The Vindicator- February 2021

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Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

FEB 2020

2020

IN HINDSIGHT

LANGSTON HUGHES

DREAMS DEFFERED

KYRA WELLS

SEVEN PILLARS DESIGN CO.



FEB

25 what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online

4

Calendar

5

Letter from the Editor

6

Meet Our Contributors

Arts 7

10

Bridgerton by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC

VIRTUAL SCHOOL EFFECTS

Why Pixar “SOUL” Is Problematic

THE CHILD ABUSE PANDEMIC

by LAUREN KOLESZAR

12

Celebrating Black Poets & Writers by LYNN NICHOLS

BY MEGAN BARANUK

Culture 14

27

An Introduction to the Men and Women of Biden’s Cabinet by CARA ROBBINS

18

My Black Matters by MIKAYLA GARY

24

On Langston Hughes & Dreams Deffered by LAUREN KOLESZAR

Beauty + Wellness 31

Season of Singleness by JILLIAN VANDYKE

33

Domestic Abuse by VANESSA MURPHY

35

COVID-19 Impact on Black Individuals by CLAUDIA UGBANA

Social 37

2020 In Hindsight by COURTNEY BYRNES

39

iPhone Homescreen Tours by ERIC SEITZ

KYRA WELLS

SEVEN PILLARS DESIGN CO. BY JILLIAN VANDYKE

Poetry 42

My Piano by REEM ABUMERI THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 2


CHECK US OUT ONLINE

ART REFLECTS LIFE

THE VINDI.COM

An interview with CSU artist, Alana Cartwright, who specializes in photography. “During the interview, we dove into her artistic process, what inspires her, and the message she conveys through her art. — AGNES BAHR

THE VINDI.COM

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Drenched in Violet. Poetry “breathing used to be slow and steady an all encompassing feeling. ..” — SYDNIE M DORMA

Tackling Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Midst of a Pandemic . “ Find out how you can alleviate the effects of seasonal affective disorder this winter season — even during a pandemic..”— SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC

#VindiAsks: What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

28% MOVIE NIGHT

29%

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

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TAKE-OUT

43% WHAT’S VALENTINE’S DAY? 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

FEBRUARY 4/22 Lamar Moore

Mariano’s Celebrates Black History Month with Chef Lamar Moore. Cook and connect with Chef Lamar Moore during Mariano’s Celebration of Black History Month. 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM FREE

2/26 Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon (Black History Ed.)

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum in honoring Black History Month with a Wikipedia edit-a-thon. Learn how to edit and create new Wikipedia articles highlighting the breadth and depth of artworks and the lives of Black artists in America. All levels of technological proficiency welcome.

2/10 Beatles

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST FREE

2/26 P&P Live! Georgina Lawton

Join author Dave Schwensen as he talks about the Beatles to riotous and historic concerts in Cleveland. He will have video, music, and trivia to give a full experience of the Beatles, their music and their history. (VIRTUAL) 7:00-8:30)

2/15 Wade Oval

Raceless is an exploration of a fundamental question: what constitutes our sense of self? Drawing on her personal experiences and the stories of others, Lawton grapples with difficult questions about love, shame, grief, and prejudice, and reveals the nuanced and emotional journey of forming one’s identity. 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM $0 – $25.99

Lace up your skates and enjoy the fresh ice on picturesque Wade Oval. Daily through 2/15. Reserved tickets: Tickets must be purchased in advance. PRICES MAY VARY

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 4


EDITOR’S LETTER

The Cleveland State Vindicator was founded as a Black student newspaper in January 1970.

UPLIFTING

VOICES

A

s we enter Black history month, it is inherently important for me to be able to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives last year, due to police brutality.

George Perry Floyd Jr was murdered by police officers

on May 25, for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill in a local convenience store. Breonna Taylor was also killed by law enforcement on March 13, while she was asleep in her own apartment. Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau was sexually assaulted, then killed, on June 6 while protesting against police brutality. While these are only a few of the many Black lives that were lost due to a systemic issue, they were the few that centered the lives of many individuals out there. As the Social Editor, I strive to write stories that reflect our countries social climate and uplift the voices of those who have been stifled by the system. My hope is that this issue reflect that for many out there.

Claudia Ugbana SOCIAL EDITOR

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FEBRUARY 2021

Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart

MEET OUR

CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Megan Baranuk Editor–in–Chief

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Eric Seitz Copy Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Courtney Byrnes Arts Editor

Lynn Nichols Culture Editor

Megann Rosecrans Online Content Editor

WRITERS Megan Baranuk Eric Seitz Lynn Nichols Courtney Byrnes Claudia Ugbana Samra Karamustafic

Asha McClendon Art Director

Jillian VanDyke Asst. Art Director

Samra Karamustafic Beauty Editor

Claudia Ugbana Social Editor

Max Torres Multimedia Manager

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Jillian VanDyke Cara Robbins Lauren Koleszar Vanessa Murphy Mikayla Gary

Devin Benko Stefany Belasic Hannah Mosley

Miranda Tulcewicz Emily Williams

POETS

ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS

Reem Abumeri

Mikayla Gary

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


ARTS

SPILLING THE TEA:

BRIDGERTON IN REVIEW Forget Us Weekly, Star, and The National Enquirer — the only tabloids that you should be paying attention to are the jaw-dropping society papers from the mysterious Lady Whistledown! WRITTEN BY

Samra Karamustafic ILLUSTRATED BY

Miranda Tulcewicz

I

f you’ve browsed through Netflix in the last

“historically inaccurate”, showrunner Chris Van Dusen

few weeks or spent any time on Instagram,

and executive producer Betsy Beers wanted to put a

Twitter, or TikTok, you’ve probably seen a few

more innovative and contemporary spin on the period

mentions of Netflix’s newest period drama

piece. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly,

series, “Bridgerton”, which was released on

Beers discussed the decision behind casting BIPOC

Christmas Day. Based on the series of novels by Julia

actors for the show, saying “It’s not color-casting. We

Quinn, “Bridgerton” revolves around — you guessed

try to imagine history in the way we wanted to see it.”

it — the affluent Bridgerton family, composed of

Van Dusen also added his own explanation behind the

eight siblings who must navigate regency London’s

decision in an interview with USA Today, saying that

lavish and competitive marriage market. Alongside

they “wanted this show to reflect the world that we

them are the Featheringtons, yet another wealthy

live in today.” Not only does this shine a spotlight on

and powerful family with their own adventures, an-

new and incredibly talented actors, but it also gives

tics and improprieties. To put it plainly, it’s “Gossip

a refreshing and contemporary take on period piec-

Girl” meets “Downton Abbey” but with corsets, balls

es, because let’s face it: seeing the same actors cast

and debutantes. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s scan-

in regency dramas over and over again can get a bit

dalous, and it’s incredibly popular, evidenced by its

boring (no offense, Keira Knightley).

#1 spot in the U.S. on Netflix, despite releasing in De-

“Bridgerton” succeeds in reflecting the modern

cember 2020. But what, exactly, has gotten so many viewers across the world head-over-heels in love with what seems to be just another period drama? Well, for starters, it’s definitely not just another

erment throughout the show, similar to the way that Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters have. Whether it’s

period drama.

Eloise Bridgerton refusing to live a confined and caged

One of the very first things that makes “Bridgerton”

life by marrying or Daphne Birdgerton standing up to

stand out is its diverse casting, which you won’t find

those who belittle her and believe her to be incapable

much of in other period pieces; and while a few crit-

of making her own choices, the show makes viewers

ics and viewers were quick to call the show’s casting

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world by intertwining messages of female empow-


FEBRUARY 2021

well aware of how women were treated back then, but it refuses to make their female characters complaisant in such treatment. As with any regency era project, there are plenty of dance scenes interspersed throughout the show for which you need some classical piece to be playing in the background. But, if you could’ve sworn that you heard “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande during one of the ballroom scenes, don’t worry: you were

The Great Where you can watch: Hulu “The Great”, Hulu’s newest satirical drama, is loosely based on the life of Catherine the Great (played by Elle Fanning) and her rise to becoming Russia’s longest-ruling female leader — mainly by plotting to kill her bratty and selfish husband, Emperor Peter III (played by Nicholas Hoult). If you enjoyed the scandalous, witty, and somewhat-crude humor in “Bridgerton”, then this should be your next watch.

not hallucinating! It turns out that for the show’s

The Spanish Princess

soundtrack, the showrunners had the Vitamin String

Where you can watch: STARZ

Quartet perform classical covers of some beloved

Yes, I know that this is yet another show about some histor-

modern hits, like Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You” and

ical ruler from way back when, but trust me when I say that

Billie Eilish’s “bad guy”. Not only is it a creative and

this is not like your typical History Channel documentary.

unique choice on the showrunners’ part, but includ-

“The Spanish Princess” follows a young Catherine of Ara-

ing these beloved modern hits with a classical spin

gon, a Spanish princess who would, later on, become the

certainly emphasizes the point that Bridgerton is, as

Queen of England as Henry VIII’s first wife. It’s a fictional

Screen Rant puts, “a modern tale set in regency era

retelling, which means that each episode is laden with

London”.

drama and romance. Plus, the show deals with race in the

Thanks to “Bridgerton”’s explosive debut and

era of Tudor England, considering that a major character

countless raving reviews from critics and viewers

in the show is Lina, a Black noblewoman that served as

alike, Netflix has officially announced that there will

Catherine’s lady-in-waiting. “The Spanish Princess” is a

be a second season of the period drama that will be

limited series with only 16 episodes in its entirety, making

focusing on Anthony, the oldest Bridgerton sibling.

it the perfect show to watch if you’re looking for a short

But, if you find yourself having binge-watched

show with a bit of closure.

season one in its entirety, and you’re unsure of what to watch next, look no further. Until the second sea-

Dickinson

son of Bridgerton graces our screens, read on for a

Where you can watch: Apple TV+

list of shows and movies that you can stream in the

If you’re a fan of period pieces and coming-of-age sto-

meantime.

ries, then watching “Dickinson” is a must. This comedy

As people retreat to books, movies, and shows as a

follows the life of a young Emily Dickinson as she explores

form of escapism amid the pandemic, there’s no easier

“the constraints of society, gender, and family from the

way to put life on pause than by watching a period

perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit into her

piece like “Bridgerton”. A (slightly romanticized)

own time through her imaginative point of view.” With its

glimpse into life during the regency era offers enough

contemporary dialogue and stunning wardrobe, the show

of an escape for anyone bogged down in assignments

isn’t afraid to bask in its fun and silliness.

and work projects. Plus, with shows like “Bridgerton” and “Dickinson” embracing diversity and putting more contemporary spins on these storylines, they make for more enjoyable experiences for viewers, too. So, the next time you’re struggling to pick what you should watch next, choose any period piece and get ready to be caught up in sweeping romances,

“BRIDGERTON” SUCCEEDS IN REFLECTING THE MODERN WORLD..

gorgeous aesthetics, and some scandalous drama.

Emma Where you can watch: HBO Max What is a list of period drama suggestions without at least one Jane Austen adaptation? “Emma.” (yes, the period is part of the title!) revolves around the story of Emma Woodhouse, a young woman (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) who devotes her time to matchmaking her friends and family members — so much so that she nearly misses out on her own chance at true love. If this plot sounds familiar, it’s most likely because you’ve already watched a classic, more contemporary adaptation: “Clueless”! Granted, this film does take place in regency era England, but director Autumn de Wilde does not hold back on the comedic elements in Austen’s novel. The humor in this film does a great job of showing us that, although the story may take place in the 1800s, we humans were just as funny and awkward back then as we are today.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 8


ARTS

WHY PIXAR’S “SOUL” IS

PROBLEMATIC WRITTEN BY

Lauren Koleszar Pixar’s newest feature film offers a charming story about purpose, but at times it falls short only because it aims so high.

P

ixar’s newest film, “Soul,” exists in a similar

E ACH SUBHE ADING BELOW WILL DELVE INTO

vein as the studio’s previous features, “Coco”

SPOILERS– SKIP TO THE FINAL PARAGRAPH FOR

and “Inside Out,” forming a triad of movies

A SPOILER-FREE SUMMARY.

which all seek to understand meaning and

emotion in the context of an individual life and the

Plot

human experience. Many critics are calling “Soul”

Not everything needs an explanation in a Pixar film,

the most intellectual and mature Pixar film to date,

but “Soul” has an exceptional amount of unresolved

noticing its ambitious personification of souls before

subplots. Think for just a minute about how valuable a

and after life on Earth, as well as introducing hard-

follow-up scene or montage including Joe’s interactions

hitting questions about passion and purpose.

with his student Connie or an encounter with 22 as

We follow middle school band teacher Joe Gardner,

a human on Earth would have been in solidifying

a Black man in New York with dreams of being a jazz

the themes of the film. The same ambiguity that

musician like his late father. The premise is promising,

shapes the film’s unique tone sources a number of

but when the film detours from its rich setup, it takes on more than its writing is able to carry out by the end of the film. Between its surreal portrait of the Great Before and a well-intentioned attempt at greater representation, “Soul” may leave adults dissatisfied with its ambiguity and children without answers to important questions posed by the film that should

its plot holes. In a movie about refocusing your sense

have been clarified in a more successful third act.

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of purpose from a single passion to the way you live your life, perhaps this level of ambiguity is acceptable. However, for a movie that explores death and purpose so seriously and that expects its primary audience to be children, there needs to be greater closure about these serious topics.


FEBRUARY 2021

Joe, who is normally an inspiring teacher, reveals himself to be self-pitying and selfish, making him a rich and complicated protagonist. When 22 begins to express her feelings for the first time, Joe grows irritated and snaps at her because he is so focused on getting his body and life back to fulfill his dream of playing in an esteemed jazz band. Later, 22 becomes a hopeless “lost soul,” and we see how large of an impact Joe’s critical words had on her. This moment in the film has strong emotional resonance, and it is unfortunate that there was no parallel scene that could have shown the development of Joe’s relationship with his student, Connie, who is similarly close to giving up hope and turns to Joe while he is focused more on himself. It is also unclear by the ending whether Joe realizes he never fully emotionally committed to being a music teacher, and there is no conclusion to this subplot concerning Joe’s career as a music teacher or if he finds even stronger purpose in his new full-time position. Unresolved subplots plague the importance of underdeveloped characters like Connie and Paul. The latter of the two is voiced by Hamilton star Daveed Diggs and barely has any lines, despite the promising setup between him and Joe in a barber shop scene, where 22 embodying Joe is finally able to confront Paul’s sarcasm. When the two meet outside, there is promise of a meaningful development between

Soul may leave adults dissatisfied with its ambiguity and children without answers

Characters

...

negative stereotypes that work against progression toward representation in popular film. On a separate note, “Soul” introduces jazz culture and the power of its music, only to undermine it by the end of the film as something Joe obsesses over, easily suggesting that jazz does not deserve as much attention as he gives it. Joe is told by his barber that it’s nice to hear him talk about something other than jazz, and there is no resolution on whether Joe helps people understand purpose and meaning through music. Rather than capitalize on this staple of African American life, jazz culture is treated as a weak backdrop that serves more as a piece of scenery than anything else. In a film aiming to represent African American culture, this is an unusual choice that does not do justice to the cultural and emotional significance of jazz in African American history. Themes “Soul” offers a unique spin on the carpe diem cliche when Joe learns that there is no singular talent or interest that gives meaning to your life. Rather, a special interest can provide an avenue to understanding purpose, but ultimately purpose is found at the decision to begin living meaningfully and truthfully in every area of your life. It’s strange that this was not fleshed out with an encounter with Joe’s students where he could have put into practice what his experience with

Joe and Paul, but it is abruptly interrupted when the

the Great Before has taught him. Without more closure,

two-dimensional Terry mistakenly frightens Paul,

differentiating between finding purpose through a

leaving him huddled on the sidewalk with a crazed

passion and becoming lost in an obsession grows

look in his eyes. It’s a cheap gag to grab a few laughs,

blurry, and it is somewhat unclear whether Joe’s

and there is no plausible reason why we never see

relationship with jazz was purposeful or obsessive

Paul again for any character development or closure.

in the first place. This could have been solidified

PHOTO CREDIT TIME.COM

with an interaction between Joe and his father, who Culture & Representation

could clarify to Joe that jazz was never his purpose

Along with showing a petrified Paul huddled on a

or reason for living but one means of connecting to

street corner, fondling a bag of potato chips, are a

life and purpose.

number of other odd images “Soul” uses for some

In the vein of Mr. Rogers, Pixar introduces kids to

quick laughs. It almost seems as though “Soul”

heavy concepts and realities that build and encourage

offers viewers humorous alternatives to the reasons

their emotional intelligence without underestimating

we encounter “strange” characters on the street,

children’s intelligence and imagination. “Soul”

suggesting with other images that the hippie twirling

introduces heavy themes that, if not carried out

an advertisement only seems loopy because his soul

effectively and carefully, result in an uncomfortable

is connected to the Great Before; that a man may be

and ambiguous film with unpredictable impressions

laying on an outdoor heated air vent because the soul

left on its audience. There is a lack of clarity for kids

inhabiting his body thinks it’s fun; or that someone

about understanding the concepts of life, death, and

wandering the street in a hospital gown is acting

purpose, though adult viewers may find no issue with

weird because there is a new soul in his body. These

the ambiguous nature of the film and interpret its

are strange comedic choices that are a naive and

plot holes as deliberate and not needing traditional

dangerous representation of real people. It doesn’t

closure. At its heart, “Soul” seeks to inspire viewers,

help that “Soul” is a clear effort at achieving greater

though its means of doing so are problematic.

representation, meanwhile these gags allude to

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 10


ARTS

celebrating

BLACK POETS WRITERS

+

WRITTEN BY

Lynn Nichols Seven contemporary Black authors to read and recognize.

art and culture from the Black community. This list highlights seven contemporary Black creatives who represent diverse perspectives. Their sweeping bodies

of work span many literary genres in stories historical and timely. Readers everywhere should take the seek out creators on their own, too. We must value

view her website, including links to her short stories and essays, at ibizoboi.net. JASON REYNOLDS is the author of more than a dozen books for teens and young adults. His coming-of-age novels balance a casual, humorous style with complex examinations of relationships and emotion. His novel in verse, “Long Way Down,” is a power-

ful, personal examination of the

the prose novel “The Boy in

IBI ZOBOI is an author of middle

the Black Suit” explores the

grade and young adult fiction.

ways that people can grow

Her novels include “My Life

include the NAACP Image

Zoboi is also the author

Award, the Coretta Scott

of “Pride,” a modern re-

King Award, and the New-

imagining of “Pride and

bery Honor. Comic book

I

Prejudice” which weaves

BO

contemporary issues such

collaboration with Yusef Salaam.

novel in verse exposes the realities of America’s racist criminal justice. She is also the editor of “Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America,”

11 | VINDICATOR

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i

der-Man.” In 2020, Reynolds

collaborated with Ibram X. Kendi to create “Stamped: Racism, Anti-

racism, and You,” a “remix” of Kendi’s comprehensive history text “Stamped from the Beginning.” You can view a full list of his books, as well as a link to his poetry blog, at jasonwritesbooks.com.

h

(also known as the Central Park Five), and the

an official Marvel Universe

novel, “Miles Morales: Spi-

ija

Salaam is one of the Exonerated Five

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readers may also recognize him as the author of

Khad

PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES

as culture and gentrifi-

released “Punching the Air” in

LDS

grief. Reynolds’ accolades

and “A merican Street.”

witty romance. In 2020, Zoboi

NO

and change while processing

as an Ice Cream Sandwich”

cation into a compelling,

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E

cycle of gun violence, while

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Black voices every month of the year.

in Haiti and grew up in New York. You can

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opportunity to explore these authors’ works, and to

narratives of Black experience. Zoboi was born

Jaso

B

lack History Month is a time to celebrate

an anthology of short stories featuring diverse

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and timely.

DANEZ SMITH is a poet and performer who has been recognized by the Poetry Foundation, the National Smith, who uses they/them pronouns, has published four poetry collections, including “Black Movie,” “[insert] boy,” and “Don’t Call Us Dead.” Their most

poems on their experiences as a Black and Queer person in America. In their poems, Smith balances the playful with the devastating, and often both at once. Smith has won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award. For more on their work, including their ongoing poetry podcast with Franny Choi, you can visit danezsmithpoet.com. KHADIJAH QUEEN is a poet and playwright who holds a PhD in English. Her collections of sharp yet hopeful poems include “Conduit,” “Fearful Beloved,” and the recently published “Anodyne,” released in 2020. Her 2017 collection “I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On” is a free verse narrative of interactions and conversations with men (some famous and some not). These experiences, which include evocative imagery of clothes and what they mean for the wearer, are Queen’s lens to illustrate issues of gender, power and consent. “I’m So Fine” was recognized in O Magazine and the New Yorker. Her play “Non-Sequitur” won the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers. Her website includes a complete list of her work and awards at khadijahqueen.com.

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TA-NEHISI COATES is an author, journalist and speaker who has received a MacArthur Fellowship. He may be best known for his NAACP Image Award-winning book “Between the World and Me,” an examination of racism and Black experience written as a letter to Coates’ son. In fall 2020, “Between the World and Me” was adapted for the screen by HBO. He was a correspondent with the The Atlantic for more than ten years until 2018. His novel “The Water Dancer” centers the history of the Underground Railroad within tightly plotted magical realism. Coates is also a comic book writer who has written recent series installments for Marvel superheroes Black Panther and Captain America. For more information on his life and work, and to view his speech “The Case for Reparations,” you can visit ta-nehisicoates.com.

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To c h

N i O

TOCHI ONYEBUCHI is an author and essayist. His first published novels “Beasts Made of Night” and “Crown of Thunder” build on an intricate high fantasy universe. Onyebuchi, who is the son of Nigerian immigrants, is also the author of “War Girls” and

si

and features compellingly personal and political

in which a zombie apocalypse forced the states to reconcile. Along with the action-packed premise, Ireland uses the setting to show the scope of systemic racism against Black and Indigenous people, while still writing strong characters who challenge oppressive norms. Her other novels include “Deathless Divide” (sequel to “Dread Nation”), thriller “Vengeance Bound” and fantasy “Promise of Shadows.” Ireland has also written official novel tie-ins to the Star Wars universe, including “Lando’s Luck” and “Spark of the Resistance.” Her most recent Star Wars novel, “The High Republic: A Test of Courage,” was released January 2021. You can find more details on her work at authorjustinaireland.com.

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recent book, “Homie,” was released in January 2020,

e

Ta - n e

Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Times.

JUSTINA IRELAND is a fantasy and science fiction author. Her New York Times-bestselling novel “Dread Nation” imagines an alternate history of the Civil War and Reconstruction,

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AND

stories historical

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literary genres in

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of work span many

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… sweeping bodies

“Rebel Sisters,” both set in Nigeria almost two hundred years in the future. “War Girls” and “Rebel Sisters” combine sci-fi technology concepts with pressing issues of climate crisis and pandemic. His 2020 novel “Riot Baby” tells the story of two siblings whose emerging superpowers tie into a larger narrative of family, protest and injustice. Onyebuchi holds a master’s degree in law, and his experience as a civil rights lawyer is evident in his work’s sharp social commentary. You can read his short stories, legal essays and literary criticism at tochionyebuchi.com.

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THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 12


CULTURE

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF

BIDEN’S CABINET 13 | VINDICATOR


WRITTEN BY

Cara Robbins ILLUSTRATED BY

Stefany Belasic

Meet the historymaking Secretary nominees who comprise one of the most diverse Cabinets in American history.

A

FEBRUARY 2021

s the New Year mark s the close of a particularly tumultuous year, it brings with it the opening of 2021– the year in which Joe Biden will take the presidency in a time of disease, riots and political instability. The next four years of repairing America’s sense of self will be a challenge, and one that will require plenty of people working together in the best interest of the public. In times like these it’s important to know who will make up Biden’s administration­­– though this information tends to be hard to access and even harder to understand. In order to make the next four years of politics easier to access, let’s take a look at the “who” and “what” of Biden’s nominees for the line of presidential succession. Vice President: KAMALA HARRIS The main responsibility of the Vice President is to succeed the president upon death or resignation, and also to preside over the Senate. Kamala Harris has long been a trail-blazer for diversity inclusion in federal politics, bringing issues of racial discrimination and gender equality to the forefront of her Senate and Vice-Presidential platform. Her political career began as a deputy district attorney for Oakland, California, where she prosecuted criminal cases such as drug trafficking, sexual abuse, and and gang violence. She was later narrowly elected to the position of Attorney General for the state of California, making her not only the first woman, but additionally the first Black person to fill this elected office. Her time in office was marked by her ambition to put pressure on organizations using unfair business practices and helping ensure that same-sex marriage was legalized in California. In 2015, she ran for Senate on similar progressive platforms of social justice reform. When she won her election in 2016, she became the first Indian-American and only the second Black woman to serve as a senator for the United States. After running for president in the 2020 elections, she was unable to secure the democratic presidential nomination. Joe Biden, who announced that as the nominee, would focus on creating a diverse and inclusive cabinet, chose Harris to run as his VP and serve as the face of his promised diverse administration. In 2020, she became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Indian-American to be elected on a presidential ticket. Secretary of State: ANTONY BLINKEN The Secretary of State serves as the President’s main source of advice on foreign affairs, and carries out the President’s foreign policy through the State Department. Antony Blinken is wellversed in working in the executive branch, and in the past he has served as a member of the diplomat in the State Department under Clinton. Under the Obama Administration, he held several high-rank positions within the State Department, including Deputy Secretary of State, Deputy Assistant to the

President, and National Security Advisor to the Vice President. Choosing Antony Blinken for the Secretary of State position can be seen as both a way to tie Biden’s current administration closer to the Obama administration, while also picking a person that he is comfortable with and has worked extensively with in the past. Secretary of the Treasury: JANET YELLEN The Secretary of Treasury helps develop fiscal plans for the country, including tax, international, and domestic policy, as well as managing state debt. Janet Yellen has a long past in the United State’s economic system, serving as an economic advisor to President Clinton, and most notably became the first woman to sit as the head of the Federal Reserve during the Obama administration, handling affairs regarding the national banking system of the U.S.She also served for two years in this position under the Trump administration, though she was not reappointed. Biden’s decision to choose Yellen reinforces his alignment with the Obama administration and his efforts towards gender equality in the executive branch. Secretary of Defense: LLOYD AUSTIN Just as the name implies, the Secretary of Defense servers as the main advisor on national defense to the president. Austin will also be in charge of direction for the Department of Defense. Lloyd Austin is a retired 4-star general who served as the first Black commander of the United States Central Command under the Obama Administration. His appointment to the position of Secretary of Defense is yet another effort to tie Biden’s administration to the Obama administration, and to ensure strong representation of people of color within the cabinet. Attorney General: JUDGE MERRICK GARLAND The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters. Judge Garland currently serves as a circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals in the D.C circuit. Notably, in 2016, President Obama nominated Judge Garland to fill a position on the Supreme Court after the death of Judge Antonin Scallia. The Republican Senate majority refused to allow a hearing to be held to appoint Garland, citing that whoever was elected the next president should have the ability to choose the nominee. This refusal of allowing a hearing was extremely controversial at the time. After Donald Trump was elected to the presidency, Scalia’s seat went to Neil Gorsuch. Biden’s decision to choose Judge Garland can be interpreted as an attempt to undo or counteract Trump-era. Secretary of the Interior: DEB HAALAND The Secretary of the Interior manages the conservation of federal land and natural resources. Haaland formerly served as chairwoman for the Democratic Party of New Mexico. In 2018, she was elected to Congress as a representative of New THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 14


Mexico’s 1st Congressional district. This made her, alongside Rep. Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women to be elected to the U.S Congress. If her nomination is approved, Haaland will become the first Native American person to serve as a Cabinet secretary. Biden’s decision to nominate Haaland can be seen as part of his promise to create an administration that is diverse in gender, ethnicity, etc. Furthermore, because of Haaland’s extremely progressive voting record (she has supported movements such as abolishing ICE, Medicare for all, and the Green New Deal), her nomination could be interpreted as an attempt to combat criticism from the left who consider Biden too moderate. Secretary of Agriculture: TOM VILSACK The Secretary of Agriculture provides advice and leadership on nutrition, agriculture, natural resources and the improvement of the economy and quality of life in rural areas. Vilsack previously served as the Secretary of Agriculture for the entirety of Obama’s administration. Prior to his position on the President’s Cabinet, he served as governor of Iowa. He also notably ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Biden’s nomination can be seen as another alignment with the Obama administration.

nominate Becerra came after mounting pressure from public health officials urging the Biden administration to choose someone with a background in medicine, which Becerra notably lacks. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: MARCIA FUDGE The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development offers the President advice regarding the housing needs of Americans, and tackles issues such as homelessness and enforces fair housing laws. Marcia Fudge is a Cleveland native, and served as the mayor of Warrensville Heights in her early career. She currently serves as the representative for Ohio’s 11th district in the U.S Congress, where she represents the population of parts of Cleveland and Akron. Biden’s decision to nominate Fudge is likely to fill on his promise to bring race and gender diversity into his administration. Secretary of Transportation: PETE BUTTIGIEG The Secretary of Transportation manages and advises on things such as infrastructure of roads and highways, coordinating agreements on international flights and ensuring that transportation systems are safe and reliable. Pete Buttigieg is a relative newcomer in politics, who has previously served as a U.S Navy intelligence officer and the mayor of South Bend,

Secretary of Commerce: GINA RAIMONDO The Secretary of Commerce represents U.S businesses for the President, and helps build balanced economic development and job creation. In her early career, she co-founded Rhode Island’s first venture capital firm, which helped fund early-stage businesses expected to have high growth rates in exchange for stock. She was notably elected as the governor of Rhode Island, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Biden’s decision to nominate Raimondo can be seen as an effort to include gender diversity in his Cabinet. Secretary of Labor: MARTIN WALSH The Secretary of Labor manages and advises on issues of the rights of workers, retirees and the unemployed. Walsh was elected in 2014 to serve as the mayor of Boston. Biden likely chose Walsh because of their longtime friendship with one another, and because of Walsh’s pro-union stance. Secretary of Health and Human Services: XAVIER BECERRA The Secretary of Health and Human Services offers advice and information to the President on matters of human conditions and concerns such as welfare, health, and income security. This will be an especially pivotal position in the current pandemic. Becerra is a former Representative of the U.S. Congress, where he represented various parts of Los Angeles, California over the years. Since 2017, he has served as California’s Attorney General. Biden’s decision to 15 | VINDICATOR

Indiana. His name reached national recognition when he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, where his campaign gained considerable traction despite initial low expectations. He is the first openly gay Cabinet nominee. Biden’s decision to nominate Buttigieg is likely a symbol of inclusivity to LGBTQ+ people. Secretary of Energy: JENNIFER GRANHOLM The Secretary of Energy manages and advises on nuclear detternant, preventing the increase of nuclear weaponry, overseeing the United State’s energ y supply and cleaning the country’s nuclear footprint. Granholm has previously served as the state Attorney General for Michigan. In 2003, she became the first woman to serve as Michigan’s governor. In 2008, she also temporarily served as an economic adviser on President Obama’s transition team. During the Obama administration, her name was floated several times to fill the Secretary of Energy position, and as a possible pick for the Supreme Court. Biden’s decision to nominate Granholm can be interpreted as the fulfillment of possibilities considered by the Obama Administration. Secretary of Education: MIGUEL CARDONA The Secretary of Education provides the President on advice on national policies and programs concerning education. Cardona will have the power to set the national curriculum taught in schools. He began his

The next four years of repairing America’s sense of self will be a challenge ...

CULTURE


FEBRUARY 2021

career as a fourth-grade teacher at a public school in Connecticut, though he was soon promoted to become the youngest principal in the state. In 2019, he became Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education. Biden’s decision to nominate Cardona likely come from a point of diversity representation, as well as choosing an individual who can advise on the needs of underprivileged or overlooked youth in the education system—because of Cardona’s experience of going to public school as a child who lived in public housing and did not speak English, he has made it a goal of his time as an education leader to level the playing field for students who know English as a second language. Secretary of Veteran Affairs: DENNIS MCDONOUGH The Secretary of Veteran Affairs is concerned with care and memorialization of veterans, and handles matters such as veterans’ health care and benefits, and overseeing veteran’s memorials and cemeteries. McDonough was an extremely prominent member of President Obama’s administration, serving in positions such as Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, Deputy National Security Advisor and the White House Chief of Staff. McDonough notably is not a veteran—and he will be only the second person in American history to fill the position without having any previous experience in the military.

Secretary of Homeland Security: ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS Oversees and advises on counterterrorism, border security, cyber security, and enforces immigration laws. As a young child, Mayorkas arrived in America with his parents as refugees from the Cuban Revolution. He later became an Assistant. U.S District Attorney in California, where he prosecuted financially-motivated crimes, typically done by businesses. Under the Obama administration, he served in several important positions within the Department of Homeland Security, including as the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and additionally as the Deputy Secretary. Biden’s decision to nominate Mayorkas can once again be seen as a step towards diversity and a strong alignment with the Obama era in the White House.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 16


CULTURE

MY BLACK

MATTERS WRITTEN AND PHOTOS BY

Mikayla Gary From the shackles on our feet to the bullet wounds in our soul Society has always tried to convince me that my

beginning of time, My Black is what

Black doesn’t matter however through it all there

motivates me to do the unimaginable.

are millions of reasons why My Black Matters. We

As fear and worry try to break us

have always strived for greatness no matter the risk

down we pledged ourselves to stand

that we may have taken. As society tries to knock us

against the horrors and the rage that the world may

down, we stand strong, despite the adversity that

give us. From the color of my skin to the texture of

may come along. Since the beginning of time, my

my hair, I thank God for my beautiful soul. My hair

Black has been the root of all life and has been the

is what makes My Black matters, my Skin is what

lifeline of all mankind. Coming from the rich soils

makes me powerful. I couldn’t imagine life without

of Africa, my Black has always been the reason why

the beauty of My Black. The melanin of my skin is the

I shine. My Black is what makes me proud, my Black

armor over my soul. My Black has taught me how to

is what makes me smile. My Black is something that

live in freedom and never let obstacles be in control.

I embrace even when others tell me it’s a disgrace.

The Nile is what runs deep within my soul to remind

From the shackles on our feet to the bullet wounds

me of the freedom my ancestors have awarded me.

in our soul, my Black is still something I cherish like

Threatened, beaten, and killed, how are we still here today? My black is what forces us to not accept failure as an option. As the ships swept from coast to coast, we say goodbye to our motherland but this wasn’t over. I never would’ve thought we would be so lost, I never would’ve thought it came with a cost. My Black has been stolen by the horrid memories of the slave ships and coast, my Black has been restored by the grace of Nyame-Nti. To be stripped away from your native being and placed in a land of the unknown my Black has been the sole reason why I rejoice. As I see myself, perseverance is the clothing of My Black that unfolds the beauty of my culture. My Black has stories that bring reassurances to my life and my future success. My Black is tied like Akoma ntoso where it allows me to stay connected with my culture.

17 | VINDICATOR

gold. My Black is the reason why I am here, my Black is the reason why I can dream.

Society has always tried to convince me that my Black doesn’t matter however through it all there are millions of reasons why My Black Matters.

M

y Black has been defiled since the


FEBRUARY 2021

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 18


CULTURE

19 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2021

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 20



FEBRUARY 2021

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 22


CULTURE

ON LANGSTON HUGHES AND

PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES

DREAMS DEFERRED 23 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2021

WRITTEN BY

Lauren Koleszar Langston Hughes was a defining figure of the explosively creative Harlem Renaissance, and his poetry continues to voice the African-American experience and fight for equal opportunity and realization of the American Dream.

T

o consider the legacy of the fight for racial equality in the United States is bittersweet. On the one hand, we feel disheartened seeing a proliferation of racial inequality that sparks protests and

riots still in modern times. This is so far from the future that Black leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and James Baldwin desired so badly and imagined for the twenty-first century. On the other hand, we see the heartbeat of community and activism throughout history since the very beginning of racial inequality, showing us how fervently people have fought for what is right. Alongside these activists has always

LANGSTON HUGHES was born in Joplin, Missouri,

been a counterargument to social progress that em-

on February 1, 1902, making the same day this year

phasizes pragmatism and patience. This argument

what would have been his 99th birthday. Hughes

usually goes along the lines of, “We can’t move too

is widely regarded as the most influential Afri-

fast,” or “People aren’t ready for so much change.”

can-American writer to come out of the Harlem

These are questions to which advocates for change

Renaissance, a vivacious period of creativity within

have responded, “So, when?” When is the ‘right

the famously Black community in New York City

time’? When will people be ‘ready’ for change? Why

during the early twentieth century. Before his career

should the rest of us live in fear of upsetting anyone

as a writer and following multiple moves as a child,

for basic human rights and equal treatment?”

Hughes and his mother settled in Cleveland, Ohio,

African-American writer Langston Hughes referred

where he attended Central High School, where his

to this suppression of freedom as a ‘dream deferred,-

writing was taken seriously and encouraged by his

which he describes through sensory and cautionary

teachers, giving him a personal connection to the

imagery in his poem “Harlem,” published in 1951 as a

history of Cleveland. Hughes reflected later in his

part of his collection, “Montage of a Dream Deferred.”

autobiographical work on how his classmates only

Hughes uses such interesting language here,

expected him to have poetic potential because he

haunting and cautioning us. We understand this

was Black, which his white classmates thought

dream to originate as something full of life, juicy

was synonymous with having a natural sense of

and plump like a piece of fruit — but this fruit

rhythm. In spite of this generalization, Hughes

also dries out into raisins; skin once healthy

wrote one of his most famous poems at the age

blisters and runs; animals are harvested and

of 17 and pursued writing for the rest of his life.

HARLEM What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up

the meat is set out until it rots; or tasty candy

Hughes could be very forward in his writing, but

is overrun with syrup until it chokes your throat

was also a master of subtext, making it easier to

as you try to swallow. Ultimately, says Hughes,

like a raisin in the sun?

publish pieces in a world that decided it was not

this lively dream “just sags” like a burdensome

yet ready for the civil rights era. Today, freedom of

Or fester like a sore—

weight carried on one’s shoulders, a harrowing

speech and advocacy for Black rights has increased

piece of imagery reminiscent of slave life in

tremendously since Hughes’ time. There is still

earlier American history. Then he asks us in

much to be done as we fight racial bias, but Hughes

italics if, perhaps, this dream explodes.

would be overjoyed to see that the first youth

And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?

In many ways, we are closer to racial equality

poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, is a 22-year-old

than we were in 1951, when Hughes saw the

African-American woman who recently captured

beginning of the civil rights era and wrote

the heart of the nation when she delivered the

“Harlem,” likely inspired by the 1943 Harlem

inaugural poem on January 20, 2021. Gorman’s

riot. In the twenty-first century, we see Hughes’

poem, “The Hill We Climb,” forwardly describes the

warning as especially relevant. Hughes does

hopes of a “skinny Black girl” revitalizing the ache

not call for or condone violence, but he writes

for the American Dream.

warily and excitedly about the kind of explosion

You can read another of Hughes’ most famous

that might take place if people keep waiting

poems in our Poetry section, and a large portion

until others are “ready” for massive change.

of his body of work is available online, as well as

He cautions us that suppression of rights and

Gorman’s inaugural poem in full. Reading and

equal treatment is dangerous and inhumane, in

sharing their work is an excellent celebration of

a similar way that wounds left untreated will

Black History Month and a step toward realizing

become infected and grow fatal.

the African-American dream deferred.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 24


FEATURE

VIRTUAL SCHOOL EFFECTS

THE CHILD ABUSE

PANDEMIC

25 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2021 WRITTEN BY

Megan Baranuk ILLUSTRATED BY

Asha McClendon

Children who come from families with no previous history of neglect or abuse may face new challenges,

Children across the country are participating in an online version of elementary, middle, and high school. This version of education can have harmful effects, especially on children who live with abusers, neglectful parents, or are in harmful situations.

T

he pandemic has affected the education system in a myriad of complex ways, but perhaps the most dangerous change has been the need for virtual learning. These are conducted over Zoom or in otherwise virtual classrooms, but they do not satisfy the social needs of a developing child, nor do they satisfy necessary time with a teacher or trusted adult. Children in elementary, middle- and high-school normally have access to guidance counselors, and teachers are able to pick up on signs that a student may be struggling at home or be in an otherwise dangerous situation (Neal). Due to the pandemic and virtual learning, time with teachers and other adults are extremely limited. Children who are in a toxic home situation may struggle in reaching out to a trusted adult, and teachers remain oblivious behind a screen. Domestic violence has increased since COVID-19’s arrival, and experts suspect that far more cases go unseen, as victims are unable to or are afraid to report or check into the emergency room. The CDC has reported a dramatic increase in weekly emergency room visits related to child abuse. Though there have been preliminary reports finding an increased number of child abuse-related injuries in the emergency rooms, reports on abuse and neglect have actually decreased 20%–70% (CDC). The CDC attributes this lack of reporting directly to the decreased in-person interactions with teachers, counselors, and other trusted adults. Families with a history of abuse and other issues, such as alcohol and/or drug problems are considered at-risk families, and these children were monitored more closely during classes (Neal). With virtual learning, this feat is much more difficult, and children are at home with abusive and/or neglectful parents all day, whereas during a regular school day, these children would be physically away from their houses for up to nine hours. Children would also have the opportunity to stay on school grounds for longer periods of time if they participated in sports or other extracurriculars. Furthermore, teachers are mandated reporters, meaning that if there is any reason to suspect abuse or neglect, they are legally required to report their suspicions to child protective services. Without being able to physically see a student or check in without extra complications, identifying children in dangerous situations can prove difficult. Many public schools offer free and reduced-cost lunch programs, which offer free or discounted meals to children of low-income families. Though some schools offer a drive-up program in which students can still redeem lunch, some schools have forgone the program completely because of COVID-19. These programs provide low-income children with the

knowledge that they will be able to eat when they attend school, and underprivileged children may be neglected in their dietary needs as a result, contributing to compromised immune systems and a higher risk for developing COVID-19, among other illnesses. Children who are already at risk for abuse face an even greater danger that teachers cannot see. While these children are stuck at home due to virtual learning, their parents are either virtually employed, or unemployed, growing restless and the possibility of further drug and/or alcohol abuse climbs. Social and economic changes have been shown to worsen substance issues in users (NCBI). The CDC released a report in late June that showed anxiety disorder symptoms as three times more reported than in 2019, depressive disorder four times more reported, and 13.3% of respondents reported starting or increasing substance abuse (Sparkman). The stressors of a pandemic as well as financial uncertainty, piled on top of taking care of a child can drive a parent to neglect or abuse. Children who primarily stayed in school and after school programs have suddenly become dependent on their parents’ care far more intensely than in previous years. Because of abusive families’ neglect, overdose deaths in children are climbing, and Cleveland in particular has seen an increase of overdoses in children. Children left with free rein of the house are able to find drugs much easier than they may have in the past. Additionally, police officers and D.E.A. officers often visit schools to educate children on the danger of drugs, but this program will now be primarily online. Neglectful parents may have also been sedating their children instead of taking the time to learn what their child might need, and the death toll in children due to opioids has been on the rise since 2017. Though the official toll for 2020 has yet to be released, the number is expected to jump significantly. Children who come from families with no previous history of neglect or abuse may face new challenges, as unemployment and financial stress has become prevalent for a majority of Americans. Because of the multifaceted stressors that COVID-19 has inflicted on families, parents may become more likely to neglect or abuse a child in new instances of stress (Neal). The importance of protecting the future of America has never been more important in the unprecedented era that COVID-19 has brought to families of all compositions and backgrounds. Diligence in checking up on the children and families in your life is imperative to guard against abuse and neglect before a child is fatally threatened. If you know of any child who who may be in need of help, please visit www.childhelp.org THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 26


Seven Pillars Design Co.

FEATURE

27 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2021

Jillian VanDyke How a love for creativity and helping people turned into an epiphany that led this CSU alum to start her own business

I

mpact was the key basis of the beginning of what became a design company in the midst of the wild year of 2020. Art is such a broad spectrum that took a continued education and self reflection for Kyra Wells to pinpoint how she wanted

to pursue art in a way that was more than just her creating things she enjoyed. She started as a young adult not knowing the ins and outs to design, and she now runs her own design company that helps women

PHOTO BY HANNAH MOSLEY

further their work.

In her early years of being an artist, Kyra had not fully come to understand the depth of graphic design.

I have

Due to the fact that she was not aware of the impact that graphic design truly can have on the world, she

these

did not know until taking a college design course in high school and pre-college classes at the Cleveland

wants

Institute of Art She always had a passion for her creative outlets

but how

and was pushed to explore what design had to offer

do I let

being planted is what blossomed into her later dis-

them be

WRITTEN BY

fruitful?

by a high school drawing teacher. That simple seed covering what route she wanted to begin to take. “We started learning about composition and design principles and things like that. I was like ‘Oh my gosh this is actually really cool!’ One of the best things for design still for me is you can always undo. My old boss used to say, ‘Pixels are free,’ so versus art supplies, that was always something as a student that was another thing — like, I can be creative and also spend a little less money. I still didn’t really know what the end goal was though.” Kyra began taking coursed at Tri-C and later transferred to CSU to major in graphic design. Through her time at Cleveland State, Kyra worked to figure out how she could help others be impactful in their businesses through design. She discussed how important her exposure to different parts of the arts were so important to broaden her view and spark interests that she wasn’t aware she had. College courses were what brought on her decision of being a designer, although it was not certain what

Kyra Wells

Creative Director + Owner, Seven Pillars Design Company that specifically would look like, into the picture. Kyra brought up the fact that design takes both left and right brain factors to work. Being able to think creatively while also being practical and creating for the fact of strategy can work well together. Her passion for the analytical and science side of things paired well with art in this specific field of study. Graphic design combines data and makes it visual and eye catching if done well. She hopes for there to be earlier and improved education on design so that younger people searching for careers are more knowledgeable

PHOTO CREDIT ANITA LOUISE

of the sustainability that a graphic designer can have as a full time job. She talked about how difficult it was to tie in all her creative faucets and make them tangible. Kyra also talks about how getting a bachelors in Graphic Design at Cleveland State University really helped to push her in the right direction. It allowed her to think more externally and be able to create for others realistically and not just inwards for what she

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 28


FEATURE

in such an overwhelming time she instead looked to mentors, families, and God for guidance on her situation. A specific experience that really helped her was meeting with Lucinda Walker for direction. Lucinda had her write out what she did and did not want for herself in her future career. She wanted to help people solve problems, lead projects, be innovative, and activity be working with clients. “The thing I can do is not stop pursuing my dreams and not stop trying to help people.” “Don’t forget to reflect and remember that this is temporary. Every little point it was kind of hard to see the moments like I wake up and am like “What do I do today? Can’t go anywhere. And really anybody, I mean you know me I loved school. I was like a huge CSU cheerleader so to graduate and now have this crisis of not having anything. “Graduation is called commencement for a reason because it’s starting something new. It’s a new venture in life.” “My sister was like ‘Have you thought about opening your own business?’ and I was like ‘Oh my gosh I don’t want to do that.’ I had been doing freelance work since after Tri-C so that was probably like 2017 but I really did not love the work that I was would like to see herself make. The audience that she designs for became much more valuable. Specifically, she mentioned the Human Centered Graphic Design class that showed her how to emphasize with her audience. These courses being taught by professors that are much more beyond that in the field was very valuable. “They’re practitioners as well as being educators.” [In regards to Sarah Rutherford , Anne Berry, and Jennifer Visocky O’Grady]. Kyra now works alongside some of Cleveland State’s design professors as chairs in Cleveland’s chapter of AIGA, The Professional Association for Design. Kyra spoke for Cleveland State’s AIGA before announcing the start of her business. [Insert info on that presentation here] Last year, 2020, was the year that changed everyone’s plans. Being in her last semester of college as well as being an intern were both things that had to quickly move to online. Graphics are something that are created on a computer, but artists, especially Kyra who is fueled by being in a social setting, work well during critiques where they can push each other further. In-person critiques turned into writing extensively online. She was strongly involved in her courses and student groups. She was apart of the Vindicator Art & Culture magazine and was joy filled being able to attend meetings and see visually how her work would be printed out next to her fellow design students. These Vindicator meetings turned into zoom calls and a plethora of Facebook group posts. So whenever this odd time of her college career abruptly stopped and her last zoom call was over, Kyra was amongst millions of other people in the same boat as her. Instead of letting doubt or defeat take over 29 | VINDICATOR

doing. I was doing like album covers and nothing’s wrong with those but I was just doing random stuff. Like anybody that was sending me a message on instagram I was like ‘Okay I’ll do an album cover, okay i’ll do your business card.’ You know, whatever. If I was doing a business I wanted it to be more serious and it was going to be a lot of work and all these feelings. And so I had said no and she was like “Well you have the time right now, you might not have the time in the future to focus on something like this. Why don’t you look into it?’ So that’s when I was reading proverbs and I saw that verse and something [God] just told me that this is your business. So then I was like ‘Okay what do I do with this?’”. After figuring out what Kyra wanted for herself, she sought what God may have in store for her. She wanted to seek how what she was doing would align with God’s calling for her. She said, “I have these wants but how do I let those be fruitful.” As she was reading Proverbs 9, which begins by saying “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars” she had an epiphany about this specific verse (Proverbs 9:1 NIV). She had a feeling this would be the name of her business and so this led to her researching the meaning of seven pillars. The number seven means completion, perfection, and organization., and then which you consider a pillar it’s supposed to be a foundation, something that holds things up. “I wanted to be the person that was the supporter of your dreams and ambitions

The number seven means completion, perfection, and organization., and then when you consider a pillar it’s supposed to be a foundation, something that holds things up.


FEBRUARY 2021

Featured Work

PHOTO CREDIT CREATIVELY STOCKED

Design and Branding Examples

for your business and your goals but then do it in a

ing behind what could be used for potential design

way that is organized, feels structured, and is com-

deliverables. Everything created, even down to the

plete,” said Kyra.

color palette, is done with intention for that specif-

Amongst such a challenging time, Kyra truly dis-

ic person and what they are trying to communicate

covered a way that she can authentically be helping

and make their clients feel. Design can be tangible

others through their business during the pandemic.

and full of emotion if done currently, which in Seven

She wanted to seek out helping other people instead

Pillar’s sense I believe it is spot on. Kyra continued,

of them just being the ones to reach out to her. She

“I am interested in seeing growth, not just design-

created a format that made it easier for businesses to

ing you something cool and then you just have that

reach clients during a time that was mostly online as

cool thing.” Emotional response is something that

well as her doing the same exact thing.

was stressed to have great importance as an end

There are a variety of services that are a part of

goal. She strives to pinpoint exactly who customers

Seven Pillar’s current workflow, however there is a

in this business are and how they can be reached on a

change in the midst. The process is created to be very

deeper level. Customer profiling and personas, which

personable and specific to every person or compa-

were learned in university design courses, are a part

ny that is being helped to become the best version of

of this process. Grasping the overall effect that the

themselves.

businesses have on their customers and what they

Kyra further talked about who she works with, “So

gain from working with them is ideal. In this sense,

basically I work with women business owners and

comparison to the competition to see what they are

entrepreneurs to understand their messaging to their

working with is great. “That’s why I call it strategic

audience and then from there we work on a design

design, because we’re taking all of that to build your

deliverable. Sometimes things don’t even result in

brand,” said Kyra.

design deliverables. Design is not always the answer.

Kyra has already worked with a great deal of com-

And sometimes as a graphic designer it felt like ‘How

panies within the first few months of announcing

could I say that? Design is always the answer.’ Some-

her company. Her goals of helping people are being

times it’s really not, design is the method.”

not only met, but exceeded. She is so early in her ca-

She is realistic that it may not be the ideal solution for everyone. She has a method to her madness

reer and has so much room to continue to grow other businesses for the greater good.

which basically entails a route of truly understanding the who, what, and why of a person’s business by a series of questions. The realness of each individual is found through this and gives Kyra a better reasonTHEVINDI.COM ­­ | 30


BEAUTY + WELLNESS

SEASON OF

SINGLENESS

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY

Jillian VanDyke Just because you’re alone does not mean you have to be lonely. There is greatness that comes with being single. you are and your ability to give yourself to others.

party for anyone because of their rela-

Life is too short to give time to people undeserv-

tionship status or lack thereof. I am in

ing of what you could be doing with it for your own

the same boat, so I hope I can relate to

good instead. Everyone has the capability to pour into

what you are feeling. But if not, I can do

themselves so they can share it with their future sig-

my best to share with you some optimism. Take ad-

nificant other.

vantage of the time you’re in and invest in your cur-

There are a lot of health benefits that come with

rent and future self in order to fulfill your joy. Find

not having a partner. Oftentimes, when another per-

happiness in yourself so that another person is an

son is added into the mix, it takes a toll on your fi-

addition, not what fills you.

nances, sleeping habits, and stress levels. So, the

Life throws many different seasons at us, but sin-

next time you find yourself stressed or losing sleep

gleness is a particular season that can be a constant

on how much money you spend, remember that at

for us for quite a lengthy amount of time. With this

least it is on yourself and not someone else. Single

can come feelings of doubt, which is so normal, but

people become more generous and helpful for this

with that can come reassurance, personal growth,

reason, which in time will be much more beneficial

and security in oneself as well. You have the ability

for their potential future relationships.

to be happy with your single life and bring out the

Being single is something that brings emotion-

best in it. Did you know that being by yourself has

al strength and intelligence, two things that are not

been scientifically proven to be healthier for you for

found in a relationship but that can prove to be ben-

various reasons? Social connections play a big part in

eficial while in one. Generosity is something that

this, especially platonic ones. Being alone gives you

is keen to your partner. There are many different

more free time to socialize with people other than

ways every individual is able to receive love, all of

your partner, which leads to overall happiness. Ac-

which are based on personality and personal prefer-

cording to researcher Elyakim Kislev, who has his Ph.

ence. This usually entails a combination of the five

D in sociology from Columbia University, “Singles

love languages. I suggest taking time to get to know

who pursue social interactions more proactively than

yourself and what you enjoy so that you are able to

do couples can bypass them in the happiness index.”

communicate this to others. If you do not know how

So allowing yourself to pursue relationships with

you receive love, it could put a strain on your rela-

people that are not with the intent to be romantic is

tionships.

very beneficial to your overall well-being. Relationships consume valuable time that can be spent with

Love languages

other people.

Learning how you are able to receive is important for

Your twenties are a time to be selfish and do what

you to learn and be able to communicate with people,

is best for you, which may be exactly what preparing

whether it be plantocially or romantically. Working

yourself for a relationship looks like. Being selfish is

on these while ‘dating yourself’ is a great place to

a great form of selflessness when you’re not hurt-

start.

ing yourself or others. Vulnerability can be extremely taxing if you are not secure enough with the person 31 | VINDICATOR

Find happiness in yourself so that another person is an addition, not what fills you.

H

ear me out: I am not throwing a pity


FEBRUARY 2021

Words of Affirmation It can often be hard to receive love through words whenever you are not romantic with someone that will speak those words to you. This is where self love starts to come into play. Speaking life into yourself and working on caring communication is how you may learn what specific affirmations you are able to receive well. Acts of Service This specific love language really ties in with another person, so while you are single start taking yourself on dates! You are able to receive a service by something as simple as someone making you a coffee shop (and it is their job so there is no room for failure). Physical Touch Welcoming warm embrace in a healthy way can start with something as simple as a welcoming hug. For those of you who have pets, take advantage of the (in a loving way of course). Oftentimes the heart desires something as simple as reassuring warm embrace. Gifts Not that I fully condone it, but this love language may need a little bit of shopping therapy, who does not love that! Literally, treat yourself, especially when you do not have someone doing it for you! You have to allow yourself to receive things before others. Quality Time I can not stress this enough. Spend time by yourself. Getting through your season of singleness and enjoying it comes with learning how to NOT be lonely while being alone. You can not add someone into the mix until you fill your time with time that only includes yourself. Learning what you enjoy doing in your alone time will be beneficial when you need ‘alone time’ during a relationship or even be things you add to date list ideas!

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 32


BEAUTY + WELLNESS

DOMESTIC

ABUSE WRITTEN BY

Domestic abuse affects children in different types

Vanessa Murphy

of ways. In the United States, more than 15 million children live in homes in which domestic violence has happened at least once. Some children can have

Domestic abuse happens more often than you would think. Having safe and effective resources to get help is incredibly crucial for victims, especially in the age of COVID-19.

A

short-term effects of experiencing or witnessing this type of abuse, while others can have long-term effects, as well as having their own problems arise when they start to have a relationship of their own one day. Depending on the age of the child, some of the short term effects can vary. If the child is in the

lthough we wish that all relationships

preschool-age range or younger, some of the devel-

were safe and healthy, unfortunately,

oping signs can include: difficulties staying asleep or

that’s not the case. Some relationships

falling asleep, signs of hiding or stuttering and signs

spiral downward into domestic abuse

of severe separation anxiety. If the child is in the

due to different factors. The chances of

someone falling victim to this type of relationship is far too common. Having a safe and effective way to leave an abuser is key to having the victim and their family stay out of harm’s way. How common is domestic abuse in relationships? Unfortunately, the numbers are too high. According to National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 3 women in the US experience some sort of domestic abuse, including physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Men have chances that are just as high, with 1 in 4 in the US experiencing the same type of abuse. These types of abuse can start as early as in the teenage years. The National Domestic Violence Hotline also states that 1 in 10 high school students has experienced physical abuse from their partner just this past year alone. And, thanks to countless research studies, we have learned that the age of the victim does not matter; it can happen to anyone, at any age. Although no abusive relationship is the same, there are a few red flags that could signify the start of an abusive relationship*. Over the course of an abusive relationship, the abuse gets worse with time*. This type of behavior not only affects the victim but the family and potential children of the victim as well.

33 | VINDICATOR

school-age range, some of the kids blame themselves

1 in 3

for the abuse that their parents are experiencing,

women

turn, can snowball into the child not participating in

in the US

bad grades. Research has also shown that kids of this

experience

Teenagers may start to act in negative ways such

some sort

family members. They can also start to develop low

of domestic

start bullying others. Teenage girls are more likely

abuse

Different long-term effects can arise, but children

which can hinder the child’s self-esteem. This, in school activities, having fewer friends, and getting age range get more stomachaches and headaches. as skipping school or starting to fight more with self-esteem and have difficulties making friends or to be withdrawn and develop depression. that have witnessed domestic abuse have a greater chance of repeating this cycle in adulthood by either undertaking an abusive relationship or becoming the abuser themselves. “For example, a boy who sees his mother being abused is 10 times more likely to abuse his female partner as an adult. A girl who grows up in a home where her father abuses her mother is more than six times as likely to be sexually abused as a girl who grows up in a non-abusive home” claims the Office on Women’s Health. Not only does this affect a child’s future in regards to abuse, but it can affect their mental and physical health over time as well.


FEBRUARY 2021

*RED FLAGS THAT COULD SIGNIFY AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP As provided by The Mayo Clinic

Calling you names or insulting you

Preventing or discouraging you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends

Trying to control whether you can see a health care provider

Threatening you with violence or a weapon

A child can start to develop depression and anxiety

As lockdowns in the US lasted for weeks, starting in

from witnessing or being a part of this abuse. Their

March through April, some states kept their lock-

emotional and physical health can start to dwindle

downs longer or returned to locking down as case

too; they can start to develop obesity, heart disease,

numbers got worse. In a piece from TIME magazine,

diabetes, poor self-esteem, and many other issues

writer Melissa Godin states, “for people who are

along the way.

experiencing domestic violence, mandatory lock-

In addition to the child’s mental and physical

downs to curb the spread of COVID-19 have trapped

health taking a toll, so does the victim’s. The victim

them in their homes with their abusers, isolated

can face a span of effects that are physical, mental

from the people and the resources that could help

and emotional throughout the abuse and after. Some

them”. Already feeling trapped from an abuser has

physical effects can be bruises, red or purple marks at

just worsened with COVID-19 now. Godin mentions

the neck, sprained or broken wrists, muscle tension,

that domestic violence is about control and power,

involuntary shaking, changes in eating and sleeping

but with COVID-19 presenting unpredictable times,

patterns, chronic fatigue, and more. Women can even

it intensifies issues like this. While most individuals

develop menstrual cycle or fertility issues over the

escape from the violence by going out to see family

course of the abuse. The mental effects of this abuse

or friends and going to work, they are now trapped at

vary from individual to individual, but some of the

home, making it stressful for the victim. “For many

more common ones are PTSD, depression, severe

women, even the fear of contracting the coronavi-

anxiety, alcohol or drug abuse, and more. The emo-

rus is stopping them from seeking out medical care

tional effects can include feeling unworthy, inability

after experiencing physical abuse”, states Godin.

to trust, hopelessness, apprehensiveness, discouraged

Many safety plans, such as shelters, may close doors

feelings about the future, and more. Every individual

to individuals who have been exposed to the virus

reacts differently to the recovering process, there-

or if the shelters feel that the number of people in

fore, healing takes time for everyone. As a result of

the shelter is too high, thus increasing the risk of

the victim feeling helpless in these situations, most

the virus spreading within the shelter. Currently,

do not know how to seek help or if it is the “right”

the hotline offers an online chat system, making it

thing to do when children are involved.

more accommodating to victims that are looking for

Creating a safety plan to be able to ensure the

resources to lean on through these times.

safety of the victim and their potential children is a

Domestic violence happens around us more than

big part of leaving the abuser. Mayo Clinic explains

we would think. With such tough and unforeseeable

how leaving an abuser can be dangerous, but having

times due to the COVID-19 pandemic,victims of

a plan will help. Preparing to leave can take time to

abuse are under intense pressure due to the constant

fully execute the plan, especially when the abuser

uneasiness of living with an abuser, especially at a

monitors the usage of the victim’s phone, comput-

time when we are all stuck at home.. Involvement

er, email, and GPS devices. Research suggests that

in these types of situations can take a serious toll

clearing the search history after using a device can

on children and their overall well-being, too. For

help protect the safety of the individual. The National

the sake of the victim and others involved, putting

Domestic Violence Hotline has a number (1-800-799-

their physical, mental and emotional health first is

7233) that anyone can call at any time for support.

such an important factor in helping the abused. But,

They also offer assistance in creating a safety plan

luckily there are ways for victims to seek help, even

for when the individual is ready to leave.

in the midst of a pandemic. If you find yourself in

As the pandemic arrived back in spring 2020 and

a situation like this, create a safety plan and keep a

continues to affect us all to this day, concerns have

list of resources (like the ones mentioned above) on

arisen about issues like domestic abuse worsening.

hand at all times.

Blaming you for his or her violent behavior or telling you that you deserve it.

*PATTERNS TO LOOK FOR Your abuser threatens violence Your abuser strikes Your abuser apologizes, promises to change or offers gifts The cycle continues to repeat itself

As provided by The Mayo Clinic

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 34


BEAUTY + WELLNESS

THE IMPACT IMPACT OF OF THE

COVID-19 ON BLACK

INDIVIDUALS Claudia Ugbana The recent pandemic is further proof of how racism and inequality affects Black individuals within the U.S.

I

n March 2020, the world was taken aback by the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to be a problem today. The connection between racism and the effects of the pandemic, mortality rates and the impact of infection

vary and are difficult to quantify, but the correlation is undeniable. During the early days of the pandemic, many forms of media reported that Black individuals were more likely to be infected with the coronavirus and much more likely to die from the virus than other racial groups. After a dive into the ins and outs of racial disparities surrounding the virus, it became apparent why. Black individuals were found to have underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus as a result of social and economic issues. While most people initially thought this was as a result of biological factors, systemic racism is the primary cause.

35 | VINDICATOR

How does systemic racism play into the coronavirus? For decades, the American healthcare system has continuously failed Black individuals: from health insurance coverage issues to lack of readily available resources to poor health conditions to decades of abuse and illegal experimentation on Black individuals. The coronavirus pandemic proves to be no different as Black people are once again overlooked. Social factors, including economic disadvantages and lack of access to proper health care, can all impact a person’s life — this is the reality Black individuals are facing during the raging pandemic. For example, the National Data for the U.S reported that Black individuals make 59 cents for every dollar a white individual makes. The lack of financial stability in Black households has played a significant role in high death rates, as they are forced to work during a pandemic. While socio-economic issues do play a major role in the effects of COVID-19 among Black individuals, this is not the central issue. The discrimination that occurs within the healthcare system within the U.S. is paramount. First, hospitals lack diversity among leadership personnel, affecting the patients. The large gap in the ratio of white to Black doctors in medical facilities across the country causes patient-physician relationships to remain strained as Black patients are unable to fully trust the physicians hired to treat them.

—lack of financial stability in Black households has played a significant role in high death rates, —forced to work during

WRITTEN BY

a pandemic.


FEBRUARY 2021

Second, low-income neighborhoods lack resources.

hoax, but a factual issue that continues to worsen. The

Residential segregation policies placed decades ago

U.S. has done little to resolve these issues in order to

continue to affect the Black individuals within these

take better care of Black Americans, but government

neighborhoods, as they have little to no healthcare

officials have the opportunity to enact real change

facilities, a lack of access to comprehensive health

by following these suggestions:

education, and no nearby supermarkets with healthy food options. The system further continues to discriminate against Black individuals as the research readily available to the public discounts Black individuals. For example, The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports that while African-Americans are 13% of the entire U.S. population, only 5% of patients enrolled in clinical trials related to the Food and Drug Administration approval of new drugs are African-American. This lack of diversity is also displayed in other clinical trials conducted within the U.S. After decades of these issues listed above, the system has yet again failed Black individuals during the coronavirus pandemic. Research conducted by PHOTO CREDIT ADOBE STOCK

APM Research Lab reports that Black individuals are among the highest number of people who have lost their lives to the virus.

1 2 3 4

Acknowledge racism and discrimination. This opens up a pathway for solutions and results. Reorder the system. Tearing down a system that holds years of discrinimation against and torture of Black individuals, while building a system that favors them instead. Allocate healthcare benefits, education and resources to Black individuals in need. Educate other racial groups to stop stereotyping and see Black individuals as equal to them.

What is being done to prevent the continuous death of Black individuals during COVID-19?

These suggestions are only the beginning of a long list

These issues have always existed, and the American

rate of Black individuals in not only this pandemic,

healthcare system has always had the opportunity to

but in healthcare crises to come.

of solutions that could impede the growing mortality

rectify them. The racism within our system is not a THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 36


SOCIAL

WRITTEN BY

ILLUSTRATED BY

and stress levels grew around health and economic

Courtney Byrnes

Devin Benko

situations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention created a page for mental health resources

A look back on the past year and what we can learn.

T

37 | VINDICATOR

during COVID-19. The summer months were characterized by over 7,750 Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country following the death of George Floyd, according

he year 2020 is one that will not soon

to The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

be forgotten for the historical and chal-

The protests brought attention to police brutality

lenging events that characterized its 12

and systemic racism in the country while calling

months. As strong as the urge may be to

for justice for victims such as Floyd, Breonna Taylor,

think “the past is in the past” and “new

Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and many others.

year, new me,” it is just as important to take the time

All these events seemed to come to a head in the

to reflect on the past year and learn from the events.

contested November election as the pandemic, econ-

Coincidentally, last year was off to a similar be-

omy and racial tensions seemed to be on the ballot.

ginning to the new year with an impeachment trial

Election day seemed to turn into election month,

of the 45th president, Donald J. Trump. While this

as the last state, Georgia, was not called until more

is just an interesting parallel, it is true that history

than two weeks later.

has a way of repeating if we do not learn from it.

With Georgia’s electoral votes going to Joseph

2020 brought many prominent issues to the fore-

Biden, the democratic candidate had a decisive win

front starting with climate change as devastating

with his 306 votes to Trump’s 232, according to NPR.

fires raged across Australia in January, and in later

Even so, the election did not appear so set in stone

months, across the west coast of the United States.

to many as lawsuits, recounts and claims of election

The pandemic served as the catalyst for many other

fraud followed in the months to come.

growing topics such as health, both physical and

The year was not full of solely bad news as there lay

mental, and the economy. The coronavirus became

a ray of hope in many of the darker events. The end

a global health crisis that raised concerns over rates

of the year came with break-throughs in coronavirus

of infection and death and hospitals’ capacities. As

vaccine developments and plans to begin vaccination.

a result, a shutdown was put into place to slow the

According to ACLED, the protests over the summer

spread.

were 93% peaceful and the BLM movement net ap-

As businesses shut down for the unforeseeable

proval rating across all races peaked.

future and consumers spent more time at home,

The November election was marked by many

the economy took a sharp downturn. According to

historic moments with record turnout—103 million

the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates

early votes casted and winner Joe Biden received more

reached a historic peak in April 2020 at 14.7% with

than 75 million votes—and Kamala Harris became

23.1 million people reportedly out of work.

the first Black woman and person of South Asian

Mental health concerns began to grow as the

descent elected to the vice presidency, according to

pandemic left many in prolonged social isolation

The Associated Press.


FEBRUARY 2021

…take the time to reflect on the past year and learn from the events.

For many, 2020 proved to be an eye-opening year

2020 helped put things in perspective and showed

whether that be learning something new about yourself

us what really matters.

during isolation or gaining a new perspective on the

“It is important to celebrate the small things and

world. In an online survey shared on social media,

focus on your mental health,” Sam, an Engineering

respondents were asked to reflect back on the past

Student at CSU, wrote. “Don’t take the small things

year and share personal lessons they have learned.

for granted like something as simple as going out

The first question asked what event(s) of 2020

with friends.”

had the greatest impact on the respondent and gave

The times are unpredictable, so you might as well

examples of the pandemic, shutdown, economic

seize the day—Carpe Diem!

downturn, BLM protests and presidential election

“Take every opportunity that comes your way no

as a refresher.

matter how low your mood or how high the perceived

While a couple responded that all or a combination of these events greatly impacted them, most responses related to the pandemic whether that be in the form of the shutdown, isolation, quarantine or adapting to the new normal. Other questions asked respondents to share personal take-away lessons from the events and from isolation given the time to self-reflect. From the responses, 2020 seemed to be a time for education, finding yourself, re-evaluating relationships and reflecting on what is important in life. For many, it was also the time for finding a balance between social media and mental health. “With social media such as Instagram or Twitter, it’s easy to want to put up a specific profile of yourself that’s inaccurate and your idea of ‘perfect,’” Logan Katoch, a student at Lake Erie College, wrote. “In reality, it’s much more important to be transparent and yourself.” CSU student Samra Karamustafic also shared her experience with social media as she found herself “doom-scrolling” and advised to unplug for a few moments every day. “I realized that taking a break from social media and the constant notifications to do something that I enjoyed doing (reading, going to the park, etc.) did wonders for my mental health” she wrote.

risk.” wrote CSU student Jeremy Biello. As important as keeping up with our friends is, we also must cherish our family, both near and far. “Although I can be a homebody and I love to spend time alone, I learned that it is important to talk to people and how much I need others,” Jacquelyn Wilson, a student at CSU, wrote. “I appreciate my family more now; my immediate family because I am stuck with them, but also my extended family because I have not seen them in so long.” And lastly, surrounded by many historical moments has us wondering what our legacy will be. “This is a time that will live on in history forever. Our decisions now will impact generations to come,” CSU student Megann Rosecrans wrote. “It’s important to make sure you’re on the right side of history so you don’t embarrass yourself when you’re sharing stories of these times with your grandkids!”

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 38


SOCIAL

IPHONE HOME SCREEN TOURS

39 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2021

ILLUSTRATED BY

Eric Seitz

Emily Williams

They say the Home Screen is the window to the soul… Wait, they don’t? Well, whatever…

Alex Ruggieri Marketing Major // Senior

Y

“I like to make my Home Screen match the season

cally pleasing layout it can have. This rings especially

This is a woman who has put some THOUGHT into

true in light of Apple’s recent iOS14 update, which

her Home Screen. The minimalist app icons with a

introduced loads of customization options to the

muted color palette hits home Alex’s cozy vibe here.

home screen.

Her widgets are visible enough to give the screen

There’s a reason it’s called the home screen. It’s

some variety, but they’re not so intense that they

where you stop for a moment while you’re heading

take over the other apps.

ou’ve seen the weekly reports. You

and my moods! This is my winter-themed screen

know that you spend an astonishingly

that reminds me of the coziness of the season! I like

large amount of your day staring at it.

having a calendar widget to keep me organized and

So it makes sense that you might make

little photos of family, friends, & quotes to inspire

painstaking efforts to give your phone’s

me. For something I look at so much every day, I

home screen the best, most efficient, most aestheti-

feel like it should be beautiful and make me smile!”

somewhere else. It’s where you keep coming back to at the end of the night (no matter how many hours

Sarah Rutherford

you may spend on TikTok). It’s your base. So wanting

Professor of Graphic Design

to make it your own is understandable — natural,

“I’ve kept my home screen as some version of this

even. With that in mind, we wondered: What do different people’s home screens look like? What makes people organize them the way they do? Why does my mother have a folder on her phone titled “D De”? (Answer: she definitely made it by accident). All these burning questions drove us to one decision: we had to ask the CSU community these hard-hitting questions ourselves. So with that, take a look below at the shining examples of the Home Screens of members of the CSU community. Megan Baranuk (Vindi’s editor-in-chief!) Promotional Communications Major // Senior

layout for years. I purchased an SE model phone because I prefer the small size, which means the screen capacity is limited. I also set up the zoom view for my poor aging eyes, further restricting how many apps appear on the home screen. All the apps I use

There’s

a reason

it’s called

the Home Screen.

WRITTEN BY

most are on the bottom half of the screen, in easy reach of my thumb. I tried the new widget options but didn’t like them. That probably says more about my dislike of technological change than the actual functionality of the widget layouts though!” For many, functionality is the highest priority, and that’s completely understandable! I love the idea of putting the most used apps lowest on the screen for easy reachability.

“I’ve organized my home screen into color-coded

Also, the zoom view just gives those beau-

sections because I find it very satisfying to see the

tiful app icons a chance to shine even more!

colors flowing from one to another. My background is

I mean, I never get tired of staring at that

a CareBear in the clouds because I think it's so cute,

Instagram gradient.

and I've recently had an obsession with everything 2000s.”

José Mendez

As you can see, Megan has the sociopathic tendency

Political Science Major // Senior

to organize her app icons based on their color (just

“I wanted to go with a space theme for my

do wonder: why?). As you can see, Megan’s put the GarageBand app on her first page (FIRST PAGE!), and when I asked, she had no real reason for placing it there other than its perfect placement between the red and orange of her gradient. Megan, maybe 2021 is the year of putting largely useless apps where they belong.

Home Screen since I’m interested in space. I found the background on the internet and created a few custom icons for Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok to try and create a space feel. I gave the Snapchat ghost a space suit, made the TikTok logo into a comet, and I tried making Twitter bird into a constellation. I never got around to doing the other icons, but maybe someday. In terms of layout, I knew

Megan Baranuk

kidding, we don’t think it’s sociopathic — but we

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 40


SOCIAL

that the apps I have here are the apps I use the most, so I wanted them on my first page. Additionally, I added widgets to make it easier to manage battery and keep on top of the news.” I have it on good authority that José downloaded the seven-day free trial of Adobe to make those icons in Illustrator, and that’s Home Screen dedication if I ever saw it. You can really learn a lot about someone What did we learn about José, you ask? This man is not to be trifled with. Anyway, this layout is pretty classy. I’m digging the way that the widgets break the lower part of the

Alex Rugieri

based on what they use their Adobe free trial for.

screen into quadrants — it gives the layout some visually pleasing balance. Also, José I’m not sure what’s going on, but your widget clock and your phone clock are four minutes apart. Maybe get that checked out? Kayla Ball

thetically pleasing to me. I don’t use folders because I like all of the apps being out and being able to be seen. I have a neutral background depicting the season and then I like to try and have pictures according to the color scheme on each of my pages of friends and interests.” We’ve got another color coder on our hands, folks. Though this one is a bit more fleshed out because Kayla has all five pages of her Home Screen sorted by color. To boot, she also has placed images and widgets in the color section that they fit, tying the whole Home Screen together. The black-andwhite background image helps the colored icons to stand apart, and the images that match the colors of the app icons give this Home Screen a strong

Kayla Ball

visual theme.

41 | VINDICATOR

José Mendez

“I like my apps to be color-coded because it’s aes-

Sarah Rutherford

Communications, Mathematics, and Statistics Major


FEBRUARY 2021

My Piano I’m there when you are at your absolute lowest, catching the raindrops you call your tears, I let you use me time and time again, waiting for you to finally be satisfied with what you hear. But you never are. I constantly wait alone wishing I could talk back, but our relationship is becoming more white and black. I may have not known you long, and you may never realize the small things I do for you, But no one can turn on my light the way you do.

WRITTEN BY

Reem Abumeri ILLUSTRATED BY

Hannah Mosley

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 42


POETRY

Let America Be WRITTEN BY

Let America be America again.

Langston Hughes

Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

The poorest worker bartered through the years. Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream In the Old World while still a serf of kings, Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true, That even yet its mighty daring sings In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned That’s made America the land it has become.

That any man be crushed by one above.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

(It never was America to me.)

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free,

In search of what I meant to be my home— And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea, And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came To build a “homeland of the free.”

Equality is in the air we breathe.

The free?

(There’s never been equality for me,

Who said the free? Not me?

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars? I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart, I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars. I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek— And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak. I am the young man, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay!

The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay? For all the dreams we’ve dreamed And all the songs we’ve sung And all the hopes we’ve held And all the flags we’ve hung, The millions who have nothing for our pay— Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again— The land that never

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

has been yet—

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

And yet must be—

I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. I am the people, humble, hungry, mean— Hungry yet today despite the dream. Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

43 | VINDICATOR

I am the man who never got ahead,

the land where every man is free.


FEBRUARY 2021

e America Again The land that’s mine — the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME— Who made America, Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again. Sure, call me any ugly name you choose— The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives, We must take back our land again, America! O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath— America will be! Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies, We, the people, must redeem The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers. The mountains and the endless plain— All, all the stretch of these great green states— And make America again!

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 44


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