Category Archives: Spring 2015 Student Posts

Group 13: Editors

We are Team #1, Bianca and Kathy, responsible for setting up the Indiegogo account, deciding user permissions and setting up other authors as needed.  We also have to place the text, photos, videos, perks, etc., on the fundraising page as they are received in from other teams, and communicate with other teams to ensure everything gets done in a timely matter.  Together with Prof. Palana, we were to make sure the Paypal account was set up properly as well as make sure the Aura’s House linked page was good to go.  Lastly, we were to make any necessary edits or changes to what was provided by the other teams, so as to make sure the project was unified and of high quality. Continue reading


Week 12 Homework

Please make a GROUP blog post with your team about your crowdfunding experience so far. Talk about the items on the rubric you were asked to prepare and contribute and how it all went and what you still plan to do.

You can co-write this post with your teammates by emailing a .doc back and forth and then having one person post the final version on behalf of the group. Due: Tues. April 28, 2015 at 10:35AM.

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10 Arrests in 87 Minutes: How the NYPD Actively Suppressed the Occupy Movement

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10 Arrests in 87 Minutes: How the NYPD Actively Suppressed the Occupy Movement is a short film by two video activists, Paul Sullivan and Justin Sullivan, documenting 10 arrests during Occupy Wall Street’s first anniversary celebration. The protest that occurred on September 17th, 2012,  “Occupy Wall Street”, had over 180 arrests in downtown Manhattan and 10 of those arrests that took place over the span of 87 minutes were witnessed by the 2 brothers. The short provides a look at protestors individual arrests and displays NYPD’s action during crowd-control situation. For years, the NYPD have been criticized for their calculated actions and means of controlling such events and it has brought into question whether or not they are intentionally attempting deny civilians of their freedoms and/or taking advantage of their positions in law enforcement.

Paul Sullivan walks around downtown Manhattan with a camera strapped to him allowing the audience to experience the protest as another civilian walking the streets, however as he does so, he directs the audience to look in a certain direction or take notice of what is happening in the corner. Sullivan states what is happening and points out if there is a peculiarity in the action, informs the audience of any appropriate laws or current upholding legal barriers that are crossed, and even hints at his own beliefs in doing so.

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A Contaminated Democracy (That’s Fracked Up!)

Typically film sequels only instigate eye-rolls from moviegoers, but I solemnly swear that “Gasland Part II” is worth viewing. The prequel “Gasland” invited viewers to join filmmaker Josh Fox as he educated himself about the natural gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of gas extraction – and in the process, he exposed the environmental repercussions associated with it. In the follow-up film, Fox drills into the gas industry again by documenting how natural gas companies are taking advantage of property owners, threatening and propelling them into financial ruins. Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness


The-Culture-High-2014-movie-posterWhen I began the search for the perfect documentary, I thought the film The Culture High, created just last year in 2014 with $240,022 funded on Kickstarter, was just another film about why marijuana should be legalized, but it proved to be so much more. Incarcerations, “Wars based on concepts,” militarization of police, prohibitions of all kinds, the race for more, the discovery of the motives behind the government, and money are just a few topics explained within The Culture High. Combining the use of animations and interviews with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifia, we also see very interesting and impactful interviews with medical professionals; former secret agents from various federal organizations; patients of diseases; former drug smugglers; experts on mental health and behavior; and even a few Neuropsychopharmacologists, we get a new view on the “War on Drugs” originally forged by Richard Nixon, through portrayals of very real proof of an ignorant nature displayed through very real video evidence. Continue reading

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain)

For obvious reasons, I really wanted to pick a crowdfunding organization that was based in Europe, along with helping people in need, so I settled on Switzerland’s Gain. Gain is a worldwide organization that has set out to end world hunger and allow everyone on earth to consume food with nutritional value. Gain is a giant organization that helps people in over 50 countries and has dozens of different programs to end malnutrition, but one program stuck out to me specifically: Salt Iodization. Continue reading

The Cost of Education

debt As we grow from a young age, we’re constantly told that college is a MUST. The force to attend college comes from all sources; parents, mentors, teachers, relatives, television, social media, and even the looming facts that no one without a college degree gets a high paying and mentally stimulating job. Ultimately, no degree equals no future. For as long as I can remember I was told I going to go to college, I was even going to become an Astronaut, “but not without your degree,” my grandfather would remind me. Getting accepted into University of Maryland-College Park was a dream come true. I’ll never forget opening my email, seeing the words (or word), “Congratulations,” and screaming my head off for about 20 minutes.

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Aiding Tanzania’s most vulnerable by investing in their advocate.


Photo credit: UNICEF

Argue with your husband, burn his food, neglect his children, say “no” to sex, or leave the house without his permission: 50 percent of Tanzania’s adolescent and young adult male population (13-24 years) believe that it is appropriate for a man to beat his wife under these circumstances. Even worse, of the female population in the same age range – the victims themselves – it’s 60 percent who believe this. Continue reading

Mary’s Place

Mary’s Place was established in 1999 in Seattle, WA in response to homeless women’s need for a complete resource center. These women were previously spending their days bouncing from center to center, trying to get their physical needs met. With the help of a small community grant, and the support of a Board of Directors from a local church, Mary’s Place was born. Several planning sessions with homeless women were held where women were asked what they needed to rise out of homelessness. In this way, they instituted the structure of the organization that remains today.

Mary’s Place is one of the few places that offer crisis response night shelters and day center services for homeless families with children. It is unique in that it empowers women to take control of their lives by first providing for basic needs, and then by giving them access to tools, information, support groups and resources to find employment, housing, medical and/or financial services that improve their quality of life in the long-run.

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Modern-Day Slavery

by Jessica Balko

In December of 1865, the United States of America abolished slavery with the addition of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2007, Mauritania made slavery illegal. Free the Slaves provides an overview of slavery in history dating back to 6800BC. To date, slavery is illegal in every country; however, practices similar to slavery still exist today including domestic servants, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, and child labor. According to End Slavery Now, it is estimated that 28 million people are experiencing a modern-day form of slavery.

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