Vindicator Cleveland State Universityâ€™s Arts and Culture Magazine
CLEVELAND SMALL BUSINESS
GIVING THANKS TO LOCAL BANDS PAGE 9
VETERANS AT CLEVELAND STATE PAGE 19
ABUSE & SPORTS PAGE 15
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what’s in this issue? 3
Check Us Out Online
Letter from the Editor
Meet Our Contributors
GET DOWN-TOWN TO BUSINESS
BY DARLENE NICHOLE MOORMAN 7
Film School of the Future by THYRA CHANEY
Giving Thanks to Your Local Bands
by TABITHA TIMMS 11
Daniel Sloss & Staying Single 13
by JOSCELYN ERVIN
My Amazing Experience Studying Abroad by IMANI STEPHENS
Sexual Misconduct in Sports by GREG ELEK
Do Not Conform by RENEE BETTERSON
BEAUTY + WELLNESS 31
Plus Size in Beauty by BRENDA CASTAÑEDA YUPANQUI
Stress Less, No Mess by SHANNAH BYRNES
BY LIV WILSON 35
Choose Kind in the Classroom by JILLIAN VANDYKE
POETRY SOCIAL 37
Finally, I Can Work in Peace
by V 44
Smart Healthcare Saves by DOROTHY ZHAO
He Spoke by TYISHA BLADE
by KIMBERLY STEELE 39
Fight for Your Right by INDYA POWELL
Girls on Tops by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC
Check out our World Kindness Day poster on page 35!
THEVINDI.COM | 2
CHECK US OUT ONLINE
“I see a lot of growth. I see myself as still in this learning/adapting phase, although I am sure that will never completely leave. I see this studio space growing and providing services, products and education that the community wants and needs.” — SARA SYED
Podcasts for Your Mental Health “In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, here are podcasts surrounding the topic that you should give a listen to!” Walk Away, Do it for the Children. “Domestic violence is not only a domestic hardship, but a trickle–down effect that is damaging to every individual involved,
#VindiAsks: How important is shopping local to you?
most importantly the children.”
10% NOT AT ALL
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER
63% VERY IMPORTANT
stay up-to-date with all things Vindi on Instagram 3 | VINDICATOR
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
NOVEMBER 11/9 Workshop
Attend a two–hour workshop to perfect your poetry skills with Kisha Nicole Foster, a Cleveland Arts Prize Nominee and poet who has represented Cleveland at multiple poetry competitions around the country. Bring 10–15 of your best poems and receive feedback on your work.
11/13 Cursive Concert @ the Grog Shop
Catch post–hardcore band, Cursive, at the Grog Shop for some melodies you can scream along with. Having just released their first album in six years, Vitriola, the band is back touring and ready to share this anxiety–rich, yet cathartic album.
8:30PM, 2785 EUCLID HEIGHTS BLVD, $15
10:30AM, 325 SUPERIOR AVE, FREE
11/17 Causing a Catastrophe Benefit
Don’t miss the last night to show off your knowledge of the beloved comedy, the Office. Get one or more of your Office–obsessed friends and play for the chance to win a $25 gift card to Mad Mac’s. 8:30PM, 13601 DETROIT AVE, FREE FOR 21+
11/24 Flea Market
Help save some homeless cats by grooving out to two rock and roll bands, the Public Squares and Scoliosis Jones at the Winchester Music Tavern. All money raised from the tickets will be donated to the Waterloo Alley Cat Project, which aims to reduce the suffering of feral cats in the Waterloo business district. 8PM, 12112 MADISON AVE, $8–$10
Shop local at the last Westside Flea of the year and support some of the small businesses throughout Cleveland. 9AM, 30106 LORAIN RD
THEVINDI.COM | 4
gency is something we can often take
returning writer Darlene Nichole Moorman and new
for granted. Writing that sentence out
photographer Antonio DeJesus. Another returning
makes it hard to believe, since free-will
writer, Thyra Chaney, shared her coverage on the
seems implicit and part of our nature. This
newly opened film school on campus; Culture Editor
reflection came to mind after learning that one of my
Renee Betterson wrote a striking piece on the theory
own friends refused to vote in this year’s elections,
of social proof. Contributing writer Kimberly Steele
because of their “personal beliefs.” To me this is still
informed us about the important new ordinance
baffling: the idea that one can choose inaction over
affecting the LGBTPQA+ community and shared her
action. And I believe that this comes from the dismissal
own experience in the workplace. Jillian VanDyke
of agency as something earned, more often than not,
wrote about the importance of being kind, especially
by those who are privileged. I hope that you, reader,
in the classroom.
exercised your right to vote—not only for yourself but for those without this specific form of agency.
As a publication, the Vindicator’s genesis was truly a struggle for agency by the Black student population on
Before you begin reading this month’s issue, I would
CSU’s campus. I cannot stress enough the importance
like to welcome our new Multimedia Manager Greg
of continuing this mission and using our privilege to
Elek, who has proudly written for every issue of the
afford marginalized students and communities a voice
magazine since he started at CSU. He filmed some
and a platform to exercise their agency.
amazing content for our cover story featuring some of the city’s small businesses, working closely with
BRENDA CASTAÑEDA YUPANQUI
5 | VINDICATOR
Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart
CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Editor–in–Chief
Tyisha Blade Managing Editor
Andriana Akrap Art Director
Alexia Carcelli Asst. Art Director
Greg Elek Multimedia Manager
Michella Dilworth Online Content Editor
Alana Whelan Arts Editor
Renee Betterson Culture Editor
Imani Stephens Beauty/Junior Editor
Dorothy Zhao Social/Junior Editor
Grace Roberson Copy Editor
WRITERS Thyra Chaney Joscelyn Ervin Tabitha Timms Imani Stephens Greg Elek Renee Betterson Liv Wilson
JUNIOR DESIGNERS Darlene Nichole Moorman Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Shannah Byrnes Jillian VanDyke Kimberly Steele Dorothy Zhao
Michella Dilworth Gia Paulovich Jillian VanDyke
Austin DiLorenzo Anna Oprisch
ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Antonio DeJesus Zavier McLean
POETS Tyisha Blade
Indya R. Powell
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
FILM SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE As changes are being made in the film industry as a whole, CSUâ€™s new School of Film and Media Arts prepares students for the new frontier. 27 | VINDICATOR
Thyra Chaney ILLUSTRATION BY
with other students. The requirement for all first
n October 11th of this year, the Cleveland State University School of Film and
year film students to take Intro to Screen Acting
Media Arts was dedicated as the first
comes as a shock to many, but an understanding of
standalone film school in Ohio. The
performance, as illuminated by Lahey, is crucial to
room was abuzz with press, presidents,
directing, writing, cinematography, and editing. The
and tremendous potential energy. Frederick Lahey,
fact that this course is required in the first semester
the director of the FMA program, described the high
is no accident. Students in this course learn to make
ceilings of the school, located on the sixth floor of the
themselves vulnerable in front of their peers. “That’s
Idea Building at Playhouse square, as being “filled
how you make friendships and create bonds that can
with aspiration and goodwill.” In all the excitement
then last students through the four years of their
surrounding the new film school, one wonders what
education,“ Lahey explained.
a film school of the future should look like in a time
“Collaboration is by far the most important aspect
of rapid growth and change in the film industry. One
of film, period,” Najada Davis, senior and president
must look no further than the new Cleveland State
of the 7 th Art Film Club, asserted. “If you cannot work with people in this field, you might as well
University School of Film and Media Arts. In a time when social media and technology allow
stay home.” Collaboration is encouraged within
for calls to action challenging unjust practices in
the film school in a number of ways, ranging from
television and film, consideration for diversity is
innovative database technology, which allows students
important, both in front of and behind the camera.
to select cast and crew objectively and without bias,
film aspirants are able to build community and learn collaborative skills, acts as a microcosm for the industry as a whole. In the new film program, matters of diversity and inclusion “are of paramount importance,” according to Lahey. “W hen we’re developing the next generation of filmmakers, gender and diversity have to be major considerations.” Lahey and the other people working behind the scenes of the new program understand that inclusion is an important ingredient when it comes to creating compelling stories. Diversity in film is not so much a social issue as it is a business issue, in that the absence of diverse voices in the creation of film and television results in content lacking dimension, which is less likely to draw in audiences. Lahey stresses the importance of storytelling, describing filmmakers as “storytellers in service to the audience.” He also notes the importance of collaboration in the creation of stories that are honest and compelling. “We can only serve the audience if first we can create some collaboration
to incentivizing collaboration with other students through a virtual economy. Because this program was created with consideration for meaningful and
Diversity is important,
productive collaboration, there are many opportunities for students to take advantage of the fact that they are members of a community with a widely shared goal: the creation of films. Lahey was driven to bring this program to Cleveland by the possibility of “creating an institution that
has democratic access to the means of expression, because that’s where the new and interesting stories
front of the
are coming from, and that’s what we need to tap
understanding that comprehensive knowledge of the
Film school, in its capacity as a place where young
into.” Students in the program are equipped with the history of film and the dominant structures of the industry allow for the greatest possible manipulation of these structures in pursuit of new and innovative techniques. As tax incentives draw larger productions to the area, development of a symbiotic relationship— in which productions can expect to work with welltrained students when filming in Cleveland and students can expect to work on high level productions
and get other viewpoints and create something that’s
when studying film in Cleveland—is inevitable. As
of interest and that can communicate to everyone.”
the burgeoning Cleveland film industry becomes a
“We have to pave the way for a better way to do
contender in the industry as a whole, these well-
things—one that recognizes inclusiveness is not
educated, highly trained, forward-thinking students
built into the system. Inclusiveness is external to
can serve as an answer to the recent call for an overhaul
the system as it currently exists,” said Dr. Evan
of the existing historically prohibitive structures of
Lieberman. “We have to make sure, no matter what
film and television production. “I definitely think
we’re teaching, to be aware of that.” The new film
there’s no reason why Cleveland can’t be a booming
program promises not to shy away from innovative
film industry,” Carmen Callahan, a transfer student
and forward thinking approaches to film education.
in the CSU FMA program, said. “I believe in myself,
Students in the program can expect a well–rounded
I believe in the stories that I have to tell.” Callahan
curriculum with training in all aspects of visual
continues: “It’s just the willingness to put in the work,
storytelling. Where some film programs focus on
and I think that’s what I bring to the table and my
technical training or analytical approach to film,
confidence that I have talent and I have something to
the CSU FMA program ensures that all students are
say, and so I think we just need more people that are
given opportunities to learn everything necessary to
confident in themselves and confident in Cleveland
work in film, from writing, to acting, to collaborating
being a place for that.” THEVINDI.COM | 8
GIVE THANKS TO YOUR LOCAL BANDS
Tabitha Timms PHOTOS BY
Andrew Wells, Alexa Eyler, & Cassie Blotzer
ll of your favorite bands or artists had
the style we were writing in,” she said.
to start off somewhere. Whether it’s in
The band spent months “lumped in with folksy/
Cleveland or somewhere like Chicago, they
bluesy acts,” Hawks explains. It wasn’t until the
put in the work to end up where they are
now and it’s not an easy thing to achieve.
Cleveland/Columbus booking company, Bravo Artist, gave the band the opportunity to play with bands and styles that they felt best represented.
The Sonder Bombs
TSB’s record, “MODERN FEM ALE ROCKSTAR,”
Take our own Cleveland based band, The Sonder
exudes a bouncy and fun energy. “Steve Perrino &
Bombs, for example. They spend a fun “exhausting
Maddie Finn were our producers/engineer for ‘MODERN
and exciting” time on the road, playing venues like
FEMALE ROCKSTAR,’” said Hawks. “They were able
their hometown favorite, the cozy and intimate
to see so clearly what we wanted, really helped.”
Mahall’s 20 Lanes, in Lakewood. The band is currently taking the alternative music scene by storm as they have signed with independent
The Sonder Bombs (left page),
XXI Hours Along the roster of hard work ing local bands is
record label, Take This To Heart Records but it hasn’t
Cleveland’s XXI Hours, this pop-rock trio will make
been easy getting to where they are now.
your ears happy if you catch them playing at one of
Although the local “do-it-yourself” scene had
their favorite venues—Mahall’s 20 Lanes’ locker room.
been supportive of them, getting into the Cleveland
They like it because it has an “intimate nature” and
music scene had been a strenuous task. “Being taken
makes the band feel like they’re playing “with a room
seriously as a ukulele-based band was challenging,”
full of people as opposed to for them.”
said vocalist, Willow Hawks, who plays ukulele. “I’ve
The guys have a very diverse sound and each
and Elbow Room (right page
always felt the songs as punk, emo, whatever but we
member has a different musical background. Their
didn’t have the full band at the time to really actualize
influences can range from 30 Seconds To Mars to
XXI Hours (right page top),
9 | VINDICATOR
R&B, All Time Low, Panic! At The Disco, and even Jungle and Stevie Wonder. Despite differences in what inspires their sound, their music will “always reflect our personal growth,” a member of XXI Hours said, “both as individuals and as a unit.” The band is also unsigned, meaning they work extra hard to put out original content from their own studio within their apartment. Although this is difficult to manage, it produces a sense of “creative freedom” for them. “We’re an ‘independent’ band in just about every sense of the word,” a member of XXI Hours said, “We’ve always done all of our writing, recording, producing, mixing, mastering, and releasing ourselves.” This hard work has not gone unnoticed. The band recently played shows with pop-punk bands, Makeout and Punchline, which “just means more people experiencing” their music and has only helped their
When it comes to touring the band has been blessed
fan base grow. “We’re forever grateful for the online
with minimal issues. “I do want to recall one time
following we have, and the traction that shows add “We hope people find something for themselves inside of the music we make.” XXI Hours said, “We want people to feel what we felt when we wrote these songs and go on that journey with us.” Elbow Room Another band within the Cleveland alternative music scene that showcases a strong work ethic is pop-punk band Elbow Room. You can catch the band playing at their favorite venues, Mahall’s and The Foundry, both located in Lakewood. “He always gives us a lot of feedback and helps us grow as musicians,” said Scott Drazdik, drummer, regarding Leo, The Foundry’s sound guy. When it comes to Mahall’s, Drazdik said it’s always a blast just because of the atmosphere. When it comes to playing shows, ER does some light traveling when they can. They have also shared the same stage with bands such as, The Spill Canvas, Punchline and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
when we were on the road in Pennsylvania and the
PA system literally blew up while we were playing,” said Spencer Fetcko, guitar and vocalist. “Like, you could smell it—microphones were out the whole set
Being in a band, is
and the power issues were causing guitar amps to turn off and on while we were playing.” As for ER’s music, the band released two EP’s, “Constant Mistake” and “Skyrocket,” within a year of one another, but being unsigned and enduring
several lineup changes doesn’t make this task difficult
for them. “We pushed ourselves to new levels as songwriters and the whole writing process of ‘Constant
Mistake’ felt natural with these guys,” said Fetcko.
years, as Drazdik said.
to that,” a member of XXI Hours said.
The trio have been extremely active these past few When it comes to the production of “Constant Mistake,” ER had a little help getting it to the high quality that it is. “The EP was produced by Spencer and I, and mixed by Seth Henderson, who is most well-known for his work on Knuckle Puck, Real Friends, and Sleep On It records, as well as so many other great bands,” said Drazdik. “Seth really helped finish bringing these songs to life, and he fit us into a tight schedule. I also want to give the credit that is due to John Naclerio for mastering these songs and putting the last touch on these.” Being in a band is difficult for many different reasons, from fitting into a daily schedule between school or just finding other dedicated members with musical chemistry, not to mention the strain it puts on their financial situations. Despite this, ER is very passionate and continues to put out great music. Be sure to check out their newly released EP, “Constant Mistake,” which embodies catchy punk melodies that you won’t be able to forget.
THEVINDI.COM | 10
DANIEL STAYING SINGLE
SLOS S WRITTEN BY
Daniel Sloss, a comedian with a grievance against relationships, is great at saying what so many young people need to hear.
how ridiculous certain subjects are and attempting to correct ideas about these topics. On Netflix, Sloss has
love finding new comedians. It’s always worthwhile
a collection of two of his most recent shows— “Dark”
to discover someone who discusses and makes
jokes about topics that have been relevant in my
In his first special, “Dark,” he talks mostly about
life. Most of my favorite comedians and comedy
his opinions on religion and the death of his younger
specials came to me while I was on the hunt for new
sister. Sloss doesn’t lead with a discussion about death,
jokes and content on Netflix, or as recommendations
and because “Dark” is his first special, it’s shocking
from friends and family. The hilarity and comedy styles
when he gets to the punchline and the conclusion of
of Bo Burnham, John Mulaney, and a few others are
his story. It’s clear during this special that the topics
difficult to find with the vast work of popular comedians,
won’t get any easier to swallow. Although still funny,
and others who just aren’t that great. Without my
this is not the content that ultimately stands out.
determination to discover more great comedians who
“Jigsaw,” however, focuses on his hatred of veganism
have Netflix specials, I wouldn’t have stumbled across
and a discussion of societal expectations with romantic
this raunchy Scotsman who tells it like it is.
relationships. Veganism holds most of the attention
Daniel Sloss looks like any other basic, straight,
11 | VINDICATOR
Similar to Burnham, Sloss focuses on topics that are relatable to a younger generation, while emphasizing
throughout the show, but from the delivery and
white, male comedian, and he pretty much fits that
execution of the jigsaw metaphor and emphasis on
definition. But for some reason his specials stand
relationships near the end, it feels like this message
out to me more than most. Usually when I attempt
was Sloss’ real goal. In fact, at the beginning of his
to latch on to another comedian, I watch about 15 to
discussion about toxic and abusive relationships,
20 minutes of one or more of their shows, and if it
he reveals that his manipulative ex was a vegan.
doesn’t stick right away, I don’t force it. Sloss is one of
Even while he was making jokes about one topic, he
those rare picks that stuck pretty quick. His humor is
connected it to his main idea about being in a serious
dark and raw, the topics he chooses to address aren’t
relationship while you’re young. The second portion
stereotypical, and his honesty and energy remind
of “Jigsaw”—when Sloss gets real about dating and
me of one of my favorite comedians, Bo Burnham.
relationships—is the interesting part, and his purpose
this special, I noticed a few major points that Sloss focuses on and why this particular comedy routine interests me so much. “Dark” was okay. The topics felt dominated by his personal story of loss—which was just a huge build-up to a twisted joke. It felt like Sloss was dehumanizing his experience and exploiting pain and death, even though it might not feel the same for him. His sense of humor is pretty dark (hence the title), so it made me laugh quite a bit more than most generic comedians, but the second one resonated with me because of one particular thing that he said. During his bit about relationships and dating, he explained that society has taught us that in order to be happy, in order to feel whole and complete, we have to be in a relationship. We have to find “the one.” Sloss totally trashes this idea and gives a lengthy explanation of why. He claims that in order to find someone who loves you completely, you have to love yourself first. Since so much, from the media to criticism from friends and family, repetitively tells us to rush into a relationship, we’re raised thinking that this is healthy and “normal.”
right after graduation, it reminds me of when Sloss says, “You have to learn to love yourself before you can expect someone else to.” This is exactly why more
teens and young adults need to watch “Jigsaw”—to remind themselves that it’s okay to be alone for a while.
I learned this the hard way at the end of last year,
cope with. After dealing with all the typical emotions,
when I went through a break-up that was difficult to I realized that it was all for the better. Without going through that break–up, and learning to be alone
afterwards, I wouldn’t have experienced all of the
friends that I have now, if I were still dating the same
pulling someone else into our mess.
topic suddenly popped up again, I felt kind of relieved
for the whole show. While watching and rewatching
— DANIEL SLOSS
things I did later on—and I doubt I would made the person. We all need to figure ourselves out before As I was watching this comedy special, and this and relaxed—like I had been waiting for someone to acknowledge this perspective. Nobody talks about the people who feel better being alone, or the people who don’t think they would ever feel satisfied settling down and starting a family. In fact, whenever I talk about it with friends and family, I usually get one of
I have run into this idea quite a bit within the past
two responses: “You’ll change your mind when you
year or so. Even just recently, I started coming across
get older” or “You just have to find the
a term that I’ve never heard before this year, “cuffing
right person.” That might be true,
season”—which basically means during the the end
but we need to acknowledge
of the year when perpetually single or promiscuous
how irrational it is to dive
people find themselves wanting to be in a serious
into a life-long relationship
relationship because of the holiday season. I also
in your teens or twenties.
came across this subject during a conversation at
Sloss perfectly describes
dinner with my family, when I mentioned that I didn’t
and explains everything
want to get married or have kids. My little brother
that I’ve been thinking
responded with, “You’re going to have a sad, lonely
about and struggling
life, then.” This shook me a little—not in the sense
w it h regarding
that it bothered me as in “Oh my God, I think he’s
relationships for a
right,” but more like, “It’s sad that he thinks I need
while now. I think I
another person to make myself happy.” Of course, during the actual conversation I tried to explain
just needed to hear it out loud.
exactly that, but I don’t think he really believed me. I’ve seen this opinion pop up more than a few times with my family. Whether it came from my parents, siblings, or cousins, they usually have the same thing to say about my dating choices. This societal expectation about relationships is scary—and it feels particularly relevant to teens and PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES
young adults, who are the main demographic for media and films that glamorize romance. I know more than a few people—some I’ve known a while and others not—who have been in a relationship for longer than they’ve been considered an adult. This is baffling and terrifying to me. When I see long-term relationships like these, or when I hear that another couple from high school is getting married
THEVINDI.COM | 12
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE 13 | VINDICATOR
NOVEMBER 2018 WRITTEN & PHOTOS BY
How the Gilman Scholarship helped me fund my dream.
he first steps to growth are allowing yourself to do things you have never done before and expanding your horizons. Mark Twain, legendary author of “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer,” once said,
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” After having the opportunity to study abroad, I now know what this means. This summer, I got to experience one of the greatest journeys of my life by going to Italy. Staying there for over a month from the end of June to the beginning of August, I can personally say I was changed all for the better. Dreaming Big Since International Study Education Week (IEW) is from November 12th to November 16th, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about my Gilman Scholarship and my adventures while studying abroad. IEW is a collaboration from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to help further the progress for all to travel and study abroad. I thought this was the best time to share my personal experience on how I funded my trip abroad, how it changed my life, and how everyone should seize the opportunity to try it. Since my sophomore year at Cleveland State, I wanted to study abroad. I spent a year planning and applying myself to find ways to fund my trip. I was afraid to go out of the country at first, and kept telling myself that I was not ready. However, I was even more terrified of the cost, and if making such an expensive decision was worth the risk. Yet on the inside I yearned to know what else was out there and wanted to have a chance to explore the world, and I could not let that go. Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, I was able to fund my first study abroad trip, otherwise I would not have been able to actualize
that I would get the scholarship, tears filled my eyes. At that moment, I was in shock that I was going to have the best experience of my life, something I could never afford on my own. Most importantly, I felt like they chose me because they related to my story. The way I wrote about my grandmother and our situation, I could feel myself opening up and believed they wanted to make a difference in my life. Now just three months later, I sit back to reflect on the fact that without the Gilman, I would not have been able to see Michelangelo’s “David” or swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Honestly, if you would have asked me two years ago if I would ever spend a month in Italy, I would have told you that was impossible. Taking Flight St udy i ng abroad ha s sh i f te d my p er sp e c t ive tremendously; it opened my eyes to much of what the world has to offer. I felt the first initial change of who I was before I even left the country. It began when I boarded the first flight I’ve taken in my life. After a mini panic attack I sat down and squeezed my eyes so hard until we finally were cruising through the air. Exhilarated but frightened, I refused to look out the window, missing my very first experience of moving through the air at 30,000 feet. I am a first-generation college student who never thought it was possible to go across the country, let alone study abroad. In my travels, I studied Italian art and took a documentary class where I got to film art all over Italy. Some of these places include Florence, Rome, and Naples. It was the most exhilarating experience of my life. From incredible architecture to ancient sculptures, suddenly the things I’d only experienced through movies and books were right in front of me. Seeing Italy come to life and experiencing its beauty firsthand was a game-changer. In of these courses, I learned to appreciate the beauty of what came before and the creators of what we call art. That being said, studying abroad is important for many people, especially first-generation college students and those who are minorities. Sometimes we can be so confined to what we know and limit ourselves from the gigantic world that awaits us. I
my dream of traveling to Europe.
met so many different people and came back with
The Gilman Scholarship
The Gilman Scholarship program, according to their website, is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate
Center for International
students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding
Services and Programs
at a two-year or four-year college or university to
Berkman Hall Suite 412
participate in study and intern abroad programs
worldwide. I wrote an essay discussing the reasons
that I felt study abroad would help me grow and my
friends from all over the world that I still see on my It i s possible for st udent s, no mat ter what background they hold, to study abroad. I always say do not think about the cost; find a place that you love and that will be the most beneficial for you educationally. Once you have your dream locked in then find a way to pay for it, because it can happen to you—it happened to me.
dreams of becoming a magazine editor. I felt that the The Gilman Scholarship
Gilman Scholarship and my advisors were supportive
of me from the very beginning. When I got the news THEVINDI.COM | 14
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN FOOTBALL CA
JAMEIS WINST ON
Greg Elek GRAPHIC BY
A look at the sad reality of abusers playing for our sports teams.
n September 9 , 2018, the Pittsburgh th
While in college, Jameis Winston was constantly compared to Pittsburgh Steelers superstar quarterback, Ben Rothlessburg. Both are bigger for their position, are quarterbacks, can be mobile when necessary, and
Steelers faced off against the Tampa Bay
have cannon arms. One comparison that I didn’t see
Buccaneers on one of the biggest stages
thrown around very often was how both have been
in the NFL—Monday night football.
accused of rape. Both of these men are still playing in
It was a great game for prime time;
the NFL today. If you’d think that these men are the
the Steelers got out to an early lead, and things
only two in the NFL with checkered pasts involving
looked like they were over at halftime, that is, until
sexual misconduct, abuse, or murder (yes, murder),
journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (or as
then you’d be dead wrong. I’d list all of the names
some deemed him with his stellar play early this
in this article, but we’d be here all day, and that’s
season, Ryan Fitzmagic) nearly lead the Bucs back,
just for the NFL.
scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
The “Me Too” movement at its height was able
Unfortunately for Fitzmagic and the rest of Tampa
to bring dow n some of entertainment’s biggest
Bay, this wasn’t enough, and Pittsburgh won the
powerhouses. Guys like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K.,
Kevin Spacey, and Bill O’Reilly were all taken out. Keep in mind these aren’t some low level shmucks
A Rookie on the Field?
in entertainment, these are all very powerful figures
What’s even more impressive about Fitzmagic’s near
who could get projects made at the drop of a dime.
comeback is that he isn’t even the starting quarterback,
The reason athletes haven’t been affected by this is
he’s number two on the team’s depth chart. So why
a little more complex.
was he playing? Well, because the Buccaneers starting
15 | VINDICATOR
quarterback, Jameis Winston, groped an Uber driver
Me Too: Tackling Sexual Misconduct
back in 2016; Winston himself admitted to this and
One huge reason for this is the geography of sports—
apologized. This isn’t Winston’s first run-in with
especially when it comes to the NFL. For example,
sexual misconduct—when he attended Florida State
just take a look at the North Division of the American
University, fellow student, Erica Kinsman, accused
Football Conference (AFC North). There are the
him of rape and filed charges. These charges would
Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore
be settled out of court after Winston was already in
Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals. If you’re a fan of the
the NFL and under a contract worth over $30 million.
Cleveland Browns, you probably know most, if not all,
of the players on the team; even the benchwarmers.
value in the draft. It’ll allow an early round talent to
That’s a lot of players, 53 to be exact. Even if you’re
be taken in later rounds—like when the Cleveland
a fan of the Browns, and see all of these AFC North
Browns drafted defensive lineman Caleb Brantley.
teams twice a year, there’s no way in hell you know
Two weeks before the NFL draft 6’2, 307-pound
best receivers, best defensive players, and some other stand-out players here and there, but most casual fans can’t name the third string linebacker for their rival team. This is how so many professional athletes with misconduct charges can fly under the radar. A player that may seem like a celebrity in Seattle could easily be a nobody in New England. The reason t he “Me Too” movement was so impactful was because it was a huge eye-opener; suddenly the curtain was raised on a lot of people that we’ve idolized, and all of their secret lives were exposed to us all at once. That rarely happens in sports. When general managers are looking into players, there are extreme vetting processes. They’ll talk to people that had no real relationships with the players. They’ll often talk to students that had classes with them, owners of local bars and restaurants, students that lived in the same dorms, local Uber drivers, and anyone else that might be able to give them honest insight into the player’s character. Colleges do this too while recruiting high school players (just to a lesser extent—the colleges aren’t risking millions of dollars on them).
Brantley was accused of punching a 5’6, 120-pound woman at a bar. This allowed the Browns to get him in the sixth round of the draft. Brantley currently plays for the Washington Redskins. In the draft, that
I’d list all of
exact same year, the Cincinnati Bengals were able
second round of the draft. Lucky catch? Not exactly;
to land superstar running back Joe Mixon in the the a video surfaced of Joe Mixon knocking a woman out.
in this article, but we’d be here all day, and
Where To Go From Here The sad truth is that there will always be abusive people in power. Things have gotten better recently, but there’s too much money involved for massive change. We can do everything possible as people to bring change; whether it’s movements on social media, boycotts, or marches. We shouldn’t idolize
celebrities—we don’t know them, and they aren’t
all 53 players. You definitely know their quarterbacks,
for the NFL.
heroes. We should also be aware and educated when it comes to who we’re giving our money to, but don’t get mad at the factory worker from Tampa that makes $45,000 a year, and likes watching the Buccaneers on Sunday as an escape. Get mad at the system and the people in power who are more concerned with money than they are human decency.
When general managers discover that a player has been accused of sexual misconduct, it doesn’t get them banned from the league, it just lessens their THEVINDI.COM | 16
CONFORM WRITTEN BY
Renee Betterson ILLUSTRATION BY
When staying “woke” does more harm than good—what marketing strategies and hotel towels can teach us about influence and social change.
27 | VINDICATOR
ave you ever wondered why publishing
social proof), theft nearly tripled. Visitors changed
companies go to the trouble of putting
their behavior to match what “many” others were
those little foil stickers on the front
doing, even when that behavior was the opposite of
cover of a new book? You know, the ones
the message being conveyed—“please don’t take the
that say “New York Times Bestseller,” or
wood.” This famous study is undeniable evidence of
“Over 10 million copies sold!” Well, it isn’t just because
the power of negative social proof. What this means
they’re obsessed with foil stickers. Those labels are
is that even our most noble efforts to raise awareness
an example of a marketing strategy called “social
may have the unintended effect of normalizing the
proof,” that revolves around the ideas of influence
very behavior we meant to protest. There have even
and conformity. When we are unsure of what to do
been studies which show that anti-littering posters
(or buy) in a particular situation, we look to see what
and bullying campaigns are only effective when they
others are doing. In other words, the behavior of those
don’t point to rising rates. Those that do, are often
around us—our peers, neighbors, and friends—sets
counterproductive, encouraging more people to act
the standard for how each person behaves. Together,
like “everyone else.”
all of those actions combine to form the social norms of what is acceptable; the common denominator, so
The Big Question
to speak. Whether we realize it or not, these “norms”
All of this raises an important question: in the age
go on to inform both our personal standards, and the
of “wokeness,” does staying informed about current
expectations that others have for us.
events actually hurt us in the end? We millennials pride
There is a famous experiment that demonstrates
encourage its guests to reduce waste by reusing their bath towels. Before experimenting, researchers divided several rooms into three groups each with different signs. While all of the signs had the same information about the campaign, the wording varied slightly from one group to another. In the first set of rooms, researchers instructed hotel management to place signs that simply asked guests to, “Please help us in our effort to reduce waste by reusing your towels.” In the next set of rooms, the signs added the claim that a majority of guests who’d previously stayed in that hotel reused their towels. The signs in the final set of rooms claimed the participation of a majority of guests who’d previously stayed in that particular room. Towels, and Forests, and Orwell, Oh My! The results prove that, when presented with the choices of others, people seek to match their behavior
about everything—does bad news perpetuate the cycle of creating more bad news? Well, the numbers seem to suggest that the answer to all of these questions is yes. Headlines that warn about increases in mass
...we are more likely to conform to the behavior of people whom we perceive most like us...
the power of positive social proof. In this experiment, a hotel began a new environmental campaign to
ourselves on keeping up to date and being in the loop
shootings across the country, detailing the rising suicide rates, or the growing opioid crisis all send the same, unintentional message: this is the new normal. Of course, we can’t just stop talking about the issues. We might refuse to hear bad news, or even petition to stop reporting on them. Imagine a world where news agencies only shared positive stories to encourage positive social proof; censored media designed to encourage the best in all of us. That sounds less like a utopia of goodwill and more like something taken right out of an Orwellian novel. Knowledge, information, and awareness are crucial to independent thought and are the beginnings of social change. After all, when injustices occur, we can’t resolve the problem if we have no idea what’s going on around us. How then, can we find the perfect balance that will
with that of the crowd. It also brings to light another
allow us to stay informed about what is happening
important aspect of social proof: we are more likely to
in the world around us, without being sold (pun
conform to the behavior of people whom we perceive
intended) on bad decisions? I’m not sure there is one,
as most like us (in this case, the guests who had
perfect answer. If influence and persuasion occur on a
stayed in the same room). However, there is another
subconscious level, perhaps they can be regulated by a
side of social proof. Just as we can be swayed by the
conscious dedication to our convictions. Understanding
crowd to help protect the environment, we can also
how much social proof influences our perceptions
be influenced by less noble instincts. And this is
of the world, and informs our opinions, is crucial
where things really get interesting.
to overcoming the external forces that drive us. In
In another famous experiment, researchers set up
other words, becoming aware of the invisible strings
three different study groups in Arizona’s Petrified
that tug at our emotions is the first step to cutting
Forest; one section had no signage, another had a
the cords. It all starts by realizing that maybe, evil
sign that asked patrons not to take the wood, and the
prevails not when good men do nothing, but when
final area contained a sign that read, “Many people
good men act like everyone else.
are stealing wood from the petrified forest. Please don’t take the wood.” What they found, was that in this last section (the one that employed negative THEVINDI.COM | 18
K Y OU N A H T FOR YOUR SERVICE
Taking a closer look at the Veterans Student Success Program on Cleveland Stateâ€™s campus and appreciating the sacrifices of our veterans.
ive little words. “Thank you for your service.” They should be so easy to say and yet, they’re not. A majority of people, myself oftentimes included, pass wordlessly by that man in line at the coffee shop with the word “VIETNAM”
embroidered across his hat and inwardly k ick themselves. He willingly risked his life so that I, a
complete stranger, could one day enjoy the freedom I take for granted every day. So why can’t I say those five words? It might be fear, fear of talking to a stranger or that I’ll say the wrong thing, when in reality, I have nothing to be afraid of. Veterans daily overcome fear to a degree that I can’t even imagine. Those five words are only a portion of the gratitude I wish I could express. At Cleveland State, a devoted group of individuals is helping to thank vets with their actions as well as their words.
Brittany Carbaugh Brittany Carbaugh is one of these individuals. As a
something new about military life. I make a mental
PhD student at Cleveland State as well as the graduate
note: I’ve got to be better about that.
assistant of the Veteran Student Success Program that she crams even fuller to make sure that vets on the CSU campus have a meaningful and well-rounded experience. I sat down with Brittany in order to learn more about this program that I knew virtually nothing about. “O u r p opu l at io n go e s t he extra mile to really understand the campus,” she tells me. “We understand the culture, and we love how diverse it is.” Carbaugh and the rest of the VSSP staff hope to show the CSU campus at large that the veterans among them are just as diverse as they are. Wanting to k now more about Carbaugh’s passion and devotion to the cause of veterans, I ask her more about her past, and discover that she was a child of a veteran—I use the term “army brat,” but she prefers
Carbaugh views her upbringing,
which consisted of constantly moving base to base (from her birthplace in Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada, all
She loved every part of being MilFam, and it has instilled a lifelong desire to help people who help the country.
“MilFam” or “military family.” It seems a lot much nicer alternative to “brat,” although Carbaugh teaches
(VSSP), Carbaugh has a full schedule
the way to Hickam Base in Hawaii) as her father, a retired Air Force colonel, did, as “nothing but a strength.” She says she loved ever y part of being MilFam, and it has instilled a lifelong desire to help people who help the country, just like her dad. She coordinates multiple events at the VSSP for veterans to take part in and to help them acclimate better to civilian life. She even teaches a Latin dance class that is very popular. “People tend to lump vets together,” Carbaugh says. “And it’s very minimizing.” She hopes that the campus at large will be able to acknowledge all the strengths that vets bring to CSU.
me that “B.R.A.T.” actually stood in military circles for “Born, Raised, And Transferred.” The interview has barely even begun and already I’m learning
Photo of Brittany Carbaugh courtesy of Brittany Carbaugh. THEVINDI.COM | 20
Ahna Mullins Ahna Mullins completed basic training for the U.S. Army at age 18. The Elyria native said she joined the armed forces at 17 initially to move away from home and see more of the world, but walked away from the experience with a newfound respect of what army life is. “It gave me a sense of service that I carry with me, even today,” Mullins says with confidence, although her voice lacks the same vigor as Carbaugh’s. The difference in tone is immediately noticeable, but aren’t vets only supposed to sing the army’s praises? Mullins continues to tell of her basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 2005, and how later she completed Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Huachuca, AZ. In 2007, she deployed to Iraq. The air seemed to be sucked out of the room as she said the country’s name. In the past 15 years, a deployment to Iraq seemed almost synonymous with a death sentence. An estimated near 4,500 deaths of U.S. soldiers occurred from 2003 to 2010, with the total casualty count reaching 461,000, according to Public Library of Science (PLOS) Medicine magazine. Yet, in front of me sits an exception. A strong, resilient woman who survived 15 months of constant fear; 15 months of looking over her shoulder and wondering if all of her friends would make it back to base at night. “It’s hard to describe.” Mullin’s voice cuts off in a choke as she says it and takes a deep breath. This is where that completely self-centered fear of talking to a stranger in fatigues that I count as valid seems like nothing. How can I be so selfish or that this person has been to hell and back? I make another mental note: I’ve got to be better about that. “You come back with scars,” says Mullins. Her eyes are downcast as she pushes forward, determined to share a story that clearly causes painful memories to resurface. “Being in the army, over there, it’s very eye–opening. You see a real struggle and you learn about people.” Pushing the topic seems harsh, but necessary. Expecting to hear a monologue about the horrors of humanity, I ask what she means by “learning about people.” Her answer is pleasantly and confusingly surprising. “You learn that people aren’t so different,” she adds. “It takes years to reflect on things I’m only noticing now, but you see and meet every kind of person.” Mullins has been out of active duty since 2009, and out of the reserve forces since 2011. Ten years later, she says, she still contemplates her life in the army and how it changed her for the better... or worse. I ask her a question that feels awkward but also important: Would you do it over again? If you could 21 | VINDICATOR
go back in time to being 17, would you still join the
army? Mullins briefly considers before answering. “I don’t regret who I am because of it... but I don’t
In the past 15 years, a deployment to Iraq seemed almost synonymous with a death sentence.
afraid of saying the wrong thing that I totally forget
know if I’d do it again,” she said. Her answer is as surprising as the rest of the interview has been. Mullins’ time in the army was not all the glowing portrait of comrader y that the civilian public generally accepts. She tells me she struggled with being accepted and treated fairly by her own company, some of which she credits to being a woman. The rest she feels comes from the harmful view of the army as one whole conglomerate. “When you’re in the military, you’re just a number,” she says. “You’re important when you’re working together.” This feeling of crushing anonymity was worsened, Mullins added, by the army’s nonchalant attitude toward experimental treatments. Before deploying to Iraq, Mullins had to receive the vaccination for anthrax, which racked her body and left her very ill for a week. The vaccination was experimental and mandatory. “You want to believe the military is going to care for you,” she adds. “That wasn’t always my experience.”
However, Mullins does not want to cast any negative
college campus. “Crowds are a big deal for vets,
light onto army life. She makes it clear that this was
especially ones with PTSD. To come down to a busy
her experience and hers alone, and others might
campus every day is really hard,” she says.
have fared very differently. At the end of the day, the
I had never considered how difficult it must be
army made her the woman she is today. It gave her a
for vets to daily be around that many people, and I
sense of resilience and perseverance that helps her
make yet another internal note, as I have been doing
deal with civilian life daily.
constantly during the interview: I’ve got to be better
“When things get tough, I’m like, ‘Girl, you were
in the Army! You can handle it!’” Mullins says with a
I’ve got to be better about a lot of things: about
laugh. “I think I handle things better than I think I do.”
saying thank you, about learning the proper terms
This powerful attitude is something Mullins hopes
to use, about considering the complicated feelings
to pass onto her four daughters, ages eight, seven,
of vets around campus. Those are no great feat, but
six, and two. I ask off–handedly if she would want
I know they will make a difference to the men and
her daughters to follow in her footsteps and join
women around me who risked their lives for me.
the armed forces and she immediately makes the answer clear.
The VSSP is doing good in leaps and bounds for dozens of veterans every day, but it’s not only open
“I wouldn’t want them to join,” she says. Mullins
to the vets on campus. CSU students are not only
continues to surprise me with her answers. Shouldn’t
welcome to attend the various activities, but are
a proud veteran want their family to continue the
encouraged to do so.
tradition? “It’s different being on the other side,” she
Ahna Mullins is grateful to the VSSP for making
goes on. Mullins explains that she would not want
her a part of their family and providing resources
to be in the dark wondering what was happening to
for her to re–adjust to civilian life. Brittany Carbaugh
her daughters. She contemplates the effects this had
is hopeful that CSU students as well as the veterans
on her family while she was overseas, and tells me
will use these resources to better understand how
that she knows it must have been tough on them to
important veterans are to us, and how we should
be constantly worried about her.
respect and appreciate them.
In spite of all the fear, anxiety, and horror that
The civilian population at Cleveland State could
Mullins saw and endured, she emerged stronger and
benefit from the examples exhibited by the brave men
with a desire to better herself academically. After
and women right on our campus. If they can fight and
attending Lorain County Community College to start
risk their lives for us, the least we can do is raise our
earning her degree in psychology, she transferred to
heads high and say, “Thank you for your service.”
CSU in spring of 2018. The VSSP at CSU came as a wonderful surprise to Mullins. Her experiences at the LCCC veterans program, she says, had not been as inclusive as she Ahna Mullins, United States Army Veteran and Peer Mentor for Cleveland State University’s Veteran Student Success Program. Photo taken by Andriana Akrap.
would have liked. CSU’s program welcomed her with open arms and instantly made her feel involved. “It’s hard to explain what it’s like to step back into the civilian world,” she says. “At the VSSP, you don’t have to explain why you feel some way. We’ve all pretty much shared the same experiences.” She was glad to find a place where she was accepted, especially through her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mullins was originally a peer mentee of Brittany Carbaugh, and she quickly skyrocketed in her academics and personal love of
Veteran Student Services Program LOCATION
2254 Euclid Avenue Trinity Commons
going to school. Her growth, not only in schoolwork, but also in the leaps and bounds she has made throughout the rigorous journey of switching cultures, from civilian to army life and back again, has changed her for the better in many ways. Mullins and other veterans who are experiencing the same culture switching are a testament to how much they contribute
to the community of CSU. Now, she is a peer mentor herself at the VSSP and loves every minute of it. She then brings up a valid point that I had never considered about vets on a
GET DOWNâ€” TOWN TO BUSINESS
Darlene Nichole Moorman
Starting a small business can be empowering. These business owners (and associated supportive resources) have left their comfort zones to pursue their interests as well as give back to the Cleveland community.
his upcoming November 24th will be the ninth
2017 Distressed Communities Index, Cleveland holds
annual Small Business Saturday, celebrated
the highest rank for economic distress. On the other
nationwide. Although the idea for Small Busi-
hand, scrolling through city website Rethink Cleveland,
ness Saturday was ironically devised by a large
you will find very different information: “Entrepreneur
corporation, American Express, an emphasis
Magazine recently ranked Northeast Ohio as one of
on smaller companies and encouragement
the hottest entrepreneurial regions in the country”
to “shop small” has been considered to have
and “The Economist listed Cleveland as the 26th most
a positive effect on a community. Small busi-
livable city in the world.” So which is it—is Cleveland a
nesses offer more employment opportunities,
site of emerging entrepreneurship or of economic lag?
especially for people who typically struggle to
There is a tendency to want to simplify economic growth
find work in larger industries. The city of Cleveland,
as positive or negative. This is particularly dangerous in
as well as other local resources, have paid particular
a city like Cleveland where, even with overall economic
attention to promoting small business, especially for
improvement, spatial and income inequality are quite
women and minorities. Establishing their own business
stark. The National Urban League’s 2017 Equality
may allow an individual to avoid certain challenges or
Index for unemployment inequality notes Cleveland–
disadvantages they would otherwise face in other work
Elyria as the worst in the Hispanic–White report and
environments. Cleveland small businesses, such as
the fourth worst for the Black–White one. From 2016
Mindful CLE or Bloom Clothing Company, faced a few
to 2017, Cleveland rose up one rank for Black–White
of these challenges. Some helpful resources for small
inequality but fell six for Hispanic–White. Even if the
businesses include Northern Ohio’s Economic and
economy is improving, it does not seem to be improv-
Community Development Institute (ECDI) and CSU’s
ing for everyone equally.
own StartUp Vikes.
‘Economic Growth’ Traditionally Tends To Exclude Minorities & Women
In addition to racial minorities, women have also historically been excluded from economic prosperity. According to Hive’s 2018 “State of the Workplace Report,”
When it comes to economic growth and development in
women complete and are assigned around 10% more
Cleveland, there are two clashing outlooks. In Business
work compared to men. Despite this, as described by
Insider’s “The Economies of the 40 biggest US cities,
the Harvard Business Review, women are less likely to
Ranked from Worst to Best” by Andy Kiersz, Cleve-
be promoted to higher positions, get raises, and gener-
land–Elyria is listed as number 40, citing Cleveland as
ally get recognition for their efforts. As an alternative to
having the highest unemployment at 5.7% in February
facing the typical burdens of females in the workforce,
2017. Joel Kotkin’s Forbes article seems to agree, plac-
some have therefore taken the initiative to start their
ing Cleveland at the bottom of 71 cities for “The Best
own business, as suggested by the National Women’s
Cities For Jobs 2018.” Among the 100 largest cities in
Business Council Report “Necessity as a Driver of
the US, according to the Economic Innovation Group’s
Women’s Entrepreneurship: Her Stories.” THEVINDI.COM | 24
StartUp Vikes startupvikes.com
25 | VINDICATOR
Once a year, Cleveland State’s Center for Entrepreneur-
19 percent completed some college, 9 percent had asso-
ship and Innovation plans this three–day event which
ciate’s degrees, 31 percent had Bachelor’s degrees, 22
will take place March 22th through 24th this upcoming
percent completed some graduate school, 16 percent
year. Special Programs Coordinator Meghan Salkin
had completed Master’s, and 3 percent had PhD or
and Senior Director of the Centers for Outreach and
medical degrees. Additionally, participants represent
Engagement Colette Hart are entering their sixth year
many different majors and fields beyond the business
of StartUp Vikes. The program offers a “full spectrum
college. Concerning obstacles for women or minori-
of services,” notes Hart, including after the weekend,
ties in the entrepreneurship realm, Hart points out
through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
that “most of them are socioeconomic issues, often.”
or Small Business Development Center. She mentions,
Therefore, the program is “as inclusive as possible” and
“StartUp Vikes takes students through the entire entre-
“incorporate[s] additional support mechanisms,” such
preneurship process. They go from ideation to formation.”
as partnerships with nonprofits focusing on women and
Diversity and inclusivity are important goals for the
minorities. Even outside of business–building and kick-
program. According to Salkin, when StartUp Vikes started,
starting, problem–solving skills and critical–thinking
15 to 20 percent of participants were women—this has
methodologies are taught at StartUp Vikes, which can
risen to around 40 percent. Furthermore, in terms of
be proven useful in many other situations.
participants’ education level, there is great variation:
Small businesses are extremely important to Cleve-
Economic Community Development Institute ecdi.org
The Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI) has existed for 14 years in Ohio, and six years in Cleveland. ECDI’s mission is to invest, educate, and innovate through direct collaboration with entrepreneurs. They have focused specific efforts to encourage women involvement with their Women’s Business Center. Danielle Sydnor was appointed earlier this year as the Executive Director. She has had experience previously in ECDI, as the Chair of the Economic Development Committee for the Cleveland NAACP, and for banks such as Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. ECDI fulfills the role of a support system, as well as a provider of capital through, for example, micro–lending of amounts between $500 and $350,000. “The resources we really focus on are investing in people and we do that through education, training, coaching, one–on– one technical assistance,” Syndor explains. Two of the major obstacles for women and minorities in business include access to capital and, “learning how to navigate systems in the world of business.” ECDI directly deals with both. Particularly, in this capitalist–based society, an inherently unequal distribution of resources means the “rising tide” has been far from level. There are numerous reasons to support Cleveland small businesses. First of all, business ownership can be correlated positively to better economic rebound after a recession. Also, as Sydnor mentions, “small businesses hire people” and act as a “pathway for people into the workforce in multiple industries.” She also calls attention to Cleveland’s plethora of initiatives and additionally hopes for the application to be “with a land and CSU, Hart reveals: “92 percent of Northeast
lens of equity and inclusion.” In her own words: “When
Ohio’s business landscape or its economy is made up
you support women, you support economic growth.”
of small- to medium–sized companies.” Students have Vikes program, so they have sold out their events the last three years. Some particular success stories that Salkin and Hart shared included a wristband that measures hydration levels (InSpirit), a wearable physical therapy exoskeleton (ReCap), and a portable recording studio (Studio Stick). The Center looks forward to the upcoming Weston Ideation Lab, which offers business–starting resources such as mentors, programming and workshops. “It’s the place where StartUp Vikes will actually be alive year–round for all students,” says Hart.
When you support women, you support economic growth.
recognized the value and importance of the StartUp
The Studio thestudiocleveland.com
A short drive away from campus lies Studio Cleveland, a lovely holistic business that focuses on health and wellness. The company offers a diverse set of services such as yoga classes, meditation, aerial silks, massages, nutritional supplements and more. Building this company was no easy process for owner Sara Syed, who faced great risk and notable obstacles in cultivating the ambitious business. Maintaining the company meant struggling with credit scores, financial instability, and moments of discouragement. The path of business ownership has been both empowering and humbling for her. “Even as the ‘owner,’ I rely on the kindness of the staff at The Studio for its success. Without them, this would be nearly impossible to do on my own,” she says. However, her own role cannot be understated. Majoring in Education and Psychology, there was a lot of business–oriented information she needed to pick up. StartUp Vikes, a particularly helpful source, exposed Syed to the logistical aspects of business, including related jargon and team collaboration. Vipassana, a program involving a 10–day silent meditation, played a significant role in making the decision to pursue the business . Support from the previous studio owner, also a woman, as well as family and friends also encouraged Syed in her business endeavors. In building MindfulCLE, Syed paid particular attention to creating a sense of community and doing other forms of outreach. One recent event’s proceeds will all be sent to Tibetan monks in India. Students can attend donation–based yoga classes. Syed notes, “this space is a community space where people can come and feel connected, safe, involved, relaxed and important.” Syed is optimistic towards the future of MindfulCLE: “I see a lot of growth. I see myself as still in this learning/adapting phase, although I am sure that will never completely leave. I see this studio space growing and providing services, products and education that the community wants and needs. I see more involvement and partnerships. I see more awareness.” For potential business owners, Syed advises, “Don’t let anything stop you. Nothing!”
VISIT THE STUDIO CLEVELAND IN THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT 1395 W. 10TH ST., STE. 120, CLEVELAND, OH 44113
27 | VINDICATOR
OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES THAT YOU CAN SUPPORT Bloom Bakery Employs individuals with barriers to employment opportunities like the homeless or formerly incarcerated individuals. 200 PUBLIC SQUARE #129, CLEVELAND, OH 1938 EUCLID AVE #150, CLEVELAND, OH
Upcycles Bike Shop 50% woman & minority owned.
This space is a community space where people can come and feel connected, safe, involved, relaxed, and important.
10001 LORAIN AVE, CLEVELAND, OH
Rose of Sharon Barber Salon LLC Woman–owned and an example of the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program in action. 8231 CEDAR AVE, CLEVELAND, OH
AKA Team Construction Managment Inc. Woman and minority owned. 4711 HINCKLEY INDUSTRIAL PKWY, CLEVELAND, OH
“ THEVINDI.COM | 28
Bloom Clothing Company bloomclothingcompany.com As mentioned by Green Peace, 80 percent of pollination is carried out by the honey bee. Unfortunately, as reported by the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics, from 1947 to 2008 there was a 60 percent decline in honey bee hives. Local business Bloom Clothing Company has taken initiative to help combat the problem by donating 12 percent of its profits to the Honeybee Conservancy. This small business was founded by Tyler Hobel, a student at Cleveland State University, and has been involved with StartUp Vikes. In addition to being able to buy textile products, bracelets, bath bombs, lotions and stickers, customers receive a complementary packet of seeds with each purchase. Their website has already received over 62,000 views. The company also involves college students in the company; the majority of their models are female students from CSU, with an emerging opportunity for “college ambassadors” (they have received application from New York to Texas). “All the models have been involved in my life in some way and have done something to help me out so I want to help them back and give them some recognition,” Hobel says. For Hobel “learning everything” was the hardest part of business: taxes, actual staffing, networking, and, pretty much, “making it legal.” In building this business, Hobel had to do a lot of his own research, meaning being well–acquainted with the Google search engine. Hobel stressed the importance of adopting an attitude to embrace constructive criticism as well as an open–dialogue in this process. As for the company’s involvement in StartUp Vikes, Hobel says, “It really gave me energy and motivation more than anything.” Beyond the StartUp Vikes program, Cleveland State University has been helpful: “CSU, as far as my involvement, has given me a lot of people to network with.”
VISIT THEIR STORE FRONT OPENING NOVEMBER 1ST IN THE SOUTHPARK MALL!
29 | VINDICATOR
Additional Resources & Businesses There are many more notable resources for small businesses. Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development invests in small businesses through the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program, for example. The Office of Equal Opportunity hosts the monthly Minority–Owned, Female–Owned and Small Business Open House. StartMart, from Flashstarts, focuses on allowing business owners find working spaces. Finally, Aviatra Accelerators (previously Bad Girl Ventures) helps female entrepreneurs find funding, and boasts an 80 percent business success rate.
Why To Shop Small but Also Considering the Longer-Term Problem The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)’s report “A Larger View of the Small Business Market,” calls small businesses in low–income communities a “critical but under–examined market.” Additionally, over 40 percent of small businesses are in low–income communities, 85 percent of which are in metropolitan areas (such as Cleveland). As reported by the U.S. Small Business Association, over half of net new private sector jobs are provided by small businesses, even though only 21.5 percent of small businesses are employers (2012). During the time of the recession, there was a net decrease in the survival of small businesses, but it appears to be improving. Shopping small means supporting small businesses, and can as a result, increase employment opportunities and associated community services. Nonetheless, it is also important to note some of the ingrained, longer–term problems of U.S. capitalism and its effect on society. Wealth inequality is tightly knit with the accumulative tendencies of the country’s current dominating economic system. As affirmed by the 2018 report “Rewarding or Hoarding: An Examination of Pay Ratios Revealed by Dodd–Frank,” the CEO-worker pay ratio of larger corporations is unsettlingly and grossly weighted in favor for the CEO, especially in the United States. Although small businesses may function as a mechanism for better cross–nation wealth distribution
and more inclusive ownership of wealth, they should not distract from the bigger problem. Starting a small business is a way for women and minorities to escape these and other certain challenges
It really gave me energy and motivation more than anything.
of the workplace, such as institutional discrimination and general bias. Additionally, many small businesses in Cleveland are involved in some form of community outreach. Workers can better represent themselves by starting and owning their own business—and they certainly have many resources to do so.
“ THEVINDI.COM | 30
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
OR JUST FASHION?
Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui The continued fight for inclusion in fashion should also include size.
he fashion and beauty industry has, more often
than not, been exclusionary and slow-moving to accommodate different shapes, races
and ideologies. You could attribute this to the fact that these shapes, races and ideologies
are not perceived as the norm—but this is clearly not the case, especially when it comes to size. While often
regaled to small selections in online stores or small corners of retail stores, plus-size (or “curvy”) lines or sizes should be what we consider normal. Six years ago, it was reported by Bloomberg that approximately 67 percent of women in the U.S. fall under this plus-size measurement; that is, they wear sizes 14 or larger. In 2016, in a study published by the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, it was estimated that the average American woman’s clothing size was actually somewhere between sizes 16 and 18. This same study called for a major update in sizing. But what good is this call to action if major fashion companies and retailers won’t heed the call?
31 | VINDICATOR
ent brands in their stores. Some of these brands have an
Changing the Norm The fact that these sizes are only a small portion of what’s
equivalent within their Plus Size Clothing section, and
available to American women does not correspond to
others don’t—regardless, their straight sizing reaches up
the obvious need for it. It’s puzzling that, despite being
to size 18. These brands have different measurements of
the obvious majority of consumers, women in need of
these sizes 16 and 18, too: some at 35.25 to 36.5 inches and
plus-size clothing are not catered to. There is a clear
others at 36 to 38.5 inches. Old Navy cuts their straight
disconnect between the perception of these women and
sizing at women’s size 20, which would be considered
fashion itself. Because fat women are absurdly considered
more inclusive than most, if not for how confusing this
undesirable and unhealthy by society’s standards, they
measurement gets when you compare it to their plus-size
are also automatically discarded as consumers. There
selection. This company measures their “straight” sizes
has been a call to reflect on why “fat” and “beautiful”
16 and 18 between 34.5 to 37 inches, while the same plus
are often considered mutually exclusive terms. But why,
sizes measure between 36.5 to 38 inches. While all body
according to the fashion industry, are “fat” and “fash-
shapes are different, and creating a standard is certainly
ionable” also mutually exclusive? As has been proven
no easy feat, it is frankly ridiculous that the average Amer-
many times over, sizes that are considered plus-size
ican woman, is not only mislabeled out-of-the-norm,
plus-size clothing, many women in fashion chimed in. As influencer Ushshi Rahman put it, “When you say ‘plus’ in the sense of language or self-description, what you’re saying is there’s only one normal way to be and you’re plus of that.” If we want to celebrate all types of people, and by extension, bodies, the labeling of women themselves as “plus-sized” could be considered damaging. Another label that has also been criticized is “curvy.” While championed by some, others consider it just a way of making fatness palatable. Writer Amanda Mull asks, “Why should I have to change to some sort of corporate marketing speak, like ‘curvy’ or whatever, in order to describe my own body, just because it makes everybody else uncomfortable to be reminded of the judgments they make about me because I’m fat?” So, not only should this be an effort from the fashion world, but a personal one as well—we must cast aside our own moral judgements of other body types in order to break from the pressures of an unattainable and exclusionary standard of beauty, and possibly create a new normal. Sizing Inconsistencies In the past few years, there’s definitely been a number of fast–fashion companies that have seemingly been attempting to cater to their plus-size demand—among these, Forever 21, H&M, Target, and Old Navy. However, taking a close look at their sizing charts, it quickly becomes
If we want to celebrate all types of people, and by extension, bodies, the labeling of women themselves as “plus– sized” could be considered damaging.
Trading Taste for Affordability These companies and retailers are among the most affordable and accessible to the public, with hundreds if not thousands of stores in the U.S. alone. There has been an effort from many smaller companies to cater to other sizes, which even include high-end brands. These expand the styles available in plus-sizes. Brands like Universal Standard, Premme, Rebelist and Torrid have been catering to a broader spectrum of sizing for a long time. And while they are extremely inclusive and conscious of their impact, making minimalist, black-tie and other styles available to this population, they aren’t exactly cheap. These brands and companies are far from affordable for the average American woman, especially the average fat American woman. Because appearance is still a major, albeit ridiculous, factor in the valorization of women in our world, their being perceived as fat or overweight—and therefore unhealthy and undesirable—also translates into the workplace. As Moneyish reported in 2017, in a survey of 500 hiring professionals, only 15.6 percent would hire a fat woman. Many of them also characterized them as “lazy” and “unprofessional.” In 2016, BBC reported on what is known as an “obesity wage penalty,” which shows an evident trend in reduced earnings for fat women just based on their appearance.
evident how tricky it is for the average American woman
So when many argue that there are plenty of options
to find their true size at any of these companies. Just
for women in need of plus-sized clothing, it is neces-
comparing sizing for denim (only concentrating on waist
sary to consider that many women can’t afford these
measurements), can be dizzying. For example, Forever
options—sometimes just because of the discrimination
21 cuts off their “straight” sizing at a women’s size 10,
their size brings them.
with a 31-inch waist. If we consider sizes 16 to 18 to be PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES
but also cannot count with a consistent measurement for their body type.
are actually the norm. In a piece by Revolt discussing
While it may seem that the fashion industry is taking a
average for the American woman, this Forever 21 Plus +
turn for the better by employing a handful of fat models
Curve sets their measurement between 39 and 41 inches.
and championing a select few as role models, it is clear
However, H&M+ (this company’s section of plus-size
that this is not a true reflection of the population. In
clothing) measures their sizes 16 and 18 between 36 and
order for actual change to come about it is important to
38 inches. Additionally, this online retailer doesn’t have a
not leave this attitude change only in the hands of major
sizing chart beyond size 18, leaving their customers up to
labels, companies, or retailers—we must examine our
size 24 in the lurch when shopping online. Target’s case,
own attitudes about body types and work to break yet
however, is more complicated since they carry differ-
another set of stereotypes.
THEVINDI.COM | 32
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
NO MESS WRITTEN BY
Shannah Byrnes ILLUSTRATION BY
Feeling overwhelmed? Here some creative solutions to minimize your stress.
is likely to experience these stressors and more, but
tress is inevitable. Upon entrance into
how you manage it will determine how you thrive.
finals week and heightened course loads,
So, we here at The Vindicator want to provide students
it might even seem that stress can be
with stress–management tactics through relaxation.
all–consuming. However, stress can be
If you need a break from your dense course readings,
manageable. The mimicked adage “stress
check out The Artifice. Here, you can find thousands
is temporary, GPA is forever” is a disappointing
of articles written about any topic under the sun,
expression of how much our lives can be consumed
from novice writers and editors, written for the mere
by stress in our plight to finish school. The saving
sake of writing and enjoyment! Such articles include
grace here, however, is that there are wonderfully fun
“Phantom of the Opera and the Problem of ‘Shipping’”
ways to abate stress, and to take necessary breaks
33 | VINDICATOR
money, health, relationships, poor nutrition, media overload, and sleep deprivation. Any college student
and “The Truth About Cats and Artists.”
from schoolwork without feeling guilty. If you learn
Need some visual therapy from studying? Then,
how to take breaks, take care of yourself, and strive
check out the website “Liquid Particles,” an interactive
to succeed mentally, you will resultantly thrive in
site which moves colorful dots around your screen
your academic, work, and social lives.
as you move your cursor. Sometimes you just need
The American Institute of Stress cites the top seven
to get lost in mesmerization instead of memorization.
causes of stress in the United States as: job pressure,
Other options include putting down your highlighter,
and picking up a colored pencil. Yes, adult coloring
“Cookie Clicker” website. It is just a website where
books are back in, and there is no shame in using
you click on a cookie as many times as you want
them during your study breaks (or wherever and
and the website then tells you how renowned your
whenever you want). Better yet, if you are majoring
computer cookies are. It is oddly satisfying, calming,
in the health sciences, you could pick up an anatomy
and helpful. When in doubt, just keep clicking those
coloring book and color while you learn.
cookies until the stress goes away (but try not to
Take a walk. Exercise and fresh air will do wonders for your health, and everyone needs to take some
break the mouse on your computer, you’ll still have assignments to do later).
time to clear their head. As a break from homework,
Keep a journal. Whether you’re writing down
take a walk around campus, search for a new study
conversations from a quick encounter with an old
location, or check out the Recreation Center with
friend you saw today, writing down what you ate for
friends. By giving your body the exercise and relaxation
dinner, or ranting about a professor, practice your
it deserves, you are helping to prevent yourself from
writing and solidify your memories by keeping a brief
becoming overstressed or becoming ill.
whatever you want without being graded, and there
are still allowed to take naps. If it is necessary for
are no due dates! Fun fact: even Leonardo da Vinci
your productivity and focus, a nap is always worth it.
kept a journal. Sure, his journal entries consisted of
The National Sleep Foundation especially endorses
scientific notes and illustrations, but he did reveal in
naps lasting 20 to 30
one such journal entry that he enjoys wearing pink
should not be forgotten amongst your Blackboard assignments projects...
spielzeugz.de Interactive liquid particles
journal. There are no rules to journaling; you can say
Even though this article is promoting activity, you
FOR MORE VISIT THESE SOURCES
minutes. This power nap
tights. Like da Vinci, we cannot promise that people
will rejuvenate you, without
500 years later won’t be reading your journals, but
making you feel groggy or
we promise we will respect and revere your writings
significantly tired afterward.
when the time comes.
Whenever taking a nap,
Are you in need of a little reassurance that you are
make sure that you are
still doing an incredible job at everything? Tumblr
in a comfortable place, to
user “calmingmanatee” does just that, but this
make sure you are getting a
time it is with calming and inspirational pictures of
restful and successful nap. If
manatees. It is definitely not what the world thought
you wouldn’t sleep 8 hours
we needed, but it really is what we deserve.
on a couch, your body will
Finally, talk to someone! Be sure to take time
not enjoy sleeping there for
everyday to have a fun or meaningful conversation
even 20 minutes.
with someone. Is there no one nearby? Talk to a
Your health should not
plant! Seriously, the carbon dioxide you exhale while
be forgotten amongst your
speaking will help the plant grow. You cannot argue
science here, but you can argue with a plant if it will
and group projects, so
make you feel better.
bake a cake! That is, take
Stress is inevitable, but it should not be allowed
a break from your studying to cook yourself dinner
to consume you. If you take control of your life and
or bake cookies for your friends. This will give you
practices, you will thrive in all areas.
the–artifice.com Online magazine featuring unique topics
sleepfoundation.org Helpful information about healthy sleep
stress.org Stress research & awareness
time to focus your attention on something outside of academia, and you get a tasty reward when you’re done. Win–win, right? You can take break by concocting a well–rounded dinner or by preparing your lunch for tomorrow, but do not forget the dessert. Don’t have the ingredients to make cookies or don’t have the stomach for them right now? Try the
THEVINDI.COM | 34
27 | VINDICATOR
CHOOSE KIND in the classroom
How little gestures affect students.
n a world where you can choose who you want to be, choose
a large impact on everyone involved. If something as little as a word could change how a person perceives humanity and their life, I say it’s worth a shot. On the other side of the spectrum, being unkind can play such an ugly role in people’s lives. Students face many obstacles in their school day and sometimes can’t handle additional negativity that comes their way. “Knowing that I will one day be in a classroom full of high schoolers who are all fighting their own battles has definitely made me more aware and sympathetic,” said Bailey.
to be kind. Kindness will create a positive environment and
Some people genuinely struggle to be kind to others, for many
affect people’s overall experience in life. With World Kindness
reasons. However, just because you don’t constantly go out of your
Day coming up on November 13th, it is important to spread
way to be kind all day, every day, doesn’t mean you’re not doing
kind words to others and yourself, especially around campus.
your best. “For those that are struggling to be kind, don’t overthink
In a university environment where many are adapting to a new
it,” continued Bailey. “The truth is, all it takes is a smile, holding
life, adding kindness to the mix is ideal.
the door open for someone or complimenting their outfit. Start
No matter your age or circumstance, is it important to to pay attention to the words you use and how they may affect those
there and watch how easy it becomes.” Again, little gestures go a long way.
impacted. In a school setting, students and teachers need to be
Kindness in today’s society will make an impression how people
aware of how to be kind to others and why. I thought it would
treat others in the near and distant future. College students are
be important to ask someone who sees kindness as priority in
studying to become the next generations’ doctors, politicians, and
her daily routine. Not only is Lexi Bailey a university student,
educators. These people will form the generations to come. Being
but she is going to school to be a future educator. I interviewed
kind will make a long-lasting effect on people’s life and how they
her to get a better understanding of a viewpoint of someone
change others for years.
growing up in today’s educational climate and how she’ll use this to improve her classroom environment. School is believed to be more desirable and enjoyable if positivity
Bailey believes how she treats others and the lessons she’s learned about being a good person will change her classroom. An educator plays a huge role in so many people’s lives. The approach
is involved. According to “Social Psychology: A General Reader,”
teachers take toward how they treat their students, and how they
those involved in positive group settings in high school are
avoid looking over unkind words used in the classroom is crucial
more likely to do the same on a college campus. This supports
to the students’ lives.
Bailey’s belief that the classroom and everyone involved will
Kindness is not fully taught in schools, as it is seen as common
be poorly affected without it. “It’s human nature to shut down
sense. Some people grow up in an environment where they do not
and feel uncomfortable and unwanted if people aren’t friendly
commonly see kindness being used; sometimes it is even non-
or don’t include you in conversation,” Bailey continued. “If
existent. This causes those in schools to struggle with being kind.
teachers, administrators, and students show kindness and are
Being non-toxic and loving to everyone in your life is important
welcoming, then the kids will feel like they belong there. You
so that they know how to act as well. Age shouldn’t be viewed as a
can’t effectively teach or learn in an environment where the
factor of how tough your skin is. While reading Psychology Today, I
students feel insecure and unappreciated.”
learned that if we teach parents, teachers, and any adult impacting
Classrooms are full of people from a wide range of backgrounds,
their life how to act in a nurturing environment, we may have an
home life situations, religions, families, and these all influence
impact on the long term well being of their heart and mind. This
how a person goes about their day. You should be kind to everyone,
takes a toll on one’s mental and physical state.
no matter how they treat you. Kindness isn’t situational, so be
If you’re unsure how to be kind, don’t be afraid to reach out to
kind to everyone without expecting it in return. Also, just because
someone about your concern. Do your best. “Some have the false
someone appears to be put together, this does not mean they
impression that you have to be overly outgoing or put yourself
deserve a fewer amount of kind words given to them. Unknowingly,
out there in order to be a nice person,” explained Bailey. Simple
they may need these words to brighten their day just as much
gestures, such as a smile or holding the door open for someone,
as anyone else. “Everyone, whether a young child, a teenager, or
is believed to be a great, impactful start to your kindness journey.
an adult, constantly needs encouragement and kindness. We’re all humans,” Bailey insisted. Kindness does not discriminate.
Lastly, to those who aren’t receiving kindness: remember that you deserve so much love. Reflect on who you should be receiving
Students are impacted greatly in and outside of the classroom.
kindness from and address your concerns for what isn’t happening.
A lot of times people aren’t necessarily happy to be in class, and
Remove yourself from toxic relationships, take your anxiety to your
this may affect their mood for the day. Bailey added her input by
school counselor, talk to your loved ones. “If you aren’t receiving
talking about the impact of kind words in the classroom, “You
kindness, know that it isn’t personal. Being kind is a choice, so if
have the power to make someone feel just a little bit better and
others choose not to be, that is 100 percent a reflection on them
even to completely change someone’s life by offering just one
and not you,” Bailey made clear. “If no one has told you this before,
kind word, so why wouldn’t you?” It is such a simple task with
I am right now. You are important and have so much greatness
TEAR–OUT POSTER & BE KIND
THEVINDI.COM | 28
Cleveland’s new LGBTPQA+ community ordinance afforded me a large sigh of relief.
’ve never been one to be in the closet. I came out a year after I graduated high school and have never looked back. I was starry–eyed back then, and thought that my sexual orientation would not affect my life outside my family and friends. One
of the downsides to coming out is that one’s sexuality is at the forefront of the mind of everyone you meet. There’s no way to put the genie back in the bottle.
37 | VINDICATOR
When I first started working in childcare, the
community to work in peace means oppressing the
last thing on my mind was my sexual orientation.
Orthodox Christians? How exactly would that work?
I wanted kids of my own, but I didn’t know how to
Do they feel recruitment would happen while at work?
take care of them. Working with people’s children
That recruitment would happen in the bathrooms at
as someone who is LGBTPQA+ is a very tricky task.
work? That they will turn LGBTPQA+ just because
You never know what parent will recognize what your
one of us works with them?
rainbow bracelets mean, and who will continue to
Contrary to popular belief, we have bills to pay
ask about your personal life.
and need a job to do so. We need basic necessities
It’s sometimes unbearable to hear the snide
and a place to live just like straight people do. Being
comments and jokes about gay people. To never be
a member of the LGBTPQA+ community is not about
able to see other options on official forms besides
recruiting more members. We are who we are from
“single” or “married.” To never actually have sexual
birth, and as long as we live here in the United States,
orientation options on official forms. To go to training
we should be able to work to earn our keep.
that never includes examples of same–sex couples.
Cleveland Scene also reported how incredibly
Even though I still go every year, I’m always worried
determined the Christian Right is in their quest. They
I’ll see one of my bosses protesting at Gay Pride. Or
were preaching to LGBTPQA+ community members
that they’ll see me in the parade on the news. I am
in the hallways during the break. Determine to
lucky in that over my 18 years as a childcare worker,
recruit them into being Christian and denounce their
I’ve run into a few coworkers and parents who are
queerness. They also refused to share the bathrooms
also LGBTPQA+. However, it has never escaped my
with anyone LGBTPQA+ as well.
and working with children. It has been perfectly legal to fire someone for being LGBTPQA+. Living in an at–will–employment state, one can leave and/or be fired from a job without being given a reason. However, if one discovers that they were fired for being LGBTPQA+, there would be no recourse. The national law only protects on the basis age, sex, physical handicap, religion, and race. If one was fired for one of those reasons, then it would be possible to sue a former employer and win. W hat I didn’t k now was that there has been an effort to change the law to prevent my being fired for being LGBTPQA+. Reintroduced in June of this year, this legislation would create a special committee in Cuyahoga County to investigate claims of discrimination against the LGBTPQA+ communities in the workplace. On September 26th, the ordinance
However, despite all the voices of the impassioned
opposition, the ordinance was able to be passed, eight to three.
It has been
Now, not only have sexual orientation and gender expression been added as protected classes, but if
one of us is fired for being LGBTPQA+, we can sue
legal to fire
committee will handle our case.
were passed in Cleveland Heights and Lakewood, cities
citizens. Yet the actual city of Cleveland did not
mind that they could fire me for being LGBTPQA+
our former employer, and a special three–person I remember years before when similar ordinances known to have a high concentration of LGBTPQA+ until now. The opposition during this process is an indication that there’s still a lot of work to be done in this city to convince straight people of our humanity. But that’s a battle to be fought another day. I personally don’t see what all the fuss is about keeping us from working. Or what the bathroom bill
adding sexual orientation and gender expression to
introduced states away from us has to do with us
the protected classes in Cuyahoga County was passed.
not getting fired from our jobs for being LGBTPQA+.
It was packed in Cuyahoga County Administrative
I consider myself to be a spiritual person, despite
Offices the evening the ordinance was passed, with
being a member of the LGBTPQA+ community. I don’t
speakers from both sides of the debate telling their
think it’s too much to ask for that I be able to keep
stories. The opposition was extremely cruel in trying
my job despite being a member of the LGBTPQA+
to stop this from happening, spewing large amounts
community. And that I should be free to use the
of discrimination specifically against the Trans
bathroom whenever I’m out and about or work without
community and bathroom usage.
worrying about the cops being called on me by some
Cleveland Scene reports that multiple people on the opposition talked about how this ordinance
random Orthodox Christian. I never formally planned on coming out at work. If
would give permission for the Trans community to
my straight co–workers and bosses happen to figure
use bathrooms as “hunting grounds.” It was also
out what my bracelets mean or see me at Pride on
reported that there were complaints of comparing
television, I no longer fear that my employment will
Jewish persecution to Christian persecution, in terms
end. Now I can comfortably continue to be a positive
of not being able to deny the LGBTPQA+ communities
guiding presence in the lives of the families I serve.
safe places to work. The opposition became so heated that one individual had to be removed from the room. Is it true that the freedom for the LGBTPQA+
THEVINDI.COM | 38
SAVES WRITTEN BY
Dorothy Zhao ILLUSTRATIONS BY
Implementing smart healthcare modernizes medical environments to help fix the effects of poor living conditions.
ignorant ideas. Adequate education and explanations of taking care of oneself is the monumental task for healthcare professionals, like physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and counselors.
ealthcare, technology, and poverty—
Communication and outreach can be challenging,
these three vastly different areas all
with obstacles ranging from ensuring patients from
have something in common: they
poorer backgrounds have enough information to make
affect lives, for better or for worse. The
an informed consent to detailing clearly enough for
combination of the first two, healthcare
non–native English speakers to understand how to
and technological advancements, can mitigate the
take their medication. The struggles both the patient
long–term effects of poor living standards. Smart
and the caregiver have can, thankfully, be ameliorated
healthcare is a growing field that ranges from medical
by healthcare–focused technology.
Internet of Things, big data, smart homes and inpatient care to wearable medical devices and other e-health
39 | VINDICATOR
Potential of Different Technologies
tools for diseases, disorders, and patient-physician
For example, take a rural community in Appalachia that
interactions. It can advance in today’s hospital and
can stand to strongly benefit from the implementation
healthcare–based environments through an analysis
of smart healthcare in their local hospitals. Healthcare
of research, collection of information technology,
practitioners can offer an app that translates baffling
and implementation of beneficial, efficient processes
medical jargon into more common layman’s terms,
particularly in places of poverty. To better solve the
easily accessible through downloading on any patient’s
issues of disease prevention and improve wellness
phone. Other technologies that not only lower costs and
across all communities, technology can play a more
prices of primary care and chronic illness management
significant role alongside practitioners and hospital
include health indicator monitoring applications,
professionals than ever before.
automatic–administering therapy devices, and
The impoverished, the underprivileged, and the
real–time health data tracking. Wearables, like the
uneducated often lack proper access to healthcare.
smartwatches now common on almost every wrist,
These groups of individuals across the country come
and mobile apps offer options for fitness, symptom
from unique cultures and backgrounds that approach
tracking, health education, weight loss, and disease
the concept of health in sometimes detrimental or
management. An amalgamation of physical devices
options. The possibilities are
known as the Internet of Things (IoT), can also play
an important role in the medical field. Data collected
surveillance and diagnosis
by these applications can help with real-time decision
can be improved to treat
making of the healthcare world. With health data information that is protected securely, business
0 1 01
models have the potential to emerge and change work processes, improve productivity, contain costs, and enhance customer experiences with the aid of medical Internet of Things. A technological adoption that has already created a beneficial impact is the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Moving past the arduous procedure of paper records management, electronic health records replace
related issues. Public health measures can be more readily applied to real–
of all healthcare organizations have had security leaks via the internet.
world problems. Illiteracy, racial bias, unemployment, or other factors are neutralized as a direct result of implementing smart health, the new form of healthcare. With
and digitize all the information written in ink on
poverty being a major
papers piled in filing cabinets. Physically, it would be
factor in negative health
difficult to locate and legibly read paper records. By
outcomes and futures, as
having EHRs all in one place, the information is easily
well as health insurance
shareable—eliminating inefficiencies and saving lives.
Concerned patients may consider the security and
for many, smart medical
privacy issues that may emerge from hospitals and
companies cataloging their information electronically,
health care by allowing
but that is of utmost importance for businesses
patients and practitioners
to ensure their customers’ safety and wellbeing.
to look beyond the price
Communication between doctors and patients are secure and improved with the aid of tech in healthcare. IoT devices mentioned previously can help to revamp various services, with patients managing their own health requirements. Appointment reminders, blood pressure change notifications, and calorie tracking are just a few possibilities, in addition to remote health monitoring systems.
of all faxed referrals are lost, which is scary considering hospitals still exclusively use this method to send referrals.
The struggles both the patient and the caregiver have can, thankfully, be ameliorated by healthcare focused
embedded with software, sensors, and electronics,
tag. Health care systems
and the marketplace no longer need to worry about profit; instead, they can concentrate on quality of care provided to patients. As hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and University
Hospitals move to add recent, revolutionary technology, doctors and specialists of all kinds are able to focus on what really matters: the patient. A streamlined health care delivery system, forms of population
Creating Smart Healthcare
health management, asset tracking, or patient flow
The first steps of upgrading healthcare is examining
analysis can provide helpful, valuable information and
the social determinants of health and determining
data for practitioners and other professionals. Once
which solutions would be best for which situations.
smart health becomes a more significant movement,
Physical and mental health must be taken into account,
it won’t remain in just the emergency room. Nursing
as the many marginalized groups have experienced
homes, hospices, therapy rooms, and at–home care
and continue to experience abuse and poverty. A 2001
are next to be developed. Preventing unhealthy habits
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
from forming, learning to live with chronic illnesses,
Kaiser Permanente study describe how “battered children become battered adults” due to abuse and violence in childhood resulting in increased “smoking, alcohol abuse, depression, and poorer health in adulthood.” Professionals in public health have the responsibility to prevent and relieve these negative impacts. They can do so with the implementation of smart healthcare with a multitude of technological
and improving patient–physician relationships are
of healthcare organizations have added wearable smart sensors to their daily operations.
current–day common goals that can only be enhanced by medical IoT, e–Health tools, mobile applications, and a myriad of health–focused tech. The smart healthcare industry is ultimately a growing field that has potential to create unprecedented health improvements for the one who truly need it.
THEVINDI.COM | 40
GIRLS ON TOPS
A BIG THANK YOU TO WOMEN IN FILM
e are all familiar with the concept
like rock stars… if Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening
of t–shirts with famous names or
had their names on t–shirts too?’” Thus, Girls On
bands on them; just walk into any
Tops Tees was born.
Forever 21 store and you will be
At first, they were only looking to sell about thirty
bombarded with Nirvana t–shirts
shirts, with the vision being a mix of Jean Seberg’s New
right on the spot. But what about a Greta Gerwig
York Herald Tribune shirt and Katharine Hamnett’s
shirt? Or how about a Laura Dern one? If you have
80’s political tees. The result would come out as a
no idea who these people even are, no worries—that
“clean white tee with simple black type—pared-back
actually fulfills this business’ purpose!
41 | VINDICATOR
& bold.” They went ahead and printed them in the
Girls On Tops Tees, as you may have guessed, is a
back of a record shop to proceed with the plan of just
business based around putting various girls’ names
giving a few away to friends, and then taking some
on t–shirts, but not just any random girls’ names.
to sell at a film fest nearby. At the event, however,
Instead? The many wonderful ladies in the film
they did not end up selling as many as they had quite
industry are depicted; whether it is Oscar–nominated
hoped, feeling a bit disappointed as they packed the
director Greta Gerwig or scary–movie–queen Jamie
rest away. Thanks to social media, though, they were
Lee Curtis, they will have it, and their collection
able to get noticed. A photo had popped up online a
keeps growing! But how did this idea even begin?
few days after the film fest of someone wearing one
Well, according to the business’ website, one night
of their shirts, and this got people scrambling to
after Louisa Maycock, Jake Cunningham, and a few
find out where they could grab one. The friends set
of their friends watched Mike Millis’ “20th Century
up an Etsy shop in hopes of selling the rest they had
Women,” they all took notice of a bright pink and
printed up, but they were in for a surprise—the shirts
green Talking Heads shirt worn by a character in
became sold out and a demand for more was growing.
the film. After coming home, one of Louisa’s friends
Little did they know at the time that something even
went ahead and bought it and this got her wondering:
bigger was about to happen to their once small and
“‘Wouldn’t it be cool if women in film were treated
local start–up, leading them to international fame.
A few months later, the renowned Toronto Film Festival was happening with a majority of the big names in Hollywood attending. Various cast members of 2017’s Oscar–contending movies attended, one being that of the highly acclaimed “Lady Bird” directed by Greta Gerwig. What stood out about this particular event, though, was the fact that Tracy Letts (the actor who plays Lady Bird’s father in the movie) was seen sporting a Greta Gerwig shirt from none other than Girls On Tops Tees during a photo shoot! It kept getting even better for the business when breakout actor (and another main cast member of “Lady Bird”) Timothée Chalamet joined Letts and wore the same shirt himself. Suddenly, something unbelievable happened for the business: the one and only Greta Gerwig was featured in a magazine spread wearing one of their Agnès Varda shirts to celebrate the fellow female director.
Wouldn’t it be cool if women in film were treated like rock stars... Thanks to businesses like Girls On Tops Tees and
with the help of social media, more and more attention
is being brought to women in film. Although we still have a long way to go, such attention helps us progress
Annette Tops Tees. Thanks to all the attention and recognition their shirts had received from such famous movie stars, the demand for them grew more and more all
Bening had their names
over the world. They even had the opportunity to
sell their shirts at this year’s Toronto Film Festival,
which resulted in them selling out completely. With all of this sudden success, the gang felt that they should give back in some way. In March 2018, the
talents and faces, which is always a good thing. If you are interested in buying a t–shirt and supporting women in cinema (as well as looking pretty cool) visit their website at www.girlsontopstees.com. Trust me,
At this point, business was booming for Girls On
into a more inclusive film industry with a variety of
they make for some excellent conversation starters.
business tweeted out that as a thank–you for the success and support, they wanted to help fund as many female directed movies as they could—starting with Amanda Eliasson’s short film “Favourite Thing.” They went on to collaborate with yet another female director; when Nia Child’s debuted her first short
PHOTO CREDIT GIRLS ON TOPS ETSY
“The Other End,” she gave people the opportunity to win free t–shirts from Girls On Tops Tees if they supported her short through Indiegogo. Then this September, GOTT went even further and decided to use their website as both a shop and as a platform for female film critics. But at the end of the day, the goal for Louisa, Jake, and friends stays the same; as Louisa told The Guardian: “‘If Rooney Mara is seen wearing a Lynne Ramsay T–shirt and that means one more person sits down to watch ‘Morvern Callar,’ we’re happy.’” THEVINDI.COM | 42
Deux. Point WRITTEN BY
This piece kept me company for a while now, I hope it makes you feel a bit less lonely.
I don’t remember the first time I started living today like yesterday I don’t remember the first time I started living as a person who simply exists A person who is accidentally around. I simply exist, I live my day in a way that no one would probably like. I don’t understand the point. I live my days waiting for something to happen waiting for something to change in me for me Because of me When I’m finally home and the day is over I run to my room I run to bed where in my head, everything is possible to exist I lay there motionless I relive my day from the start, I live it the way I wanted to live it the way I should’ve the way I could’ve but didn’t But couldn’t The point, where is it? it’s getting heavier, my brain my thoughts, are lingering It sometimes feels like my skull is cracking and my thoughts are escaping It’s not like I’m aching, I’m not in pain I’m just debating whether it’s worth it I’m reshaping my creation of thoughts in a way that doesn’t seem or even sound Like me. But I mean, what’s the point in living when you are eventually going to die and yet again maybe it’s more of a how than a when.
HE SPOKE He spoke to me. He told me I was beautiful. He told me there was nothing I couldnâ€™t do. He told me to stay by his side and I would see the unthinkable His name is God and only He could never let me down.
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT WRITTEN BY
Indya R. Powell
If you aren’t a minority stop rewriting our stories turning our history into something different suitable enough for your audiences While I’m forced to bear witness to tales sounding more and more like fiction Don’t tell me to behave as if you live enslaved can’t walk down the street wearing a hoodie for fear of onlookers being afraid But then again How can someone understand something they will never endure? never forced to witness or be victim to crimes because of their circumstances knowing any day they leave the house could be their last White America please understand, These feelings aren’t a thing of the past Standing on front line picket signs declaring why equality was never a privilege supposedly human right by design our forefathers vision the same vision which keeps me up at night alienated in plain sight My skin made my existence a crime Guilty as charged I’ll do the time Don’t be a fool Racism is alive thriving well It won’t discriminate on children, females or males
Oppressed by the ones sworn to protect From the looks of where I come from all we see is neglect but if I speak my peace its seen as disrespect Not coming for the good ones Just the ones who shoot when victim is penned down defenseless weaponless on the ground That’s why this is a battle Stop ignoring the signs Figure out what’s worth fighting for neutrality is no longer an option in times of war Like Tupac said, “Better days, Better day.” in the mean time no more living enslaved Gotta fight to protect What’s rightfully ours Head in the stars knowing Malcom X, and Dr. MLK never imagined us taking a backseat after they set the stage These kings fought until they took their last breath regardless if freedom came in life or after death
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