Osprey fall 2019

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OSPREY fall 2019

student run magazine


est. 1973















industry. We also went around to a handful of students on campus to ask quite bluntly, “What does social justice mean to you?”



Our cover story is one that is of particular importance today: borders and the undocumented community. In this story two of our writers spoke with members of the community as well as a student on campus who is on the frontline of not only providing help for undocumented students, but is someone who deals with the stresses being undocumented themselves.






JESSIE CRETSERHARTENSTEIN CONTACT : Osprey Magazine c/o Department of Journalism 1 Harpst St. Arcata, CA 95521 editor@ospreymagazine.com

Osprey is a biannual magazine. Views expressed herein do not represent that of the adviser, faculty, administration, Associated Students of Humboldt State University or Humboldt State University Board of Trustees. 4 |OSPREY


believe in order to achieve a truly just society we have to first identify what the problems are. And so in this edition of the Osprey, the writers have highlighted a few that are close to home. Social justice is something that is taught in class and discussed widely throughout the campus, but what does it even mean?

I hope what you take away from this edition of the Osprey is a message that helps you to see what some of the challenges are in our current times and what some of the solutions can be. I hope you become informed and inspired by the stories and that they help us to imagine a better world for all.

In this edition of the Osprey we explore that. The stories focus on issues that surround social justice and bring to the surface some of the issues worth addressing. Topics such as racial identity and services for the formerly incarcerated are discussed. So is sex work and the narrative that surrounds the workers of that

Freddy Brewster Editor-in-Chief

ON THE FRONT COVER: Anayeli Auza, a Humboldt State University math major and DACA student on Oct. 25. Auza works for Scholars without Borders, a student-run on-campus organization that provides resources for undocumented or DACA students. | Photo by Michael Weber | Photo Illustration by Megan Bender CONTRIBUTORS: VANESSA FLORES, SYSHANA HOCKER, KIM NYUGEN, ANDREA SANTAMARIA





















What is

Social Justice? by Freddy Brewster


Reparations for Black people, giving indigenous people their land back and prison abolition. I’ve gotten to learn more about the indigenous community and I believe that it is time to start giving land back. The Wiyot just got Tuluwat back and so it’s just like, little by little we are giving indigenous people more of a voice. There’s so much racism towards the Black community, and Black people are more affected than any other race. So it’s just giving them reparations for just what they’ve been through.And so, when it comes to prisons, minorities are more affected by the prison system and there’s also the detention centers. The whole structure in itself, is targeting people that can’t speak up and there’s abuse within the system. There are unfair wages and unhealthy conditions. The unsustainability aspect of the prison system itself and the ecological and psychological effects it has on the people, it’s not even time to reform, it’s time to abolish it.”

Social Justice is really tearing down the systems of oppression that have been built in our society. Infrastructure and systems have been created with a certain demographic in mind, oftentimes, white men. Social justice is not just about uplifting people to be able to partake in these systems, but also about dismantling that ideology that it’s for White, able-bodied, cis-gender, heterosexual men. A lot of the time when we talk about social justice, we talk about sexual orientation and race, but aspects of it that aren’t often thought about are disabilities—or as I recently heard them be called “exceptionalities.’”


Social justice means fighting or the end of capitalist exploitation and oppression of the working class, as well as all marginalized communities. It basically entails, a lot of strategies and tactics that is necessary to overthrow the oppressive systems of capitalism, as well as its current manifestations and branches of that system like patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, racism, etc. Basically working to eliminate those systems by creating community-led efforts at the ground-level rather than at the top-level.”













Cita Hunter duplicates a piece of art on a larger scale for an art assignment in the Humboldt State University Library. | Photo by Mikayla Moore-Bastide


dentities are ambiguous and ethnicity doesn’t have to define you. Some people identify through their cultures while others don’t. There is no set rule or standard for the way one identifies. Ambiguity is mentioned in various ways because there is no certain way to express oneself to the world except in the way one chooses. Ethnicity is often used interchangeably with race. These are two distinct concepts that need to be differentiated so identity can be better understood. Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Lecturer Maral Attallah teaches introduction to ethnic studies as well as other classes such as women’s studies, sociology and courses on resistance movements and comparative genocide studies. “When I think of race, I think of phenotype. So the color of one’s skin, the texture of one’s hair, the shape of one’s nose and the slant of one’s eye, and how that relates to categories that are already constructed,” Attallah said. “So you know, in the United States we have our five to seven different racial categories. That’s problematic because they don’t all pertain to just phenotype. So that’s race.” A phenotype is basically the physical observation due to a gene. It’s different than a genotype that is a part of the DNA. A phenotype is all superficial and observational. The United States Census consists of the categories that separate everyone into different labels that people racialize themselves with. Attallah has a document that lists the racial categories that people have to identify themselves with according to the U.S. Census. The categories are White,

Black/African-American, people who identify their origin as Hispanic/ Latinx who may identify as another race, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native. Nowadays, you will also get the option to choose “Two or more races” instead of having to identify as just one. Attallah said that race is complicated because it is frequently changing definitions and categorizations. Race is interpreted differently based on locations as well. She said that race is generally a concept related to the United States and the U.S. Census. “Ethnicity is a little different. So ethnicity is more in tune to one’s culture, one’s ancestral background,” Attallah said. “So ethnicity has more to do with language, music, where your parents came from and where your grandparents came from. When I think of ethnicity I think of that common sense of ‘we-ness.’ The us. Like, ‘Who do you feel are your people who know you?’” Being Japanese, Columbian or German is ethnicity. Your ethnicity relates to cultures, traditions, ancestral roots and sometimes even language. Ethnicity is what you as your own individual person identify as. Identity presents itself in different ways. Multiple ethnicities can sometimes mean multiple cultures as well. Those who identify as mixed usually have to go through the process of explaining to others that they identify as one, both, all or none of their ethnicities. “Identity is so complex,” Attallah said. Cita Hunter is a junior at Humboldt State University and is majoring in

art with a minor in ethnic studies. She identifies with both of her ethnicities and takes pride in them. While living in California, Hunter felt as though she was always being told who she should be. “My ethnicity is Puerto Rican and African-American. I identify with both. I grew up Puerto Rican but I’m also Black,” Hunter said. “Both of those still make me who I am.” Born and raised in the Bronx, Hunter never had to deal with explaining who she was to other people or even complete strangers. When she was in New York, she never felt like she was an outsider. When someone was curious about her ethnicity it was because of her mannerisms, something she said or the way she spoke, not because of how she looked. “People back at home in New Yorkthey will observe me before they judge me,” Hunter said. “They see the resemblance within themselves and their family.” Hunter moved to California when she was 11. She had noticed that while living in both southern and northern California, she was often mocked for explaining she was mixed. She said people felt like she was pretending to be someone else when he told them she was Puerto Rican. To this day, Hunter doesn’t understand why the people she has interacted with think this way. “I’m Puerto Rican. I’m not saying it to be funny or for a trend,” Hunter said. Krysteanna Cabanas is Filipina, Mexican and White. She identifies as only White and Filipina. Cabanas is a junior at HSU and studies communication. Cabanas is from Guadalupe, OSPREY | 95

California and transferred to HSU. She identifies more with her Filipino/White side than her Mexican side mainly because she grew up with her dad’s side of the family. “I feel like I get along with my dad’s side that is Filipino more than my mom’s side which is Mexican just because of my cousins and stuff,” Cabanas said. “We get along and hang out more. We’re more similar by like what kind of music we listen to, how we like to dress, when we like to go out, what we like to do and things like that.” Cabanas said she goes out with her cousins on her dad’s side to events like EDM festivals. However, when she’s with her mom, the most interesting thing they do as a family is go bowling. Cabanas said since she spent more time with the Filipino side of her family she has conformed to that side of her life. The Filipino part of her life has felt more included and comfortable. She said she thinks this is why she identifies herself as just Filipino/White and not Mexican. Compared to Hunter, Cabanas identifies with only two out of the three she was born into, whereas Hunter identifies with both. Hunter and Cabanas are able to identify however they feel comfortable as individuals with multiple ethnicities. The choice is completely up to them. Carlo Andres Chapa is Mexican, Cuban and Creole. He identifies with all three. “I have no problem with identifying what’s in my blood,” he said. Chapa is a psychology major with a minor in business administration. He is mainly from Coachella Valley but has temporarily lived in various 10 36 |OSPREY

states and countries. “The most prominent side would be my Mexican side. I grew up in that culture but with like, some spice of Cuban,” Chapa said. “I was raised in Mexican culture, I’m just closer to it.” Chapa was raised by his mom, steering him closer to his Mexican culture than his other cultures. “I’m not passionate about my ethnicities or anything, I’m pretty into American culture and stuff,” he said. “Me just having been born with this, I’m not exactly like cherishing it or anything. It’s what I was born with. So I don’t get sensitive or anything.” Attallah briefly brought up her own experiences with identity and her Armenian ancestry. Although she is very connected to her culture, some of her family are not, simply because they did not grow up around the culture and therefore did not have a real connection to it. Attallah said she refuses to think this should be the concluding factor for ethnic identity. She also said language should not be a deciding factor of whether you’re a part of a culture or not. “There’s no litmus test that says ‘and this one thing means that you’re a part of this culture or this ethnicity,’” she said. “I identify with my Armenian ancestry, deeply. I can embrace the language, I can embrace the food, the song, the dance, the weavings. For Armenians, rugs and weaving are very important. Does that make me any more or less Armenian? Just because I embrace it? No.” Culture is a large portion of ethnicity and identity. Culture consists of traditions, food, art, music, family gatherings, sometimes even language and religion. There is no right way

I think I’ll always end up telling the person where I’m from or what my culture is or how I grew up. I feel like it’s important sometimes that people know where you come from or how you grew up ... It kinda shows them ‘Oh that’s why they said that’ or ‘Oh that’s why they do it like that.’” - Krysteanna Cabanas

When Cabanas is not studying or rewriting her notes, she is often painting with watercolor. | Photo by Michael Weber OSPREY | 37

Chapa holds a part of his skull collection in his favorite part of the forest. | Photo by Michael Weber

for someone to acknowledge their own culture. Hunter strives to be a fashion designer. She usually picks out her outfits strategically and has to make sure everything matches. From her hair to her shoes, she wants to ensure that she is representing not only herself but her wishful career. Hunter is an art major and an ethnic studies minor. She likes to incorporate her culture and ethnicity in her artwork every time she picks up a pencil or paintbrush. “I’m into body positivity. So, big people of color, I like to draw them a lot,” Hunter said. “When I do paint, I paint people of color, Black women, powerful idols within our culture like Maya Angelou. I’m more into the arts of people of color and their culture.” Another part of her culture that she takes very seriously is food. Especially dishes made one to two days in advance for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hunter’s face lit up when she started talking about the food her mom would cook for the special occasions. In between every meal she mentioned, she paused to appreciate the memory of them when she’s home. She listed all of her favorites that are made during the holidays: arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), pasteles (they are like tamales but instead of a corn husk, banana leaves are used), plátanos (fried bananas), ensalada de pulpo (squid salad), tostones con mojito (fried banana tostada with a garlic sauce) and pernil (roasted pork). For Cabanas, she thinks of the food her dad used to make for her. She described a vivid memory she had of a dish her father made during her childhood.

“My favorite childhood dish was sweet and sour pork with rice,” she said. “So my dad just makes it pretty basic. He put just pork and ketchup and sweet and sour and a bunch of other stuff, and he mixes it all together. That was my favorite thing growing up.” Cabanas said the Filipino side of her family is very well structured. They are “very organized, always on top of things, always trying to be early and ahead of time.” She said she feels that since she grew up in that environment, it shaped her to be the person she is today. Chapa mentioned how he would always visit Cuba growing up, but he grew out of it and didn’t like going back. His mom wanted him to get a sense of the other side of his culture so he would go every summer for the first 10 years of his life. “I was fine with [the culture I was raised in] but my mother wanted me to know more about my other side. That’s why she would take me to Cuba,” he said. “But the last time I went I was 10. So I got my feel. I don’t love it there or anything. It’s not really my cup of tea.” However, he is still in touch with his Mexican culture while appreciating his American culture simultaneously. “Mexican culture is something that I’ve practiced before like with Folklorico,” he said. “But I also do swing.” Identities are ambiguous. Mixed people are used to being asked what they are or where they came from. What’s important, however, is how they react to it. If you are genuine about your curiosity, ask cautiously. While some students may not get offended easily, some will.

Hunter is very serious about her identity and will not acknowledge those who “treat her like an alien.” “They’ll just say ‘What is your race?’ I’ll just say ‘Oh hi, how are you?’” Hunter laughs. “They just need to know so they can walk away and talk about it.” Chapa said he doesn’t get offended at all when someone asks him. He is very open when his ethnicity comes into the conversation. Usually, it’s friends or acquaintances that ask him what his ethnicity is. “Our origins will come up and then I’ll mention having an ethnicity and they’ll be like ‘Oh yeah, what is it by the way?’ Seems pretty respectful to me,” he said. Cabanas usually decides to tell the person what her ethnicity is or her culture because she feels like it’s important for them to know and understand. She doesn’t mind educating people who just don’t seem to know. Cabanas will tell someone whether they’re being rude or not prior to answering. “I think I’ll always end up telling the person where I’m from or what my culture is or how I grew up,” Cabanas said. “I feel like it’s important sometimes that people know where you come from or how you grew up. It kinda shows them, ‘Oh, that’s why they said that’ or ‘Oh, that’s why they do it like that.’” Identities are unique. There should not be a certain benchmark as to what qualifies you to be you. Having knowledge and awareness of how individuals share themselves with the world is a good start at recognizing that identity is so complex and ambiguous. OSPREY | 13

Finding home Settling in Humboldt as an undocumented citizen Story by James Wilde & Abel Anaya Translated by Andrea Santamaria Photos by Freddy Brewster & Michael Weber

Anayeli Auza’s parents walked for two weeks through the Mexican desert to cross the border into the United States. 16 |OSPREY

As a one-and-a-half year-old toddler, Auza was sent to live with their uncle in San Diego, masquerading as his daughter. “My mom almost didn’t make it out of the desert one of the nights,” Auza said. “She got detained twice and my dad got detained once. The second time my mom got detained, my dad was sleeping outside on a bench waiting for her to be released so that they could try to cross again.” Auza barely remembers the two weeks they spent with their uncle, and Auza’s parents rarely speak about their trek. Auza, who uses they/them pronouns, attends Humboldt State University under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. DACA allows undocumented individuals to remain in the United States for two years at a time. Every two years, recipients must renew their DACA status. Auza studies math and hopes to be an educator one day. Auza works on campus at HSU as a peer mentor for Scholars Without Borders, a student-run organization that provides support for undocumented and DACA students. “Scholars without Borders is my safe space, and I hope that students feel the same way,” Auza said. According to a 2017 study from the non-profit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Humboldt has over 1,800 undocumented immigrants who have contributed over $1 million in local taxes. Auza represents just one individual among many in a much larger struggle over the future of immigration. It’s an issue that affects the community in often-overlooked ways. Some individuals are affected directly, like Auza, and others are affected only tangentially. Some work as allies in the community

Los padres de Anayeli Auza caminaron dos semanas por el desierto mexicano para cruzar la frontera a los Estados Unidos. Siendo niña de año y medio, Auza fue enviada a vivir con su tio en San Diego, haciéndose pasar por su hija. “Mi mamá ya casi no salía del desierto una de esas noches,”dijo Auza. “Ella fue detenida dos veces y a mi papá lo detuvieron una vez. La segunda vez que detuvieron a mi mamá, mi papá durmió afuera en una banca esperando a que fuera liberada para intentar cruzar otra vez.” Auza, casi no recuerda las dos semanas que pasaron con su tío y los padres de Auza casi no hablan de su trayectoria. Hoy en día, Auza, quien usa los pronombres ellos/les,los,las de géneros, asiste a la Universidad Estatal de Humboldt (Humboldt State University) bajo la Acción diferida para los llegados en la infancia (DACA). DACA (por sus siglas en inglés), permite a que individuos indocumentados permanezcan en los Estados Unidos por lo menos dos años a la vez. Cada dos años, beneficiarios deben renovar su estatus de DACA. Auza estudia matemáticas y espera ser educadora algun dia. Auza trabaja en el campus de HSU (por sus siglas en inglés) como mentor colega para una organización dirigida por estudiantes llamada Scholars without Borders, que ofrece apoyo a estudiantes indocumentados y estudiantes de DACA. “Scholars without Borders es mi lugar seguro y espero que otros estudiantes se sientan igual,” dijo Auza. Según un estudio del 2017 por parte del instituto sin afán de lucro de impuestos y póliza económica (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy), Humboldt tiene más de 1,800 inmigrantes indocumentados que han contribuido

Los padres de Anayeli Auza caminaron dos semanas por el desierto mexicano para cruzar la frontera a los Estados Unidos.


trying to ensure equitable treatment for all. But in the end, those affected by immigration policy are just people whose lives are affected in ways that are often out of their control. Don Miguel is a 65-year-old groundskeeper. He’s undocumented and has lived in Humboldt for about four and a half years. Miguel first came to the United States legally at age 15 using a passport. Miguel, whose real name is being withheld to protect him from possible deportation, came back to America a couple times for vacations or family visits, but his passport was later stolen. Miguel wanted to go to the United States to find work, but he didn’t want to wait for a new passport and he didn’t expect to stay in the States for long. So at age 43 he crossed the border. “Like most people, I came here to live a little better,” Miguel said. “To find a better life. Here at least you don’t struggle to eat or pay the rent. But back in Mexico, there are a lot of hungry people who sometimes don’t have enough to eat. When it rains and there isn’t a lot of work, we just eat beans and tortillas. It’s the cheapest way to survive.” Miguel left the U.S for a short while but returned at age 45, still without a passport. “When I crossed, just one person passed us through a gate at an airport in Tijuana,” Miguel said. “They made a staircase out of rods and we had to climb over the fence and jump down from it. A girl broke her leg when she fell. It broke from the ankle to the shin.” Miguel paid coyotes, or human smugglers, to get him across the border. He paid $1,000 for his first crossing and $1,500 for the second. Nowadays, Miguel said coyotes charge more like $8,000. After one of the crossings, when 18 |OSPREY

con más de $1 millón en impuestos locales. Auza solo representa a un individuo entre muchos que enfrentan una lucha mucho más grande con el futuro de inmigración. Es un problema que afecta a la comunidad en maneras que se descuidan. Algunos individuos son afectados directamente, como Auza, y otros solo son afectados ligeramente. Hay quienes trabajan como aliados en la comunidad, tratando de asegurar trato justo para todos. Pero al final, esos afectados por la política de inmigración solo son gente que han tenido que lidiar con tener sus vidas afectadas en maneras que están fuera de su control. Don Miguel es un jardinero de 65 años. Es indocumentado y lleva alrededor de cuatro años y medio viviendo en el condado de Humboldt. Miguel primero llegó a los Estados Unidos legalmente a la edad de 15 años usando un pasaporte. Miguel, cuyo nombre verdadero ha sido oculto para protegerlo de posible deportación, regreso unas cuantas veces a Estados Unidos para vacaciones o para visitar a familia, pero luego le robaron su pasaporte. Miguel quería ir a los Estados Unidos para encontrar trabajo, pero no quiso esperar a recibir un pasaporte nuevo y no esperaba quedarse por mucho tiempo. Así que a los 43 años, cruzó la frontera. “Como mucha gente, vine aquí para vivir un poco mejor,” dijo Miguel. “Para encontrar una vida mejor. Aquí, por lo menos no se batalla para comer o pagar la renta. Pero en México, hay mucha gente con hambre que a veces no tiene suficiente para comer. Cuando llueve y no hay mucho trabajo, simplemente comemos frijoles y tortillas. Es la manera mas economica de sobrevivir.” Miguel dejó los Estados Unidos un rato pero regresó a los 45 años, aun

Humboldt Attorney Eric Kirk sits at Northtown Coffee sitting in Arcata on Sept. 23. | Photo by James Wilde

Miguel, who works in Humboldt as a groundskeeper, has lived in the United States for about 20 years after crossing through an airport gate in Tijuana. | Photo by Freddy Brewster

Miguel made it to Los Angeles with the coyotes, his friend who was supposed to pick him up and pay the coyotes was late. “They put us in a house in Los Angeles,” Miguel said. “They had guns on us so we couldn’t escape without paying. Then the head boss from Tijuana called asking the coyotes if they were done. Two of us were left. Someone was already coming for the other guy. I was the last to be picked up. The boss said he wanted to talk to me, and he threatened me. ‘Why the hell has no one picked you up yet?’ I explained that my friend was working at the time. He was supposed to pick me up. The boss said, ‘Look, we’re going to give you one last chance. Someone needs to pick you up tomorrow morning at 9. If not, we’re going to bring you back here and we’re going to give you a good beating.’” To his relief, Miguel’s friend arrived the following morning. Miguel said he was lucky in his crossing, as many people cross through the desert, where they face the hazards of heat, thirst and rattlesnakes. Miguel’s wife came to the United States via a humanitarian visa, but to get his son across the border, he borrowed the birth certificate of a friend’s son with the same name as Miguel’s son. While Miguel works as a groundskeeper now, he studied at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco and worked as a civil engineer in Mexico. Miguel said Humboldt needs interpreters, basic medical services and employment opportunities for immigrants, but he also wished for more vocational training services. “We should provide schools for job skills and techniques,” Miguel said. “To put things together, to build fans, microwaves. We should have workshops

sin pasaporte. “Cuando cruze, solo una persona nos pasó por una reja en el aeropuerto de Tijuana,” dijo Miguel. “Crearon una escalera hecha de varillas y tuvimos que subir la cerca y brincar para bajar de ella. Una niña se fracturó su pierna cuando callo. Se fracturó desde el tobillo hasta la espinilla.” Miguel le pago a los coyotes, o traficantes de personas, para ayudarlo a cruzar la frontera. Él pagó $1,000 la primera vez que cruzo y $1,500 la segunda vez. Hoy en dia, Miguel dice que los coyotes cobran mas o menos $8,000. Una vez después de cruzar, cuando Miguel llegó a Los Ángeles con los coyotes, su amigo, quien debía recogerlo y pagar a los coyotes, llego tarde. “Nos metieron en una casa en Los Ángeles,” dijo Miguel. “Tenían pistolas así que no pudimos escapar sin pagar. Luego el jefe de Tijuana llamó preguntando si los coyotes habían acabado. Quedaban dos de nosotros. Alguien ya venía por el otro. Yo fui el último en ser recogido. El jefe dijo que quería hablar conmigo y me amenazó. ‘¿Porque rayos todavía no hay nadie que te recoja?’ Yo le expliqué que mi amigo estaba trabajando a esa hora. Él era quien se suponía que me iba a recoger. El jefe dijo, ‘Mira, vamos a darte una última oportunidad. Alguien tiene que recogerte mañana a las 9. Si no, vamos a tener que traerte aquí de nuevo y darte una buena golpiza.” Para su alivio, el amigo de Miguel llegó la mañana siguiente. Miguel dijo que tuvo suerte al cruzar porque muchas personas cruzan por el desierto donde se enfrentan a peligros del calor, sed y serpientes de cascabel. La esposa de Miguel llegó a los Estados Unidos por medio de una visa human-

The hand of Don Miguel, an undocumented immigrant living in Humboldt, holds a lunch pail. | Photo by Freddy Brewster

with mechanics where you can learn another field of work.” Miguel said he hopes that others can eventually see immigrants as more than harmful stereotypes. “I’m critical when I see my own people using drugs, or drunkards on the streets or people stealing,” Miguel said. “I tell them they already don’t want us here. It’s bad when you see Trump saying that all Mexicans come to smuggle and use drugs. He generalizes us all. It’s not right.” In the small office of Scholars Without Borders, located on the second floor of HSU’s Multicultural Center, Auza admitted feeling underlying worries in day-to-day life. “As a DACA recipient, at any moment they could take my entire life that I have built here away from me,” Auza said. “On top of that, they could take my parents’ life.” Auza admitted feeling pressure to go to school as a way to get away from Southern California and find new opportunities. Auza doesn’t necessarily like college, but feels obligated to go to school. “The reason why I’m here in higher education is because of [my parents] and it’s for them, so I know that I need to finish,” Auza said. “As stressful as it gets, I just know that I have to keep going.” Erik Kirk is an attorney and a self-described “country doctor” of law in Humboldt County. In November 2018, Kirk helped write Measure K, a county ordinance that prevents local law enforcement from contacting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Kirk worked with members of Centro del Pueblo, a local group focused on empowering the Latinx community, to 22 |OSPREY

itaria, pero para cruzar a su hijo por la frontera, usó el acta de nacimiento de uno de los hijos de su amigo, con el mismo nombre que el hijo de Miguel. Aunque Miguel ahora trabaja de jardinero, él estudió en la Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco y trabajo como ingeniero civil en México. Miguel dice que el Condado de Humboldt necesita intérpretes, servicios médicos básicos y oportunidades de empleos para inmigrantes, pero él también desea ver más servicios de formación profesional. “Debemos ofrecer escuelas para procedimientos y destrezas de trabajos,” dijo Miguel. “Para aprender a construir cosas, ventiladores, microondas. Debemos tener talleres con mecanicos para aprender acerca de otras área de trabajo.” Miguel dice que espera que otros puedan ver que inmigrantes son mucho más que estereotipos peligrosos. “Soy crítico cuando veo que mi misma gente está consumiendo drogas, o andan de alcoholicos en la calle o robando,” dijo Miguel. “Les digo que de por sí, ya no, nos quieren aquí. Esta mal ver que Trump dice que todos los mexicanos vienen a contrabandear y a consumir drogas. Nos generaliza a todos. No es correcto.” En la pequeña oficina de Scholars without Borders, ubicada en el segundo piso del centro multicultural (Multicultural Center) de HSU (por sus siglas en inglés), Auza admitió sentir gran preocupación dia a dia. “Cómo usuario de DACA, en cualquier momento podrían llevarse la vida entera que he creado aquí,” dijo Auza “Además, podrían llevarse la vida de mis padres.” Auza admitió haber sentido presión

As a DACA recipient, at any moment they could take my entire life that I have built here away from me. On top of that, they could take my parents’ life.” -Anayeli Auza

Cómo usuario de DACA, en cualquier momento podrían llevarse la vida entera que he creado aquí. Además, podrían llevarse la vida de mis padres.”

-Anayeli Auza

write the measure which made Humboldt a sanctuary county. They drew from San Francisco’s sanctuary law while writing the ordinance, but they expected the ordinance to be altered into a compromise. Kirk and members of Centro del Pueblo sought to have the Board of Supervisors pass the ordinance, but the Board pushed back against their efforts. So they put the measure on the ballot instead. “What we told the Board [of Supervisors] is, ‘look, if we’re gonna pass this, we’re gonna go for broke—we’re gonna get all we can,’” Kirk said. The measure faced criticism from local law enforcement, including Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal. Honsal feared the measure would prevent authorities from deporting serious criminals and would cost the county money by requiring a retraining of officers. The measure also requires regular reports on any contact local law enforcement has with ICE. Kirk laughed at the criticism, and questioned whether Honsal even read the measure. Kirk said criminals caught would still face jail time, and that would be punishment enough without deportation. As for the costs to the county, Kirk had doubts about the figures Honsal came up with. “If it costs $300,000 for them to type up a report, they need to hire somebody who can type faster, because it really just doesn’t make sense,” Kirk said. Kirk knows Measure K can’t stop ICE from deporting individuals in Humboldt. In the past, the county could freely contact ICE, and Kirk said two or three people would be deported each year. Measure K stops the county from contacting ICE unless there are

para ir a la escuela como manera de salir del sur de California y encontrar nuevas oportunidades. La universidad no es algo que necesariamente le guste a Auza, pero siente obligación en ir a la escuela. “La razón por la que estoy aca en educación superior es por [mis padres] y es para ellos, así que sé que tengo que terminar,” dijo Auza. “Por más estresante que se ponga, solo sé que tengo que seguir.” Erik Kirk es un abogado y se autodescribe como un “doctor del país” en relación a las leyes en el condado de Humboldt. En noviembre del 2018, Kirk ayudó a escribir una medida de derechos (Measure K), una ordenanza del condado que previene a qué autoridad locales contacten al Control de Inmigración y Aduanas (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). Kirk trabajo con miembros del Centro del Pueblo, un grupo local enfocado en empoderar a la comunidad Latinx, para escribir la medida que ha hecho a Humboldt un condado santuario. Se basaron en la ley santuaria de San Francisco mientras escribían la ordenanza, pero esperaban que la ordenanza podría modificarse a un compromiso. Kirk y miembros del Centro del Pueblo pidieron que la Junta de Supervisores pasarán la ordenanza, pero la Junta rechazó sus esfuerzos. Así que mejor agregaron la medida de derechos en la votación. “Lo que le dijimos a la Junta [de Supervisores] es, ‘mira, si pasamos esto, entonces, nos iremos a la quiebra, conseguiremos todo lo que podremos,” dijo Kirk. La medida de derechos se enfrentó críticas de las autoridades locales, incluyendo al jefe de policía de Humboldt OSPREY | 23

crimes specific to ICE’s domain, such as human trafficking. ICE can still deport people from Humboldt, but Kirk said it’s now less likely. Although Measure K was rejected by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, it passed in a countywide ballot. “It’s a pretty strong measure,” Kirk said. “It doesn’t have a lot of the exceptions that the statewide laws have and [it] became the first to actually pass by a ballot measure rather than by city council.” Brenda Pérez is a Centro del Pueblo member and remembers traveling throughout the county to lobby for Measure K. While some residents supported Pérez and the measure, she said some residents met her with rejection. “It was terrible. As an immigrant, what you want is to arrive at a place where you can just have a start of something—a project of life—but then you realize that the people who surround you look at you with eyes of rejection,” Pérez said. “The most common thing that people used to ask me was, ‘Are you even legal?’ or ‘I don’t believe you’re a citizen.’ Or [they were] just ignoring us.” Pérez admitted that life as an immigrant in Humboldt County has not been easy. “Humboldt County has no services for immigrants,” Pérez said. “Zero. There’s no medical assistance, nothing. Documented or undocumented. We are isolated, and people say [Humboldt doesn’t] have any good doctors or anything, but for immigrants it’s worse.” Thus, Centro del Pueblo works to provide mental and emotional support, 24 |OSPREY

food, clothing and translation services. Pérez said immigrants that don’t speak English may simply never go to the doctor, because they can’t adequately tell doctors how they’re feeling. Instead they might call each other and share medicine. With this in mind, Pérez said a bilingual doctor may be one of the most important resources to bring to Humboldt. While Pérez said Centro’s work is tiring, she emphasized that it’s fulfilling and necessary. As for Measure K, Pérez said she firmly believes in the power of local initiatives. “In the end, it has spread a voice, and I believe it can at least send a message of autonomy,” Pérez said. “Centro [del Pueblo] is an immigrant-based group, and if immigrants can make something for their conditions, I believe that can spread.” At the Arcata Playhouse, Auza worked with Pérez to contribute to the first recording of Radio Centro, the rebranding of Radio Bilingue, a bilingual radio show that previously aired on KHSU—the local NPR affiliate. The firing of all but one of KHSU’s employees in April effectively killed the only bilingual radio show in the county. “I think multilingual radio stations have an impact with folks here,” Auza said. “I mean, we have that flower farm, Sun Valley, and they’re listening to the radio and listening to music as they’re working.” Auza hesitated when asked about the future of immigration policy and the significance of Measure K. They believe a lot more time and work to-

ward systemic change will precede any significant policy change. In the short term, Auza said there’s a need for more financial assistance and faculty support for undocumented and first-generation students. “There isn’t a lot of money for higher education for the undocumented community,” Auza said. “As an undocumented person or DACA recipient, you don’t qualify for federal financial aid. At one point I was managing three jobs just to try to get by.” Making things worse, DACA renewal applications cost as much as $495. Thus, SWB has brought volunteer attorneys from the Bay Area to campus once a semester to provide legal services for undocumented students. Auza didn’t express any regrets about coming to HSU, but does want to make changes in the world around them. Auza hopes to push for more opportunities for undocumented or first-generation students and individuals, while educating and empowering women of color. Auza, along with countless others, is leading the way in a national shift in perception of who immigrants are and what they can do. “There are undocumented folk who are the overachievers and are the valedictorians in their high school and their colleges, but there’s also regular undocumented folk that don’t want that and don’t want to be that,” Auza said. “So I just hope that I can inspire other people to deconstruct these stereotypes that are placed on the undocumented community.”

County, William Honsal. Honsal temía que la medida de derechos pudiera prevenir a que las autoridades pudieran deportar a criminales con delitos graves y que eso le pudiera costar más dinero al condado porque tendrían que volver a entrenar a sus agentes. La medida de derechos también demanda recibir informes sucesivos acerca de cualquiera de las ocasiones en que autoridades locales se pongan en contacto con ICE (por sus siglas en inglés). Kirk se burló de la crítica, y dudo en que Honsal haya leído la medida de derechos. Kirk dice que criminales aún tendrían que enfrentar tiempo en la cárcel y que ese castigo sería suficiente sin tener que ser deportados. En cuanto a los gastos del condado, Kirk dudo la cantidad que presentó Honsal. “Si cuesta $300,000 para que escriban un reporte a máquina entonces tienen que contratar a quien pueda hacerlo más rápido porque de verdad que esto no se entiende,”dijo Kirk. Kirk sabe que la medida de derechos (Measure K) no puede evitar que ICE deporte a individuos del Condado de Humboldt. Pero antes, el condado podía contactar a ICE con toda libertad y Kirk dice que cada año, dos o tres personas eran deportadas. La medida de derechos, evita que el condado contacte a ICE con la excepción de que hayan crímenes específicamente bajo el control de ICE como lo es, el tráfico de personas. ICE aún puede deportar a gente del Condado de Humboldt, pero Kirk dice que es menos probable. Aunque la medida de derechos fue rechazada por la Junta de Supervisores del condado

de Humboldt, la medida fue aprobada en una votación de todo el condado. “Es una medida de derechos fuerte,” dice Kirk. “No tiene muchas de las excepciones que tienen las leyes estatales y ha sido la primera en ser aprobada a través de una votación en lugar de ser aprobada por parte de un concejo municipal.” Brenda Pérez, es parte del Centro del Pueblo y recuerda su trayectoria al presionar por la medida de derechos en el condado. Aunque algunos residentes apoyaron a Pérez y a la medida de derechos, ella dice que algunos residentes la enfrentaron con rechazo. “Fue terrible. Como inmigrante, lo único que quieres es llegar a un lugar donde puedas tener un nuevo comienzo, un proyecto de vida, pero luego te das cuenta que la gente a tu alrededor, te mira con ojos de desprecio,” dijo Pérez. “Lo más común que la gente me preguntaba era, ‘¿Tan siquiera eres legal? o ‘Yo no creo que seas ciudadana.’ o [ellos] simplemente nos ignoraban.” Pérez admitió que la vida como inmigrante en el condado de Humboldt no ha sido fácil. “El condado de Humboldt no tiene servicios para inmigrantes,” dijo Pérez. “Cero. No hay asistencia médica, nada. Documentado o indocumentado. Estamos aislados y la gente dice que [Humboldt no tiene] doctores buenos o nada, pero para inmigrantes es peor.” Por lo tanto, el Centro del Pueblo trabaja para proveer apoyo mental y emocional, comida, ropa y servicios de traducción. Pérez dijo que inmigrantes que no hablan inglés a lo mejor nunca

van al doctor porque no pueden adecuadamente decirle a los doctores como se sienten. En sustitución, han de llamarse entre ellos para compartirse medicina. Con esto en mente, Pérez dijo que un doctor bilingüe sería una de los recursos más importantes de traer al Condado de Humboldt. Aunque Pérez dice que el Centro es agotador, enfatizó que es gratificante y necesario. En cuanto a la medida de derechos (Measure K), Pérez dice que en verdad cree en el poder de las iniciativas locales. “Al final, se ha hecho correr la voz y creo que por lo menos se puede mandar un mensaje de autonomía,” dijo Pérez. “Centro [del Pueblo] es un grupo basado en inmigrantes y si inmigrantes pueden hacer algo acerca de su condición, creo que eso puede propagarse.” En el teatro de Arcata (Arcata Playhouse), Auza trabajo con Pérez para contribuir a una de las primeras grabaciones de Radio Centro, el cambio de nombre de Radio Bilingüe, un programa de radio que previamente se transmitió por medio de KHSU (por sus siglas en inglés), el afiliado local NPR (por sus siglas en inglés). Al despedir a todos los empleados con la excepción de uno en abril, se terminó con el único programa de radio bilingüe en el condado. “Yo creo que estaciones de radio multilingües han impactado a la gente de aquí,” dijo Auza. “Me refiero a que tenemos las granjas de flores llamada Sun Valley y escuchan la radio, escuchan música mientras trabajan.” Auza dudó al ser preguntada acerca del futuro de la póliza de inmigración

y sobre el signifcado de la medida de derechos (Measure K). Se cree que mucho más tiempo y esfuerzo hacia cambios significativos anteceden cualquier cambio de póliza significativa. En corto plazo, Auza dice que hay más necesidad en asistencia financiera y se necesita que la facultad pueda apoyar a estudiantes indocumentados y de primera generación. “No hay mucho dinero para la educación superior ofrecida a la comunidad indocumentada,” dijo Auza. “Como persona indocumentada y beneficiante de DACA, no calificas para ayuda financiera federal. Hay un punto en el cual yo estaba lidiando con tres trabajos solo para seguir adelante.” Para empeorar las cosas, las aplicaciones de renovación para DACA cuestan hasta $495. Por lo tanto, Scholars without Borders ha traído abogados voluntarios de la Área de la Bahía al campus una vez por semestre para proveer servicios


legales a estudiantes indocumentados. Auza no expresó ningún arrepentimiento al venir a HSU pero si quiere hacer cambios a su alrededor. Auza espera luchar por más oportunidades para estudiantes o individuos indocumentados y de primera generación mientras que logre educar y empoderar a mujeres de color. Auza, junto a muchos, está cambiando la percepción nacional de lo que significa ser inmigrante y lo que pueden hacer. “Hay gente indocumentada que sobresalen y son graduados con las mejores calificaciones en sus secundarias y universidades pero también hay gente indocumentada que no quiere eso y no quieren ser eso,” dijo Auza. “Así que solo espero poder inspirar a otra gente para deconstruir los estereotipos que se han creado hacia la comunidad indocumentada.”


A student deconstructs the dominant sex work narrative PHOTOS AND STORY BY FREDDY BREWSTER


Danielle Kirkland-Shatraw searches throught files for old newspaper clippings Nov.7 at the Humboldt State University Library. | Photo by Freddy Brewster


ex work has a long and documented history in Humboldt County. The industry is surrounded in stigma. Sex work varies, from strippers to cam girls, phone-sex operators and adult entertainers. They are pornstars and prostitutes—or “full-service sex workers.” But more importantly than the job, these people are students, friends, mothers, brothers and fathers. At the end of the day: they are people just working to get by. The narrative that has long surrounded sex work has often been through the lens of law enforcement and victimhood—both for the worker and for the “john” (a sex buyer). It is a narrative that oftentimes leaves out the story of the people involved—the people who enjoy and take pride in their work. Danielle Kirkland-Shatraw is a geography major at Humboldt State University and is studying the history of sex work in Humboldt County for a senior capstone project. “It’s something that is prevalent in all communities and an important part of history and we’re not seeing research done in the local area or from HSU students,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. Her research looks to “challenge the dominant narrative of sex work” that has been produced in Humboldt County by “deconstructing the discourse through which sex work has been discussed.” When first starting her research, Kirkland-Shatraw found most of the reporting done focused on the criminality of the industry. “It kept coming up that the only things that have been reported on are prostitutes being arrested or them being missing or murdered,”

Kirkland-Shatraw said. “And so the production of a history or the narrative of sex work in Humboldt County has only been done through an objective journalistic lens, and not actually something that’s delving into who these people are and what the significance is in the actual dynamics of it as an industry.” Kirkland-Shatraw’s research focuses on two parts. One is the discourse used to describe the sex work industry and the other is the people involved. Her research has led her to digging through newspaper clippings as far back as 1916 and interviewing seven people who are actively working in the sex work industry in Humboldt. “When you look at [sex work] historically and the way that it’s been talked about, it’s painted as they are just demonized ‘prostitutes,’” Kirkland-Shatraw said. “When in reality these are multi-dimensional, regular people. [Sex work] is a lot more normal than people realize.” Two of Kirkland-Shatraw’s subjects are what she classifies as “legal sex workers”—those whose services stop short of sex acts. In her interviews, Kirkland-Shatraw was able to draw out a side from the sex workers that is left out from most reporting done in Humboldt. One person she interviewed was a stripper in her late 20s. “I personally love my job. I’ve been doing it full-time for seven years now and I’ve been able to pay off all my debt, travel the world and save up enough money to buy property soon,” an interviewee told Kirkland-Shatraw. “This job has opened up so many worlds to me that I never thought I could be a part of. But I don’t want to glorify or idealize stripping, or sex work

in general. My job has been difficult in every way. But when I talk to my friends and family, who are students or who have more traditional careers, they are struggling too—emotionally, mentally, physically. Every job can be taxing. I just personally think the difficulty of my job has paid off.” The other five individuals KirklandShatraw spoke with work on the illegal side of sex work, or as KirklandShatraw puts it, “full-service sex work.” This line of work comes with obvious risks such as violence and sexually transmitted infections. KirklandShatraw said that the subjects in her study use a number of ways to ensure their safety. “They all expressed they’re safe in the sense that they use condoms and other protection and they get tested,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. “Some of them specified that they get tested between every partner.” One of Kirkland-Shatraw’s subjects reframed the notion of contracting STIs. The subject expressed that we, as a society, should question the longheld idea that getting an STI makes you a bad or dirty person. KirklandShatraw said the interviewee told her that STIs are essentially inherent to being in contact with one another and that we should view getting an STI the same way we view someone getting sick. “It’s a radical take that I feel like many people have not thought about, and is something that should be considered,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. Another way full-service sex workers protect themselves is by screening their johns. Kirkland-Shatraw said her interviewees use social media to communicate with other sex workers to OSPREY | 29

ask about potential clients. However, due to a change in the law and the illegal nature of the industry, screening clients has become more difficult. “They said years ago there was more access to things online, and they could have more of a community with other sex workers,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. “[Communication] can help with the screening process and makes it more safe because the law is not protecting [them]. They have to take safety into their own hands. Legislation and further criminalization is making it

really difficult for them to even find safe customers.” One of the full-service sex workers Kirkland-Shatraw spoke to is a married mother in her 30s. Kirkland-Shatraw said this interviewee was open about her work with her husband and that he was accepting and supportive of it. “I like my job as a sex worker because it’s flexible and it pays well. I get to practically be a stay-at-home mom,” the interviewee told KirklandShatraw. “I sometimes make more money in a month than my spouse

Danielle Kirkland-Shatraw stands near books as she does her research Nov. 7 at the Humboldt State University Library.| Photo by Freddy Brewster

who has a degree and a full-time job. It doesn’t really matter how I feel about the work. I like it because it helps me be present with my family and comfortably support myself and them.” Kirkland-Shatraw’s work not only looked at reporting done by past journalists, it also looked at the work of a former police officer. Murl Harpham was a police officer for the Eureka Police Department for 56 years. Harpham started his career in law enforcement back in 1957 after a short stint as a reporter for

the Humboldt Times—a now defunct newspaper. Throughout his years as a police officer, Harpham rose in the ranks and became the chief of police on four different occasions and never left his journalistic ways behind. Throughout his years as a cop, he worked as a de facto historian, collaborating with other officers to write up historical reports. Back in 1979, Harpham, along with Captain Jay Bryant of EPD, wrote a historical account of policing in Humboldt. “As bars sprang up in Eureka to

service the lumber workers, miners, and sailors, a law enforcement problem developed,” Bryant and Harpham wrote. The two would go on to detail how in January 1858 the City of Eureka got its first official law enforcement officer. Through their studies, Bryant and Harpham found that around 1865, “prostitutes moved into the area to take care of the growing male population.” Brothels spread throughout Eureka and housed many of the full-service sex workers of the past, but that changed dramatically in the mid-1900s after the

state started cracking down on brothels. “They became street walkers in the early 1950s, after then-Attorney General Edmond Brown closed the houses in the state,” Bryant and Harpham wrote. The closure of the brothels forced women to take to the streets and coffee houses in order to find their clients. Gone were the elements of stability and protection that were offered in the brothels. “With the women on the street and without their madams looking after

Danielle Kirkland-Shatraw lines up newspaper clippings on sex work in Humbolt County on Nov. 7 at the Humboldt State University Library. | Photo by Freddy Brewster

them, pimps took over and drugs soon followed,” Bryant and Harpham wrote. Throughout his years as a police officer, Harpham would pride himself on cracking down on prostitution. In 2015, Harpham gave a presentation to the Humboldt Historical Society titled “A History of Prostitution in Humboldt.” Harpham’s presentation and history of sex work in Humboldt County has essentially been the go-to source for historical information on the topic. However, his work focuses mainly on the criminality of sex work and, in particular, the crimes the sex workers were committing. “The late-50s came along and we’ve got these girls working and now we’re having problems,” Harpham said to the crowd at the Humboldt Historical Society. “We have pickpockets and we’re having girls taking guys to a room and their boyfriend will jump out of the closet and put the strong arm on and steal his wallet.” Harpham went on to tell the crowd about his work in 1968 when he claims to have arrested 67 women between January and October of that year. Harpham said there are essentially three things you need to arrest a woman for prostitution: a conversation about sex and the price, a photograph of the woman undressing and the transaction itself. Kirkland-Shatraw takes issue with the focus of Harpham’s work. She

said the terminology he uses and his stance on sex work itself is problematic because it perpetuates a stereotype that sex workers are bad people. “The focus is on him because he has been the main producer of the conversations of sex work that’s been happening in Humboldt County,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. “If you take the stance that the criminalization of sex work is harmful, and is the result of much of the violence that sex workers face, then it’s problematic for him to be the only one controlling the narrative.” The end goal of Kirkland-Shatraw’s research is to bring about an academic discussion about sex work and for academia to accept it as a topic that “intersects directly with economics, politics, sociology,” and other topics. Kirkland-Shatraw said that by not studying the topic, academia and communities as a whole are essentially writing it out of history. “If we’re thinking about history and who gets to tell their own histories, often the dominant, hegemonic narratives are told by oppressors throughout history,” Kirkland-Shatraw said. “I think it’s important to recognize sex workers as an oppressed group, not in the sense that they are victims of their work, but that they are descriminated against by unjust laws and social stigma. They need the opportunity to at least have a platform to tell their own history and their narrative, or at least to respond to it.”

Danielle Kirkland-Shatraw will be submitting her work to the scholarly journal Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, for peer review in Spring, 2020.







ur campsite was on a steep cliff face overlooking the rugged coastline, where several students rested on pads recovering from the morning’s hike into the wilderness.

Center Activities Guide Daniel Langarcia leads the group along the Lost Coast trail early in the first day’s hike. | Photo by Jett Williams

“I don’t think I’ve sweat so much in my entire life,” Megan Ross said. “I could feel the weight of my legs, I could barely pick them up out of the sand at some points.” Ross, who kept her bright, curly, red hair tied in a bun during the trip, was nervous in the moments before the trip began. She’d camped before but never backpacked into a site. Ross said hiking through the sand was one of the more physically challenging things she’s done, and wished she could’ve spent more time along

the coast, basking in the sun’s rays and ocean breeze. “I’m not a gym rat or anything, I’m not like super physically fit,” Ross said. “For me, it was amazing what I was capable of if I pushed myself, and I did push myself a lot on this trip. I’m just proud that I did it without stopping too much.” The Center Activities-led trip took us far from civilization, to a remote section of coastline known as the Lost Coast. For many students coming from bigger cities in central and southern California, Humboldt

State is already far from “civilization,” at least as they know it. Ross, who is from Bakersfield but has lived all over SoCal, said this backcountry, natural location and the opportunities for recreation were major reasons why she chose HSU. “I had a friend back home that showed me a pamphlet back when I was a sophomore. I saw all the pictures of kayaks and hiking and I thought, ‘I have to go there, that can’t really be a school,’” Ross said. “I think that’s why a lot of people come

After a hard day’s hike, the group watches as Langarcia cooks pasta shells for dinner, aided by fellow guide Amanda Masse. | Photo by Jett Williams

up here. Most people up here do something outdoor-related.” Salty water licked the sand-embedded rocks before crashing down, sending spray that cooled sun-baked skin. Elizabeth Lachman sprawled across the coastal rock formations, perilously close to the creeping tide. She looked up from her reading and joked, “I might get swept away here in a second.” 38 |OSPREY

Before the Lost Coast trip Lachman had never backpacked. Family camping trips from her childhood embedded a lasting attraction to nature that drew her to the Center trip. “I definitely went camping a lot as a kid, lots of morning hikes and fishing,” Lachman said. “Backpacking is just something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve seen friends go out for it. I’ve never had the people, or the or-

ganized group to do it. This was the perfect opportunity.” Lachman moved back from the encroaching tide and found another suitable rock to recline on. She took a pinch from a shared bag of beef jerky and resumed her book, “Madonnas of Echo Park” by Brando Skyhorse. Center Activities provided a full set of gear for the student attendees. One of our guides, Daniel Langarcia, dis-

tributed bear boxes, backpacks, sleeping bags, liners and pads to participants at a Wednesday meeting ahead of the weekend’s trip. Langarcia, tall and rarely seen without a smile, had never backpacked before he came to HSU. He started off as a business major before taking a class with a bunch of recreation students. “I was talking about how business was ok, but I don’t really want to work

in an office forever,” Langarcia said. “They were like, ‘Don’t! Come to Rec!’ I took the backpacking class, and decided that’s what I want to do.” After making the transition, Langarcia became an experienced outdoorsman. Langarcia was joined on the trip by fellow guide Amanda Masse. Masse is an outdoor recreation major as well, and has the calm demean-

or and wiry build of someone who spends the majority of her time outdoors. Introducing new people to an activity she enjoys is one of her favorite parts about guiding trips. “The first time I saw the redwoods coming up here was an insane moment for me,” Masse said. “They’re so massive and so old and it puts things in perspective to see that kind of beauty and wisdom from the earth. It OSPREY | 39

Humboldt State student Alaya Eveland stacks rocks as waves break on the Lost Coast, less than a mile from our cliffside campsite. | Photo by Jett Williams

kind of crunches down our problems in a way.” Besides the obvious physical benefits, backpacking provides a unique social experience. Total strangers become friends with one another, and some end up best friends when they arrive back at the trailhead. Langarcia believes in the power of nature to improve people’s lives and social connections. It’s part of the reason why he started leading these trips. “I think it’s crazy what nature can do, and does, to bring people together,” Langarcia said. He explained that by the third or fourth day, people start to get weird and open up in ways they wouldn’t normally. “[People] like to express themselves as a real person,” Langarcia said. “It’s cool when you can finally break down those barriers.” Back at camp, we grouped up around our kitchen and would-be firepit. It was too windy for flames, but we kept warm with good company, conversation and a bizarre peanut butter pasta concoction that Masse swore by. Shell pasta, peanut butter, bagged salad mix and a secret blend of seasonings were mixed together to create a hearty dish. The food was questionable but abundant. We were treated to a blazing orange sunset, scored with the distant howling and gurgling of sea lions on a nearby rock. As the light faded, conversations died off and camp grew quiet. After a day of backpacking, sleep always comes easy. It’s a feeling that both Lachman and Ross recommend for everyone, without hesitation. “There’s something about sleeping in nature when you know there’s nothing but nature around for miles that brings out something almost primitive,” Ross said. “It might be scary but it might also be refreshing and clear your mind.” OSPREY | 41

Project Rebound A first-hand account of securing resources for incarcerated students in Humboldt County

Story by T. William Wallin


here’s a layer of fog hovering over Humboldt County. It hangs there, like an indistinguishable confinement long after incarceration. It never goes away.

The Pacific Northwest climate carries an otherworldly stupor from the mountainous forests of the east meeting the tempestuous ocean spreading in the west. Physically, we know this fog. It rolls in most mornings, but there is another element to it. An underlying, almost confidential characteristic that keeps the fog trapped within the Redwood Curtain. It’s a fog only those unlucky enough to have been impacted by the criminal justice system know. We breath it. We walk in it. It keeps us up at night reliving old memories and traumatic events. And Humboldt County has no shortage of residents impacted by the system. My expectations of the tranquility and peaceful solitude of Humboldt County quickly dissolved once I transferred to Humboldt State University in the fall of 2018. The outside world knows about the majestic redwood giants, the beautiful, yet equally treacherous, Lost Coast and, of course, the marijuana. What isn’t visible within the fog is the grossly enormous poverty levels, high drug use and terrible living conditions that not only students endure, but those in the community scraping by as well. Combine these problems with a criminal record, which affects eight million Californians, and you have a system that almost guarantees failure. Don’t get me wrong, I will be the first to tell you how beautiful it is here, but I will also be the first to tell you there isn’t nearly enough being done. Never did I imagine I would work on establishing a program on campus for those of us caught in the grips of the criminal justice system. Five years ago I was living in a half-way house contemplating whether or not I was fit for college, but I ended up going. Once I 44 |OSPREY

arrived at HSU what I found were other students with similar experiences of my own, also wandering and wondering how to find services that could help lift us from the fog. Eventually we crossed paths and focused our energy towards a supportive program— Project Rebound. During my first semester, I searched for available resources on campus, like a club, special program or advisory, but came up empty. Services that cater to students who have endured the insides of a jail cell were scarce. The trauma endured by veterans is often compared with those who have been incarcerated, yet there are only services on campus for the former. Since I couldn’t find anything, I did what any driven journalist would do: I wrote about it. I worked on a story about the lack of resources on campus and this led me to Associate Director of Admissions Steven Ladwig. Ladwig is a welcoming figure for any student. He is a logistics man with a warm embrace and a slew of tangible advice. Ladwig has been with HSU for over 20 years and worked with a few formerly incarcerated students in the past while he was the academic advisor for the Educational Opportunity Program. Ladwig said he supports the idea of having available resources for formerly incarcerated students and that there is definitely a need for a program on campus. Nearly 20 years ago, Ladwig advised a student organization called Project U-Turn. Project U-Turn was started by a formerly incarcerated student, but once that student graduated the organization quickly dismantled. “We have academic centers for excellence that are based on a cultural perspective and we got all these different ways to support students and yet this

Tony Wallin | Photo by Megan Bender

particular population remains in the shadows,” Ladwig said. “What do pioneers have to do? They have to break ground. They have to take a path that isn’t already established.” Ladwig says it’s a huge challenge to redefine people’s perspectives of an entire group. Huge is an understatement. Ladwig suggested I start a club, but I brushed it off and continued reporting on the lack of resources on campus. I also began researching what other campuses had to offer and found two programs that were leading the way. The program rooted in the CSU system was Project Rebound. Project Rebound was started in 1967 by San Francisco State Sociology and Criminology Professor John Irwin, who did a five-year stint back in the 50s. The program helps formerly incarcerated students prepare, apply, enroll and graduate with a degree from a four-year university. It’s a community support system where the goal is for every student to succeed in their studies. I asked Renee Byrd, a sociology professor at HSU and mass incarceration researcher, about Project Rebound and she told me HSU should be leading the way in this endeavor. She said some of her best students were formerly incarcerated and that she dreams to one day have a classroom full of them. Byrd supports Project Rebound at HSU and offered to be an advisor for a formerly incarcerated students club. It would take us nearly a year to begin our efforts on establishing Project Rebound, so the remainder of the fall semester I worked on making the club official. It takes being vulnerable and putting yourself out there to start a club for this population. When one has spent time behind bars or been abused by the 46 |OSPREY

system, the default is to either keep the experience hidden from society or move as far past it as possible. Hiding in the fog then becomes a security blanket. There are no checklists on admission applications into CSUs asking if you have been incarcerated, but to get the services, you have to show a need. A regular catch-22. Three things happened that paved the way to where we are now with establishing Project Rebound on campus. First, I met an HSU alumni who was formerly incarcerated and working at the Humboldt County Jail. Then I was granted clearance into Pelican Bay State Prison for a story I was writing. Lastly, I met a political science major whose mission is to change policy and legislation regarding the criminal justice system. “It would have been nice to talk to some other people in my situation who I could relate to on some of the issues I was having,” said Mike Bishop, a children and family services counselor and former HSU student. Bishop graduated in 2015 with a degree in psychology and earned his master’s in counseling psychology in 2017. He’s got the style and experience of the streets, but moves and communicates like someone who holds multiple degrees. While still a student, he volunteered at the juvenile detention center working with gang culture. Bishop had a son after returning from prison in 2004 and wanted a different upbringing for him. He enrolled in College of the Redwoods when his son was 18 months old and took a human development class that changed how he viewed the world. “I wanted to make life different for me and my son,” Bishop said. “I didn’t want him to feel the way I felt. I didn’t

Photo courtesy of T. William Wallin

want him to be incarcerated, ever. I didn’t want him to do the things I’ve done and I knew the way I live my life would be his first example. I had to be a good kid if I wanted to have a good kid.” Connecting with Bishop showed me the accomplishments people in our particular situation can achieve. If you’re a heroin addict, like myself, and been incarcerated, like myself, it’s easy to start believing the narrative society labels you as. But people like Bishop quickly dismantle that notion. In the last month of the spring semester, the club was registered with the school and I was packing my car to travel to Oregon for summer’s work, when a man with an uncanny resemblance to Jack Kerouac approached me. Tall and handsome with a 50s hipster haircut and covered with American Traditional tattoos. The wolf with a tongue sticking out on his hand is what first caught my eye and knew we would instantly get along. He asked me my name and if I only wrote about criminal justice or if I was involved with it in other ways. Like a beaming Buddha light casting across the infinite sky and four corners of the universe, I had found the partner I needed for the club. My old neighbor and political science senior Franklin Porter joined the club the first day of summer and it changed everything. “I wanted to get more involved and the club was an avenue to do more of what I wanted to do,” Porter said. “This was a way to get in and meet people who were concerned about [the criminal justice system]. I want to start writing policy and a lot of that is great, but if it isn’t informed you can easily do more damage.” Where I lacked in organization skills,

Porter excelled. We started meeting at my place where we would spend hours coming up with strategies on building the club and reaching out to more people. This is when Project Rebound began to come into fruition. Our attention soon shifted and Porter contacted the Project Rebound office in San Francisco. Jason Bell, regional director of Project Rebound, said because of a recent CSUwide expansion, eight other campuses now have Project Rebound. When he speaks of reentry efforts, he lights up. While in prison in the 90’s, Bell learned of John Irwin and Project Rebound and started corresponding. “(Irwin) gave me some power,” Bell said. “I was doing everything in my power to run away from school.” Bell was a student in Project Rebound over a decade ago. He became an intern, and continued to get more involved in the program. He worked closely with John Irwin before Irwin’s passing in 2010. Project Rebound was created to start funneling people impacted by the criminal justice system into school, and Bell is a perfect example of the untapped potential ready to thrive once given the opportunity. “If it weren’t for that opportunity I think I would probably never try,” Bell said. “I will continuously advocate for it because I know it worked. It worked for me and there was nothing more empowering than to have a community on campus.” Bell is also an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University and travels throughout the state spreading the message of Project Rebound and higher education. If a school such as HSU has low enrollment, he says Project Rebound is a solution. Ninetyfive percent of our prison population OSPREY | 47

will be released someday and higher education is a path that can help reduce recidivism. Project Rebound has a 97% graduation rate while the CSU system has a 25% rate for those who finish within four years and 61% within six. Even California Governor Gavin Newsom believes in the positive outcomes of the program and signed on for $3.3 million in yearly funds to support the expansion of Project Rebound. Since the expansion of Project Rebound, the number of graduates who have recidivated is zero. This speaks volumes to not only what the program is offering, but also the drive and motivation of the students. Bell is essentially the gatekeeper for which CSU campuses adopt Project Rebound. “I am part of a team that is a living example of what successful reintegration looks like in a college setting,” Bell recently told Reentry Success Center. And nothing could be more accurate. Over 150 Project Rebound students have graduated from SFSU and the numbers have been increasing since the early 2000s. Their office in San Francisco rests only a few feet from the only CSU mural painted by formerly incarcerated students—a welcoming beacon for anyone new walking into the room. Bell has his hands in everything from California policy, to legislation, to just simple things like answering questions for students who pop in. Because of the recent expansion of Project Rebound, HSU is expected to add the program for Fall, 2020. We are working on establishing the program to provide resources for future students who may be transferring from College of the Redwoods, out of county or from a 48 |OSPREY

prison. “There’s a history here [at HSU] and it had a program many years ago that was a student-run program,” Bell said. “We got to bring that energy back.” Working under Bell’s direction, the club is creating internal and external network support that includes professors, faculty, the Humboldt County Jail, Ukiah’s Inmate Scholars Program, Pelican Bay’s Scholar Program and even the president of HSU. Most importantly, formerly incarcerated students are starting to join the club, as well as allies in the movement, to reverse the school to prison pipeline and lift the underlying fog. “I’m very excited for Project Rebound to come to HSU,” said Lisa Murphy, a criminology and justice studies senior. “I think it’ll prove to be a great resource for formerly incarcerated students.” Murphy is also formerly incarcerated and will be the first to tell you she’s a prison abolitionist. But she understands the constraints of our current system and wants to advocate for programs like Project Rebound until we “tear these fucking prisons down.” Murphy is no stranger to the program either. Bell once visited the rehab house she was paroled to after prison and invited her to participate on a panel of formerly incarcerated folks. Murphy says this is when she started to think about prison activism and abolition. This isn’t to say Murphy wasn’t already involved with activism, it was just centered around anti-globalism and anti-capitalist endeavors. It took a prison sentence to inform Murphy how to get involved. Murphy was a student of Renee Byrd’s and is an example of what she means when she says she wants a classroom

full of formerly incarcerated students. “I see a lot of effort going into more reform movements and projects for people getting out of prison which are great,” Murphy said. “but I think until prisons are dismantled, there’s going to be a need for re-entry projects.” Our first official Formerly Incarcerated Students Club meeting in the beginning of the semester drew more people than I could hope for a year ago. Eight people showed up and we have 16 signed up on the club’s homepage. Among the crowd of students was zoology junior Darrius Upshaw and another member who was formerly incarcerated. Upshaw stood out with his wide smile and unflinching testimony of being formerly incarcerated. When meeting Upshaw it felt like we were already friends. He spent three years in a Navy prison in San Diego. Military prisons are generally not something that hits mainstream media and no one thinks of them, but since it’s federal you can get prison time for marijuana, even in the state of California. Upshaw says it was tough to come back to school, but studying something he loves makes it easier. “What really makes the difference is you have to do what you want to do and not what others want you to do,” Upshaw said. “Follow your passion and then it’s not work.” Upshaw believes in Project Rebound’s efforts and wants to see it established on campus. He knows it’s not easy having freedom when all you knew was control and regimen. The transition is hard and, when released, the outside world can be an unfamiliar place for some. The club was started to ease those feelings, and people who have been incarcerated can

Regional Director for Project Rebound SFSU Jason Bell, Franklin Porter, and the author tour the HSU campus on Oct. 17 during a trip Bell took. | Photo by Kim Nguyen

Formerly Incarcerated Student Club bi-weekly meets for February 2020 event planning in the HSU library. | Photo by T. William Wallin

now relate with each other on what it’s like to be enrolled in school with those experiences. “Judge people by their character,” Upshaw said of people who are against reentry programs like Project Rebound. “This program helps people be better. Most people don’t know I went to jail and they say ‘But you’re so nice and kind and you have a great smile.’ That’s just me, that’s how I am. Just give people a chance.”

If it weren’t for that opportunity I think I would probably never try...” -Jason Bell


Growing legal The struggles of the blackmarket weed industry post-legalization Story by Jerame Saunders Photos by Syshana Hocker

Eric Walz, the farmer for Humboldt Kine, sits in front of one of his grow tents on his farm Sep. 30 in Hydesville. | Photo by Syshana Hocker

The legal cannabis laws are changing, pushing the black market to the light side. The counterculture that fueled the marijuana industry in Humboldt for so long is facing a crisis. Farmers who have been growing marijuana comfortably for decades are now faced with the expensive and daunting task of becoming marketable businesses, and the process for obtaining legal grow permits is not easy. Cannabis farmer Eric Walz moved to Humboldt in 2016 to grab a hold of recreational cannabis in the best area he could. His company, Humboldt Kine, is based just 25 miles south of Arcata. He explained the permitting situation as if it were a breeze, but the long list of boxes to check could be extremely expensive for other farmers. Vanessa Valare, a Land Use Management Consultant for ETA Humboldt, wrote a summation of the long list of tasks and agency communication it takes to permit a commercial cannabis cultivation site. “We do a lot of waiting as cultivators and consultants,” writes Valare, “A HCPBD (Humboldt County Planning and Build Department) Cultivation permit can take 12-24 months. Water Board certification is 3-6 months depending on the permit. CDFW (California Department of Fish and WIldlife) is 3-12 months depending on the brevity of the paperwork. CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) can take 3-9 months to approve. The reality of it is the whole process is hard and you can not cultivate until you are approved by the county AND the state (CDFA). No cultivating means as a farm you are spending a lot of money for a permit that is not generating any income for 1-2 years

after you apply.” The passage of recreational cannabis in November 2016 through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) in California has proved to be a very tumultuous experience on the federal, state and county levels as they learn to work together to smooth out the creases of the new laws and the policy attached to them. Nobody has been feeling the pressures of legalization more than the growers in Humboldt who are feeling the pressure to move from the black market to the legal market. “It’s no accident that there’s this rich, decades-old cannabis cultural history here, because of what this area represented as a place for people to come to get away,” Josh Meisel said. Meisel is a sociology professor at Humboldt State University and codirector of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. Meisel focuses on the evolution of policy and attitudes towards cannabis, locally and nationally. “I think when you ask about attitudes towards the [marijuana] industry, that’s a very complicated question,” Meisel said. “There’s a long history in this region of being concerned about large outside interests. And there’s a history of that. We can begin with white folks coming into Humboldt County as the outsiders and take stock of the horrific damage they did to native communities as well as the local forests, rivers and oceans.” The idea of resisting the legal regulation of marijuana and possibly outing yourself to the county as a grower has always been a driving force behind growers staying in the black market, according to Meisel. Humboldt County has always been a haven for people to have their own little world separate from

the outside. Terra Carver is the executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, a trade association with around 300 members that are all a part of the legal chain of manufacturing in Humboldt, ranging from soil companies, distribution, growers and dispensaries. HCGA was founded in 2017 to represent the greater good of their membership and advocate for policy, locally and statewide. Carver spoke on the rough period the state, and especially Humboldt County, has gone through over the past five years on the regulatory and economic side of becoming a white market operation. “Cannabis had been quasi-legal through Prop 215, but the state was actually looking to regulate the industry and so five years ago they started to say, what does that look like, how do we do that? And that really kickstarted the county into looking into land use ordinances,” Carver said. “So, for the past five years, we have been developing local regulations and state regulations. Then Prop 64 legalized recreational use, but also had a massive amount of policy attached to it that had to blend together with the medical and so it’s been years of onboarding new regulations and fine tuning and tweaking them. This is going to take another five years to get to the point where it’s relatively the same as the year before on a regulatory and policy side.” Carver said the permitting process is not fine tuned yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel for farms. Marijuana prices for farmers seemed to take a dramatic turn for the better around April and May as previouslyunsellable pounds doubled or tripled in value after two years of extremely OSPREY | 55

hard selling conditions. “This year prices started going up in May, and really plateaued and continued to stay strong up until now,” Carver said. “Typically prices will dip in mid-August. We don’t know why, but the market has stabilized in a way that we have not seen in the past five years.” Eric Walz had a rough past couple years selling his weed, but around April, things started to look up for him, reaffirming Carver’s statement. “Prices are up, they are good, they are strong,” Walz said. “I think that that’s the biggest thing. It was scary for a minute. But the other thing too is that we are producing. We are producing more cannabis than we have ever produced before.” Carver said quality of weed in Humboldt from these white-market growers is at an all time high as well. Humboldt is known for having some of the best strains, but due to unknown circumstances, distributors have noticed a positive difference in the quality of cannabis this year. “I’m not sure why the uptick in quality,” Carver said. “It might be because farmers are honing in on their craft so much because their margins are so slim that they have to produce the very best or if there is collective anxiety that they are just refocusing into their growing or if it’s because we had a temperate year and the climate was a little cooler.” Humboldt County is known for its outdoor methods of growing and use of greenhouses to produce environmentallysound plants. This has proven to be a defining factor for quality when compared to the harsh environmental impacts of indoor cannabis cultivation which have gained popularity in other parts of the country, according to Meisel. 56 |OSPREY

“So there’s this illusion that cannabis grown indoors is somehow better quality and the problem with that is the market is now demanding an unsustainable product,” Meisel said. “Indoor cultivation is very destructive to the environment. It generates a massive carbon footprint and it makes little sense to be continuing to grow indoors.” Legal weed in Humboldt is on the forefront of regulation by using environmentally-aware practices, according to Carver. Prices are the best they have been in a while, but for now it seems like people are cautiously waiting it out. The genetics of strains also face new threats. An amendment made to the 2018 Farm Bill in December of last year federally recognized the agricultural production of hemp, which is defined as a marijuana plant containing 0.3 percent THC or less. This created a domino effect of regulations on federal, state and local jurisdictions. Humboldt County is arguably one of the counties that would be most affected by this amendment. The debate about what should be done is still occurring, as the Humboldt County Planning Department has proposed a land ordinance for growing hemp. “We are world renowned for the finest genetics in the world,” Carver said. “We are like the Amazon of genetics, and so we are ensuring we don’t cross pollinate hemp producing genetics with our THC, CBD and all the other cannabinoids is really of importance to us. So we are asking for a ban on hemp production in Humboldt right now. This is the single most complex issue I’ve dealt with in five years of cannabis policy.” Humboldt County, as one of the most prominent areas in cannabis, was faced with a monumental task when

A walkway between two grow tents that are brimming with fresh weed on Eric Walz’s Hydesville property. | Photo by Syshana Hocker

recreational cannabis was legalized. Things might have seemed dire for a couple years, but things are taking a turn for the better. However, a lot of work still has to be done and correspondence between different levels of government is crucial to the fluidity of the permitting process. “I mean, they want to enforce all these regulations on us, but the legal market isn’t fully formed,” Walz said. “The white market isn’t the real market right now. The black market is the real market, and until the white market is the real market they need to be a little more lenient on how they enforce all these taxing and rules.”


The Humboldt Kine’s farm dog resting between massive cannabis plants on the edge of a huge warehouse filled with plants.| Photo by Syshana Hocker