"My name is Gwendolene Mugodi and I am a writer and the founder of Paivapo Storytellers, a movement that aims to provide better access to local, good quality literature to the children in Zimbabwe--and eventually beyond. Our work would not be complete without the help of local artists like Abel Zvorufura who I met through the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. As two different artists we spent about a month and a half going back and forth on this book until we got to a place we were both happy with. I look forward to sharing that full book in a few months, but for now here's a little bit about Abel and why he does what he does."
There's More to Space than Science
In the summer of 2013, Tomoya met a 15 year-old schoolgirl who was passionate about outer space. They had been talking for a good hour when Tomoya asked how she planned on working for a space company. She replied “I don’t think I will. I’m not good at math or science.”
Later, we conducted a survey in Japan and Singapore and we found that she wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Many students essentially believed that “Space = Rocket Science."
The reality that more and more young students were abandoning their dreams to pursue their passion for space set us in motion to do something about it. This was the beginning of Metaplaneta.
Metaplaneta is a think tank that investigates a multidisciplinary approach to space. Its main overall aim is to make students feel and be more connected to space, no matter what academic background they come from. Why? Because we believe that false societal beliefs shouldn’t discourage students from following their passions.
We've carried out research with professionals from various space agencies to verify our ideas and yes, jobs in non-STEM fields do exist in the space industry but there’s a problem: students do not know of the many opportunities available to them. Yet, these opportunities are only expected to increase as more companies join the space race.
We challenged ourselves to connect our passion for space with our interests in non-STEM fields. Tomoya, for example, now knows there are ways for him to pursue his interest in media communications in the space industry and also use that as a way to expose students to the non-STEM opportunities.With a better understanding of the space industry following our research, we felt we could help other students make such connections as well.
Not only does Metaplaneta want to be a platform that connects students’ passion for space to their studies and provide more information to them but we also want to use space as a tool to challenge established norms. This summer, we will organize workshops, where students will discuss topics through which they can rethink current approaches to space and explore new perspectives by interacting with professionals from non-STEM backgrounds. For now, we’re focusing on students in Japan and Singapore, where we’re from.
So yes, your passion can indeed resonate with your studies... you just need to find the connection.
August 11, 2016
June 13, 2016
Lauren Maunus '19 is starting a bold new venture.
Its goal: To help eliminate food waste and bring healthy, affordable food to "food swamps" in Rhode Island and beyond.
March 15, 2016"If little girls like me were saying Barbie is the pretty one and the brown one is the ugly one, that's a problem."
Yelitsa Jean-Charles studies Illustration at RISD with a a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She identifies as a visual activist, and believes that artists have a responsibility as society’s image-makers. Her doll company and book series, Healthy Roots, combats internalized racism and colorism by getting to the root of the problem: altering beauty standards and cultviating self-love for young girls through education, diversity, and positive representation.
March 12, 2016An Excerpt
Mina is a Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellow. She traveled to her home in Iran last summer and brought back a cultural souvenir: the book she wrote, Taste of Culture. She explores Iranian families, streets, stores and the stories and spirit embedded in the recipes of Iranian food. She hopes to start a conversation about the benefit of knowing cuisines of different cultures to connect societies.
This year's class of Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellows have just begun their yearlong foray into the world of social entrepenuership. Check out their projects here.
December 16, 2015
Ria is a 2015 Social Innovation Fellow and co-founder of No Country for Women (NCFW), an internationally-recognized gender education initiative that aims to combat systemic gender-based discrimination in India. Ria and her co-founder, Shreena Thakore ’16, who grew up in India, were awarded the Projects for Peace fellowship and used this grant to launch the project in May of 2014. NCFW was set up to educate the people in India on gender, rape culture, and misogyny through a series of workshops and initiate informed discussions about social change.
I was inspired by Ria’s story because she was determined to start a conversation about an issue in a country that fights hard to keep such issues silent and hidden. We reflected on Ria’s experiences, her interactions with young people, most of whom had never thought about this obvious form of discrimination before, and her moments of self-doubt and extreme conviction.
October 2, 2015