Students Researchers Rockin’ FUBU @ The Race & Media Conference

The grads presenting at the Race & Media conference weren’t wearing the clothing brand, nor were they listening to Solange. But, they did showcase how they were listening to their communities and research participants. On Saturday, May 12, 2018, the conference concluded with a final panel comprised of four research projects, sponsored by the CCDE’s Collaborative Project Grants. Each group was given $5,000 to put towards a research project that was collaborative in nature, centered around mentorship, and focused on race and media. What emerged was some astounding research from practitioners who were all oriented towards FUBU, otherwise known as “For Us, By Us.”

Wyatt Pickner, the first to present, displayed photographs during the conference as part of his project entitled We Rise (to be Heard): Community Conversations Led by Stories of American Indian/Alaska Native Men Left Behind By Police Violence. In this project, AI/AN men used photos and poetic descriptions to facilitate community discussions on police interactions in Seattle. Then, the Mixed Comix Collective discussed results from their survey on comic readership practices and debuted their Black Feminist and Critical Mixed Race Studies informed sketches and storyline for a comic they created.  Next, Lindsey Wilson, a recent doctoral graduate from the College of Education, shared her final doctoral research project A Collaborative Effort Toward Social Change: Understanding Media & African American Fathers, debuting images from her final product, a comic book.

Fighting Model Minority Myth Through Storytelling consisted of 5 digital storytelling workshops facilitated by Lovely-Frances Domingo and Royce Le that were inspired by Letters for Black Lives. Finally, the panel rounded out with a collaboration between a nonprofit and a piloted design studio for improving diversity in production and storytelling using podcasts. Zithri A. Saleem, Mayowa Aina, Domonique Meeks, and David Hendry interviewed nonwhite content producers to better understand how people of color create value for their communities in The Speak On It Project: Podcasting as a Critical Methodology for Participatory Action Research.

The products of these diverse collaborations were all creative endeavors. Not only did panelists express that their research showed a need for better representation, they also actively responded by contributing to the mediascape, providing creative platforms for previously unheard voices. This panel contributes to the popularization of research that is based in practice and not just critique. In other words, these grads and their collaborators are not only making a call “For Us,” but responding to this call “By Us”. Thank you CCDE for supporting such FUBUlous research!


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