By Yasmeen Jaaber • Originally published on Medium • In March 2020, when my Junior year ended, there was little I had control over. I thought of the future and saw either fire and dying or nothing at all. I struggled with feeling any difference in the days and I needed something to give the calendar on my wall meaning.
By Teresa Younger • During a conversation about the Virginia Museum of History and Culture’s Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia From Women’s Suffrage to Today, which featured a panel about my daughter and her artwork in March of this year, I was asked, “Is your child happy doing this work?”
By Riss • Riss reflects on her experiences as from a child perspective to an adult perspective living with Single- Sided Deafness. She wants the reader to understand that there are so many incidents and not enough time. (October 2020)
By Shontrice Barnes • Ever since I could remember, writing has been a huge part of my life. All throughout my childhood, I had kept journals of random things that I would write. Stories, poems, songs, random thoughts… words were some of the only ways I knew how to express myself.
By Teresa Younger • Given the deep divides apparent in society today, it is refreshing to re-read Poet Laurent Maya Angelou’s “Human Family” poem as a reminder of our endless similarities. “Human Family” was featured in an Apple ad during the 2016 Summer Olympics, a world event that draws spectators by the million.
By Teresa Younger • Complete with unsolicited comments, touching attempts from strangers, and pressure to do away with your coils right now, or you risk the shame of being prevented from attending your graduation or losing gainful employment? Is natural hair controversy a real thing? How have generations dealt with this constant problem?
By Shelby Moring • She’s so relaxed. That hazy daydream of myself that I conjure, praying on her to materialize any day now. She doesn’t exist apart from me, but she’s so far in the future, that it almost seems impossible to reach her sometimes. What does she have that I don’t? Where I long for excess, she is content in abundance of her own kind.
By Kimberly Davis • “I’m a gentleman lives in _____________ looking for a long term relationship dating also hanging out. I believe in treating a woman with respect and honor I am 5”11 prefer African American and Hispanic types of women no offense at all just my preference” …
By Sarah Mathew • Collaboration with the Richmond Peace Education Center’s annual essay contest, “Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice.”
By Gloria Amado • Collaboration with the Richmond Peace Education Center’s annual essay contest, “Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice.”
By Graciela Barada • Originally published on Cuatro Meses en Barbados • When I was about ten or eleven years old, I became overly conscious of my body and the lens through which the world saw it. Arguably, everyone deals with fluctuations in their self-esteem, particularly in regards to body image and especially during puberty, a confusing time of uncertainty and change.
Anonymous • In the third grade, I remember standing in the lunch line waiting for cheap spaghetti and old milk. I would look at the other girls in line and think about how pretty they were. And then I’d tell myself to stop being gay. “Stop it, stop it, stop it.”
By Atari Gems • I’m exhausted. My mother tells me to slow down. Drink more water. Cut back on the things. Limit time on social media. Go to the gym I’m passionate about. However seems like the work keeps stacking and stacking. I step back and scale it back then feel guilty.
By Stephanie Younger • The most crushing racism I experienced was by the white moderate, who claims to be an ally, or an accomplice, until proven otherwise.
By Fallen Matthew • Life just keeps getting better and better for me. I have been afflicted with inexplicable symptoms and anxiety surrounding them for the past decade—all of which were either downplayed or dismissed by my MD, an upper-middle class white man generations removed from mine, despite a CT scan that showed “basal ganglial calcification.”
By Stephanie Younger • Speech at Women’s March RVA + Expo 2019
By Stephanie Younger • My painting in Art 180’s gallery, “Everything is Connected,” is about both the racism I experienced within the gun violence prevention community. The different colors represent the emotions I felt throughout the time I faced online harassment, and this piece has allowed me to express my frustration with my voice being marginalized in this movement.
By Stephanie Younger • The following list is based on my real experiences with misogyny, ableism and anti-Black racism, that I’ve written on a mixed-media piece I created in a VCU Future Studio program at the VCU Arts’ Department of Sculpture + Extended Media.