A powerful place

The most powerful city in our country right now is Ferguson, Missouri. The civil rights movement taking place there right now is the kind this country has been in need of for too long.

The current situation in Missouri is a result of conditions that have been present for a long time. I can only imagine how many other communities in this country are struggling through the same thing and for no real good reason what so ever.

We call this place America. Boast about our freedoms and our success. We call ourselves the best country in the world. Yet look at how a majority of our citizens are living. The citizens that help make this country run. With all the resources and money (and yes there is tons of money in the air I don’t care what any of these politicians say), there’s no reason there should be communities and groups of citizens living in conditions where the education system is failing, no opportunity for employment, violence is rampid, etc. All these factors truly affect people’s lives and the choices they will make. At the end of the day everyone is trying to survive. In turn those choices do have an impact on society as a whole. Everything any one in this country does affects everyone. I truly believe that. (Look how we have almost become accustomed to mass shootings, they’ve become almost a common occurrence)

It is our responsibility as a country to mature and grow past the superficial nonsense of “well if you had an education, you’d have a better job”, “if you don’t like it get a better job”, “you should work harder if you want more money”. Living in poverty is not always a direct reflection on the individual living under that circumstances. A person’s environment including the people around them, situations they are put into, and the things they see and hear, will all have a huge and direct impact on that person’s choices, behavior, and every aspect of their lives. Living in poverty does not make a person any less worthy of the basic things in life than the next person. It does not make them an uneducated person nor does it make them a “bad” person.
We all hear the terms the ghetto, urban areas, “bad” neighborhoods etc. For the most part they all refer to places with one thing in common; these neighborhoods are populated with mostly a group of people the government has clumped together which they call “minorities”.

The image of Blacks and Hispanics are carefully fed  to us throughout the media, newspapers, and our politicians.  When it comes to movies, commercials, and news coverage, if you pay attention you can see the very different reporting styles when discussing white and black or hispanic individuals.
Just like they did after September 11th. The government and our media used the terms “terrorist” and “patriotism” as a way to feed you racism and hatred for anyone who was from any part of the middle east. And for a long time or fellow middle eastern Americans were prosecuted in a sense for no reason.

People are too busy trying to survive to pay attention and work for change or they feel to helpless, too caught in the idea that there’s nothing thru can do anyway and this is just how life is. The people of Ferguson have finally stood up to say no more.  They’re fighting for the justice and change they have needed all this time. My hope is that out of this horrible tragedy of another youth having his life taken away from him and his community, that Ferguson’s fight leads the way for more communities and more citizens to stand up to injustice and the lack of resources and support these communities have. To stand up against racism, prejudice, and the poverty many are stuck in. The people of Ferguson are fighting for the equality and justice they deserve. I can only hope others will follow.

#ReadThis #Ferguson #MichaelBrown

https://news.vice.com/article/this-is-a-defining-moment-for-missouri-jesse-jackson-discusses-ferguson-with-vice-news

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Finally graduated from college…Now what?

I have found myself since the moment my final moments in college set in, thinking about what my next steps are.  I’ve been going to school for so long, working so hard, that college itself became a sort of career.  Now that it is time to actually get the ball rolling on my journalism career, after finally earning that bachelors degree, I find myself sort of clueless.

I have no idea where to start my search.  Im a recent college graduate with one internship under my belt.  Not much “real world” experience in terms of my field, and at a loss of how to to go about convincing someone to give me a chance.  You hear student, you think essays, tests, and research papers.  Im sure it’s hard for most employers to believe a recent journalism graduate really knows  how to write well enough to earn a full time position at any major publication.

That’s the thing though, I CAN write.  I can write very well.  I know how to interview, I know how to write informative and attention grabbing ledes.  I know how to organize an article clearly and efficiently.  I also know how to take photographs to go with my articles and I have the basic experience with photoshop to be able to edit my photos in a way that does not distort them or the story they are representing.  I’ve received nothing but A’s and B’s in all my classes, maintained a minimum of a 3.6 GPA pretty much my entire time at CUNY Lehman College as well as making dean’s list on more than one occasion.  Upon graduation I also received two certificates from the journalism department at my school in recognition for my hard  work within my classes as well as my contributions to The Bronx Journal.  I’ve created a WordPress website on underground hip-hop where I posted an Q&A as well as photographs with an underground artist who’s album release party I attended the night before I interviewed him on rap career.  I’ve also created my first television news segment on Inside Lehman about healthy eating and vitamin intake where I did all the interviewing and script writing myself with the guidance of a great professor and journalist Tom O’Hanlon.

Yes, I have a lot of school based experience but no “real world” experience and thats my major problem.  How does a good student translate that skill set in the professional world, and how can I get an prospective employer to believe enough in me to take a chance on me?

If it’s one thing I’m starting to realize, it’s that although college has taught me the basics of journalism, such as how to write and organize articles, edit those articles, take and edit photographs, college hasn’t really given me many pointers on how to go out there and get the job.  My fear is that my only answer would be to continue doing internships, which mostly aren’t paid.  I’m 26 years old working at Starbucks.  At this point in my life I do not want nor can I really afford to work for free. I just finished college about 20 grand in student debt, living with my boyfriend and his family, and I personally have no savings.  I of course, along with my boyfriend, want  to move into our own place, and get the foundation together to build a future.

The thought of working a job that has nothing to do with my degree would drive me crazy.  I’ve had the idea engraved in my mind since I was young that a college education and a degree were the way to a career and financial stability.  No one tells you that the real challenge comes after college when you have to start finding that career.

For now I’ll take it one step at a time, create an online portfolio of my work, update my Monster profile, and continue searching the internet for opportunities.  If anyone else out there is having the same challenge, and has any pointers, don’t hesitate to share and I as well will keep updating.

Lehman College Graduation 2014

Well I finally did it! I graduated from college with a bachelors in multimedia journalism. I couldn’t be happier and more excited. I have been working many years for this (I should have a freaking PHD by now) but despite this long journey, I feel like I have learned and grown so much as a person and as an adult. Although the main reason for attending college is to gain specific knowledge we can take into our careers, I firmly believe one can never be done learning. For those of you who say you don’t need college to get a job and make money, that’s very true, but the knowledge and experience you gain in college does not compare to your high school years or even the years after. At Lehman College I have been able to participate in activities that gave me hands on experience in journalism. Photojournalism class, writing and taking photos for The Bronx Journal, as well as creating my own news broadcast segment for Inside Lehman where I wrote my own script (with guidance of course from a wonderful professor, Tom O’Hanlon) and was the anchor, all for the first time. I’ve also had the pleasure of having some great professors whose kind words of encouragement confirmed to me that I’m moving in the right direction. I take these experiences and everything I have learned over the years with me now into creating a career for myself. It’s been a long and hard road. I want to thank all my professors for all their hard work and the kindness they have showed me over these last two years. I congratulate everyone from all over, who have graduated this year. We made it! As corny as it sounds, we absolutely are the future. Let’s go out into this worlod and change it for the better!

The girl next door

You know that girl in your class?  Maybe she sits next to you during math or maybe you worked on a group project with her for your biology class.  Would you know just by looking at her that she was a stripper?

Adrian* is a 27 year-old CUNY student who lives in Queens and began stripping when she was just 22. “Stripping is no different from any other job, you do it because you have bills and other financial obligations,” she said, “but it was the taboo aspect of stripping that factored into its intrigue.”

Her curiosity about stripping began when she was a kid. When she got older she decided to do some research on the field and was surprised to find that it could be just like any other job. “I’ve never been one to buy into stereotypes regarding anyone and this was no different.”

While doing her research, Adrian also made friends with women who are in the business through online forums. “I learned a lot from them, gained insight and invaluable tips before I ever stepped foot in a club,” she said, “I didn’t go in expecting boozy, drug-addled co-workers nor did I anticipate a level of glamour so often portrayed in the media.”

When she started working she decided to keep the news from her parents and other family members. “…they have a more conservative/old fashioned mindset when it comes to what is and is not acceptable for a young woman to do.” But for Adrian, stripping is not that different from other jobs she’s had like bartending. “Those were jobs that also required social interaction, albeit on different levels.” She said, “I’ve discovered that being able to hold a conversation under any social circumstance and connecting with others is a learned skill with immeasurable value.”

Although Adrian is working towards a college degree she says she could see the possibility of stripping long term and noting that “some of the most successful are the older veterans of this profession,” adding maintaining your looks and a sharp mind are key.

“Some of the smartest and most ambitious people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing worked as strippers. These are family-oriented, financially responsible, smart women who defy the stereotype. “

I weep for my generation and the future of this country

I laugh when I see selfies or pictures of food getting 30+ likes, but when you post lyrics or memes about the real shit going on in life that affects us all as a whole, the stuff that forces you to think…”nah, ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Just because you put out of your mind the crap that not only takes place in our country but all over the world, doesn’t mean its not happening and it certainly doesn’t mean your precious world cant be rocked by it,

Its my generation and those after us that are going to have to deal with the repercussions of whats taking place today, maybe more of you should pay attention and stop being distracted by all the pretty things and horrible television programming that all of us are being FED on a daily basis.  The values of this country have gone to absolute shit.  

Music and television promote non-sense values: Money, Power, Fame, “Bitches”, Fancy Cars, Partying (you can see where I’m going with this) etc.  

SO FRUSTRATING SOMETIMES!

Oh!…

P.S

Please grown adults,
Learn and burn into your memory the difference between then and than/ their, there, they’re, and there/ to, too, and two/ and finally its, it’s, and its’.

 

And that concludes today’s rant on my forever fading expectations of the American Public.