For our final project, we took everything we learned and went outside our comfort zones to talk about social justice issues relevant to Northwest DC. Here are their stories.
D.C. Residents Grapple With Homeless Crisis | By Ariana Mushnick
Homelessness in D.C. is at a crisis level. The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless is a nonprofit organization that tries to combat the issue by providing legal services to D.C. residents struggling with homelessness and poverty. Anne Marie Staudenmaier, a staff attorney at the clinic discusses why there is such a lack of affordable housing in the District of Columbia and what this means for the future of the city.
ONE DC Fights Displacement of Longtime D.C. Residents | By Ashlyn Frassinelli
As young, affluent, white communities begin to move into the D.C.’s historically lower-income neighborhoods, they bring great change for the individuals and families who have lived in these neighborhoods for decades. ONE DC is an organization hoping to change, or at least slow, this trend in the District. It offers aid to black citizens searching for a secure occupation and fights against the rising black unemployment rate in the nation’s capital with their upcoming Black Workers Center, which will launch in 2016.
D.C Government Displaces Tent City | By Benjamin Remaly
The D.C. government says you need a permit to camp out on public property. But everyone at this camp had something in common: they were all against shelters that they say are unsafe or unhealthy. At least some in the camp were offered affordable housing options.
Teaching D.C. Students Writing Skills Through Journalism | By Melyssa Granat
The Paper Project is entirely run by high school students who go to public middle and high schools in Northwest D.C. to teach them journalism skills. The end goal is to teach these students to better read and write as well as teach them photography and design skills to they can properly produce their very own school newspapers.
College Students Highlight Racial Conflicts on Campuses | By Drew Lawrence
In 2011, 28 percent of Americans considered racism a “big problem” in the U.S. Since then, countless shootings of unarmed black men and women, as well as other race-based events like those at Mizzou, have shifted public opinion. Today, 49 percent of Americans consider racism a big issue, the highest number in decades. College campuses are no stranger to incidents of racial strife, with conflicts reported at Ithaca College, Yale and Claremont McKenna College in California.
Students Take Social Justice to Social Media | By Eric Estroff
Public opinion regarding the prevalence of racism is changing drastically in the United States. It seems that almost every month a new video of a young African American being assaulted by an officer for minor or non-existent offences rises above the noise on social media. Social media has given a voice to the voiceless. These three students are all influencers on their respective campuses. Their unique opinions show that social media is enabling conversations about race to take place both on and offline.
Finding and Funding Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis in D.C. | By Jessica Freedman
Multiple Sclerosis is a relatively common chronic illness. Like most chronic illnesses, it still does not have a cure. The National MS Society has contributed tens of millions of dollars toward the cause. Georgetown University Hospital is conducting several trials to see which medications work best in changing the course of the disease.
Advocates for Youth Educates Young People About Sexual Health | By Sydney Sadick
Advocates for the Youth is an organization based in Northwest D.C. that partners with youth leaders, adult allies and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that give young people access to honest sexual and health information. They use social media as their primary tool to promote social justice. My video focuses on their social media strategy and how it’s become their strongest method of communicating with people around the world. My infographic shows important data from Advocates for the Youth’s most recent annual report, demonstrating, in summary, their progress this past year.
Helping Victims of Sexual Assault, People With Learning Disabilities | By Bryana Gold
David Banks is a Georgetown graduate and current member of the National Institutes of Health. He is also a volunteer and participant in various nonprofit organizations that seek to help out people in various areas around the D.C., Maryland and Virginia. One of the organizations he is involved with aids people who are victims of sexual assault in the D.C. area. Another organization that Banks is a part of aids people with learning disabilities in the D.C. area.
D.C Organization Aims to Bring Justice to Workers | By Clare Hymes
D.C.’s Employment Justice Center has a clinic every Wednesday night. Volunteers, law students and lawyers donate their time to help individuals who grievances against their employers. This is an organization that takes pride on educating the public on their rights and helps them figure out their issues with employers.
D.C. Reacts to the Syrian Refugee Crisis | By Teniola Ayoola
Terrorist attacks in Paris killed more than 129 people and left more dead. As soon as it was discovered that the terrorist had been able to get into France through the group of Syrian refugees seeking safety and political asylum, countries such as the United States decided to shut their borders to the refugees. Follow the story and the strong dichotomy of views and ideologies surrounding the issue.
Legalizing Marijuana in D.C. | By Matt Gross
D.C. – albeit after some Congressional trials and tribulations – passed legalized marijuana by referendum. Some questions remain unanswered, such as how much marijuana can someone have in their private residence? Before the referendum, medical marijuana card carriers in the District were allowed up to two ounces of prescription herb, or flower per month. Another change in marijuana policy is adults older than 21 can grow six plants per person, the caveat being that only three plants can be in a mature state at once. But 5th Amendment rights have been solidified, paving the way for D.C.’s lowest possession arrest rates since the prohibition of marijuana has been in place.
Casa Ruby: Raising Awareness and Providing a Family for D.C.’s Transgender Community | By Miriam Smallman
Casa Ruby is a bilingual organization that provides services for LGBT – particularly transgender – persons. The organization was founded by Ruby Corado, a trans woman, who fled a Civil War in El Salvador. Corado has spent the last 20 years raising awareness of and for the trans community. In addition to Casa Ruby’s community center on Georgia Avenue, Casa Ruby also has a youth house in Columbia Heights and is working to open an emergency shelter for homeless transgender people to escape the winter cold.
Black and Pink Helps Incarcerated LGBTQ Prisoners Find Allies | By Rachel Smilan-Goldstein
Black and Pink is a national organization working to connect LGBTQ prisoners with free-world allies, as part of its larger goal to abolish the prison system. The group has a pen-pal program connecting prisoners and allies. Hannah Stambaugh, a senior at the George Washington University, had a pen pal through Black and Pink this past summer – an experience she said helped break down her assumptions about the incarcerated population.
These infographics are companion pieces to the videos above, presented in the same order.