Service to Community
Clarissa Uprooted: Unearthing Stories of Our Village (1940s-early 1970s) (DEIJ)
Summer 2021, 2022
My commitment to our community outside of RIT includes improving diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) for our BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities. I was fortunate to be asked to collaborate with Mari Jaye Blanchard, WXXI, and Teen Empowerment ROC on the Chuck Price VR: Clarissa Street 360 (Short Film). This virtual reality (VR) experience shows Clarissa Street as it was before the city of Rochester destroyed it: a robust and thriving Black community.
I taught basic computer skills, computer literacy, and introductory PhotoShop to underserved teenagers from Teen Empowerment ROC during Summer 2021. When the exhibit opened in Summer 2022, I attended and supported these youth at the opening night and presentation. In addition, I provided technical support and assistance for attendees opening night and donated the use of my personal VR headset for the duration of the exhibit.
PPE Crisis: Face Shields Provider 3D Printer, Collaborator
When the COVID-19 pandemic began there was a PPE crisis in healthcare. I am someone who is always ready to help others, I researched face shield designs and taught myself how to print face shields on my home 3D printer. I connected with a local physician who needed them for her facility and for physicians in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Seattle. I began printing two per hour, changing the print bed every hour, setting my alarm every hour, day and night, to ensure the process did not stop. In between teaching and other professional commitments, I learned how to increase my production to just shy of five per hour. I joined Face Shields ROC, a local group doing the same work; due to our combined efforts we created over 36,000 face shields. To prioritize equity, all of the face shields I created were donated at no cost.
SOCIAL JUSTICE ACCOMPLICE
July 2016 - Present
Actively showing marginalized students their lives matter speaks volumes over simply saying that I am an ally. As news of the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and then Daniel Prude was released, I showed my solidarity by consistently protesting in the Rochester Uprising. Our community used our right to peacefully protest police brutality and were pepper sprayed, tear gassed, and shot with pepper projectiles by the RPD. While these were not my first experiences with police violence during protests for racial justice and equity, it reinforced my awareness of the fears many of our students face and allowed me to be even more cognizant of the trauma some of our students bring with them to school.
To honor Daniel Prude on what would have been his birthday, I created a chalk drawing on Church Street at the People’s Hall Protest which allowed me to use my art talents for the greater good of our community.