ based on sex and age.          


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jury, they  are  not  excluded  from  sitting  in  the  audience  of  a  courtroom  and  watching   the  trial  proceeding.  Concerned  citizens,  community-­‐based  groups,  and  human   rights  organizations  should  attend  trial  proceedings  to  enquire  about  the  conduct  of   court  officials  and  hold  discriminatory  officials  accountable  for  their  actions,   especially  with  regard  to  racially  biased  jury  selection.     Furthermore,  educating  minority  youth  about  Criminal  Justice  is  essential  to   preventing  them  from  entering  the  System.  More  programs  like  Centerforce  Youth   Court  that  are  aimed  at  building  diversity  in  the  legal  system  should  be  established.   Crump  Law  Camp  Mock  Trial  Competition  Semi-­‐Finalists  

A summer   enrichment   program  I   attended  the   summer   before  my   Junior  year   really  sparked   my  interest  in  

Courtesy of  Olivia  Lucas  

law and  

government. At  Crump  Law  Camp,  a  two-­‐week  long  program  hosted  by  the  National   Bar  Association,  I  participated  in  mock  trial  competitions,  interacted  with  other   youth  interested  in  law,  and  heard  panel  presentations  from  successful  African   American  lawyers.  Seeing  so  many  young  African-­‐American  attorneys,  who  pursed  

 


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their dreams  and  are  now  making  a  difference  in  their  communities,  inspired  me  to   become  a  lawyer  myself  someday.  It  was  a  domino  effect.     Unfortunately,  right  now  in  America,  there  is  a  domino  effect  that  is  filling   our  prisons  and  jails  with  African  Americans.  Imagine  if  we  used  that  momentum  to   raise  awareness  about  the  need  for  African  American  lawyers,  policy  makers,  judges,   and  jurors.  Imagine  if  we  could  transform  this  negative  domino  effect  into  the   positive  one  I  experienced  at  Crump  Law  Camp  and  encourage  more  young  people   of  color  to  take  an  interest  in  law.  In  my  opinion,  increasing  diversity  among  the   decision  makers  in  courtrooms  is  the  most  effective  long-­‐term  solution  to   addressing  racial  bias  in  the  U.S.  Criminal  Justice  System.   NBA  Crump  Law  Camp  2012  Participants  

Courtesy of  Olivia  Lucas    

 

 


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Head-Royce School Student Research and Writing 2013-2014  

Global Issues reports

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