CEPA organizers ‘March on Whitmore,’ continuing to pressure administration to respond to student debt crisis

The 50 person crowd gathering by the ramp outside of Whitmore administration building (Brie Bristol/Rebirth Project)

By Brie Bristol

AMHERST, MA – It was apparent to the public that an overcast day at the University of Massachusetts Amherst would not stop organizers and allies of the Center for Education Policy & Advocacy from marching to the Whitmore administration building, who were advocating against student debt.

The Center for Education Policy & Advocacy, also known as CEPA, has been an agency on campus since 2007, “building grassroots power movements to expand the political consciousness of the campus.”

On Friday, April 12, CEPA as well as their student allies, marched to Whitmore from Goodell lawn. The organizers discussed with the 50 person crowd that they were there to address the UMass Amherst student debt crisis. “The university can’t drown out our voices any longer,” CEPA education & training coordinator Emma Kinney said, stirring up the audience.

Continue reading “CEPA organizers ‘March on Whitmore,’ continuing to pressure administration to respond to student debt crisis”

Islamophobia Teach-In : Religion, Fear and the Consequences of Dehumanization

by Isha Mahajan

The Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst presented a teach-in on Islamophobia that aimed to address the religion, its fear and the consequences of dehumanization on Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2019.

The panelists consisted of  professors from UMass alongside those from Boston and Hartford, Conn, who provided their opinions and experiences with instances related to Islamophobia from around the country as well as from an international perspective.

“In the wake of the New Zealand massacre, it is vital that we address Islamophobia and how we overcome fear and misconceptions about a faith practiced by 1.6 billion people on earth, which is one in four human beings,” said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

Continue reading “Islamophobia Teach-In : Religion, Fear and the Consequences of Dehumanization”

Natural Hair Stories-Part One

by Desire’ Jackson-Crosby and Cynthia Ntinunu

What is hair? Is it just a follicle on the top of one’s head? Or is it a piece of you that evokes certain feelings? The natural hair journey is a unique experience for anyone who goes through it. For some it’s a straightforward journey and for others there’s a lot to unpack.

This project allowed 11 people to relive and share their natural hair journeys-from their struggles to their triumphs. Below is four of the 11 for part one of the natural hair stories series.

Uju Onochie

"I’m still on this journey."

Uju Onochie went to a predominantly white school for part of her childhood and she hated it. Being one of the few black kids in class, she remembered seeing the white girls’ hair and she’d play with it. Thoughts of “why can’t my hair be like this?” would circle her head as her fingers brushed through the girls’ hair. (Click the image above to read her full story)

Continue reading “Natural Hair Stories-Part One”

The Veins that Stopped Growing

By Lucia Solorzano

I have dreams of my veins spreading out
like the vines on my garden wall

And my blood,  bringing life
like the ocean 20 miles south

My skin, the protector
like the air and the clouds

The hairs on my body to keep me warm
like the small spring grown sprouts

My braid that swings about
like the old moss licked tree
that grew with me

and it’s leaves that fell
like the trees that fell
like the chemicals that spewed and spilled
and the smog that clouded our judgement
and brought us downhill

and now the vines can’t grow
and the ocean can’t glow

with the life and the warmth
of the trees and the sprouts

and my garden wall
the vines stopped growing
and all we do is watch the leaves fall.