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.
We Are the Forest
It started with walks around the city.
While living in Lima, Peru, Lucia Monge would walk around and notice how poorly people treated the trees. Which prompted the thought: if I were a tree, I would just stand up and leave!
From there, Plantón Móvil was born. The event is part-performance-art, part-public-demonstration, part-parade. Participants march through Lima, carrying and adorning themselves with plants. In doing so, their bodies become vessels—as they move, the plants they carry can “move” through, and claim, the city.
For Monge, the project is an artistic expression, as well as a way of bringing the environmental movement to people in an immediate, tangible way. At the end of each march, the plants are used to create a public green space in Lima.
Monge’s love of both science and art go back to childhood, when she cultivated an appreciation for observation during weekly birdwatching sessions with her grandfather. For the last four years, she taught K-12 science during the day, then left school in the afternoons to go to her studio, where she made art.
Today, as a MFA student at RISD, Monge continues to explore how we can use art and education to transform the way we live in cities, and forge closer relationships between ourselves and all living things.
Music Credits: “Song for a Pea,” “Netherland,” and “La Di Day,” by Podington Bear (http://podingtonbear.com/); original songs composed for Planton Movil 2012 by Nicolás Wangeman
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."
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.
December 8, 2015
Drew first became interested in filmmaking at an end of the year party at his kindergarten graduation, glued to the screen watching Star Wars while his friends ran around the yard screaming. His love of political science was ignited by his high school constitutional law class and exposure to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, all of which provided average citizens access to a better understanding of the impact of the law.
Now Drew is a junior at Brown, bringing together his interests by double concentrating in Political Science and Modern Culture and Media. He brings his passion for filmmaking and accessibility of policies outside of the classroom by making films with Brown Motion Pictures and working as the head University News editor for The Brown Daily Herald. Next semester, however, Drew is taking the spring off to work at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, where he’ll be working in the consulate, handling public affairs issues, and hopefully creating multimedia projects while being in charge of their website.
December 2, 2015
“Time is a social construct,” Anastasiya laughs. From where I stand, I can’t imagine she has any.
It was a miracle that she agreed to sit and chat with me — between two meetings, of course. First off, Anastasiya is the co-editor-in-chief at bluestockings Magazine, an online feminist publication committed to a gender-aware, anti-oppressive framework. She is a facilitator for the Gender, Power, Sexuality (GPS) workshop (formerly known as FemSex), which is a student-led sexuality workshop held every semester. She is on Brown’s Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board, which reviews and makes recommendations concerning the University’s handling of sexual assault and gender-based violence on campus. Oh, and she also works remotely for Know Your IX, a national organization that empowers students to stop sexual violence and support survivors, by educating about student rights under Title IX. See what I mean? A miracle.
Anastasiya and I sat on a blanket on the main green, reflecting on her time spent within these communities at Brown: communities that advocate for social change, and also provide a supportive space for their members to share their own experiences and vulnerabilities with one another.
November 10, 2015
Professor Sarah Besky is alternately described as a “goddess” (by her students), as “a thorn in corporations’ sides” (by herself) and as an anthropologist (by the rest of the world).
She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown and author of The Darjeeling Distinction, an ethnographic study of the lives of tea plantation workers in India. Here is an anthropological look at her journey from coastal Connecticut to lush Nepal and back to Providence.