A deep sense of marginalized communities’ need for media justice fuels my journalism and is the reason I went to journalism school. The education I encountered in journalism school, one focused on professionalization and skills acquisition for corporate media candidacy, fuels my understanding of why we need more diverse journalism teachers, classrooms, and newsrooms.
Managing Editor of Un Chín Magazine
Part of my work in media justice was as the Managing Editor of Un Chín Magazine in New York City. It was also a pedagogical role, as independent media projects such as this include a lot of education. I worked alongside new and established writers, photographers, and videographers to challenge market-driven conceptions of what it means to be of Latinx identity in the United States. Part of that work included normalizing words like un chín, a colloquial Spanish term meaning “a little bit.” The title reflected part of the magazine’s vision to demonstrate that identity cannot be encapsulated, and so the magazine could only capture “a little bit” of a rich and ever-changing culture. The magazine’s greatest accomplishment was the creation and widespread dissemination of an alternative discourse (both written and visual) that challenged stereotypical, racist, and heteronormative media representations.
Investigative Reporting and Immigration Beat
For an investigative piece for the Post-Standard I reported on a window remodeling company that was taking advantage of elderly clients. The piece focused in on the story of an elderly woman who was forced to declare bankruptcy on behalf of her brother. The piece also uncovered the company’s targeting of other elderly clients.
Other work in the Post-Standard included a profile of a business concerned with ending violence against children of color and research on military contracts and tax breaks for big developers.
I also have experience covering the racial profiling, criminalization, and detention of immigrants in Syracuse and the surrounding areas. As I was doing this work I did some investigative reporting to try and obtain the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office’s protocol for arrests.
Managing Editor & Designer of “Do Justice” Newsletter for the Office of Clinical Legal Education, Syracuse University College of Law
Much of media justice work is about highlighting what is possible when we adopt a social justice framework. I conceptualized, designed, and managed a newsletter for the Office of Clinical Legal Education, which I titled “Do Justice.” The name highlights the social justice initiatives of the Clinic and in many ways prefigures the social value of offering free legal help to members of the Syracuse community. In that way, students’ participation in the clinics and externship programs became more than just experiential learning for a CV line.
Grant Writing for “The Stand,” a Community Newspaper
I was a graduate student when this project was first conceived and participated as a grant writer for the project, trying to ensure its viability. The project’s vision was to train local journalists from Syracuse’s South Side, a historically Black neighborhood, in an attempt to redress the lack of dignified media representation of the Black community in Syracuse. The project created a newspaper called The Stand that is still published today.
For our journalism thesis project we conceptualized and designed Elevator Magazine. I designed the website, shot video and conducted interviews for a story on basement Bhangra, and conducted and wrote an interview of Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow, Junot Díaz.
Logo Design for La Liga: Syracuse’s Spanish Action League
Also while in graduate school I redesigned the logo for La Liga, a community organization founded in 1969 to provide services to the Latinx community in Syracuse. Their previous logo was created with clip art of a white nuclear family from the 50’s. The organization honored me with an award at their annual gala.