The Vindicator - December 2019

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what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors

Arts 7


The Plans of a “Parasite” by DOROTHY ZHAO


Seeking Out #OwnVoices




Inside the World of an INFJ by MARIA AHMAD


What is Stoicism? Ancient Philosophical Advice for the Modern Age by BRENDEN VANOVER

15 2019 CISP PHOTO

Beauty + Wellness



What is K-Beauty? by NGUYET VO




The Networkin’ Hour by IMANI STEPHENS

Poetry Social 31

Ban the Box


UNTITLED by ‫زابخلا نسحملادبع ةبيط‬


Healing by MARIA AHMAD


PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School







Evaluate Recycling & Move Towards Reusing. “In spite of environmentally friendly lifestyles gaining popularity, I wanted to expand on the benefits of reusable materials and my favorite ones I use everyday.” — JILLIAN VANDYKE


Bi Visibilty Books. “Strong bi protagonists from across all genres.” — JESSICA LYNN NICHOLS Through Diversity, We Find Beauty in Togetherness. Cleveland Community Day was recapped by Nicole Shriver in the November Vindicator Issue. Visit thevindi. com for photos from the event.

#VindiAsks: What’s your favorite winter activity?



@vindi_csu stay up-to-date with all things Vindi on Instagram



40% HOLIDAY FESTIVITES Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU

w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

DECEMBER 12/1 Concert

Brockhampton at the Agora Brockhampton is a self-described boy band, in an effort to redefine the term. They are an American rap collective formed in San Marcos, Texas that is now based out of Califronia.

12/15 Straight No Chaser

An all male Accapella groups comes back to Cleveland for the first time this year to sing hits from two of their holiday albums, "Holiday Spirits" and "Christmas Cheers."

12/7 Beer 101 in Cle


$40-90 @ 5000 EUCLID AVENUE

12/31 New Year's Eve Gala on the Nautica Queen

The Cleveland Brew Shop Beer and Beer Brewing 101 is a fully handson experience where you will learn all about beer and home brewing, taste beer and brew your first batch! 12:00 @ 4142 LORAIN AVENUE

12/28 Princemas

Cruise into 2020 with views of the city skyline on the Nautica Queen. During its New Year’s Eve Gala cruise, you can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, an unlimited buffet and a bottle of champagne along with a DJ, dancing and party favors. The Nautica Queen also offers a Noon Year’s Eve cruise that sets sail at midday for those of you looking for an earlier celebration.

Princemas with DJ Darrick Grant DJ Darrick Grant from WCSB will host an evening of dancing to classsic hits by Prince. $10 @ 2785 EUCLID HEIGHTS BLVD




KEEP GOING ersevering during my collegiate years has

State University appreciating a wonderful Vindicator

been a rough, yet prosperous journey. Many

staff and such support from the university. As writing

obstacles have, at times, discouraged me from

and journalistic practices have been a guiding light to

making my experiences with the university

my life and paving path for my future, great elation

triumphant ones. Nonetheless, tenacity has set forth

takes presence in my heart. Realizing how quickly my

goals and a mindset that keeps me propelled in the

view could have been skewed by distortions and my

direction of completion. Even as I consider the many

intentions could have been misled by distractions, I

hardships, I am thankful for the pain that resonates

am proud to deliver results that display esteem and

through the practice and the process. I also consider

tenacity. Often, we as students just need a reminder

the fact that my current situation is not my final

that we must keep going. Whether from a classmate,

destination. Remembering that a true Queen will have

an advisor, a professor, a friend or family member,

scars, I am still to walk in my purpose while asking

the message has always been to keep going. So, I do.

myself, “Am I being who I am?” As a current senior, graduating in May, I reflect on my venture at Cleveland




Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Editor–in–Chief

Tyisha Blade Managing Editor

Nicole Shriver Copy Editor

Alexia Carcelli Art Director

Kyra Wells Asst. Art Director

Max Torres Multimedia Manager

Jillian VanDyke Online Content Editor

Joscelyn Ervin Arts Editor

Renee Betterson Culture Editor

Megan Baranuk Feature Editor

Imani Stephens Beauty Editor

WRITERS Dorothy Zhao Jessica Lynn Nichols Brenden Vanover Maria Ahmad Megan Baranuk Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Nguyet Vo Katie Wallace Imani Stephens Kevin Ballou Amanda Light

Maria Ahmad Stefany Belasic Erin Butkiewicz Asha McClendon

Alexandra Paquin Gia Paulovich Sophia Pierce Derek Prince Wilson

ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Max Torres Stefany Belasic


Dorothy Zhao Social Editor

Jamie Depasquale

Bridgette Lewis

‫زابخلا نسحملادبع ةبيط‬ Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 6


” E T I S RA










Dorothy Zhao “Parasite” peers into a wealthy family’s lifestyle through the perspectives of a poor family and their perseverance.


smartphone. WiFi options. A family of four. “Parasite” opens with a lighthearted scene in which the family members try to connect to the internet. In its first act, all seems well. This

family, living in a sub-basement in Korea, struggling to get by, is doing their best to cope with their setbacks and current lifestyle. However, they get their big break when Kim Ki-woo, the son of the family, gets offered an English tutoring position for an incredibly rich family’s teenage daughter. Without a hitch, Ki-woo gets the rest of his family to benefit from this wealthy family, the Parks, as well. His sister becomes an art therapist for the son of the Parks, while his father becomes the new chauffeur and his mother becomes the new housekeeper. This privileged Park family mirrors the poverty-stricken Kim family with their two children, brother and sister, and their dutiful parents. It’s worth noting, however, that the poor mother is strict, harsh, blunt and rough around the edges. She even looks tough, having been an athlete in her younger years but now needing to survive to raise her family. The rich mother, on the other hand, is youthful, sweet and hilariously naive. The two fathers also differ in their levels of success. For one, there is the shame of several failed restaurants and being called a cockroach. For the other, there is the power, money and recognition for being an executive at a thriving tech company. The heist into a better life reveals how the Kim family steals comfort instead of money. One family wishes to be — or at least live off of — the other, while the better-off family basks in their money and ignorance. They are kind, but only because they have money. The suspense during the scenes in the middle of the movie seems unending. From a cat-and-mouse scenario resulting from a return of the original housekeeper, the film progresses from a comedy to a thriller to a 7 | VINDICATOR


tragedy. There is a flood that ruins the Kim family’s

ily welcomes the new helpers, but the poor family

home but brightens the Park family’s the next day

overhears the richer parents discussing Ki-taek’s

with skies cleared by the same flood. The poor Kim

smell. Even though they are kind, they still see the

family must travel down several flights of stairs just

poor family as “other.” The poor family is sustained

to have a place to sleep at night, and they must go

by the connection to the rich family, like parasites.

up the same stairs to work at the Park’s mansion the

Additionally, the privilege to have a plan is a re-

next morning.

curring theme. The people above have a plan, have

The father, Kim Ki-taek, gets called a roach by his

that assistance, to succeed in life. When you’re a

wife, and in the end, he must go into hiding in the

family who can’t even close the windows in order

same underground bunker when he causes a fatal in-

to get free extermination, your priorities are vastly

jury to one of the rich family members. He is deemed

different. “You know what kind of plan never fails?

as a cockroach and forced to live as one. Every day

No plan” — Kim Ki-taek explains this to his son, Kim

he has to see a man who can provide for his family

Ki-woo. If he stops to make a plan, then his family

while his family calls him a cockroach. The reality

is left defenseless. His son, however, has the ability

of this causes Ki-taek to eventually snap and commit

to make one. The parents have only one job: to get

an atrocious act.

their children to a better place in society. The next

To rescue his father, Ki-woo narrates how one day

generation has a chance to make it better, which is

he’ll have a degree, a lucrative job and the ownership

what the son plans to do at the very end. One gener-

of this house so that the father can come back outside.

ation strives to set up the next one. Ki-taek doesn’t

Unfortunately, the movie goes back to reality — it only

have what the rich dad does. This angle genuinely

briefly shows us what happiness can be. It is merely

resonated with me. The ending of this movie focuses

a fantasy. “Parasite” reveals that whether you have

on what the son decides to do not for himself, but for

a plan or not, class is always going to be the divide,

his entire family and specifically his father. The poor

differentiating you from others.

family must face the consequences of their actions.

“Parasite” made me feel devastated in the best way

The class allegories are prominent throughout the

possible. I was stunned into silence after watching it.

movie, and one is left questioning how it is possible

Knowing nothing about this film other than it was

to fix this problem.

a very good one, I went into it expecting something

“Parasite” seems to have a depressing ending if one

obnoxiously pretentious. I was skeptical of its cali-

is realistic about the son’s plan. His plan to rescue

ber, but I was mistaken. The movie changes pace as

his father is most likely impossible or only achievable

it progresses. Instead of remaining over the course

when it is too late. The ending left me stunned and

of several weeks or months, it becomes an anxious,

saddened for the son’s situation. My heart breaks

by-the-minute thriller. It ratchets the film up to

for the Kim family, despite their rule-breaking and

another level while keeping it true to the meaning.

scheming ways. This film is undeniably a clever

Is it horror? Is it a thriller? It’s “Parasite.” Similarly

class comedy. The poor family infiltrates the lives of

to “The Farewell,” it’s hard to distinguish what cat-

a richer family by forging documents and creating

egory the movie falls in. In “The Farewell,” it was

fake identities. Despite such deviousness, they still

a comedy, a coming of age and a tragedy all in one.

do their jobs well. It goes to show that there is an

Bong Joon-ho’s filmmaking is a new genre — part

arising class struggle in which economic inequality

satire, part tragedy, part horror.

leads to members in society being competent but

There is a running motif of smell. You don’t know

impoverished nonetheless. Bong Joon-ho states in

you smell until someone points it out. It’s the smell

an interview, “We all live in the same country called

of the sub-basement; it’s the smell from their home

capitalism, which may explain the universality of

and where they come from. They can’t quite remove

[the audience’s] responses.” The disparity can be seen

their family legacy, in a way, even if they’re welcomed

everywhere. Truly my most favorite movie of the year,

into this life of luxury. There is still a divide where

“Parasite” is a film that I highly recommend.

Is it horror? Is it a thriller? It’s “Parasite.”

they are not quite part of the family. The Park famTHEVINDI.COM ­­ | 8



eeking out #OwnVoices


Jessica Lynn Nichols ILLUSTRATED BY

Derek Prince Wilson


Seven LGBTQ+ authors crafting diverse narratives.


n 2019, most readers now recognize that diversity

mindfulness, thorough research and input from

is a valuable and necessary part of a great

members of the community, cis and straight authors

book. There is a growing demand for literature

can use their platform and visibility to bring light to

featuring more authenticity of representation in

LGBTQ+ issues. But at the same time, it is even more

gender, sexual orientation, race, ability and all

urgent to seek out stories written by authors who have

other aspects of human identity. Fortunately, publishers

lived that experience and who are not necessarily

have recognized this demand, allowing diverse stories

visible. This is the idea behind #OwnVoices, an online

to be widely printed and widely promoted. But too often,

movement started with the intent of discovering and

the strides that have been made in diversity are only in

promoting diverse books written by authors from

terms of the characters on the page, not the authors who

marginalized groups. The #OwnVoices concept can be

created them. When it comes to LGBTQ+ representation

applied to any identity that has been underrepresented

in fiction, many of the most well-known books are

or misrepresented in literature. This list profiles

written by established authors who are not part of the

seven of the countless writers contributing valuable

LGBTQ+ community. It is harder for LGBTQ+ authors

intersectional perspectives to the literary world.

to get published, and even once they do, their books

Shaun David Hutchinson is best known for his

are not as well marketed to mainstream audiences.

coming-of-age novels, many of them built around

This is exacerbated for LGBTQ+ authors of color and

intriguing sci-fi concepts. His published works include:

for transgender authors, who do not experience the

“The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried,”

same visibility as white and cisgender members of

“The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley,” “At the Edge of

the community.

the Universe” and “We Are the Ants.” While these and

The allies who write books about LGBTQ+ characters

his other books vary widely in subject matter, they are

are not the ones to blame for this disparity. With

all written with humor and honesty. In Hutchinson’s


plots, bizarre and often hilarious circumstances are

Rican. Readers can look forward to the January 2020

juxtaposed against deep philosophical questions

release of “Infinity Son,” Silvera’s first fantasy novel.

about relationships, emotion and humanity. Much of

Hutchinson’s work draws on his experience both as

Sara Farizan is the author of “Here to Stay,” “Tell

a gay man and as a person who has struggled with

Me Again How a Crush Should Feel” and “If You Could

depression. He explores his own coming-of-age

Be Mine.” “If You Could Be Mine” was Farizan’s first

experience with sexuality and mental health in a recent

novel, and she received praise for her vivid and moving

memoir, “Brave Face.” Hutchinson’s forthcoming book,

portrayal of the lives of gay and trans people in Iran.

“The State of Us,” is a political romance that will be

Her other two novels focus on the experiences of

released in June 2020.

teenage Iranian-American protagonists, from teen

Anna-Marie McLemore is an author of magical

romance to traditional parents to the experience of

realism whose concepts are often derived from fairy

racism and Islamophobia. “If You Could” and “Tell

tales and Latin American folklore. She has published

Me Again” both follow lesbian protagonists of Iranian

four novels: “Blanca & Roja,” “Wild Beauty,” “The

descent in engaging first-person narration. Farizan

Weight of Feathers” and “When the Moon Was Ours.”

herself is Iranian-American and an out lesbian.

Even in the novels that are not inspired by an existing

write books

The allies who

about LGBTQ+ characters are not the ones to blame for

the disparity.

traditional story, McLemore writes in a lyrical style

Lisa Bunker is a published author and a representative

rich with imagery that seems to create a fairy tale in

in New Hampshire’s state legislature. She advocates

and of itself. Her novels frequently feature themes of

for representation and promotes equality in both of

transformation and rebirth. McLemore has spoken on

her careers as a politician and as a writer. Her two

her identity as a queer Latina, which is central in much

novels, “Felix Yz” and “Zenobia July,” are charming

of her work. While McLemore herself is cisgender,

in their approach to character diversity: rather than

she has also made an effort to write well-developed

assume that most of the characters will be cis and

transmasculine and nonbinary representation with

straight with few exceptions, the majority of central

input from her husband, who is a genderqueer trans

and supporting characters are LGBTQ+. Bunker has

man. “Dark and Deepest Red,” McLemore’s upcoming

also been praised for plots in which coming out is not

reimagining of the fairy tale “The Red Shoes,” will be

the primary conflict for her young protagonists. Her

released in January 2020. author.annamariemclemore.

depiction of trans characters, including protagonist


Zenobia, avoids many harmful cissexist narratives.

Julian Winters is the author of “Running with Lions”

Bunker is a transgender woman and one of the

and “How to Be Remy Cameron.” Winters writes in

first trans politicians elected to the NH House of

an approachable style often infused with humor,


but his work still addresses serious issues like body

CB Lee is a sci-fi and fantasy author best known

image, healthy relationships and personal identity. His

for her “Sidekick Squad” series. The series consists

descriptive passages and the internal struggles of his

of three novels so far: “Not Your Sidekick,” “Not

protagonists are full of evocative, introspective details.

Your Villain” and “Not Your Backup.” Each novel

A central aspect of “How to Be Remy Cameron,” his

focuses on a different character in a close-knit cast of

second novel, is the titular protagonist’s struggle with

teenage superheroes. The series’ concept may remind

society’s preconceived notions of him as a Black, gay

readers of a comic book in novel form, set in a future

teenager. Winters cites one of his main motivations to

American dystopia-disguised-as-utopia. Beyond

start writing as the desire to see gay African Americans

the superhero elements, the relationship dynamics

like himself represented more often in media. His third

among characters are equally compelling. Jessica

novel, “The Summer of Everything,” is set for release

Tran, the protagonist of “Not Your Sidekick,” is bi

in August 2020.

and Asian-American, identities shared by the author.

Adam Silvera is an author known for novels that are

In addition to her series, Lee is the author of “Seven

complex, character-driven and often heartbreaking.

Tears at High Tide,” a contemporary fantasy which

His books include: “More Happy Than Not,” “History

also features a bi Asian-American protagonist. Lee

Is All You Left Me” and “They Both Die at the End.” All

has announced a forthcoming untitled fourth book

three of these titles center on mental health, death,

in “Sidekick Squad.”

grief and recovery. Silvera sustains the emotional impact of his work with an engaging writing style that balances first-person narration with rich description, topped off with his unique flair for a devastating plot twist. He is also the author of a somewhat lighter romance, “What If It’s Us,” in collaboration with his close friend Becky Albertalli (“Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”). Silvera’s four realistic fiction novels incorporate his experience as a gay man and as a Puerto THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 10




Maria Ahmad

Entering into the mind of the rarest personality type in the world.


ou have probably heard the words “introverted” and “extroverted” before, but have you heard of INFJ? INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) is a rare personality type that

makes up less than one percent of the population. It is one of 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). People with this personality tend to be gentle, caring, sensitive, and creative, usually referred to as the “Idealist” or

Common INFJ Characteristics INFJs tend to be soft spoken and empathetic with and a strong sense of intuition. Although soft spoken, INFJs have strong opinions and will fight for their beliefs. They are naturally introverted but are able to easily form meaningful connections with humans. INFJs speak in warm, sensitive language instead of using pure fact and logic. They believe in using compassion and love to help the world. Even though they enjoy helping others, they still need the

the “Advocate.”

proper time and space to recharge. INFJs like to

What Makes an INFJ Different?

sible. When making decisions, they place a greater

INFJs use their idealism and turn their ideas into reality.

make decisions, plan, and organize as early as posemphasis on personal matters over objective facts.

They are able to take their ideas and values and bring positive change to the world. There are a few examples of people known to be changers and movers of the



world, that identify with INFJ personality type. These


-May be overly sensitive

-Sensitive to the needs of others


people include Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Lady Gaga, Morgan Freeman, Jon Snow and Rose Bukater. As idealism can be a strength, it can also be a weakness. Seeking perfection too often can cause a drop in healthy relationships because they seem to always think there will be a better option ahead.

-Tries to avoid confrontation

-Values very close, deep relationships

-May have really high expectations

-Looks up to the future

iety, by placing self-worth on productivity and perfect


-May be difficult to get to know

performance and having unachievable, excessively high


-Extremely private

standards. INFJs also have a “sixth-sense” where they


have a gut feeling that they cannot explain. Often they

-Inspiring and convincing

feel misunderstood as they have difficulty explaining


Perfectionism can also cause stress, burnout and anx-

this “sixth-sense” and can feel very isolated and lonely.



-Always has a need for a cause


do not get their breaks and high-definition experiences

What Excites an INFJ?

of the world at least once in a while, they can become


out-of-balance. When out-of-balance, they may feel

INFJs thrive on complexity and love to look into the

unfulfilled, stressed, unmotivated, or depressed. These

theory of personality on a deeper level. They become

breaks of doing interactive and exhilarating activities

excited when they find more unknowns and become

can rejuvenate INFJs and give them an explosion of

disappointed if a concept is too one-dimensional.

energy and motivation to perform activities and make


changes in the world.

They like to envision and imagine how situations will


occur in the future. INFJs get excited about ideas of

On average, Americans read about 12 books per year,

what could happen several years ahead, maybe 20 or

but a study found that INFJs read about 67 books per

even 100 years. They can work these ideas out best in a

year! These INFJ bibliophiles came in second place,

quiet environment without distractions.

while INFPs (another personality type) came in first


place. INFJs loved reading because it is like entering

INFJs have the desire to understand human nature as

into another dimension, opening their minds to new

their personalities are very idealistic and empathetic.

emotions, possibilities and universes.

how people think. It is as if they are trying to enter the minds of people to see what goes on in their heads. INFJs tend to be very caring so knowing about the reasons why people do certain things can allow them to show more empathy and understanding towards individuals. An overwhelming majority of psychologists, counselors and psychotherapists are a part of the INFJ personality type. INTELLECTUAL CONVERSATION Intellectual conversations make INFJs feel very motivated, happy and fulfilled. They love to get deep and speak with curious and intellectual people. Often they discuss topics such as religion, psychology, philosophy and subjects that people tend to avoid or feel uncomfortable speaking about. INFJs love to ask a lot of questions in search of answers and to gain a better understanding of how others perceive the world. BEING ALONE IN NATURE Nature is often associated with peace and serenity, a place to be away from the busy life. INFJs especially love to be alone in nature as they take it as time to recharge their mental batteries. The striking beauty of nature’s scenery helps calm their highly engaged, busy minds as it helps them focus on the truth and beauty of this world.

RAW, INTIMATE CONVERSATION One of the most exciting things to do for an INFJ is to engage in raw, intimate conversation with people regardless of their relationship. They love to hear about


other people’s experiences on a deep level to the point where they begin to undergo the same feelings that


the person has experienced. Deep, intimate conversations are pathways for the INFJ to go on a journey of


understanding people on a very meaningful level. INFJs

opinions and will

love honesty and authenticity; they want to be able to hear the person’s ideas, fears, weaknesses, successes, failures and joys of life as well as sharing their own through deep conversation.



for their

INFJs. They love to try new approaches to things, form


Innovation and creativity are usually characteristics of

They like to enjoy learning about people’s behaviors and

new ideas and express their ideas through a variety of mediums such as art, music and writing. Self-Care The “Advocate” must remember to take care of themselves as they can carry the weight of a lot of emotions from trying to help others. They can become stressed, unhealthy and exhausted if they do not have their alone time to recharge. Other factors that can lead to this are


when dealing with criticism and conflicts because of

INFJs love to spend time interacting with people and

their constant avoidance of confrontation. When these

listening to music, but also admire moments of silence.

circumstances become hard to avoid, they can handle

These periods of silence and decreased sensory activity

the situation in irrational and unhelpful ways. INFJs

can enhance their intuition by causing their sixth-sense

are the best suited for creating a movement to make a

to work with more clarity and strength. INFJs often de-

wrong into a right because of their stubbornness and

velop their best ideas and deepest moments of success

strong moral values. Although they put a lot of time

or wonder when in solitude, away from people and in

and energy into taking care of the world, they must

the still darkness of the night.

take care of themselves too.

ADVENTURE After discussing INFJs’ enjoyment in silence and solitude, one might think that they enjoy staying huddled in a dark corner away from society. On the other hand, they need






Brenden Vanover

The ancient philosophy that provides advice about viewing our modern world and how one may achieve happiness.


hat is Stoicism? You may have

according to famed English lexicographer Henry

heard the word Stoicism, its root,

Watson Fuller means, “a statement which repeats an

Stoic, or maybe even you’ve taken

idea, using near-synonymous morphemes, words or

a philosophy 101 class and had a

phrases” or “saying the same thing twice”. Anyway,

whole quarter semester on the

for us to fully understand the term we should break

Stoics. Whatever the case, this article will give you

down the definition. Philosophy is the “pursuit of

a quick refresher on the meaning and philosophy of

wisdom.” The Stoics were “members of a school of

Stoicism. According to Merriam-Webster, Stoicism

philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium around 300

is, “the philosophy of the Stoics.” Real helpful, right?

B.C. holding that the wise man should be free from

This definition borders on being a tautology, which

passion, unmoved by joy or grief and submissive to


writers, speakers and academics the world around.

natural law.” But who was Zeno of Citium, where

This is due to their ability to understand strive for

does the term Stoic come from, and how does one use

the best in themselves, understand events as they

Stoicism to find peace in our modern world?

are, and not rely on the instability of emotion. While

Born into a Phoenician family in Citium or Kition,

that’s all fine and dandy, how does one get on their

Cyprus, Zeno of Citium is best known as being the

level? Is there a book or a manual or something? Or

founding father of the Hellenistic philosophy of

better yet a CliffsNotes version? The answer is first,

Stoicism. According to historians, Zeno’s journey

yes, and then no. Many books have been written on

to becoming the founding father of one of the most

the subject of Stoicism and how to attain inner peace

practiced Hellenistic schools of philosophy began

and happiness. To be blunt, google it and you’ll find

with a misfortunate voyage between Phoenicia,

them. As for the CliffsNotes version, the Stoics would

eastern coasts of the Mediterranian, and Piraeus, a

say you must work for what you wish to achieve. This

suburb of Athens. During Zeno’s voyage, due to some

idea has been used quite a bit in our modern world.

terrible event, his ship and all of its cargo sank and

For example, Nike’s famous slogan “Just do it” or in

miraculously ended up in Athens, though penniless.

the infamous words of one of America’s greatest pop

After some time, it is said that Zeno visited a bookstore

princesses, Britney Spears, in her song “Work Bitch!”

and he began reading and fervently studying the belonging to the school of Cynicism. Confident in his studies, Zeno began teaching in one of the most famous sites in ancient Athens, the Stoa Poikile. Translated in English as the Painted Porch, the porch or Stoa is actually where we get the term “Stoicism.” At first, his pupils were known as Zenonians however changed to Stoics later on. The Stoics are chiefly known for teaching that “virtue is the only good” for human beings, and that external desires like health, wealth and pleasure are not good or bad in themselves but they will not achieve true happiness. While others have added to the general ideas of Stoicism, the core message remains. But that begs the question, how is it to be achieved? Zeno’s answer was simple, “peace of mind...comes from living a life of virtue in accordance with reason and nature.” Zeno divided his teachings into three parts following the ideas of the Old Academy or the ideas of Plato. The three parts are logic, physics and ethics. Logic is a broad subject which includes rhetoric, grammar and various theories of perception and thought. Physics, which had a broader meaning than it does today, is not just science, but trying to understand the divine nature of the universe. Arguably, the most important part is ethics, in which the end goal is to achieve what the Greeks called eudaimonia, or as it is often translated as happiness. However, according to American philosophical psychologist, Daniel N. Robinson, a better translation would be, “human flourishing or prosperity” or “blessedness”. Eudaimonia is achieved by living the right way, according to Nature. Some of the best-known practitioners of Stoicism were of Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. While each has fascinating backstories, each is radically different and one thing is historically clear — each followed the practices of Stoicism. Through this ancient course of study, many have succeeded and are still widely accounted as some of the best leaders,

If you don’t have much time to read a whole book

or if find Britney a little too abrasive, we have some suggestions for various Stoic practices you may consider trying on your own. These suggestions come from the website 1. Practice Misfortune - “Emotions like anxiety

The Stoics

and fear have their roots in uncertainty and rarely

would say

themselves knows how much energy both states

you must

in experience. Anyone who has made a big bet on can consume. The solution is to do something about that ignorance. Make yourself familiar with the things, the worst-case scenarios, that you’re afraid

work for

of. Practice what you fear, whether a simulation in

what you

always reversible or transient.”


your mind or in real life. The downside is almost 2 . Remember—It’s All Ephemeral (temporary)

wish to

- “Remember how small you are. For that matter,

philosophy of Socrates and later Crates, a philosopher

remember how small most everything is. Remember that achievements can be ephemeral, and that your possession of them is for just an instant. If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics.” 3. Memento Mori - Before YOLO (You only live once) took hold in modern speech, the Stoics used this phrase. “Translated into English as, “Remember you must die.” The point of this reminder isn’t to be morbid or promote fear, but to inspire, motivate and clarify. The idea has been central to art, philosophy, literature, architecture, and more throughout history.” 4. Amor Fati - Chris Erzfeld said it best Amor Fati is “the idea that whatever happens to you in life, good or bad, is meant for you to bear. No matter how colossal the tragedy, it holds a valuable lesson from which you grow. And instead of focusing on all the negative parts of your experience, you instead choose to widen your horizons; you start looking for the door that flung open, supplying you with more options to choose from so that you train yourself to see opportunities instead of obstacles.”


Salzburg, Austria

First Place



Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui


he Center for International Service and Programs (CISP) holds a yearly photography contest for Cleveland State University students who

have studied abroad or who have come from abroad to this university. This contest’s eighth year offers a look at students’ experiences in various countries, from Austria to Ecuador, and even some images from the United States taken by international students. The CISP hopes to encourage students of all majors to consider studying abroad — they offer various study, work and volunteer options to students, no matter their major! The Center offers drop-in advising hours for anyone interested in more information about Education Abroad. These drop-in hours are Monday through Friday from 1pm to 3pm in BH 411. Here are this year’s six winners! For more information, contact CISP Phone: 216-687-3910 Email:


Amy Voresik Study Abroad Returnee

Second Place Mohamed Almotawah International Student

Yellowstone National Park

Quito, Ecuador

Third Place Shauna Cox Study Abroad Returnee


This contest's eighth year offers a look at students' experiences

in various countries...

Fourth Place Taylor Wallace Study Abroad Returnee

South Korea


Niagara Falls

Honorable Mention Pavithran Pattiam Giriprakash International Student

Honorable Mention Yuxiang Tian International Student Chicago, USA






Megan Baranuk

Max Torres

Filters across social media may seem fun at first, but are leading to a new form of mental illness: Snapchat dysmorphia. Platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram seem to promote unachievable beauty standards as the abundance of cosmetic surgery filters grow, and begin to explore how to curb the negative effects.

s of late, scrolling on Instagram has become a bombardment of insecurity, brought on by beauty filters that alter the user’s facial structures completely. Filters such as “Holy Natu-

ral” seem to be the norm in selfies that leave friends unrecognizable with huge lips, freckles, a tiny nose and big, sultry eyes. The culprit of this toxic fad is not a person, but an AI technology called augmented filters. These filters distort reality, giving off new, futuristic alterations to the world depicted through the camera lens. A new class of these filters mimic cosmetic surgery, completely changing what makes the user’s face unique, leaving a barely recognizable version of said user. These filters vary, from changing skin to be completely smooth, adding freckles/ makeup to extreme cosmetic surgery effects. These types of filters have become commonplace across the Instagram surface, and are multiplying at an alarmingly fast rate. Filters can definitely be entertaining, but there is a fine line between entertain-


As the onslaught of selfies continue to populate a user’s feed, the perception of achievable beauty continues to shift.

ment and breeding grounds for insecurity and lower self-esteem/self-image. Instagram has announced that it will be pulling cosmetic surgery filters, but the change has yet to take place for many extreme augmented reality filters. However, these filters are




not the only proponents of unrealistic standards of beauty. Popular apps such as Facetune allow users to edit and reshape or form their faces and/or bodies. This type of manipulation has become typical, even expected. The rise of these filters began with Snapchat, with the first face altering filter to rise to fame: the dog filter. This filter slightly changed the natural makeup of the face by making it smoother, elongating it and adding a snout and ears. This subtle change to the structure of the average face was the first of its kind to reach a viral status of fame among filters. Snapchat continued to carry the trend of face altering filters, paving the way for Instagram to follow suit. Beginning with Snapchat’s filters, selfies became very common to see posted on various forms of social media. While selfies seem to be a sign of self-confidence — it may mean the opposite. When people post heavily filtered or edited selfies, it usually is a sign that they may not be completely confident in themselves, and feel that it is necessary to post a selfie that does not match reality. The augmented reality filters that have appeared on Instagram and Snapchat may have become a gateway to self-hatred, and an entirely new way to critique one’s own appearance. The augmented reality filters have taken the world by storm. The extreme plastic surgery mimicking filters are available to anyone on Instagram, including pre-adolescent girls and boys. Being constantly exposed to these can heavily affect self-perception, as well as the perception of beauty as a whole. Adolescents have developed a distorted mental image 21 | VINDICATOR

of what beauty should look like as a result, and the ideal often does not exist in real life. Expectations for generational beauty have only become more and more unattainable through the years, focusing on a new version of imperfection each year. An entirely new type of dysmorphia has emerged, focused on selfies. According to, body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which a person can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that an individual with body dysmorphic disorder “can’t control their negative thoughts and don’t believe people who tell them that they look fine. Their thoughts may cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws.” This definition can encompass the dysmorphia many adolescents experience in the wake of edited selfies and unrealistic standards. This is a very real disorder and should be taken seriously. Dysmorphia such as this affects not only mental well being, but physical as well, as people begin to attempt changing themselves in order to achieve what they feel is perfection and beauty. This can spiral into anorexia and bulimia, binging and purging, self-harm and other extremely serious conditions.



Even raw, unedited selfies alone appear unflattering,

mentioned that these filters and edits have become

making the user’s feature seem more disproportionate

the norm and they have altered people’s perception

than they actually are. The number of people taking

of beauty worldwide. These perceptions have not only

selfies has skyrocketed in recent years. Reports from

been affected widely but also deeply. Perceptions about

WebMD have shown that the 200 million users of

beauty have become extremely displaced as younger

Google Photos had posted 24 billion selfies to the

generations confuse ideas about what is achievable in

app. The “selfie” hashtag has 355 million posts. In

their own lives, and the lives of others. These filters

an annual survey, plastic surgeons reported that 55

have promoted an unhealthy and impossible expec-

percent of their patients said their main reason for

tation within adolescents’ minds. Social media has

getting surgery was to make themselves look better in

shown the world that something so seemingly trivial

selfies. This generation has been exposed to their own

(such as a selfie or post) can turn into a slippery slope,

likeness many more times than the average person

cascading into full-blown disorders. Eating disorders

ever has in years past. The selfie trend does not help,

often develop when a person is insecure about their

as the comparisons are constant.

own self-image, and a constant barrage of filtered

On the opposite end of the spectrum, filtered selfies

and edited photos only magnify insecurities within

are an unrealistic standard, with proportions that are

our own bodies.

seldom seen naturally, an extreme cosmetic shift from

According to the 2018 survey by the American

the raw image. This selfie dysmorphia can quickly

Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

turn to body dysmorphia, as the self-disparaging

(AAFPRS), the average number of surgical procedures

judgment and loathing can grow from selfies to full

has increased by 47 percent since 2013. USA reports

body hatred. The Journal of the American Medical As-

show that more individuals request surgery guided

sociation (JAMA) reported that people go to surgeons

by the interpretation of their selfies. They also report

requesting fuller lips, bigger eyes and thinner noses.

that people are no longer using mirrors. They take

In a recent JAMA editorial, Selfies-Living in the Era

selfies at unnatural angles and fixate on superficial

of Filtered Photography, authors Susruthi Rajanala,

flaws not seen in selfies. Their perception of beauty

B.A. Mayra Maymone, M.D., DS Neelam A. Vashi, MD,

and of themselves has been severely affected by not


only constant comparison, but also by the ability to

any other generation. After the over analyzation of

create unrealistic versions of their face that seems

physical appearance that we are subject to on a daily

somehow achievable, even though there may not be

basis, Snapchat dysmorphia is a very real disorder

an anomaly to their face to begin with.

that can develop extremely easily.

Even as a 20-year-old college student, seeing my

Selfies that have become commonplace in a society

face transform so profoundly with a singular filter

that has become complacent in media consumption.

left me insecure as I watched the camera snap back

Not much thought goes into what is being posted,

to my “normal” face, making me wish my face was

shared or used through media. In the case of selfies,

different. The filters used focus on a traditionally

using these filters have ramifications that are lasting

European standard of beauty, with a thin nose, big

on the mental health of a generation of online users.

eyes and skinny face adjusted to fit everyone’s face

Filtered and edited selfies may be apparent to a sea-

shape. This is problematic for many reasons, especially

soned social media expert, but to many adolescents

young children of color who do not see their respective

online, the perfected faces may seem achievable,

“beauty” filters. I know that I definitely feel pressure to look like a perfected version of myself, and many others may be able to relate to this. Oftentimes, I or people my age will compare themselves to other people online. The filters only add to the pressure for perfection, because now an individual standard for perfection has become existent. These insecurities have become a daily battle, as social media is ripe with unrealistic beauty standards, edits, and filters. Unfortunately, these have become expected. This trend is reminiscent of the campaigns and advertisements that often feature heavily photoshopped and edited images of already attractive models. This affected many people in causing body dysmorphia, insecurity, and low self-esteem and confidence. The tide has shifted, as regular people today are comparing themselves not only to these photoshopped models, but also to an unattainable version of themselves. Just as models compare themselves to their magazine finished photoshop, the average person begins to compare their current selves to this extremely photoshopped version of themselves. This is not healthy in any way, and the distorted images people see have effects on mental health and confidence. Just as this has a detrimental effect with any regular person, this is magnified tenfold in developing girls, especially in the age of adolescence and puberty, a central period of time in which integral thoughts and ideas begin to form about beauty, values and other idealization. The constant exposure to filters promotes an unrealistic and almost nonexistent beauty ideal that can wreak


even natural. As the onslaught of selfies continues to populate a user’s feed, the perception of achievable beauty continues to shift. Selfies unfiltered themselves appear unflattering, making a user’s feature seem more disproportionate than they actually are. This can only add to the dys-

In an age

morphia that teens encounter today. Selfies in this

that focuses heavily on empowerment, media literacy

context can represent two opposite ends: unfiltered selfies are not a reality because of the disproportions as a result of being so close to the camera, and filtered images are unrealistic because of the cosmetic alterations that are impossible to reach without unnaturally induced change. This is a very dangerous game to get into, and Selfie dysmorphia can quickly turn into body dysmorphia, as the self-disparaging judgment and loathing can grow from selfies to full body hatred. Instagram has faced the problems with these filters

must be

and mental health by proposing a ban on the filters that may encourage plastic surgery. Instagram’s filter

taught to

developer company states that it wants to make filters a positive experience. It is important to note that not

adolescents at a young age.


cultures represented in these “ideal” and “perfecting”

all augmented reality filters are removed from the app, just the more extreme ones. Instagram has begun to place a heavier emphasis on its relation to mental health, and encourages users to report content that violates the guidelines pertaining to this. Seeing as the platform has been implicated as a factor for negative self-image insecurity in young girls who spend extensive time on the app, removing these filters is a smart move for keeping a positive brand image. In an age that focuses heavily on empowerment,

damage in outward beauty perceptions held by the

media literacy must be taught to adolescents at a

younger generation. This new strain of dysmorphia has

young age. Media literacy educates users on media,

been dubbed “Snapchat dysmorphia” and is affecting

teaching users how to analyze and evaluate what is

numerous users every year. In fact, surgeons have even

presented to them across different forms of media.

seen a considerable rise in patients showing a filtered

Learning about not only the unrealism of most edits

picture and requesting to look like the distorted face

and filters, but also messages across media as a whole

displayed. People who seek this extreme treatment

will lead to a stronger generation.

for their own insecurities need not plastic surgery, but psychiatric help. The importance that society places on the perfection of unachievable beauty standards is unmatched throughout history, as people today are exposed to their digital likeness more often than




Nguyet Vo

The rapid rise of Korean skincare in the west are seen in widely known stores such as Ulta, Sephora, CVS, etc. From all the sheet masks and serums in the 10-step skincare, what is so appealing about K-skincare?


ou’ve probably heard of Korean beauty and


skincare. If not, then you might know of

Follow your oil cleanse with a gentle water-based

some products from places like Sephora.

cleanser. A good product to use is something like the

Perhaps you even use them. What is Korean beauty? Simply put, they’re beauty products that

KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser. It’s

originate from Korea. These products are usually created with the typical Korean beauty standards in mind. This could be the “glass skin” in K-beauty terms. This just means that your skin is clear and glowing, like glass. The products and routine are designed to work long-term. Korean skincare routines are shown to be fully customizable. These characteristics are being implemented into western beauty standards and regimens. Following the customization of skincare routines, the 10-step Korean skincare routine has become a trend in recent years. Contrary to the name, the routine doesn’t necessarily have to be 10-steps long. It can be a simple 5-step or a more extensive 15-step! This article will go over the 10 basic steps with an example product that should work for all skin types. If you’re interested, doing more research on products that fit your specific skin type is always great! Here is how the 10-step routine usually goes: 1. DOUBLE CLEANSE PART ONE, OIL CLEANSER Use an oil-based cleanser to remove any residue like makeup, oil, SPF, etc. Despite the name, oil cleansers do not make the skin oily, so oily to combination skin types can use these too. There are two types of oil cleansers: cleansing balms and cleansing oils. A good cleansing balm is the Banila Co Clean It Zero (which is the OG of cleansing balms) and a good cleansing oil is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. 25 | VINDICATOR

non-stripping and is great for all skin types. A cheaper alternative is the COSRX Low pH Good Morning gel cleanser. 3. EXFOLIATOR This doesn’t need to be done every day, and it is also optional, but it all depends on your skin’s needs. It’s usually recommended to use a chemical exfoliator, like the KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-YAHA or the Pixi Glow Tonic. If you prefer physical exfoliators, then the Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling is a great product. It comes in lemon, green tea and wine. 4. TONER Using a toner balances pH levels and could add more hydration. The Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is a good starting product. It has a scented version with essential oils and an unscented version for those with sensitive skin. For a cheaper alternative, the Etude House SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner is very soothing and hydrating. 5. ESSENCE Essence is optional, but it’s basically an extra boost of hydration. This is a good step to add for those with dry skin. A product that has been gaining a cult following is the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence.

6. FACE OILS, SERUMS, AMPOULES These target specific issues you may want to address, such as acne scars, anti-aging/wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dryness, etc. This is the most personalized part of the routine, so recommending specific products is difficult. A good and affordable brand that has also been gaining a cult following is







The Ordinary. They’re not Korean skincare, but they have a large line of different serums and facial oils. A Korean brand with good serums is COSRX, which are a little more pricey, but still is relatively affordable. 7. MASKS This doesn’t need to be done every day. It could be sheet masks or hydrating masks. Korean skincare doesn’t usually have clay masks or anything that would make the skin feel tight. A popular brand of sheet masks is TONYMOLY. For those with drier skin, a sleeping mask like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is recommended. 8. EYE CREAM It’s recommended that eye cream shouldn’t be used until the age of 20-21. But if you want to target dark circles, then there are eye creams for it. One good eye cream is the Innisfree brand. They come in green tea and orchid. 9. MOISTURIZER Moisturizer seals in all the products. All skin types should be using moisturizer catered to their skin type. If you have dry skin, you may want to use a heavier moisturizer like a cream moisturizer to get that extra hydration. For oily to combination skin, using an oil-free and gel moisturizer is a must. 10.


Sun damage is very easy to get. Even if it’s getting colder and darker as winter approaches, you should always use SPF every time you go out. Certain sunscreens can also protect your skin against air pollution. A product for all skin types is the KraveBeauty The Beet Shield.


All skin types should be using moisturizer catered to their skin type.

Not all of these products may work for you. This is because every individual’s skin is different. Like stated before, doing more research on what products may work for you is something to look into. Some combinations of products could irritate your skin. It’s always advisable to try a new product on a small part of your face to see what reaction it may cause on your skin. Having a skincare routine means constantly experimenting and having some fails and successes with your skin. It’s nice to think about having clear



skin, but just doing a skincare routine is a fun way to begin and end your day.




kay — so let me start by saying that

The next thing you need are patches, and studs, and

I have been into punk rock music and

optionally, needle and thread. I say the last items are

fashion since the 1990s, and as a young

optional because you can always save the few extra

teenager back then, I used to get teased

dollars and just use the studs to put the patches on your

and harassed for dressing the way that I did. There-

vest. I personally prefer to sew my patches on first,

fore, the irony that “punk couture” is sold at upscale

but I did the example with studs only to save money

boutiques for hundreds of dollars and sported by hip

and time. Patches cost anywhere from $1-5 depending

hop moguls and famous movie stars is not lost on

on where you get them from; places that sell patches

me. That being said, punk culture is a part of who I

include concert venues (bands themselves sell them or

am, so it’s no surprise that thirty years later, I still

sometimes give them away at their merch tables), local

dress this way. So, if you’re gonna dress like a punk,

record stores like My Mind’s Eye, D.I.Y. artist websites

you might as well do it the right way. See, punk rock

like Etsy, punk rock websites like Angry, Young and

is more than just fast music, three chords, mohawk

Poor or even Amazon. I would recommend trying any

haircuts and leather jackets; it’s an attitude — an

and all previous options listed before turning to Am-

ethos that embraces doing things for and by yourself

azon. For starters, Amazon will charge you more, you

and putting your mark on whatever that happens to

won’t have as much of a variety and shopping small

be. In this case, I’m going to show you how to do just

supports local businesses and D.I.Y. artists just like

Katie Wallace

that by guiding you through the steps of how to make

you. If we say we need three patches, two small and

a punk rock vest yourself, and how to do it on a budget

one large one for the back of the vest, and we price


you can afford: under $30.

them at $3 for the small ones and $5 for the big one,


Stefany Belasic

we have $11 for patches. Pyramid or cone studs can be STEP 1: WHAT YOU NEED

purchased from a craft store such as JoAnn Fabrics,

First things first, you need a vest. I got mine as a hand

and they cost about $7 for a bag of 100. Thread and

me down from an old friend, so mine was free. For the

needles can optionally also be purchased from the

sake of this article, I shopped around, and you can find

craft store for about $2-3, total.

decent ones at local thrift stores ranging from $4-$12. To stay on point, we’ll go with the average price and say a good used one will cost you $8.



VE ST: $ 8 !

STEP 2: LAYOUT For this step, you have to play around a little bit to see what looks best where. Lay your patches in different spots and see what you want to do. You can always use safety pins to pin them in place if you’re nervous about it, but I never do that; it’s easier to just jump right in. STEP 3: PUTTING IT TOGETHER Once you figure out your placement, either sew your patches on, or use the studs to pierce through the material to adhere them to the denim. For this


S : $1


example, I did the latter. I do this by hand, using a butter knife. It may not be glamorous, but it gets the job done and it spares my fingers the agony of trying to bend tiny metal prongs. Once your patches are in place, use your remaining studs to fill up the negative space surrounding the patches. Repeat this step for all patches until you’re satisfied with how it looks. Please note that this process is very time consuming, especially doing it by hand. If you put some rockin’ tunes on and get to work, you’ll soon have a one of a kind piece that is all yours. People will constantly ask you about your vest; where did you get it, and the like, and you can smile and tell them that you made it yourself. And for under $30 at that! Or even resale it for more. BUDGET RECAP Vest: $8 Patches: $11 Studs: $7



$7 !

Needle and Thread $3 Total Cost: $29








Imani Stephens

The essence of beauty and how fashion brings us all together


few weeks ago, there was an event held in

During the Networkin’ Hour event, a plethora of

Detroit for those who attended the Forbes

music generated. Throwbacks from DJ Sky Sketta

30 under 30 Summit. If not familiar with

graced everyone’s earwaves. The DJ played music

the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit, it is a

ranging from Beyonce’s version of “Before I Let You

weekend-long adventure filled with some of the great-

Go” to Fast Life Yungstaz’s “Swag Surf,” the clas-

est artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc. of our time.

sic anthem. Another highlight of the night were the

After the conference on Tuesday there was an after

free products that were given out to attendees. Free

event called Networkin’ Hour. It was held in highlight

products were given by the infamous Black-owned

of a jam-packed weekend which took a load off the

cosmetic business the Lipbar, Mielle and another hair

business culture that surrounded the Forbes-thrown

care line, which were a great add on to the event. In

event. More than just networking, the importance of

the midst of all the fun, I could not help but notice

this event was shown through the different types of

the different types of fashion at this event. It blew my

looks the crowd sported. These looks varied from skirts

mind to sit there and watch. There was such a vari-

with tennis shoes to suits to trench coats with gigantic

ety of platforms expressing talent in this one room.

hats. Essence Magazine Assistant Fashion Editor, Nandi

Clothing is a form of expression, and one of the most

Howard hosted this event. Howard wasn’t alone in throwing this event

significant reasons these types of events exist is to get

as she partnered with (For)

are different from you, but are chasing the same goal.

you to surround yourself with groups of people who

bes the Culture, a group that

Fashion does this by allowing people to look differ-

represents the people of color

ent, but lets you know they are all trying to achieve

who are changing the world.

the same thing, which is being the best they can be.

The desired reason is to help

I saw that in this room full of almost 100 people

bridge the gap of the community

everyone was grooving and building relationships. I

for those who are Forbes fellows,

was sitting eating my dinner, I saw the classic trench

those attending the summit or just

coat combination with the infamous Chelsea boots

for Detroit residents to come enjoy

we like to call a classic staple in professional men’s

themselves. The summit was held to

attire. This gigantic wide-brimmed fedora graced past

recognize over 600 leaders under 30

my ear lobes as this person was squeezing their way

years of age making a difference across

through the crowd, making him easily noticeable as

multiple industries. After the Summit

soon as he stepped into the room. Making his way

held by Forbes, in attendance of the

through the side by side tables of people, the man

Networkin’ Hour were current college

began speaking to someone with the brightest colored

undergraduates, graduates and more.

jean jacket I have seen — a very bright lime green.


These two obvious experts in fashion engaged in an interaction that was so naturally captivating due to their talk about business ventures and upcoming plans. Their conversation intrigued me so much I began to eavesdrop. I could hear one of them speaking of going to Paris Fashion Week and collaborating from their current locations of residence. These two people who stay on two sides of the world came to Detroit and bonded over one thing — fashion. Paris Fashion Week is similar to the iconic New York Fashion Week, and is a hub for upcoming designers, high-end brands and famous superstars alike. Their collaboration on such a project showcases how important it is for people of color to come in numbers into these spaces and thrive. It’s no secret that fashion brings various cultures of people together. If you’re the friend that wears Adidas jogging pants to every function, you still like to hang out with your friend that always has on a turtleneck and dress pants. This is how life goes. Fashion makes a statement by telling the world who you are; it even says this is what I like, so accept me as I am. When you see a coworker, classmate or friend looking nice, a positive reaction about them is triggered in you. In the Black community, this can often lead to a never-ending “I’m trying to get like you” contest. This is why events like the Networkin’ Hour are so important, because they allow for these moments to thrive more often than not in a sea full of people.

Fashion makes a statement by telling the world who you are it even says this is what I like so accept me as I am.



Ending the stigma.


Sophia Pierce


What is Ban the Box?


A box by nature is limiting — everyone under-

“Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?”

stands this and wants to gain freedom. There is

and “Have you ever been suspended or expelled

even the common colloquialism individuals say

from a school?” are questions that are often on

when brainstorming: “Think outside the box.”

applications, and they serve no means of safety.

Well, for a growing portion of the population, box-

The questions further stigmatize and discriminate

es have become symbols of stigma and continual

against people with previous legal records. If the

punishment. Ban the Box is the fight to get rid of

true goal of the American Legal System is to cre-

the “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal of-

ate a safe and flourishing society for all, then we

fense?” question from applications. The campaign

should not continue to punish individuals based on

slogan, unfortunately, has become a familiar term

decisions of the past.

and gained national recognition amongst policy-

Sheer numbers alone show that the United States

makers, criminal justice educators and communi-

has an incredibly unjust legal system. America holds

ty activists and organizers alike. More commonly,

roughly five percent of the worlds’ human population

the term and campaign are used to rid the question

and 25 percent of the worlds’ prison population.

from employment applications. In our cause, we

With nearly 6.6 million people in prison, jail or on

the Cleveland State University chapter of the Ohio

some form of community control, it is safe to say

Student Association are pushing for the removal of

that our current state of mass incarceration has

the box from the student application at CSU.

become a social disaster and crisis.


There are factors have led to this point of becoming

I write this article with the firsthand experience

an “Incarceration Nation” such as the perpetually

of what works and what does not work. When I was

failing “War on Drugs,” harsher mandatory sen-

young, I was impressionable. I didn’t know how to

tences and a lack of re-entry care that continue to

channel my emotions and energy, and I was caught

over-criminalize, traumatize and perpetuates the very

up in a self-destructive lifestyle. I spent five years in

cycles that land people in the machine to begin with.

prison, and while I was there, I was able to refocus

We know this money-making machine does nothing

my life. I was able to connect back with my passions

to break the cycle and creates lifelong consequences

for artistry, my love for education and an under-

— often rooted in classism and racism. We want to

standing of myself and my situation. I came home

halt these collateral consequences by banning the

with 30 college credits, a 3.8 GPA, public speaking

box from CSU’s undergraduate application.

and classroom facilitation experience on my resume,

We feel that having the box on the application for

leadership training and a genuine heart to help those

Cleveland State is discriminatory and hinders people

to get out of the same struggles I have gone through.

from wanting and being able to attain their educa-

When I applied to Cleveland State, I had to write a

tional and life goals. We as a student organization are

paper as to why I feel worthy of becoming a student

demanding that the university take both questions off

at CSU. This process put me in a precarious situation

of their application to prevent such marginalization.

where my plans for success were now in question.

Universities represent the growth and expansion

How can I move forward in life if I can’t even get

is education, community and platforms for reading people to advance society. There is a world of information on the process of rehabilitation and deterrence from acts we deem unfit for society, but, in short, what is proven to help is healing and education. Wherever that process may start, we want security in knowing that Cleveland State fully lives up to their motto of acceptance and diversity and is committed to providing an education to all those who want it. There have been many universities throughout the country that have banned the box, and in 2018, the state of Washington passed The Fair Chance to Education Act, which prohibits all state universities, colleges and community colleges from inquiring about any legal proceedings on the application. Not having the question on the application has shown no greater risk of violence on campuses and poses no threat to the students, faculty or progress and culture of the institution. What not having the box does do is give the opportunity for those who may have had a checkered past to move on from that on an even keel just as any student would. Furthermore, it gives people who have been incarcerated, under

my degree? Thankfully I got into the college, but I am not an exception! I am only an example of how healing, education and providing an opportunity can open an outlet for someone to live a prosperous

We... are

life. What we are asking here is for hopeful students


to not be judged by what they have done in the past but who they are today. By banning the box, we as a public institution are declaring that if you are

that the

committed to your education, we will accept you.


The Ohio Student Association Although the name connotes a student organiza-

take both

tion, OSA reaches beyond the campus and into the community. We have chapters in Columbus, Day-


ton, Cincinnati, Akron and Cleveland. The Cleveland chapter is mostly comprised of non-students

off the

but any and everyone with a passion for social jus-

of thoughts and actions. What universities provide


tice and community organizing is welcome. The Cleveland chapter off-campus is currently working with the Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail and meets every Monday night from 6:00-8:00 pm at The Khnemu Foundation Lighthouse at 966 East 105th Street in Cleveland’s Glenville Neighborhood.

court supervision or have otherwise have a firsthand perspective of the American Legal System, the tools they need to be able to have an impact on both the policy of the law and the culture of the land. If the goal is to create a better society, end poverty and prevent crime then we need to include those who have been through it. Often times those in the American Legal System are also apart of populations that have been historically disenfranchised; this includes minorities and people of lower economic stature. Cleveland has the highest incarceration rate in the state of Ohio and still has many neighborhoods suffering from an economic starvation — one way to encourage people to avoid the lure of the street life is to let them know they are included.






Amanda Light


How to stop the erasure and traumatization of black girls.


back to education itself, it was never designed for African American children.” She described how “we could be punished or killed when

ushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in

we were enslaved if we were caught reading, and then they

School” passes the microphone directly to

had the reconstruction period where Black people had to

the Black girls excluded from national con-

design our own schools, and then all the way through Jim

versations surrounding the school to prison

Crow when everything was done to keep us from being

pipeline. The documentary links the grow-


ing number of Black girls in the juvenile system to their

Carolyn Strong, Dean of students in a Chicago High

overrepresentation in every level of school discipline —

School, agreed that people of color are trying to operate

suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement,

within systems that were not created for them, and there

restraints, corporal punishment and arrests.

is a cultural disconnect between the person writing the

“Pushout” weaves together the first-person narratives

referral and the recipient. Essentially, African American

of Black girls across the country with experts in the fields

children are being punished for simply being who they are.

of social justice, gender equality and educational equity to

“One of the things we’ve had to get away from in the

re-examine the viral depictions of Black girls in the media.

discipline office is referral comes, it’s almost like a ma-

The screening of “Pushout,” by Dr. Monique W. Morris,

chine,” Strong said. “Referral comes in, hammer comes

based on her book of the same name, made its debut in

down, kid gets punished, kid gets pushed out the door,

Cleveland at the East Cleveland Public Library Greg L. Reese

down to detention or home or wherever else the little

Performing Arts Center. The screening was presented in

book of punishment says were supposed to send them.”

collaboration by Dr. Tanisha L. Knighton and Dr. Tyffani

Strong credits her school system with being proactive to

M. Dent of Knighton Consulting Group and Monford Dent

the 2015 intervention laws in the state of Illinois that have

comes in,


added additional steps administrators must take before

Knighton Consulting Group provides training and

suspending a child out of school. Interventions include


consultation services to improve childhood outcomes,

meeting with the child, calling the parents or involving a

primarily aimed towards mental health and academic

counselor or social worker. Johnson applauded the Chicago


professionals, biological and foster parents and students.

Public Schools teachers strike in their demand for a nurse

Monford Dent Consulting is headed by Dent, a licensed

and a social worker in every school every day as the kind of

psychologist and author, who serves on several boards

institutional change that can help children stay in school.


across the country to address the issues of mental health, sexual violence and human trafficking.

kid gets

The second panel focused on solutions and interventions needed to help Black girls face disparities in school.

In attendance of the sold-out viewing were the members

A question from the audience: “Why do young girls think

of Lady Bound, a local nonprofit organization that mentors

it’s ok to act out?,” sparked strong responses from the pan-

girls in grades 6-12 with three active chapters in Euclid Park

elists. Teresa Stafford, chief advocacy officer of Cleveland

School, Brush High School and Collinwood High School.

Rape Crisis Center, recounted her own experiences during

kid gets

The founder of Lady Bound, Tequila Pennington-Calwise,

her teenage years and how she was ignored by a series of

is an Essence award-winning educator who founded the

institutions that were supposed to protect her as a child.

pushed out

organization in 2006 to help girls build leadership skills


the door…

Visit for photos from the screening and panel discussion.

in middle and high school.

“My acting out was my trauma, and nobody from parents to police to detentions officers to counselors to the

“I’ve been pouring into Lady Bound that we’re better than

juvenile judge, the probation officer, nobody ever asked

our experiences, and if we can expose ourselves to more

me how could a major orgs student who was straight A’s

experiences, we can be greater in life,” Pennington-Cal-

be behaving in a manner in which she was behaving,”

wise said. “One of the reasons why we’re here and one of

Stafford said. “I think one of the things we need to get

the reasons why I take them to so many different places

away from is, when we see people acting out, we need to

is because without the exposure of life they are only going

ask why. We need to understand that nobody wakes up

to see that small piece of life they’re permitted to see.”

and just wants to be a damn fool.”

25 of the 50 members of Lady Bound were in attendance

Stafford continued to that it is the way institutions re-

for the screening with Mrs. Pennington-Calwise and Ha-

spond to Black girls that leads to their victimization, not

leigha Fields, a member of Lady Bound, both serving on

that they act out more than their white peers.

panels following the screening. The two panel discussions

“I sit around these treatment team tables with some

brought together community leaders in the government,

of my colleagues that’s here, and we can hear a list of one

education, law and health sectors to discuss systemic is-

girl, who’s African American, about the things that she’s

sues facing Black girls and the interventions and solutions

engaging in, and a white young girl who’s engaging in the

needed to address these disparities. The first forum focused

same behavior,” Stafford said. “The way the professionals

on the institutions, whether intentional or not, that push

at the table talk about the two, it’s horrific. One is a ma-

out girls from school systems at a rate three times higher

nipulator, where one is just surviving. One is fast, while

than their white peers.

the other one has a trauma response.” At an institutional

Meryl Johnston, the education chairperson of the NAACP Cleveland branch, opened by saying, “When you look

level we need to understand the biases we carry and project onto young people, she said. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 34


‫زابخلا نسحملادبع ةبيط‬

‫‪.‬ةياهن الو ٌعاق هل سيل ٍلبج ِةفاح يف حايرلا ِتامسن ىلع ُصقارتت ‪ً،‬ةعشم يحور تناك و‬ ‫‪.‬رظتنملا روعشلا اذهل هثبشتم و ‪،‬ةداعسلل ةدعتسم ةدماص تنُك‬ ‫يحور ٌغارف ‪.‬يتاذلا ريكفتلا نم ًةليوط يل تدب ٍتاسلج دعب يتاظحالم ُعجرتسا تنك‬ ‫‪.‬يعاد يأ نودب ةليوط ةاناعم‬ ‫؟يفكت ةيدسجلا ضارمألا تسيلوأ ‪،‬ةيحورلا ضارمألا نم ناسنألا يناعي اذامل ٍسمهب ُتلءاست‬ ‫يدي طوطخ نيب للختي اهجالع ٍةلكشم نم يناعأ‬ ‫ألملا َنوعَّدي صاخشأ نيب ‪ٍ،‬لاع ٍتوصب لءاستا‬ ‫‪.‬يردص عولض نيب يتبرُغ تداز و يمدق ُةمارص تَّلق ‪،‬تلءاست املك‬ ‫‪.‬يديب يرظن ُبجحأ يننأ ُتظحال ‪،‬يعو نودب‬ ‫‪.‬يهجو ىلع ءابغلا تامالع ترهظف‬ ‫انأ ُتنُك امك انأ تدع و يعاجوا تصلقت و‬



Healing Do you ever just sit and think about all of the things you can be grateful for? You can never count all of them but you truly appreciate the ones that you can remember. You have come so far, you don’t spend your days buried in tears anymore. Now look at you, you have emerged from the darkness and entered the light of happiness like the remains of a warm fire with its glowing ember. You can start to feel yourself again, your passions become stronger again. No more thinking you are never good enough. You no longer worry, everything you do is with grace and compassion. No more self doubts and bad assumptions. Today is the day you have learned that the only thing holding you back was yourself. And now you have learned to finally—

Let go


Maria Ahmad


Ya Dig?

by Bridgette Lewis

Fear is prominent in Becca’s eyes even if she hides it behind her blonde curls. We drive down an indistinct dirt path in the middle of Magnolia Forest, my car narrowly avoiding grating against the thick bark of the trees. “The search for…regrettably…come…end.” I can’t hear her name on the radio. It’s mostly static. Becca reaches forward to turn it off, and we continue driving as darkness and silence compete to swallow us whole. “I’m glad you came,” I tell her. When she doesn’t respond, I look over and see her headphones plugged in her ears. Maybe the silence is only gnawing at one of us. I slow the car to a stop, tuck my afro in a bun, pop the trunk, and get out. The air chills my very essence; visible breath blending in with the heavy fog blanketing the world around me and cloaking my feet. The trunk is cool in my hand as I pry it completely open exposing the shovel within. Just before I take hold of the handle, her hand clasps around my wrist. “We shouldn’t be doing this,” She says. “Why are we even here? If you have a tip, call the police. This isn’t for us to deal with.” I grab the shovel anyway. “You heard the news,” I say. “They’re giving up.” “How could you hear anything through all the static? And you didn’t know this girl,” She tells me. “What makes you think you can find her if the cops can’t?” “She’s here,” I plead. “Can’t you feel it?” We stare at each other without a clue as to how we should continue the conversation, then I shut the trunk. I can’t go back. Not now. Not when I feel so close. I take the shovel with me, venturing deeper into the darkness across the line where the moon’s beams don’t go. I turn around and ask, “You comin?” Reluctantly, Becca catches up and she too becomes lost in darkness. The other side of the forest is colder than the rest of the world. The temperature drops with each step I take. “We should go back,” Becca says. Then, I hear it. A soft but powerful voice calling for help. Just the sound of it physically hits me; taking out my knees and bringing tears to my eyes. It’s like a song carrying hundreds of years of agony bulldozing over me all at once. But it’s muffled. I can only imagine the anguish of fully hearing it; understanding it.



“What’s wrong, Harriet?” Becca asks. Even her fair skin has lost the battle with this darkness. “Can’t you hear her?” I ask. “All that pain and hurt? She’s here, and she’s suffering!” For a moment, she says nothing. Then, she says, “I don’t hear anything. Are you sure you’re okay?” I move my hands along the forest floor. Still having a hard time returning to my feet, I start crawling keeping an ear close to the ground listening for the source of the most painful song ever to touch my soul. When I press my ear to the dirt, it gets louder. “She’s in the ground!” I yell. I take the shovel and jam it into the earth repeatedly. I work nonstop moving the layers of land between us. “Why are you just standing there?! Listen to the song! Help me dig!” Becca, unable to mask the pity, says, “Harriet, there’s nothing down there.” I dig and dig, and keep digging until I’m waist-deep in the earth. All the while she stands timorously watching. The calls for help swell hastily, threatening to burst my eardrums. “Can you hear her now?!” I ask. “Will you help me? Please, Becca! I need you to believe me!” Gently, she responds, “No one’s here.” I ditch the shovel and use my hands to move the earth. The moist soil cakes itself under my nails as I dig deeper. It’s the only thing between me and the emancipation of the song beneath. The cries for help are deafening now. I use one hand to cover an ear as the other continues scratching away. I keep digging. Pawing at anything and everything in my way. Pulling roots from their homes as they rip through the skin on my palms. My body aches, my ears bleed, the salt from my tears sting my face, and the smell of dirt and rot surrounds me, but I can’t stop. I’m running on a feverish adrenaline. “Tell me you can hear her! Tell me you’ll help!” I scream. Again, she leaves me to dig alone creating more space between us. Then, as if by mistake, a little piece of the moon’s light cuts through the night. When I look up, I see dozens of dark-skinned women surrounding our grave; tears streaming down their faces. “You can hear her,” I say.


“Yes,” says a tall, dreadlocked woman. “We all do.” She jumps into the hole and starts digging. Then another, and another, and more still. All helping me scrape at the earth as Unscathed Becca watches us go farther and farther into the ground. Dig, dig, dig, dig, dig. We will unleash this pain. The song will be heard.



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