Student Blogger Study USA

Navigating Assumptions

When I see someone who does not have what I have, I think “they probably want x, y, and z because I enjoy/have those things.” Because of my experience, imagining new housing and coffee shops sounds like a great way to bring people out of a mode of survival in the Jackson neighborhood where we stayed, but that’s because I’m only seeing the neighborhood from MY lens. How would I have ever been able to guess their needs? Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Entering Spaces

Think of where you are sitting/standing right now and all the other people who have occupied that same space. Now think that those people were property to another human being. My eyes saw the same fields stretching out in front of me. My skin felt the same Louisiana sun beating down. The weight of past lives that have been lived and injustices that have been suffered hit me like a semi truck. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Community Faculty and the HECUA Classroom

All these people, and many, many more, helped me bridge the gap between textbook and reality and inspire me to embrace, whole-heartedly, the resistance against injustice and inequality within the country. They opened themselves up to the class and used their radical vulnerability as a means to teach us of the oppression they have faced and will continue to face. And it is for this that I think HECUA is so dang special. It provided the means for radical relationships to form and created space to learn from those who are leading the fight against inequality in America. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

That’s a Wrap! Final Reflections from Savannah

I think I can speak on behalf of most students when I say that this was one of the most challenging, inspiring, growing, and transformational semesters we will experience in our college career. I want to take this moment and give sincere and deep gratitude to Marcus Young, our amazing Art for Social Change teacher, mentor, and friend. I also want to thank all of the behind the scenes HECUA staff who put in so much work to make these programs happen for students. I also want to thank all of the community artists and guests that came into our space to teach us something we normally would not have learned if we did not share space and build community throughout this program. Finally, I want to thank all of my fellow students in the program who helped shape me as a person and an artist. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Words Engage the Body – Somatic Therapy with Thea Lee

Most Tuesdays, our classes meet at Clouds in the Water Zen Meditation Center in St Paul. We gather in their meditation space and use cushions in replacement as chairs. We sit in a circle so we all feel like we have equal opportunity to learn and participate. We also start off every single class with a mindfulness meditation. Sometimes they are just about a minute or two of silence, or sometimes they are about a ten-minute meditation that Marcus leads us through with his words and his calm soothing-sounding bell. This is a good practice to productively do nothing and be centered versus unproductively doing nothing and just sitting on your phone. While this tool does not always work for everyone, I appreciate that we are given an opportunity to be gentle with our minds and our bodies in an educational setting. This was a perfect transition into meeting our guest visitor for the day, Thea Lee. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Marching with UNITE HERE!

Working as a social media intern at MRLF, I have been exposed to a vast network of affiliates and worker organizations and their efforts in union and worker movements. From Education Minnesota’s district education town hall forums with local representatives, to Amazon worker protests organized by Awood Center, I have nonstop exposure to what is happening in the worker world. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

HECUA Classrooms and the Art of Hosting

“Teach because that is going to make you a better learner. Learn because that is going to make you a better teacher,” Eric said. It takes creative practice to work in any field just as much as it does to simply live your everyday life. “Always have a creative practice no matter what you do,” were Marcus’s final words. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Exploring Organizing: My Internship at MRLF

My HECUA internship at the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation has helped me begin to loosen my restricted perception of who can and should organize, and where organizing is most effective. These experiences have exposed me to the endless opportunities where change can be implemented. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Learning as a Collective about Inequality in America

When people ask me what the Inequality in America program is, time and time again I fail to feel as though I have given a fulfilling answer. This is because we are learning so dang much. In February alone, we have learned everything from the benefits of asset-based mapping to the effect that poverty has on cortisol levels. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Re-Performing Famous Works: Art for Social Change

The best way to learn about famous art is by recreating it yourself. That is exactly what my HECUA Art for Social Change classmates and I did on two recent Thursdays. Our class visited the Weisman Art Museum to workshop and perform different art performances created by incredibly well-known artists around the world. Read More »

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