Tusk Magazine 2021

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C A L S TAT E F U L L E R T O N M A G A Z I N E

LIVING ONLINE

SOUTHLAND DIARIES

BLACK VOICES

FAMILIAL JUSTICE



Mission Tusk is the annual lifestyle magazine of California State University, Fullerton, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse institutions of higher education. Tusk champions inclusion by amplifying silenced voices, strengthening solidarity, and telling stories that matter to our different communities through deliberate and inclusive diction. Our dedicated team of editors, writers, and designers took an uplifting and bright approach to this year’s edition with the intent to celebrate empowerment and joy. Continuing to break the rules, we hope to inspire our communities’ voices and fight for freedom collectively. Fists up! Tusks up!

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CONTENTS

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VOLUME 22

Tusk is produced annually by the California State University, Fullerton Department of Communications. The opinions expressed within are the responsibility of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the university, faculty, or student body. This issue was printed with Direct Connection Printing and Mailing in La Verne. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Published in Spring 2021.

Front End 6 7 8 10 13

Siempre Mujer A Mixed Celebration Raising A Plant Baby Tryna Skate? Candy with a Kick

Living Online 14 17 21 22 24 26 32

Brie-ond Delicious A Walk in the Park Cleanse Your Timeline Play For Your Rights Level Up Your Fitness Still Rollin’ Shanghai, China to Shanghai Shawty

Southland Diaries 40 44 48

Long Beach: An Ode to a Perfectly Imperfect City Laguna Beach: A Walk on Ocean Avenue Crenshaw: The Calm Within the Storm

Black Voices 52 54 56 59

Back to Our Roots Twice as Hard, Twice as Good Black Voices Letter The Five Stages of Grief In a Police State

Familial Justice 62 64 66 68

Healing Generational Trauma Life After Loss Tuff Talks: Confronting Racism at Home Not a Walking Contradiction

Back End 72 74

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A Playlist to Fight the Power Tips for First Trips


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EDITORIAL

STAFF

Managing Editors Ellinor Rundhovde Michael Quintero Black Voices Editor Janica Michelle Martinez Torres Editors Kristina Garcia Lauryn King Michelle Ibañez Taylor Arrey Black Voices Bethany Whittaker Darius Faulk Writers Alexandra Rodriguez Andrea Carvajal Austin Weatherman Danielle Jaquez Darius Johari Fowsia Shariff Mariah Ross Samuel Peña Shannon Hewkin Trisha Vasquez Zara Flores

SOCIAL AND OUTREACH

Social Media Manager Jonathan Soto Social Media Producer Kelly Hess Event Planning Celeste Basich Reina Masquat

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ART Creative Director Art Director

Ysan Jiyo Cayabyab

Photo Director

Danielle Jaquez

Darius Johari

Designers Alyssa Nicole Maun Candace Castillo Photographers Alexandra Rodriguez Elyssa Ruiz Jack Maskrey

WEB AND VIDEO Multimedia Director

Samuel Peña

Multimedia Producers Alex Mora Berañia Barraza Hélène Dréan

Advisor Chelsea Reynolds, Ph.D.


Letter From The Staff With resilience and resolve, we created the 22nd edition of Tusk Magazine to connect and empower our communities. Our team chose to write and illustrate stories that are genuine to our voice and not what mainstream media continues to produce. Still mired in the Coronavirus crisis, this year’s edition took shape over the summer of 2020 after the murder of Geroge Floyd sparked uprisings for racial justice. Because of this, three main themes emerged in our stories: Living Online, Familial Justice, and Tusk Black Voices, a vertical that formed in allyship with the fight for Black liberation. We also chose to offer a platform to Asian American women as violence mounted against AAPI communities this year. Our cover story highlights tensions between sexualization, empowerment, and cultural violence against AAPI communities. Amid a pandemic of immense collective grief, loss, and trauma, this year’s edition focuses on uplifting narratives such as gaining confidence after losing our hair, embracing our authentic selves while honoring our faith, and taking back our power by owning our sexuality. And while joy and radical self love are necessary forms of resistance, our stories also confront racism and injustice underscored and exacerbated by the pandemic in efforts to build toward a more humane world. We are beyond proud of the pages our team has put together while working fully online. We continued to produce original photography through pandemic restrictions, and pushed boundaries with our Black Voices and social justice sections while staying true to our mission of inclusion and community. We proudly use our platform to produce powerful and stunning content to uplift and unite our Titan community. We hope this edition of Tusk inspires you to build a stronger and inclusive community with us. We appreciate you picking up a copy and reading our magazine. Love, Ellinor Rundhovde, Managing Editor Michael Quintero, Managing Editor Janica Michelle Martinez Torres, Black Voices Editor Ysan Jiyo Cayabyab, Creative Director May 2021 SPRING 2021

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Siempre Mujer

Five women-run Latinx businesses you’ve gotta check out STORY BY ANDREA CARVAJAL PHOTOS BY ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN Celebrating women of color should be a year-round mission, not just a Heritage Month. Here are some women-run Latinx businesses you should support.

Yola Mezcal Yolamezcal.com

With a recipe passed down from her grandfather, Yola Jimenez is the core founder and crafted her own Oaxaca based mezcal business, Yola Mezcal. The business is exclusively run by women and supports employees with direct pay, choosing their hours, and offering childcare or bringing their child to work. This mezcal can be found all-around California and New York in various bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. Yola Mezcal didn’t stop with mezcal and held an all-female identifying event called Yola Dia in 2019, where women artists, musi-

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cians, and activists showcased their work on the festival grounds in Los Angeles’s Historic Park.

Brujita Skincare Brujitaskincare.com

Brujita Skincare is a Los Angeles based, Latina-owned business. Leah Guerrero created the brand while in Mexico City and has over ten years of esthetician experience in what is known as holistic skincare. Brujita skincare uses organic, sustainable products that come from the roots of Mexico City such as maca root powder, maracuya (passionfruit) oil, and prickly pear oil.

Valfre Valfre.com

Valfre is another Los Angeles based brand, founded by Mexican artist Ilse Valfre. All of the designs come from Ilse’s very own imagination, reflecting a psychedelic world with the characters she creates. The brand continues to grow with different designs almost every

month, and has products ranging from clothing to art and home decorations.

GrowMija Growmija.com

Queer Latinx Los Angeles native Iliana is the owner and creator of the online art brand GrowMija. Iliana created the business for her younger sister, to show inclusivity in art and develop a love letter to brown girls everywhere. Her art includes stickers, pins, and canvases that show women of different colors, body, and hair types.

Sunday Energy Sundayenergy.co

Dominican-American Melissa Flores is the founder of the jewelry collection, Sunday Energy. The purpose of each piece of jewelry sent out is to feel the love and positive energy, and they vary from anklets to evil eye earrings. This business is simple, it’s about making jewelry with a purpose. TU SK


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A Mixed Celebration Multiracial folks are common in the Southland. These support groups can help us feel connected. STORY BY SAMUEL PEÑA PHOTOS BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

Most of my friends would describe me as a “total white girl,” but occasionally, my Colombian background shines through in my personality. My white friends chide me for being the awkward Latinx kid of the group, while my Colombian cousins laugh at their “gringo” primo. If this story sounds familiar, you might be a mixed kid! Sometimes my multiple backgrounds make me feel out of place but they’re also my identity. If you can relate, here are some resources to help you understand, enjoy, and celebrate your mixed heritage.

“Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” by Gloria Anzaldúa

Gloria Anzaldúa’s semi-biographical work provides an intriguing and insightful view into Chicano culture. “Borderlands” follows the early life of Anzaldúa as she struggles to accept her cultural identity and sexuality and examines the new identities created by multicultural families. The borderlands she refers to serve as a comparison for the multiracial backgrounds that many people have today. The book provides a historical documentation and celebration of multi-

cultural backgrounds. It illuminates the struggle of multicultural families while challenging the dominant Anglo narrative of history.

CSUF’s Women and Gender Studies Class

If you read “Borderlands” and want more, CSUF students can enroll in Women and Gender Studies 490T: Advanced Readings in Feminist Theory. This class provides students the opportunity to study the work of a single feminist writer. Depending on the semester, students can learn about women who have made contributions to racial studies such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Angela Davis, and Simone de Beauvoir. The course can be repeated with different topics, and you can receive credit for up to 12 units.

Mixedracefaces mixedracefaces.com

A hidden gem in the photography world, Mixedracefaces is a family-owned organization that creates awareness for the mixed community. The organization produces photoshoots and publishes the stories of people with mixed ancestry, and was founded as a way to share the stories of people who struggle to find a community. Mixedracefaces also provides resources to trace ancestry and a platform

for artists to present themselves through written stories. The beautiful portraits reveal that people can create their own communities. The organization features hundreds of people with various backgrounds telling honest stories about their positive and negative experiences as a mixed person.

Multi-Racial Student Organization (MRSO)

Located at Azusa Pacific University, MRSO is a student organization that provides a community for mixed students. CSUF does not currently have an organization like this, but it’s clear that we need one. MRSO’s President, Hanae Gonzales, is a student of African-American, Japanese, Mexican, and Jewish descent. Growing up, Gonzales said that she struggled to find a group that could identify with her feelings of isolation. Since Azusa Pacific University didn’t have a multicultural program, she created her own. MRSO is a thriving group where people can share their stories and relate to each other’s differences instead of being alienated by them. It’s time for CSUF to create a group similar to MRSO and recognize students who face an identity battle. TU SK

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Raising A Plant Baby Dogs and cats are great, but adopting a pet isn’t always practical for college students. Instead, join a massive community of greenery enthusiasts and adopt a houseplant.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

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Adopting a houseplant comes with an array of benefits including cleaner air, brighter rooms, and increased moods. If you find yourself suffering from cabin fever or feeling the urge to spruce up your living space, a plant baby may be just the thing to boost your spirits or Instagram aesthetic. So, ready to start your journey as a proud plant parent? To help you get started, Orange County plant enthusiast and nursery reviewer Veronica broke down the basics of how to pick the perfect plant, where to shop for it, and most importantly how to keep it alive.

Where to Get Your New Plant Baby The Green Place @thegreenplaceoc Address: 109 E Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832 Hours: Tues - Sun: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. This Downtown Fullerton shop has a great selection of affordable houseplants, but what really stands out is their eye-catching decor and picturesque displays. Houseplant Nation @houseplant.nation Address: 17045 Newland St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Hours: Thurs - Mon 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you’re looking for more unique and exotic houseplants, you can’t go wrong at Houseplant Nation. The display of unique greenery creates a perfect shopping aesthetic for new planters looking to adopt a plant baby. Raising Plants OC @raisingplantsoc Address: 28715 Los Alisos Blvd. Suite 7, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Hours: Wed - Fri: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This is an excellent nursery for Southern OC folks looking for a selection of classic houseplants and tons of cool pots.

Picking the Perfect Plant Don’t start your houseplant journey with a high-maintenance fern or ficus, instead try one of these easy to care for plant babies that are almost impossible to kill. ZZ Plant: Basically indestructible and will be very forgiving if you forget to water it for a month or two. oops. Pothos: Otherwise known as the Devil’s Ivy (not the devil’s lettuce, so don’t try it) because they can survive various lightings. They also happen to look incredible draped on bookshelves. Monstera: If you have the room for a larger plant, monsteras have unique holey leaves that grow wide and take up space, so you can see your hard work paying off. Snake Plant: These are the bad boys of the houseplant world. These plants will make you fall in love with them, but be careful as they will poke you when you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. They also refuse to die no matter how much you ignore them.

Survival Guide After you visit your local nursery or shop for the perfect plant, it’s time to make sure it doesn’t just survive, but also thrives. Below are some of Veronica’s

tips and tricks to keep your houseplant happy.

Start Small As tempted as you are to buy every plant in the place, “Start small. Buy one houseplant and wait two weeks. If the houseplant survives, you’re doing something right and can handle another one, and so on.”

Invest in Your Plant’s Success If you are committed to your houseplant’s success, there are a few expenses to consider. The first is a must-have for every plant enthusiast: a moisture meter. It will tell you when your plant needs to be watered, or even if it’s drowning. Veronica also recommends investing in humidifiers and grow lights. You can find these items at most online retailers for under $25.

Listen to Your Plant’s Needs Every plant is unique and has its own watering and sun requirements that change depending on the season, soil, pot, and placement. Be mindful of what your plant responds to. “If the plant is closer to the window, it’ll receive more indirect sunlight which will dry out the soil faster than if it was sitting a foot away from the window,” Veronica said. If you give your plant the attention and love it deserves, you are in for a rewarding experience. Happy growing. P.S.: Don’t forget to name your new plant baby. TU SK

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What is the perfect skateboard for your style? STORY BY AUSTIN WEATHERMAN PHOTOS BY JACK MASKREY DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN

Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people developing an interest in skateboarding. More people have cruised the streets as a result of availability, accessibility, and escapism from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you can’t just grab any board and expect to start ripping like Jamie Foy or the Gonz.

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I mean, you can, but it’s recommended to choose one of the five types of skateboards that fit the style of skating you want to do. Some people like cruising to class, bombing hills, hitting skateparks, or others like ripping street spots. Remember, no wrong answers here. Here are the five types of skateboards, their purpose, the best places to ride them, and some words of wisdom from Cal State Fullerton student skaters.

POPSICLE

OLD-SCHOOL/ SHAPED Made popular in the ‘80s, the old school skateboard was designed to allow skaters to skate swimming pools and ramps with ease. They are generally composed of long and wide decks with big trucks, and are uniquely shaped so each board rides differently. “With a shaped board, it’s so much easier to add some pizzazz and your own finesse to it,” said liberal arts major MyLinh Nguen, who started skating Penny boards back in middle school. Recommended spot: Vans OC or an empty swimming pool

The popsicle is the most recognizable board shape of all, sporting twin-rounded tips and concave throughout the board. The popsicle skateboard’s shape and small wheels give skaters the ability to skate a more technical style with flip tricks and rails. These boards work very well at skate parks and street spots. “For me, I was always drawn to a popsicle style deck because I’ve always been interested in doing tricks,” said said fine arts major Nick Somarriba. “So if that is the style you want to ride, then a popsicle deck would be a good pick for you.”

The longboard is the most stable board due to its large wheels and surfboard-like deck, allowing skaters to hit high speeds comfortably while also avoiding speed wobbles. “Longboards are fun for going down hills super fast or cruising at the beach,” Somarriba said. “I wouldn’t ride one any other way.”

Recommended spot: Brea skatepark or Laguna Hills skatepark

Recommended spot: Beach bike path/ Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in Buena Park

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LONGBOARD

MINI CRUISER The modern mini-cruiser is perfect for traveling on campus due to its tiny size and big wheels for bypassing cracks in the pavement. “I would think it’s the perfect one because you could probably fit it in your backpack,” said business major David Rodriguez who works at the Garage Skateshop in Dana Point. Recommended spot: To and from class

CRUISER The cruiser is wider and longer than a mini, giving skaters more space and the ability to maneuver better. “That one would be better for a beginner because there’s more board room so you feel more comfortable learning how to ride,” Rodriguez said. Recommended spot: CSUF Main Campus/ parking lot A

Now that you are equipped with the proper skate knowledge, go visit your local skate shop to purchase your board today. TU SK


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Candy with a

Kick STORY AND PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

Are you missing those blacked out nights at the bar throwing back tequila shots, but at the same time glad you’re not spending $100 on a tab with four drinks? If your answer to that question is yes, then these Mexican candy inspired tequila drinks are for you.

El Borrachito

Taken by Cinnamon

La de Lucas

I’ll Clown It

Ingredients:

Ingredients: 1 Tamarind Candy (Rellerindos) 3 fl oz of preferred Reposado (gold) Tequila 1 1/2 tbsp of Cinnamon Agave Nectar 1/2 tbsp of Lime Juice Tajín rim paste

Ingredients: Lucas Powder Candy 3 fl oz of preferred Silver Tequila 1/3 cup of Pineapple Juice 1/4 cup of Mango Nectar Half of a Lime

Ingredients: Payaso Paleta (marshmallow lollipop) 3 tbsp of Sugar 3 fl oz of preferred Silver Tequila 1 1/2 tbsp of Lemon or Lime Juice Half a Lime wedge

1 Borrachito Candy Piece 3 fl oz of preferred Silver Tequila 1/3 cup of Mango Nectar 1/4 cup of Orange Juice Sugar Directions: Rim glass with sugar or salt of choice. Put fresh ice in the glass. Add the tequila, mango nectar and orange juice and stir. The candy will burn the fuck out of your throat over the tequila, but hey, you can take it like a champ.

Directions: Rim glass with Tajín paste. In a cocktail shaker, add ice cubes and ingredients, then shake well. Strain and pour into prepared glass. Add the cinnamon agave for a Fireball taste.

Directions: Rim glass with lime and Lucas candy. Place three ice cubes in the glass for a cold drink. Add 1/2 tbsp of Lucas candy to the glass, then add tequila, pineapple juice, and mango nectar. Don’t forget to stir! Add a dash of Lucas candy to the top of the mixed drink for an extra garnish.

Directions: Rim the glass with the lime wedge, then dip in sugar. In a cocktail shaker, pour in ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain mix into glass with fresh ice. Drink four of these drinks in 20 minutes and you’ll feel it faster than you can say payaso. TU SK

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-OND DELICIOUS A student’s guide to making an affordable charcuterie board STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

Charcuterie boards, also known as fancy cheese plates, have become the latest trend on social media. Chances are you’ve seen one pop up on your Instagram or TikTok feed and gasped at how irresistible it looked. You may also have gasped at the price of one on the menu of a trendy restaurant. Building your own board may seem like a daunting task, but it’s pretty simple. Tusk breaks down the process into three easy steps with professional tips from Orange County native Lauren Edwards, owner of Lover Boards OC, an Instagram charcuterie shop.

Step One: The Base If you’re just starting out with charcuterie, investing in a high-quality cheese board might not seem particularly appealing, especially after dropping thousands of dollars in tuition money. Instead, work with what you have, and after some trial and error you’ll find your go-to pieces. If you need some training wheels for your first board, a classic cookie sheet is the way to go. Not only is it accessible, but it also has bumper rails to keep all your ingredients in their own lane. If you want to be extra fancy, try out a slate cheese board. These darker, modern boards will give your creation a sophisticated vibe. You could find these at Target starting at $4.99.

Step Two: The Goods Now onto the exciting stuff — the ingredients. Edwards said she recommends shopping at Trader Joe’s for the best deals on SPRING 2021

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difference between “The an average board and a spectacular one lies in the added ingredients.”

quality charcuterie ingredients. Below is a breakdown of the best meats, cheeses, and snacks to add to your shopping list. Cheeses: For a small to medium-sized board, Edwards recommends using three kinds of cheese, preferably of different textures to add variety to your board. Her top picks include Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, Triple Cream Brie and a package of Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs. Trader Joe’s even has pre-cut cheese samplers such as the Spanish Cheese Tapas Sampler for those lazy days. Meats: Edwards’ rule of thumb for having a balanced charcuterie board is about 2 oz of meat per person. Some classic options include prosciutto, salami, and capocollo. Carbs: Now that you have your tasty meats and cheeses, they need a vehicle to travel on, and that’s where the carbs come in. For a mild option that works with almost any cheese, grab Trader Joe’s pita crackers or a classic french baguette. For something a little more intriguing, Trader Joe’s carries a line of crisps that come in unique flavors such as fig & olive, raisin rosemary, and pumpkin cranberry. Extras: The difference between an average board and a spectacular one lies 16

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in the added ingredients. Some options include grapes, olives, tapenades, honey, and fruit jams. However, Edwards said charcuterie chefs should try out unique ingredients even if they seem a little odd, such as Trader Joe’s truffle marcona almonds or hot & sweet pepper jelly. Who knows? Those ingredients could be exactly what it takes to take your board to the next level.

Step Three: The Build The last step to creating an Instagram-worthy charcuterie is arranging all your ingredients on the board. Start with the larger components (cheeses, meats and crackers) and work your way to the smaller things (fruits, nuts and condiments). The key is to fill the board completely, so use the smaller components to fill in gaps on your board. Next, take your masterpiece to the next level by garnishing your board with herbs such as rosemary and basil, edible flowers, or dried orange slices for added color and depth. With that, you are all finished. Admire your board, take way too many pictures, and sit back with a glass of wine. TU SK


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Need a break? These OC sculpture parks will boost your Instagram feed and cure your Zoom fatigue.

Slices of Heaven by Craig Gray located in Civic Center Park.

STORY BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ PHOTOS BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ, ELYSSA RUIZ, AND ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

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Left: Breaching Whale by Laguna artist Jon Seeman can be seen in Heisler Park. Above: California Scenario by Isamu Noguchi located in Costa Mesa. Below: The Bunnies, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture are a landmark of Civic Center Park.

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The sculptures are beautiful and hard to resist as they invite you to interact with the whimsy scenes.”

Fractured Peace by Nancy Mooslin on display at Civic Center Park.

Now that Zoom university is behind us, it may still be difficult to break free from our devices we’ve been stuck on for ten plus hours a day. You might not even know where to explore and still social distance while being in the outside world. We got your back, take a stroll around these three accessible and free sculpture gardens located across Orange County.

Civic Center Park, Newport Beach Just a short walk from Fashion Island, this hillside park is home to a rotating selection of whimsical sculptures. A winding dirt trail leads visitors through a landscaped terrain dotted with playful art. The sculptures are beautiful and hard to resist as they invite you to interact with the whimsy scenes. Grab a famous Sprinkles cupcake from next door, smoke a bowl, and take 20

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time to wander through the circle of giant bunny statues and oversized orange slices. You won’t be disappointed, and your mind will appreciate the much-deserved break.

Noguchi Gardens, Costa Mesa Nestled between busy office buildings sits Noguchi Garden, a courtyard statue exhibit that highlights California’s many ecosystems. Its beauty lies in the subtlety of artist Isamu Noguchi’s portrayal of native California elements. Unlike other statue gardens, this hidden gem is purposeful and cohesive, creating a unique visitor experience. While the garden itself is compact, the entire space offers numerous locations for cool photos filled with minimalistic backgrounds and sharp angles. The serene atmosphere makes it the perfect place to pause and reflect. Bring a jour-

nal, sit among the redwoods, and take a deep breath.

Heisler Park, Laguna Beach Located in a city historically known as an artist community, it’s no surprise that Laguna Beach is home to an array of captivating public art. Many sculptures can be found scattered throughout the city, but Main Beach’s Heisler Park houses some of the more famous pieces, such as the 16foot “Breaching Whale” by Jon Seeman. Heisler is situated along the top of a cliff that overlooks the coves below, giving visitors a scenic view of the ocean. It’s an excellent spot for a sunset date, and you can use the Laguna Beach interactive art brochure to plan out which sculptures you want to visit. For a day full of sun, waves, and art that captures the essence of calming beach vibes, this is the perfect place. TU SK


Cleanse Your Timeline Evade the negativity and drama by revamping your timeline to promote positivity and self care with these Tusk approved social media accounts.

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STORY BY MARIAH ROSS PHOTO BY ELLINOR RUNDHOVDE DESIGN BY JIYO CAYABYAB

@the.holistic.psychologist Created by Dr. Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist can teach us all a thing or two when it comes to healing from within. Filled with easy to read photos and detailed captions, Dr. LePera shatters myths and defies social stigma through educational tips and explanations.

@headspace Follow Headspace for a “guide to health and happiness.” Don’t let the vibrant colors and emoticon faces fool you, this page provides tips and tricks for everything you never knew you needed, like how to make a habit stick and meditations to decompress after year of online school.

@onbeing Journalist, author, and entrepreneur Krista Tippett created The On Being Project with the intent to provide “tools for the art of living.” Whether you prefer reading, podcasts or radio shows, this page has it all. With thought-provoking poetry laced in between conversations with inspiring figures, On Being will leave you feeling revived and stimulated. TU SK

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Play For Your Rights Five ways Animal Crossers used the game as a platform for positive change and virtual activism in 2020 STORY BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ PHOTOS BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN

Living in a pandemic-stricken country with a crashing economy and a clown for president sent many of us twenty-somethings looking for a virtual escape. But while some of us simply ran around our Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) town fishing and smacking villagers with our net, others utilized the game’s customization and multiplayer features to encourage social change. In 2020, ACNH became a safe haven and a place to express oneself. Here are some of the ways players used the game to promote change, encourage conversations about social justice, and usher in a new era of virtual activism.

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LGBTQ+ Virtual Pride Physical Pride may have been canceled this year, but that didn’t stop the LGBTQ+ community from celebrating. An Animal Crossing pride festival was held during the Global Pride event on June 27, and thousands of users joined the celebration by hosting pride-themed events and meetups on their islands. Aside from the pandemic-related safety of the virtual setting, this event was also more inclusive of community members who normally cannot attend in-person pride events for various reasons. Freedom, Liberation, and Justice The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been embraced by many online communities, and Animal Crossing is no exception. Supporters began adding BLM imagery to in-game custom designs and sharing them on social media for down-

load, allowing users to promote the cause on their own islands with BLM apparel, signs, and island designs. A Call For Democracy Hong Kong protesters used Animal Crossing in 2020 to spread awareness of their fight against mainland China’s influence. Pro-democracy campaigners held virtual protests when the pandemic and government barred them from in-person demonstrations. Many of these protests went viral, leading to increased exposure in other parts of the world and important discussions. Sex Positivity & Side Hustles Dominatrices began using Animal Crossing as a safe virtual environment to interact with clients and keep their business alive during the pandemic. For a small price, they hit clients with nets,

locked them in virtual cages, and forced them to do island chores such as watering flowers. The possibility for safe virtual interaction in the world of Animal Crossing also encouraged people who are curious about domination to safely explore it. Voting in the 2020 Election Was Tom Nook Approved Political groups and figures also used the game to encourage young people to vote in the 2020 election. NextGen America, a nonprofit focused on mobilizing young voters, held in-game rallies to encourage users to participate in politics. Politicians like President Joe Biden offered in-game campaign signs to place in virtual yards and U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) spent time visiting her Twitter followers’ islands clad in hand-drawn campaign shirts. TU SK

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Level Up Your Fitness 24

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Tired of your tedious workout routine? There’s an app for that. STORY BY SHANNON HEWKIN ART BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

If your muscles send 2-pound dumbbells flying and you’re sick of trudging around the same ten blocks in your neighborhood, then it’s time for a new quarantine routine. Here are five apps that will help you escape your exercise rut and challenge you in unique ways.

Zombies, Run! As if exercise wasn’t already horrifying enough, this app will have you sprinting from zombies. Transform your surroundings into a post-apocalyptic world where the more you run, the more supplies you collect and missions you complete. As you run, the narrator will create a scene through your headphones and the adrenaline rush of having zombies grasp at your heels will be enough to cut down your mile time. Price: Free, offers in-app purchases Platform: iOS, Android

Burn Your Fat With Me!! This fitness app connects the worlds of exercise and anime. The app’s goal is to motivate you to work out through “moé,” a Japanese word which loosely translates to “feelings of love toward anime characters.” A character of your choice motivates you while you focus on four different exercises to get fit — situps, push-ups, squats, and back extensions. The best part is that you have the opportunity to unlock new voices and experiences as you go, hopefully earning you the affection of your virtual love along the way. Price: Free, offers in-app purchases Platform: iOS, Android

CARROT Fit This is the snarkiest health coach you will ever encounter. Fitness overlord CARROT demands all your attention

and effort during its HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) focused seven-minute workouts. You might walk away with shaky confidence from their constant smack talk, but you’ll also have shaky knees from a killer cardio session. Price: $4.99, offers in-app purchases Platform: iOS

Walkr Every step you take in Walkr is converted into fuel for your spaceship, allowing you to explore over 50 planets with unique names like Caramel Apple and Octopus Cavern. Long runs outside and short trips to the refrigerator are both crucial steps toward completing missions

and helping cute space creatures find their way home. Every step counts. Price: Free, offers in-app purchases Platform: iOS, Android

Fitness RPG The Dark Force has taken over Fitland, who is now awaiting their savior — you. This app syncs steps from your phone or Fitbit and converts them to energy to help you train your dream team, gather weapons, find equipment, and crush the Dark Force. Do you dare to be fit enough? Price: Free, offers in-app purchases Platform: iOS, Android TU SK

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Still Rollin’

LIVING ONLINE

In the midst of racial injustice and the coronavirus, roller skating made a resurgence in Venice Beach and on social media STORY BY TRISHA VASQUEZ PHOTOS BY MICHAEL QUINTERO DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN

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Roller skating circled back in popularity on social media when quarantine started last spring and emerged as a joyful act of resistance and community building both online and in the streets. Through Tik Tok and Instagram, a new generation of skaters rolled into a way of taking action in social justice movements as a platform for spreading awareness and connecting folks across all social divides to strengthen unity. Wendell Phipps, a Black L.A.-based skater with an 18k+ Instagram presence (@wd_phipps), has attended some of these peaceful protests. “We still only have peace(ful protests), unless it is interrupted by people who do not believe in what we believe in. We are harrassed by those who are against equality for all people, and while that hurts, I feel so supported by the roller skating community and local activists,” Phipps said. Roller skating protests have been made visible through Instagram Live and TikTok, where skaters have streamed themselves organizing. The community has a history of peaceful protesting, and as we’ve seen, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. Roller skating rinks were the site of many peaceful protests during the Civil Rights era. But, Klu Klux Klan members began congregating outside, making the rink unsafe for Black skaters. Soon after, rinks across America began to close, according to the documentary “United Skates.” Just as the Black cultural origins of roller skating were obscured, the racist narrative that followed roller skating rinks was as well. While roller skating can be a fun sport, it’s important to acknowledge the oppression seen in history on all scopes. As segregation ended and racism at rinks became less prominent, the slick floors with bright disco ball lights and fresh grooves became peaceful, encouraging people to leave the problems of the world at the door and gleefully glide in resistance. Today, there are not many indoor rinks left and they continue to close down. However, the classic Venice Beach spot will always be a staple for the skating community. The tourist-filled boardwalk has a vibrant roller skating history. In the 1980s, Venice was the epicenter for roller skating performers. Skaters spinned on 28

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Clockwise from left: 1. Reannan Urias, also known as @pinkberrysk8s, catches air at the Monrovia skatepark. 2. Perri Lawler laces up her skates. 3. Lawler strolls down Venice boardwalk. 4. Trisha Vasquez, also known as @smittenonskates, performs a stall at a skatepark.


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“They’re roller skating in

resistance and solidarity”

Clockwise from left: 1. Lawler skates at the Venice Beach basketball courts. 2. Urias does a trick on the bowl. 3. Lawler poses with her skates in Venice Beach. 4. Vasquez shows off her skills at the Monrovia skatepark.

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their two front wheels like ballerinas as they rolled to funky boombox beats and captivated crowds of onlookers. The film “Roller Dreams” introduces a family of skaters from Venice with a driving passion for skating. James Rich, a skater featured in the film, started rollin’ in Venice in 1981 and still skates there today. He can be found skating with a new crew that creates original choreography on skates, some of which have caught on during this online viral revival. “Skating is changing people’s lives right now. That’s how I’ve seen it change from when I started 40 years ago. People are doing it for life now and not just fun. It’s making them stronger mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Psychologically. … It’s changing the world,” Rich said. Since the resurgence of roller skating, dozens of skaters have linked to roll through the streets of Long Beach and Los Angeles, showing their allegiance with the Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ movements. Many of these protests end with skaters of familiar and unfamiliar friends jam skating the day away as a community. The fight for social justice and revival of roller skating doesn’t stop at protests. With the lack of roller rinks, the community relies on boardwalks for jam skating and skate parks for a more trick-based style. Skater Kaitlyn Espinoza recently went viral for her videos of skating at parks, which quickly created her Instagram platform. With such a strong presence in the online skate community, many of whom are young skaters, Espinoza decided to use her platform to express her passion for skating and fighting against racial injustice in Black and brown communities. She uploads social awareness posts reminding young followers the importance of being united for the cause. “It is important to voice what you believe in and spread awareness about current issues, especially given the privilege of a platform. I want my audience to come to my page and enjoy my roller skating, but also hope they take a piece of activism with them too,” Espinoza said. Even though the sport is fun and trendy, roller skating has connected thousands of people to a safe and supportive community. TU SK

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STORY BY DARIUS JOHARI, TRISHA VASQUEZ AND TAYLOR ARREY PHOTOS BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY DARIUS JOHARI

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SHANGHAI, CHINA TO SHANGHAI SHAWTY LIVING ONLINE

The CSUF student and Top .02% OnlyFans model crafts a fantasy that pays her bills

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I

n an age where promiscuity is perceived as permission, race is inappropriately fetishized, and sexual harassment is something we prepare for, women find themselves at the intersection between being sexualized and choosing to be sexual. In this digital world, using online platforms to own your sexuality can be the key to undermining traditional systems that sexualize women without their consent. It’s a way to take back power. This is how Shanghai Shawty used OnlyFans to take back power over her body, her image, and the people who sexualized her. Cal State Fullerton junior and business major, Shanghai Shawty, started her journey as an OnlyFans creator in March 2020 after building a solid following on Instagram where she currently entertains thousands of followers with creative content. Navigating through an inbox filled with unsolicited pictures of male genitalia, Shawty said she had a moment of self-realization that helped her make her next big decision — a business move that placed the power of her body back in her hands. “I have big boobs. I realized that sadly, that is something I can use to my advantage,” Shawty said. “With that being said, OnlyFans really encouraged me and was a way for me to take that all back. I am able to choose what I post and I am able to monetize it.” With over 300 subscribers on the popular platform, Shawty’s page centers on cosplay costumes and lingerie — never full nudity or porn. The 20-year-old, self-employed student understands the economy of sex work, and she uses that insight to benefit her business and embrace her sexuality in a setting that gives her control over work hours, content, and boundaries. “It puts the power back into my hands. This is content I want to put out and if you want to jack off to it, sure,” Shawty said. Before Shawty started creating content for OnlyFans, she said that she experienced sexual harassment in workspaces, family settings, and school.

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OnlyFans puts the power back into my hands. This is content I want to put out and if you want to jack off to it, sure.”

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I wake up every morning feeling really grateful. “ Opportunities are always there. It’s just you have to be willing to sacrifice something for it. There is always an opportunity and if you can grab it, grab it.”

When she was younger, Shawty said that she would try to hide parts of her body to avoid the negative attention — but even the clothes couldn’t stop people from harassing her. “I went to Target and I was wearing a long T-shirt and my boobs pushed the T-shirt out. I was at the hair dye section and this lady was like ‘You can’t buy hair dye when you are pregnant.’ After that experience, I just never wanted to wear T-shirts anymore,” Shawty said. She added, “I was just a teenage girl in a big T-shirt.” The culmination of these experiences led Shawty down a new road — one that prioritized power, strength, and confidence as she chose to assert control over her body and how people have access to it, all while fearlessly embracing her sexuality. “I sell fantasy and I sell sex appeal,” Shawty said. “That is something I was really insecure about in high school, but I am really happy I am able to use it in a positive way to make my life better.” As a Chinese American woman, Shawty also said she knows that Asian women are fetishized and hypersexualized both in real life and online. “Yellow fever” is defined by Journal of the American Philosophical Association as a racial fetish, “a preference for Asian women (and men).” Historically, “yellow fever” promotes hypersexual images of Asian people while negatively affecting

Asian cultural identities. “When a person’s identity is otherized and depersonalized, they are no longer seen as human and are used as objects. In addition to the objectification of Asian women’s bodies that could lead to sexual harassment and violence from men who target them,” said Calley Estocapio in the article “Battling Yellow Fever: An Analysis of How Fetishized Bodies Manage Identity.” While Shawty condemns this negative sexualization of her culture, she also said that she is able to control some of the fetishization by having customers pay her for it, ultimately stopping some customers from exploring this racial fetish in other places where it could lead to severe consequences or dangerous situations. “A lot of guys fetishize Asians. It happens. I would rather have them pay for my content than just watch PornHub,” Shawty said. Despite Shawty’s overall happiness working on the platform, she still wakes up to an array of hurtful comments, name-calling, and inappropriate requests. Dr. Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, a CSUF professor in the Human Communication Studies department, said that many people who create online personas for their business experience hateful speech from their audience because followers don’t always understand that there is a real person behind the screen.

“I think it’s the misperception of sexiness that is portrayed on their page. Some people think it communicates permissiveness and easiness when it really doesn’t. It’s just a character they create to work,” Suwinyattichaiporn said. In any case of harassment, a person’s mental health and self perception can be greatly affected, something that many creators face when they open themselves up to the criticism of the Internet. “It affects their self-esteem because all these people harassing them online are doing so based on their body. They don’t know their personality. They don’t know their intelligence. It’s solely based upon their sexiness and the objectification of their body,” Suwinyattichaiporn said. Having experienced trauma and bullying in her childhood, Shawty said that those experiences helped her build a tolerance to hurtful comments as she ultimately had to come to terms with the reality of being a woman creator on the internet. It was those experiences that she said helped shape and define her character. “I feel like everything I went through in high school made me the person I am today. It made me stronger and wiser,” Shawty said. “I wake up every morning feeling really grateful. Opportunities are always there. It’s just you have to be willing to sacrifice something for it. There is always an opportunity and if you can grab it, grab it.” TU SK

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SOUTHLAND DIARIES

An ode to a perfectly imperfect city STORY BY SHANNON HEWKIN PHOTOS BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY ELLINOR RUNDHOVDE

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welve years ago, I moved into my first apartment in Long Beach. For $765 a month, I was the proud renter of a tiny, 1920s era, one bedroom apartment. The space had an ironing board built into the kitchen wall, a built-in desk, bookshelves in the living room, a clawfoot tub, and plenty of closet space. Sure, the carpet was an awful rust color, every single cabinet, door, and shelf hadn’t been painted in a lifetime, and my queen bed didn’t fit in my room. But, I was in love with its unending charm. After my family and boyfriend hauled my entire life up the rickety wooden stairs to my new place, I took a drive to check out my new neighborhood. I ended up going the wrong way on 1st Street, which is not only a one-way street, but also a bus lane. I made my way home, only to spend the first of many nights attempting to find parking in an impacted city. This night ended with me crying myself to sleep while listening to my clock radio, since my cable wasn’t hooked up yet. Days have gotten better in the years since. My boyfriend and I bought a condo in Long Beach, got married, became 42

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pet parents to four awesome cats, my best friend lives down the street, and my mom and brother both live within a mile distance. I’m walking distance to the beach, gym, restaurants, and a great record store. I’m also a fantastic parallel parker now and I don’t turn down one-way streets anymore. Long Beach is like a long-lasting friendship or a romantic relationship — it only works if you accept it for what it is. If you want to hear a mariachi band serenading a woman outside her apartment, you also have to accept that you’ll hear the occasional homeless man screaming obscenities outside the grocery store. If you want to smell the honeysuckle bushes in spring and the salty ocean air in the summer, you also have to smell the cigarette smoke wafting from the neighbor across the alley and street corners that smell like urine. If you want to feel the pride of living in one of the more diverse, progressive, inspiring, and active communities in the Los Angeles area, you will also have to feel the anger, fear, confusion, and poverty still present in this diverse city. Walks from my house to the beach

have become increasingly shaded by the rise of $500,000 condos filling up empty lots. My thoughts flex between “it’s better than a dirt lot” and “who can afford these condos?” I’m continuously conflicted by the progress of this city. Mayor Robert Garcia was elected in 2014 as the youngest, first openly gay candidate, and first person of color to hold the position — a huge source of pride for the community. That was before there was a petition to recall him. Recently, I’ve been making changes in my life. I have a new job, I’m finishing college, and I’ve been heavily contemplating one more major change — moving out of state. The move would have financial positives, but I’d be leaving a part of my life behind. Can I leave you, Long Beach? I love your cool streets and gritty rundown alleys. I love your vibrant rainbow crosswalks and your uneven sidewalks. I’m not sure my heart is ready to leave, even if my head seems sure of my decision. So until I do leave, I will keep enjoying you for everything you are. TU SK


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SOUTHLAND DIARIES

a walk on ocean avenue

STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

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“On the sand next to the boardwalk, homeless folks would spend the night in sleeping bags draped with ratted clothes and seaweed. Most would still be sleeping peacefully as we strode by with our $7 coffees.”

rowing up, my family had a Sunday morning ritual. Rain or shine, we would wake up at the crack of dawn, and my parents would coax me into the car as I muttered about the ungodly hour and grabbed a stale protein bar. A short drive down a windy one lane highway landed us in Laguna Beach. The first stop was Zinc Cafe, the neighborhood meeting spot for cliquey locals and their designer dogs. At the counter, I would demand a chocolate chip muffin and get handed a currant scone instead, courtesy of my father’s views on sugar and processed foods. After paying an absurd amount for their lattes and my disappointing breakfast, we would take a hard right out of Zinc and walk down Laguna’s main street until we hit the ocean. Emerging from the arts district, we would cross Pacific Coast Highway and make our way to the sand. Some days we were lucky and the marine layer would let up just enough to see the sunrise from the water. Along the beach sat a small boardwalk, just big enough for three people across to walk down. I always walked behind my parents so I could crumble up my scone and drop it for the seagulls. To this day, my mom still holds a grudge against seagulls — she claims they are pushy and rude birds, too loud for their own good. On the sand next to the boardwalk, homeless folks would spend the night in sleeping bags draped with ratted clothes and seaweed. Most would still be sleeping peacefully as we strolled by with our $7 coffees, but every so often, one would be awake. I would always make eye contact, first with them, and then my parents, wondering why they didn’t nod and say hello like they did to the other pedestrians we

passed by. I learned later in life that the Laguna Beach police department would dispatch a patrol to remove them before the tourists started to trickle in. The boardwalk ended at steep stairs overlooking the ocean. My method of choice to conquer the stairs was to hang on to my parents’ sleeves and try to get them to pull me up. This never went well. Eventually, we would make it to Heisler, a long oceanfront park that overlooks Laguna’s coves. The park is known for its views and art installations, but at the time, I wasn’t interested. Growing up on the coast of Southern California, I took these privileges for granted and never appreciated the wonders I was exposed to. There was, however, one thing about these beach trips I always looked forward to. Our final destination was a small set of stairs at the end of Heisler Park that descended into a hidden cove. We would walk up and down the cove’s shores picking up sea glass. I would fill my pockets with all different shapes and colors, and we would take them home to clean and display in flower vases. As I got older, the sea glass became harder and harder to find. Watching something I loved so much disappear over the years broke my heart. I was convinced that too many people were taking the glass — my glass — and not appreciating it. That’s why it was gone. A little research told me that sea glass is actually broken down bottles tossed into the ocean. My glass was disappearing along our beaches because Californians were becoming more aware, and they started recycling bottles. While today in Laguna Beach a latte is still $7, at least it is served in a reusable cup. TU SK

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m l a c e h t

m r o t s e h t n i th i w


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. A . L n i e c n e i r e p x e d e v i l o t e d o n A

R KE TA T HI Y Y W KRE N I AS AR HA ET K M JOH B C BY JA US RY S BY ARI O D O ST BY OT PH IGN S DE

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hen I was seven years old, my mom moved my two brothers and I into a two-bedroom apartment in Crenshaw, California. If you’ve ever seen the way it’s pictured on Southern California postcards, you’d think Crenshaw was just another beachy Hollywood utopia. The truth is — being Black in Los Angeles looks like the legacy of Nipsey Hussle on the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson. The mentality of a true leader is instilled in you as soon as you breathe in the air that smells like fried catfish and hush puppies. The moment you open your eyes after being delivered at the nearest Kaiser Permanente, you recognize the palm trees and the familiar feeling of finally having found home. L.A. is undeniably a sunny sight. The weather is always clear, crisp, and cozy with the beach almost always just 20 minutes away. From the outside looking in, you would think that L.A. has it all together. The double-edged sword that comes 50

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with this beauty is the gentrified lens that eventually steals the focus of the sunny, perfect image. It looks like the Inglewoods that turn into football stadiums, the Black communities that turn into hotel complexes, and the Black-owned businesses that turn into Chipotles and Targets. Everything around me started to change right before my eyes. Now the air reeks of overpriced salads and overrated murals. Crenshaw was home for me, but now it feels all too removed — its picture has been repainted by those who do not call it home. The scene is so strange as I walk around and see people drinking pumpkin spice lattes while eating avocado toast one block down from a street lined with poverty and hunger-stricken tent cities. Gentrification has bulldozed everything I knew into this new foreign land. The culture and identity that was so beautifully enriched by my community is now unrecognizable. The palm trees

suddenly feel so unfamiliar, and the smell of fried catfish and hush puppies has all but disappeared. Although the battles with gentrification continue to sweep through the Southland, the culture I once knew and grew up in made me the woman I am today. Something about growing up in L.A. prior to the age of gentrification makes me appreciate the culture on which gentrification stands. At the end of the day, L.A. will always be my home. It will always be the place where I played on the playgrounds and had to be back before the streetlights came on — but that taught me to be vigilant. Where I laid awake drowning out the sound of helicopters policing the night — but that taught me to drown out the noise and focus inward. L.A. shaped each and every bone in my body, and without it I wouldn’t be who I am today. Something about the calm within the storm is what L.A. means to me. TU SK


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BLACK VOICES

Back to Our Roots

Our heritage can be traced through our strands of hair STORY BY BETHANY WHITTAKER PHOTOS BY UNSPLASH AND PEXELS DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN

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BLACK VOICES

Black hair is politicized. Black hair is a statement of truth. Black hair is the crown on which we create and uplift our glory. From African tribal styles to braids, afros, curls, and dreads. With hair that defies gravity, Black hair has a story to tell if you just listen closely. Tusk Black Voices traces the strands of three Black hairstyles through the roots of our history. Braids Not only are braids a great protective style for our hair, but it tells a story with each strand and design. It all started in Africa where the oldest image of braiding can be found along the Nile River by an ancient burial site known as Saqqara. For many years, braids represented the tribe from which we belonged. Warriors and kings were known to have more intricate braiding, while those of lower status kept it simple. It’s easy to see just how influential they are because now we’re reinventing those same braiding styles to exhibit our beauty, essence, and creativity. Box braids, goddess braids, knotless braids, and cornrows are some of the few styles that have originated long ago that we still see today. Dreadlocks Dreadlocks are referred to as dreads, locks, or locs. They form by not touching it at all, which then knots onto itself into dreads. In the Himba tribe of Namibia,

dreadlocks are known to exhibit one’s age, wisdom, and marital status. Dreads today are a representation of Black people soaking in every inch of their melanin. In order for the dreads to grow and flourish, they can’t be cut nor brushed at all. This connection to locs creates a bond between Black folks and our crown as they are a symbol of experiences that we grow through. Headwraps Nigerian women call them geles. Ghanaian women call them dukus. And in African/Black culture, headwraps are the epitome of taking your circumstances and turning it on its head as they were once used to demean and defeminize Black women. Headwraps turned into the symbol for saying “fuck oppression” as they became a mark of rebellion. So now, headwraps are worn in celebration as a unique and fun twist on our hair to what was once seen as a symbol of insignificance. As we embrace our natural hair, the headwrap has become a savior for those “I just don’t feel like it” days where we say “fuck it,” wrap it up, and go about our way. In turn, it creates a feeling of wholeness and connection to our roots and community. Black hair is more than style, it is the sheer ancestry that we carry atop our heads every day of our lives. The crown that makes us royal and a symbol of celebrating and loving who we are. TU SK

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BLACK VOICES

Twice As Hard, Twice As Good My encounter with epistemic racism and microaggression in higher education STORY BY DARIUS FAULK PHOTOS BY ELYSSA RUIZ DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

What happens when a classroom debate on the validity of affirmative action turns into a classroom debate about the validity of your humanity? Let me tell you: It was spring of 2019, and I was a couple months shy of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. All that stood in the way was a handful of classes—and this debate. Not wanting to fall into the “only Black person in the room arguing in favor of affirmative action trope” and not wanting to give folks any ideas of how I ended up in class with them, I decided to argue against something I firmly believe in. This was challenging because how do I argue against affirmative action without being racist? Luckily, our professor was nice enough to provide us with a packet of material to help us formulate our arguments. Unfortunately, the articles against affirmative action were steeped in scientific racism, the pseudoscientific belief that empirical evidence exists to support or justify racism. Oh well, I guess I’ll just do my own research and talk about how legacy students can be considered a form of affirmative action. I mean, look how many mediocre kids are at Ivy League schools because grandpa made a fortune exploiting people *coughs* Donald Trump *coughs*. I showed up to class early, ready to have a nice, civil, and “non-racist,” debate about affirmative action. Can you guess

what happened? I made a wonderful point about how affirmative action should not be necessary in a country of “equal opportunity,” and instead of wasting our time worrying about affirmative action, we should do something productive, like end poverty. I could tell I had struck a nerve in the class and you could hear a bunch of thought bombs going off like “huh, I hadn’t thought of that.” I was feeling quite good at that point when it happened. The boy sitting next to me looked up, clearly interested in butting into our delightful debate. What he said exactly, I have repressed, but it was something along the lines of, “if the United States is a meritocracy, then white men should get hired over Black men because Black men have statistically lower IQs than white men.” Can you say record scratch? Honestly, the experience was quite jarring, and what transpired next was something of an out-of-body experience. As my consciousness floated away from me, I saw a young Fred Hampton sitting in my seat, sermoning the boy and the class about the sheer stupidity of such a comment. The young Hampton in me preached about how IQ tests are inherently rooted in racism. Then went into how it is utterly absurd to measure my ‘IQ’ against white person when my father was denied an education, my grandfather was denied an education, my great grandfather was denied an education, and my great great grandfather was enslaved. Then I implored the class to consider the fact that the father of the white person you are measuring us against was able to

set the standard of education, as was his father, and his father before that. As I returned to my body, I could not help but notice how silent our class had become. I felt alone and ashamed. The worst part was I had read the boy’s argument the night before in the packet our professor had given us. The debate resumed and class continued, although it was remarkably less eventful. How does one proceed in a class where their very presence and intelligence is questioned solely because they are Black? They kick ass. They set the curve on tests. They ace the class. They ace the other two classes they have with the boy and set the curve on more tests. They give a presentation in class about the perils of scientific racism. They become commencement speakers. They get into grad school. They write for Tusk Black voices. And they do things like become the Vice Presidential elect of the United States. They become writers, athletes, scientists, teachers, emcees, painters, actors, business owners, activists, and everything in between. They become the best versions of themselves because no matter how successful they become, they will always remember that boy who questioned their humanity. They will work twice as hard, to be twice as good. Not because they expect to get half of what their white counterpart would, but to make it twice as hard for anyone to ever doubt their humanity again. TU SK

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BLACK VOICES

Amid the backdrop of police brutality and civil unrest, Tusk’s inaugural Black voices columnists Bethany Whittaker and Darius Faulk paint a vision for a better future.

A Letter to the Future Writers of Tusk Black Voices

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BLACK VOICES

STORY BY BETHANY WHITTAKER AND DARIUS FAULK ART BY JIYO CAYABYAB DESIGN BY JIYO CAYABYAB

When we set out to launch Tusk Black Voices, Bethany and I didn’t fathom how difficult it would be. The act of putting pen to paper was never the challenge, but now that we have been given a voice on campus as Black students, what do we do with it? This is the eternal enigma of writing while Black. A question you’ll no doubt face once the glow of publishing your first article starts to fade and you are saddled with the task of being a voice for your community. You understand all too well the bullshit we deal with in the beautiful shades of melanin we are. So how do you give voice to that experience when students encounter them in an infinite number of ways? We felt overwhelmed with responsibility to use our voices in ways that would do justice to a traumatic summer of racial reckoning. When we wrote about joy, we worried we weren’t angry enough. And when we wrote with anger, we wrestled with applying joy to alleviate the pain. We found solace in the work of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates as The Fire Next Time and Between the World and Me came to represent a dialogue we were having in our own articles—and in our hearts. In their work, Baldwin spoke of how America destroys your soul, while Coates of how it destroys your body. We felt compelled to write about this, to shout it out to the world in hopes of making it stop.

But no matter how many poignantly powerful stories you publish, they will still try to destroy us. The conundrum then is not joy or anger, but choosing to find joy even as the world provokes you to anger. As Baldwin and Coates wrote to their nephew and son to hold onto the idea of love in a world designed to destroy them, we choose to write to you, the future of Tusk Black Voices. There are times when you will be angry—as you should be. But you will tire to the point of exhaustion, as my anger did me. That’s when I found new meaning in Baldwin and Coates’s words. They spoke about the love of their people and the ways it helped them survive. They also spoke of fear in knowing their family, friends, and loved ones can be taken from them at a moment’s notice. This is what it is to love while Black. Choose to love, though the pain of loss is great and it will become unavoidable. Life is a paradox where a single moment can change your life but no single action will cause that to change. It is choosing to believe that a million small interactions infused with love will do the work of revolution. Choosing to love in the face of destruction ensures the spiritual survival of love. It guarantees that although we may no longer be around to fight, the fighting spirit lasts as long as these battles need to be fought. Our bodies carry the trauma of our ancestors. The stress Black bodies and souls have accumulated in this country

is immense, yet here we are, still fighting, still loving, and yes, still angry. Choose love and to love yourself in writing for Tusk. That love will be around long after they destroy our bodies. It will live in the collective hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and words of the generations of Black students that will follow our humble trail as writers and Black Voices. Love, Darius Faulk

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BLACK VOICES What do you do in a loveless world? You choose to love anyway. Anger is our first response, then frustration, followed by disappointment at the plight of Black lives in America. And so I came to Tusk Back Voices with a mission to bring joy into the lives of Black folks—something often missing in our stories. Conversations in the Black community painstakingly cycle around violence, injustice, and oppression. But Black folks embody love and light and that is what I wanted to showcase. I chose to celebrate uplifting stories about Black life while also covering the reality of what it means to live in America while Black. Over summer, we watched our bodies be torn to shreds and our existence thrown around the media with so much malice. At times, we felt like we weren’t doing enough, that didn’t portray the emotions we truly felt. And with that, we asked ourselves if we were doing a service or disservice to our community, and if we needed to hone in on our plan. We found “The Mecca” in the

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works of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. A sense of enlightenment came to us as we realized the works of The Fire Next Time and Between The World and Me guided our mission. That despite the pain that Black people experience, Coates and Baldwin took note not to let those experiences define who we are. The love we instill in each other preserves our Black bodies in a loveless world designed to tear us down. The greatest victory is to overcome the design by loving our community, loving each other, and loving ourselves. We saw this in the words of Baldwin and Coates as they wrote from a place of a love-filled existence. A place they knew didn’t exist in their time, but could exist with the future of Black youth. As Coates writes to his son and Baldwin his nephew, we see how scared but hopeful they are for the future. We took note from Coates and Baldwin as we wrote each column, completely understanding their exasperated longing for a new beginning or for a “fire next time.” All of the pieces Darius and I wrote

came from a place of love and hope that the future of Tusk Black Voices would entrust us with providing this loving guidance in a loveless world. We stood strong in the fact that we were not going to engage in destructive media narratives of our Black bodies. With every article, we rejoiced in our culture, our hair, and the uniquely breathtaking beauty we all possess. Even in the midst of white supremacy, injustice does not win—our love does. Our Black lives are precious and our bodies carry with them the history of our resilience. And that is enough reason to choose love. In Community, Bethany Whittaker

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BLACK VOICES

The Five Stages of Grief In a Police State

STORY BY DARIUS FAULK ART BY ELLINOR RUNDHOVDE PHOTO BY MICHAEL QUINTERO DESIGN BY MICHAEL QUINTERO

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BLACK VOICES

In life, we all experience grief. And as we go through it, the pain feels unbearable. During this process, we move through the five stages of grief that are supposed to make the loss bearable once we make it through each phase. But how do you grieve when you know another loss is unavoidable? When another loss occurs during the grieving process? When the loss is justified by the State?

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Denial

Anger

The first stage of grief is denial. This is the slim reprieve we give ourselves hoping that the worst has been avoided. When another name starts to trend, there is no denying what we know will happen. Denial is replaced with the slow creep of dread—the terrifying realization that another body lies cold in the street.

Yeah, we mad; We big mad. It is more than anger though. In this stage, you begin to cycle through a kaleidoscope of emotions, settling on one for a moment before becoming overwhelmed with the next. The sheer force of such a process leads us wanting nothing less than to burn it all down.


BLACK VOICES

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

We tried bargaining in the 60s. And even before during the Civil War. We have tried to bargain for our humanity through politics. And we have tried to bargain for our humanity through music. We have written poetry, led marches, held speeches, and set shit on fire. We have asked, repeatedly, for our brothers and sisters to consider us as much. For them to realize that we have loved and bled for this country, and that we know no other place as home. What more do we have to bargain with? What more do we need to give?

Let me refer you to my therapist, or my spiritual guide. Would you like to meet my priest? How about the collection of mindfulness apps that clutter my phone. How about my yoga instructor? My dealer? What about my second therapist? My aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, father, and friends?

In the final stage of the grieving process, we are supposed to accept the tragedy and find a way to move forward with life. But before it is possible to move on, the inevitable happens again. Another name starts to trend and the dread starts to creep. We will not accept another body lying cold in the street. If you are struggling with mental health during this time, please reach out to Counseling & Psychological Services. We love you Titans.

“Yeah, we mad; We big mad. It is more than anger though.”

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FAMILIAL JUSTICE

healing

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WRITTEN BY MARIAH ROSS ART BY ELLLINOR RUNDHOVDE DESIGN BY ELLLINOR RUNDHOVDE

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The stigma around mental health has met its match as a new generation continues to thrive in their willingness to confront childhood trauma. Childhood trauma is categorized as an “emotionally painful or distressful” event that generates lasting effects on one’s mental and physical health, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

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- - - - - - -- - ---- - - intergenerational trauma Emotional neglect, physical, sexual, and substance abuse are just a few of the traumatic experiences that can negatively affect a person’s well-being and carry over into adulthood. When those wounds go unchecked, they pass through generations. As inadvertent as it may be, our parent’s trauma has the potential to become our own. In determining how this trauma exists within immigrant families most people do not begin healing until the second, third, or sometimes the fourth generation in the United States, said Martha Zavala Perez, the former Titans Dreamers Resource Center coordinator. A lack of resources coupled with the need to succeed in a new country puts many parents into survival mode, where the first priority is to provide. “A lot of times healing, processing mental health is very much seen as a ‘white thing.’ It’s very much seen as a privilege thing,” Zavala Perez said. While healing used to be seen as a luxury, it is now starting to be regarded as a necessity. When left untreated, childhood trauma can lead to an array of mental health crises including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and social difficulties. There are socioeconomic implications attached to the process of healing, but that does not mean that people who are struggling financially cannot find peace.

a whole new digital world With a surplus of resources and outlets, young millennials and Generation Z have been able to combat the shame surrounding the conversation of mental health. Latinx Resource Center coordinator Ariana Mora Mero credited social media sites like TikTok and Instagram for allowing more open expression about mental health. “By being outspoken and creative they’re taking very complex issues like childhood trauma and making it digestible for others,” Mora Mero said. Whether it’s via social media profiles, lengthy blogs, or other mediums, professional therapists can now be accessed at the click of a button. Finding individuals with the skill set to help a community facing similar struggles has never been more possible. While social media can provide an outlet for those looking for a sense of community, Zavala Perez said that people should be weary about the false reality it has the potential to create. The sense that healing is reserved for the privileged exists online as much as it does in the real world. Zavala Perez said social media can perpetuate the idea that healing is not for everyone. On the other hand, if more real and raw content is posted, it allows for more honest conversations. “I think that when we start to be more real, we can serve as role models for others,” Zavala Perez said.

pathways to healing It can be difficult to find a productive way to express trauma to your parents when pride and guilt get in the way. When we normalize the conversation, it opens the door for communication that leads to healing, Zavala Perez said. She also said people should embrace role modeling and allow their journey to speak for itself. “I can just kind of share what I’m doing for myself and share what I see around me, and then others will pick up on that and see the growth from that,” Zavala Perez said. If speaking to your parents is not an option, Mora Mero suggests therapy or finding resources that allow you to feel heard and validated. On campus, Counseling and Psychological Services is an excellent resource that Zavala Perez said more students should take advantage of. One way to get past the stigma associated with counseling is by viewing it from the perspective of a conversation with someone whose job it is to simply listen. “If you go to CAPS when you feel perfectly fine you can learn the skills to help you so that you don’t break,” Zavala Perez said. Once we can recognize the trauma, it’s up to us to take that initiative to heal. There is no shame in admitting we all have something to heal from, but allowing cycles of trauma to continue only perpetuates the pain it has caused. Together we can be the generation that breaks the cycle and changes the stigma, but only if we put in the necessary work to do so. “We do have the ability to stop that trauma or at least heal through quite a bit of it, so we don’t pass it on,” Zavala Perez said. “It’s only a trend if we stop posting about it.” TU SK

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Life After Loss Growing Back My Confidence After Losing My Hair

STORY BY SHANNON HEWKIN PHOTOS BY MICHAEL QUINTERO DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

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FAMILIAL JUSTICE Hair is a huge part of my life. It’s everywhere I look—in the bathtub, the sink drain, tangled in my hairbrushes, laying on pillowcases, and perpetually stuck inside my robot vacuum. It’s everywhere I look, except on my head. I was diagnosed with androgenic alopecia (AGA), a genetic condition marked by moderate to severe hair loss. For men, hair loss begins around the temples while women experience thinning of hair all over their heads. Over the last few years, about 75% of my hair has fallen out, and it’s probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

I knew I wasn’t alone, but I couldn’t talk about it with anyone else until I found a community of women online dealing with the same issues. While I didn’t follow any accounts for fear that someone would discover my secret, being able to read other women’s experiences helped me feel less alone. 29-year-old Claire Epps has experienced hair loss issues since she was 14 years old. “I just didn’t feel feminine, I gained weight, and started dressing frumpy,” Epps said. “The community on Instagram has been the most helpful for my mental health. Everybody is struggling with the same thing.” Epps started an Instagram page to share her journey toward acceptance and ownership over her hair loss. Her page documents her hair loss as it progresses and shares information about positive experiences wearing hair toppers, helper hair, and wigs.

My Story I started losing my hair around the age of 21. One day, I noticed the front of my hair was thinner than usual, and I was shedding a lot. I freaked out and started wearing headbands and bandanas to hide my loss. During that year, my hair slowly grew back, and I forgot about it until it started happening again. Three years ago, I learned that my dad was going to pass away soon. At the time, he had lung cancer, and our relationship was strained. I started visiting him regularly, and while our relationship grew during our last six months together, my hair did not. This time, it started shedding all over my head—a continual loss that I am still experiencing today. Stress is a major cause of hair loss, but the shedding continued even after my dad passed away. My doctor seemed unconcerned and said that I was treating my hair loss well, ultimately brushing it off as mild thinning. I was doing everything I could to cover the loss—teasing it, never wearing it down, using hair powders and sprays, and wearing my bandanas again. I also had my hormone levels checked, and everything looked fine. I began seeing a therapist to deal with the depression I was feeling about the loss of my father and my hair. I also gained weight and found it hard to work. My therapist dismissed the impact of this by telling me that my hair looked good and I looked like I was in shape. She seemed just as unconcerned as my doctor. She said I was “high functioning,” meaning that I was still able to get out of bed and work most days. Meanwhile, I was dying inside. I avoided hanging out with friends or going places where I had to dress up because I couldn’t get my hair to look good. I felt awful about myself on all levels.

The Road to Acceptance

Mental Health Implications As a result of my hair loss, my self-esteem and mental health were impacted. I spent the better part of the last few years suffering from depression, insomnia, weight fluctuation, and wondering why the hell this is happening to me. A 2020 study on the psychosocial burden of alopecia areata published by the Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes noted that many participants described their diagnosis as “devastating,” and reported feeling sad, depressed, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, frustrated, and helpless. “There is a real sense of shame that comes from losing your hair as a young woman,” said 23-year-old Cheryl Griffiths in a Youtube video titled “I Have Androgenetic Alopecia | Dealing with Female Hair Loss.” Griffiths uses various social media platforms to talk openly about her experience with AGA. “People don’t expect it. People dismiss you and try to tell you it doesn’t look too bad,” Griffiths said in the video.

Over the past five months, my hair loss has progressed to a point where I am no longer comfortable going out in public with just my real hair. Two years ago, I bought a few hair toppers after seeing Epps, and many others online, talk about how toppers changed their lives for the better. But until recently, I couldn’t bring myself to start “wearing hair” full-time. Oddly enough, the pandemic has given me time to get more comfortable wearing hair. Zoom classes and social distancing have allowed me to perfect my style and socialize in small chunks rather than having to spend the whole day with my new look. And now that I’m wearing hair most days, I am starting to feel like the vibrant, confident, quirky person I am. I also feel so much better about my appearance and mental health. I’m exercising again, connecting with friends, and working on bettering myself in all aspects of my life. I don’t obsess about my hair every minute of my life, although I do still think about it a lot. I still experience days where I fall into “why me” thinking and the sadness paralyzes me. Other days, I realize that “my” hair looks better than it ever did before, and that most people have no clue it’s not my real hair. My hair loss has changed me in ways I have yet to understand, but I’m working every day to own and process it. My hair loss is part of my story, but it’s not my whole story. TU SK

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Tuff Talks: Confronting Racism in Your Home

A guide to talking about race with your elders STORY BY AUSTIN WEATHERMAN ART AND DESIGN BY ALYSSA NICOLE MAUN

From police shootings, protest coverage, and former President Donald Trump, the news encouraged home conversations about race and politics. Given this you may have witnessed a family member commit an act of racism and didn’t know how to go about talking to them about it. Confrontation can be an intimidating path to walk, but if it’s done in a civil way, all parties can leave the conversation satisfied. Assistant professor in the human communications studies department at Cal State Fullerton, Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, explained that there is a six step process to confronting your family about tough topics, such as racism, that will lead to a civil discussion. 1) Be aware that having differences is normal Before you are able to confront the issue at hand, you need to realize that everyone has different points of view on

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any particular subject. Suwinyattichaiporn explains that this is necessary in order to avoid the temptation of being angry and upset with your family members. It’s normal to have differences within a family. “Individual freedom means we all have the independence to believe in whatever we want to,” Suwinyattichaiporn, who also teaches relational communication and leads the CSUF Civil Dialogue public-forum events on campus, said. “And what comes with individual freedom is differences and this includes generational differences in our beliefs.” Action: Try to be understanding of the opposing member’s backgrounds and remember not all of society has changed with the times. 2) Identify the specific difference “Identify exactly what it is that they do or how they behave that bothers you,” Suwinyattichaiporn said. Without letting your family member know exactly what they do that upsets


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you, whether that’s racial slurs or behaving differently around diverse people, they will never know that their actions are affecting you and the people this is targeted to.

they do or think the way they do will hopefully help you understand your family’s history, and the cultural context for how they express themselves.

Action: Take account of when your family members do something racially charged to be able to bring up during the conversation.

Action: Ask questions like “Why do you feel like that? What happened to make you feel this way?” to gain a better understanding of your family member’s history on the topic.

3) Validate their beliefs and perspective

6) Resolution

Validating other’s different points of view is key to building bridges within your family unit, Suwinyattichaiporn said. Letting people know that their experiences are accepted will allow them to be more receptive to your experiences. “Validation goes both ways, it should be reciprocal,” Suwinyattichaiporn said. “So you should validate your family, your family should validate you.”

When coming to a resolution, Suwinyattichaiporn says there are two options for you: agree to disagree with civility or come to a consensus. “The key is that both people kind of start to understand each other and compromise and they come to understand that, ‘OK, this particular common ground is best to go with,’” Suwinyattichaiporn said.

Action: Validate other’s views by understanding through phrases like, “I can see why you think that way,” or “I can see why you feel that way.”

Action: End the discussion by coming to a consensus or agree to disagree with on good terms.

4) Become the dialogue Explain your experiences to show them the differences between your lives and uses, having diverse friends as an example, Suwintattichaiporn said. “‘I know you didn’t have diverse friends back in your day, but now I do have diverse friends now,’” Suwinyattichaiporn said. “‘When they come over, this is what you do and this is how it makes me feel.’” Action: Express your position on the issue and present your feelings, civilly. 5) Ask questions Understanding their history will allow you to hear what they experienced in their life and understand their actions. Asking them why they feel the way

On top of these tips, Cecil Chik, the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Programs director of engagement and learning, said the department helps students build the skills to have those hard conversations, both on campus and at home. “(Our department is) building folk’s skills and awareness of themselves so that they can be in a position to have that conversation,” Chik said. The department is now offering the “Inclusion Champion” certificate program which teaches students to be more self aware and engage in practical opportunities to expand their cultural awareness and those around them amongst other learning objectives. To find out more information and to sign up and become a “inclusion champion,” visit the department’s website hr.fullerton.edu/diep/. TU SK

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not a walking

contradiction diction STORY BY ANONYMOUS PHOTOS BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ AND ELLINOR RUNDHOVDE DESIGN BY ELLINOR RUNDHOVDE

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FAMILIAL JUSTICE

They say for every awkward silence, a gay baby is born. One awkward silence later, my parents birthed a Somali, bisexual, Muslim woman. For years, I lied about my sexuality because of the Quran’s intolerance of my identity. I come from a relatively conservative Muslim family, but my siblings and I aren’t as religiously inclined. My parents didn’t force us to wear hijabs, but if one of their daughters brought a white man home, it was like she committed a war crime. Being gay? We couldn’t afford to have such a thought. But I had so many of those.

“For years, I lied about my sexuality because of the Quran’s intolerance of my identity.” Lut, the nephew of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who was sent to the city of Sodom and Gomorrah to preach to its inhabitants. In this city, men would have sex with each other, rape women, drink alcohol, and participate in many unlawful acts. When the inhabitants ignored Lut’s pleas, the city was destroyed. This was a warning against homosexuality and other acts. Thoughts of engaging in romantic or sexual relations with the same gender is OK, but it is not permissible to act upon those attractions. Allah (God) is most loving — at least that’s what the Quran teaches. It teaches us that Allah is merciful, and that marginalized and oppressed people should be protected. It promotes peace and unity. Because of this, I felt like a walking contradiction for a long time.

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Childhood I was eight when I had my first experience with a girl. Elizabeth was seven. She was Bart Drive’s resident sweetheart who stole the heart of every boy in Southeast Nashville. None of the boys wanted me, but that was OK because Elizabeth was my neighbor and best friend. I spent the night at Elizabeth’s house every weekend when I had the chance. My mother didn’t mind because I was only a house away. Elizabeth had bunk beds, and I always took the bottom one. It became routine for me to sneak up to the top bunk and lay with her. Most nights we would sit in silence, not knowing how either one of us arrived to this point. In our silence, we found that our hands did most of the talking. We would caress each other — arms, legs, butt — nothing more. Even in our naivety, we understood that this was our little secret. We weren’t aware of the concept of queerness, but we acknowledged that our movements would never leave the confines of her room. The seeds of my “wrongdoings” had been sown. I credit my impending transition to adolescence as the reason why I distanced myself from Elizabeth. The guilt was all-encompassing. I was worried that my distance would be perceived as intentional apathy or malicious ghosting, but Elizabeth wouldn’t understand. It would be hopeless to explain to a 7-year-old girl how my rumination about Sodom and Gomorrah’s story made me question my entire being. I can’t remember when our rendezvous ended. Elizabeth moved away, but our secret meetings ceased before that. As someone who was never afforded a “coming out” story, Elizabeth will always be my gay awakening.

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Adolescence In high school, I identified as straight, if anyone asked. However, I found a safe space being an ally to the queer community. During this time, my relationship with my faith was feeble. I was aware that the Quran didn’t bear any hadiths that validated my sexuality, so my natural inclination was to separate myself from the religion – but I didn’t want to. No one ever said a word, but everyone knew that my brother Adam was gay. Before my dad caught him and his boyfriend together, it was pretty obvious. Adam dressed as feminine as he could without attracting too much attention, and word travels fast in the Somali community. Then, my sister Sandra started to dress more masculine, and it was clear she was already on the other side of the rainbow. My parents knew that Adam and Sandra were queer, but they never referred to them as such for fear that it would confirm their suspicions. Their silence regarding the subject found a seat at the dinner table every night, and fomented my cycle of self-hatred and confusion.


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Adulthood At 21 years old, I accepted the fact that I was bisexual. Labeling myself was never the problem. It was more important that I now accepted that part of myself. I entered my first ever relationship with a woman who fully assumed her bisexual identity. I was hesitant to make our relationship exclusive because I knew it wasn’t “endgame,” meaning I wouldn’t be able to genuinely share her with my family because I was closeted. Being in that relationship made me realize that I could no longer separate those parts of myself. Though I was in a relationship, happy, and at a place where I accepted my bisexuality, I wasn’t open to the people in my life. This put a wrench in our relationship, and it was eventually one of the reasons it ended. Grief manifested itself in many different ways. My anger toward my ex and our circumstances suddenly turned into indignation toward Allah. I was convinced the pain I was feeling wasn’t because my ex dumped me and moved on, but that Allah was punishing me for being with her. If sexuality isn’t a choice, why did Allah create millions of people who are “wrong” in their attraction? How could Allah tell me that my attraction to women is normal but that I cannot act upon it? How can this kind of love be a sin? These were all questions I never wanted to ask, and in hindsight, I realize it was because I was unable to assume more than one identity at once. Sexuality isn’t a choice — Allah cultivated me and my quality to love and accept people regardless of gender. To deny my existence and my identity means to deny Allah and his creations.

Today, at 22 years old, I accept both identities as one. I’m still trying to figure out how to escape the proverbial closet, and tell the ones I love — but I’ll tell readers for now. I am proud to be bisexual and Muslim because of Islam, and I found solace in being both. Allah loves me for who I am, and judges me by my conduct and the kind of person I am. My sexuality is who I am. It is not an action. I now know that Allah accepts all of my identities. TU SK

“How can this kind of love be a sin?”

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BACK END

A PLAYLIST TO

FIGHT THE POWER STORY BY DARIUS JOHARI AND AUSTIN WEATHERMAN PHOTO BY DANIELLE JAQUEZ ART BY DARIUS JOHARI DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

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From protesting against wars and police brutality to fighting for equal rights and social change, people are screaming to have their voices heard. Music is an influential and powerful tool for the movement, and one that many artists use to convey concerns and shed light on injustice. Tusk curated a playlist of songs that will inspire you to rise up and “Fight the Power.” 1992: “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine The hard rock band’s first album voiced the frustration and anger felt during the 1992 L.A. Uprisings. Tensions from years of abusive policing, neglect, and capitalist ravaging of Black and Brown communities peaked after police officers were acquitted of brutally beating Rodney King. “Killing in the Name” exposes racist folks in power who abuse their position to uphold an unjust and oppressive status quo. Listeners will feel inflamed as the band sings, “Some of those that work forces / are the same that burn crosses.” 2006: “Strength” by Ignite Ignite is a band from Orange County who writes music with the intent to bring social causes and political injustices to public attention.

In the song, “Strength,” lyrics such as “Hold my hand / and I’ll help you through this / don’t you give up now / I want to help another / persevere my brother” show that we can depend on each other for strength and perseverance to keep fighting for a more humane world. 2008: “Stand Up” by Flobots The Flobots are an experimental raprock band who use their music to protest against police brutality and the war in Iraq. Their song, “Stand Up,” urges listeners to take a stand against social injustice. The lyrics “We shall not be moved/ except by a system that is rotten through/ neglecting the victims and orderin’ the cops to shoot/ high treason, now we have to prosecute,’ empower solidarity in the fight against oppressive and controlling forces. 2015: “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar “Alright” is arguably the most recognized protest song of our generation. Following the uprisings ignited by the fatal police shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and countless other Black folks murdered at the hands of the police, the words “We gon’ be alright” became a mantra for mourners. The song was solidified as an uplifting rallying cry when Lamar performed

“Alright” on top of a police car during the 2015 BET Awards. 2020: “Lockdown” by Anderson .Paak Anderson .Paak’s single “Lockdown” was released on Juneteenth, the inaugural national holiday celebrating the freedom of enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation officially came into effect. The song details the downtown L.A. uprisings that took place following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. “Lockdown”expresses the double entendre of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and the LAPD’s attempt to lockdown local uprisings for racial justice. 2020: “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. “I Can’t Breathe” is a powerful, soulful song by R&B singer H.E.R that hits listeners to the core with its chorus: “I can’t breathe / you’re taking my life from me / I can’t breathe / will anyone fight for me?” The words “I can’t breathe” reverberate within the BLM movement as those same words that were uttered by Eric Garner when the police choked out his life, then re-uttered by George Floyd as he was murdered in broad daylight. TU SK

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Disclaimer: Tusk and CSUF do not condone the use of illicit substances. Opinions are the author’s alone.

STORY BY FOWSIA SHARIFF ART BY CANDACE CASTILLO DESIGN BY CANDACE CASTILLO

Mix boredom, procrastination, and the simple act of staying home, and people are bound to look for new avenues of adventure. For some, this means dabbling in psychedelics. The idea of taking psilocybin or “shrooms” may feel daunting, but, just remember you’re only giving yourself food poisoning. So like any new hobby, it’s important to research to reduce the risk of having a bad trip. You don’t want to spend the entirety of your trip huddled over a toilet wishing you had the power to rewind time. To help avoid that unfortunate scene, here are some tips for a first time trip.

Dosage First time users should start with microdosing which equates to around .33 of a gram. A few stems will get you the feel of shrooms, but it won’t be quite enough to break through. An experienced user takes around 3.5 grams. This is when you’ll start to notice walls breathing and the uncontrollable giggles. Regardless you’ll feel nauseous microdosing or with a full dose, so just be aware of the “rumbles.” It’s ok to puke, but if you can hold it in, then hold it in.

Smoke Cannabis Did we just recommend more drugs?

Yes, but at least this one is legal for recreational use in California for adults over the age of 21. The morning after consumption, you might wake up with a massive headache and or some fatigue. This is not the typical Saturday night hangover, but the kind that could endure for multiple days. Cannabis has been used to treat various chronic illnesses, as well as nausea, anxiety, and the classic headache.

Let Your Body Recover Feeling fatigued sucks, so it’s important to let your body adjust after feeling so many different sensations. Prioritizing your mental health is just as important because side effects can heavily influence emotions, cause spiritual awakenings, and inspire feelings of depersonalization. Just in case you missed the second tip, cannabis is a sleep aid too.

Reflect Psilocybin and other psychedelics have positive outcomes for people dealing with depression or cancer related stress. Though these “drugs” aren’t legal in California, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have therapeutic effects. Allow yourself to reflect and understand your experience. Grab a journal to recount certain feelings and memories during the period. This could help identify what made your experience enjoyable and what didn’t, especially if you decide to take the trip again. TU SK

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Join Tusk We’re always looking for skilledwriters, editors, designers, photographers, web producers, multimedia editors, and event planners. Two COMM courses are responsible for creating Tusk. Students gain valuable experience working in niche publishing while producing evergreen stories without hard news pegs. If you join Tusk, you can expect to develop a professional portfolio that will help you land a job in the magazine industry and beyond. Participation in Tusk requires advisor approval. Please e-mail Dr. Chelsea Reynolds at chreynolds@fullerton.edu for an application.

Advanced Magazine Article Writing: COMM 437 (Fall) Learn how to create engaging editorial content for magazines, from best-of-lists and reviews, to features and profiles, you’ll cultivate writing skills and flex your creativity as you learn about the magazine industry and report on the CSUF community.

Magazine Editing and Production: COMM 434 (Spring) Gain Valuable hands-on experience in this magazine production course. Whether you are a designer, photographer, videographer, editor, or even an event planner, we have a place for you in producing our web content and annual print magazine.

Models Zach Sorensen Alexandra Rodriguez Gail Davis Alexis Lozano Maile Terry Michelle Moehlman Danielle Jaquez Diego Tejeda Shanghai Shawty Trisha Vasquez Reannan Urias Perri Lawler Bethany Whittaker Darius Faulk Funding California State University, Fullerton - Department of Communications and Instructionally Related Activities Fee (IRA) 76

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Articles inside

Tips for First Trips

4min
pages 76-80

A Playlist to Fight the Power

3min
pages 74-75

Not a Walking Contradiction

6min
pages 70-73

Tuff Talks: Confronting Racism at Home

5min
pages 68-69

TheFive Stages of Grief In a Police State

2min
pages 61-63

Life After Loss

5min
pages 66-67

Healing Generational Trauma

4min
pages 64-65

Black Voices Letter

7min
pages 58-60

Long Beach: An Ode to a Perfectly Imperfect City

3min
pages 42-45

Back to Our Roots

2min
pages 54-55

Crenshaw: The Calm Within the Storm

3min
pages 50-53

Play For Your Rights

2min
pages 24-25

Laguna Beach: A Walk on Ocean Avenue

3min
pages 46-49

Still Rollin

7min
pages 28-33

Level Up Your Fitness

2min
pages 26-27

Shanghai, China to Shanghai Shawty

8min
pages 34-41

Candy with a Kick

2min
page 15

Brie-ond Delicious

4min
pages 16-18

Tryna Skate?

3min
pages 12-14

Cleanse Your Timeline

1min
page 23

Raising A Plant Baby

3min
pages 10-11

A Mixed Celebration

2min
page 9

A Walk in the Park

3min
pages 19-22

Siempre Mujer

2min
page 8
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