Social Justice Fair

so·cial jus·tice

noun

  1. justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

 

 Every semester, right around this time, as students are stressing about final exams and research papers, the Women’s and Gender Studies students have a Social Justice Fair. Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) was the class that opened my eyes to feminism and completely molded the person I am today. The awesome trip I took to Baltimore last weekend was 100% because I took that first WGS class.

Jill, first my professor and now a close friend, invited me to her current students’ Social Justice Fair. 

I was beyond impressed at the level of commitment her students has achieved. Every single booth showed forward thinking, planning, and research had been done. They called out some important social justice issues that don’t get talked about enough. It was a really insightful and interesting exhibition made even more powerful by the visual impact of The Clothesline Project.

    1. TheClothslineProject.info

The Clothesline Project, started in Cape Cod, MA in 1990, addresses the global issue of violence against women. I think the Clothesline Project deserves it’s own blog post, so I’ll tell you more about that in the next day or so.

Very basically, the project asks survivors of violence, sexual assault, harassment, etc. to design a shirt expressing their feelings. Families of victims are asked to do the same. There is a lot of beautiful symbolism behind the Clothesline imagery that I will definitely share with you very soon.

Another group of students focused on menstrual health and sanitation accessibility. Fadumo Abdulahi and Cony used incentives to get donations for the Center for Women and Families. Visitors were encouraged to donate tampons and pads in exchange for a temporary henna tattoo.

Rachel Wirth did an in-depth study on sanitation products on the downtown campus for Jefferson Community and Technical College. She, along with assistance from the professor, was able to convince a college administrator to purchase enough tampons and pads to stock several campus bathrooms. Rachel then went every single day and counted how many products were taken.

The school had originally argued that the cost would be too much to supply sanitation products to the entire female population, but Rachel thought it more likely would not be a huge cost, but could help a lot of students. In the course of one month, 157 tampons and pads were used.

That is 157 students who did not have to potentially leave class because of a menstruation situation. 157 students who didn’t have to suffer the public shame of bleeding on your pants and letting everyone know that you have a uterus.

I don’t honestly know what the college pays per unit on sanitary napkins. I would like to do a bit more digging and find out. Maybe Rachel will know. What I do know, is that potentially changing 157 lives for the better seems like a great pay out.

    1. From left: Cony, showing off her henna tattoo, Fadumo, and Rachel, sitting at their menstrual awareness booth.

Another pair of students, Kiana Cotten and Qian Qian Li, created a booth to bring awareness to the sexualization of women in the media. Kiana said she just wanted to learn more about the issue and understand the motives between this issue. Qian Qian, being Chinese, had a different point of view because of her culture and was interested in learning more about American media. She believes mass media is overtly sexual and she wanted to raise awareness of how women are often viewed solely as sexual objects and how mass media influences that.

 

Kiana Cotten and Qian Qian Li, in from of their social justice fair booth.

One booth had a great visual representation. A big flag, blue and pink, with a symbol that merges the male and the female symbols, stood behind a booth sprinkled with purple ribbons and colorful flyers. Here are a few:

Debbie Richards, the student who set this booth up, explained to me that the purple ribbons stood for the trans lives we had lost in the last year due to hate. After she told me that, the pile of purple ribbons seemed impossibly big. The visual representation was so powerful, especially because we don’t talk enough about how prevalent anti-trans hate crimes are.

    1. Debbie Richards in front of the transgender pride flag. Take note of the purple ribbons on the table and pinned to the flag. Too many ribbons, when you know what they represent.

The last student I spoke with, Ben Poe, had a booth that assisted visitors with registering to vote. He had voter registration forms for Kentucky in English, as well as a tablet set up for digital registration. He also had Indiana registration forms, which I thought was a great idea since so many JCTC students are from Indiana, just a short drive away. Ben had English and Spanish versions of the forms, but nothing digitized.

We talked a lot about accessibility as an obstacle for a lot of would-be voters. I found it really interesting that in Ben’s research, he found Kentucky did not have a Spanish version available, and Indiana did not have a digital version available. States should be able to meet the needs of all their citizens, especially those who may have difficulty voting in convential ways.

Been made a great point that never crossed my mind. He told me a lot of senior and disabled Americans do not get the chance to vote because they are limited in ways they can register and vote. I love how he thought of so many different types of possible obstacles to voting and how to overcome them.

    1. Ben Poe with his voter registration booth.

The number one reason I wanted to highlight the Social Justice Fair is to show how accessible activism can be. Many of the students I spoke with expressed how they felt personally connected to their topic of choice, and how they saw there was a need and wanted to do something. Being assigned as a class project makes activism more incentivized and also more accessible. Now that these students know where to start, some may continue to carry the torch of social justice.

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Serendipity: the Artwork of NWSA and Baltimore.

Saturday was full of art. The best kind of day.

I walked around the NWSA (National Women’s Studies Association, by the way) poster session and looked at the booths from different organizations and publishing companies, and was so inspired. I had to get a print of this amazing artwork I found at the Syracuse Cultural Workers booth.

Art by Erik Drooker, words by Käthe Kollwitz, a 1920s German artist.

You can purchase the print, as well as these powerful postcards I picked up at their website,   SyracuseCulturalWorkers.com

Saturday was a day of serendipity. I met so many completely unique and inspiring individuals. One of them, an artist named Minnie Chiu, approached me while I was writing a few postcards to home. We started talking about our conference experiences and about art. 

Turns out, Minnie was a fantastic feminist artist. She told me about how after the election, she took all the rage and disappointment she was feeling and channeled it all to make a postcard series. She then used those postcards to spread word of the Women’s March. 

She was just so inspiring and I wish I was a bit more eloquent but I don’t know how to describe the awe I felt around all the powerful, fierce women and feminists at the conference. She even gave me a few of her postcards!! 

Postcards by Minnie Chiu.

You can buy her artwork at her Etsy store Practicing Democracy.

Later that day, after going to a roundtable on publishing in feminist scholarly journals, I decided to go out and explore the Charm City a little bit.

In truth, I had heard there was a free art museum that has a very famous collection, and I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t stand in front of an original Vincent Van Gogh painting and contemplate life when I had the chance. Not only did the Baltimore Museum of Art have Van Gogh, but they also had the largest collection of Matisse paintings in the world! 

It was an emotional experience, to be sure. Georgia O’Keefe, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, the list of names goes on. I actually took a ton of pictures, but I’ve decided not to post them. It just doesn’t do it justice. 

What I will say, is if you ever get the chance to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art, take it. Admission is free, but hours are limited so be sure to check their website. 

Bonus Tip: take the Purple Route of the Charm City Circulator to get to the museum from the Federal Hill area. It’s free! 

As I was waiting for the bus to take me back towards the convention center, I spotted some awesome street art. Taped to the light pole at 22nd Street, miles from the convention center, a poster for Trans Rights. Social Justice in action. Feminism hiding in plain sight. I was moved.

Found at St. Paul and 22nd, Baltimore, MD

I joked with my roommates when I got home, the word of the weekend was serendipitous. Seriously, though, the muses shone down on me this weekend. 

Hiking Closer to Home

I’ve been missing the forest something fierce since we can’t back from the gorge. Today it has been raining and yucky and I haven’t even been able to use my coping mechanism for wilderness withdrawal: hiking closer to home. Everywhere we’ve ever lived, even the smallest apartment in the slummiest neighborhood, has had a park within a ten minute drive. If there’s a park with actual wooded areas within fifteen, I’ll drive the extra mile.

A couple of days ago, my roommate and I took her dogs for a hike in the park around the corner, called Lapping Park. They have a couple of great hiking trails of varying shorter lengths, one a little less than a mile, one about a mile and a half, and one around three miles long. The longer two follow Silver Creek for a ways and offer beautiful views of the water. 

We elected to take the medium sized hike, due to time restraints. The dogs had a blast, especially when they saw we were collecting sticks (which I was doing for a project I might tell you about another day). We even found some fallen logs and a wooden bridge to work on their agility. It felt so good to just get out and breathe in the fresh air. To be around nothing but trees and not see cars, power lines, and screens everywhere. 

I recommend everyone find their local park and go for a walk as soon as possible. No matter the weather, your bound to find something beautiful to see and the fresh air will certa do us all some good. Here’s some pics of how cute the pups were and how awesome Lapping Park was.

Buy Local Fair Roundup

Last Sunday was the 4th Annual Buy Local Fair here in Louisville, KY. This is a big event where local businesses set up booths in one of our beautiful parks and Louisvillians flock to get coupons, drink bourbon and discover cool things to do in our hometown.  Any chance I get to learn about my awesome city, I take! I was so excited to explore the fair and find some neat things to do this summer.
I am terrible about taking pictures when I’m out having fun, but I did collect a lot of literature, so I just wanted to share with you a couple of places I discovered that are really neat in Louisville right now. There were what seemed like hundreds of businesses, from restaurants and boutiques, to wineries and yoga studios and hometown tour companies. The possibilities really are endless in Possibility City. I am only going to cover 6 places that I’m really interested in, but I’d love to hear about your favorite “hometown tourist” spots here in Louisville.

1. Louisville Salt Caves

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The Louisville Salt Cave is something I’ve been interested in for a while. They carted in 5 tons of 250 million year old Himalayan Salt and a halogenerator to create a pure air environment that is allergen free and saturated in negative ions, which increase your serotonin levels, making you happy! Additionally, salt therapy, or “halotherapy” helps with a plethora of health issues, including respiratory issues, dermatological issues, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and more. This one is definitely on my list to check out soon.

2. 502 Power Yoga

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I have been wanting to join a yoga studio for a while now, but there are so many different types I didn’t know what to choose. I saw a lot of studios at the fair, but 502 Power Yoga  stood out to me. They are the only studio in the state that teaches the Baptiste Method, and I love how they talk about yoga as a lifestyle, and community. On their website it says their goal is “to empower people to transform their bodies, minds, lives, and communities one breath and one pose at a time.” That sounds like something I want to be a part of. They have a new student introductory package of unlimited classes for 40 days for 40$ and that’s really freakin’ good. My first class is this Saturday! So look for an update on this cool new studio.

3. Tattoo Charlies

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To be honest, I didn’t just discover Tattoo Charlies. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I actually have two gorgeous tattoos from them, and my sister has one. They have amazingly talented artists who really work with you to create the perfect image. This goes for the Tattoo Charlies on Dixie Hwy, too! Also, they have vegan ink, and that’s really neat.

4. University of Louisville Art Scene

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We all know University of Louisville  is a great place to get an education, but this summer I want you to remember that UofL also has loads of different activities and exhibits to entertain you, some at very little to no cost. While I was at the Buy Local fair I got several pamphlets from UofL. One was for one of their current art exhibitions, called Summer Breaks: Labor, Leisure, Lust… Y’all know how much I love art and alliteration! That’s going in until August 5th, I’m definitely gonna check it out. The Hite Art Institute at UofL actually has 6 art galleries they maintain. That’s an entire day worth of culture and entertainment! Additionally, they have enough art on the campus itself, there’s a tour revolved around it. Its called the Art Walk.

5. Louisville Vegan Jerky Company

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Ok, to be honest, I didn’t see the Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. at the Buy Local Fair, I saw them at the Flea Off Market, which is another fun local event we have. But I reallllly wanted to share this awesome product with you. It is gluten-free,  non-gmo certified, soy based jerky and it is seriously yummy. Plus, they have a Jerky of the Month Club, where you can subscribe to get 3 bags of jerky delivered to your door for 20$ a month. PLUS, 1$ of each month goes to an animal sanctuary that needs funding.  So many pluses!

6. PlayThink Movement and FlowArts Festival

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The 5th annual PlayThink Festival is going down June 15-19 this year in Berea, Ky, about two hours from Louisville. It includes a lot of really cool things to do, learn ,watch, and buy. Though I won’t be able to attend this festival,  it looks like it would be perfect for my hippie self, and anyone who considers themselves a hippie or a free spirit. It looks like tickets are selling out fast, though, so I would hurry over to their website and get one if you’re interested.

 

This is only a tiny taste of what Louisville has to offer. I tried to showcase a variety of things to entertain you this summer, but trust me there is SOOO much more Louisville has to offer, so keep checking my blog throughout the summer for more fun things to do in Possibility City! And as always, I would love to hear about your favorite spots in The Ville!

From Possibility City,

Rachael

xo

The Arctic Scoop: A Review

I had a rough morning today. It’s been raining for a month straight and I just started my period. I’m hormonal, exhausted, and then ready for this weekend. After spending about an hour moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to head to work early, rather than continue the one-woman pity party I was currently throwing.

As I drove down Hurstebourne Lane I passed a shopping center with a gym and a bookstore and a purple fronted store called The Arctic Scoop. I had heard this name in passing and decided that ice cream would be the perfect comfort food for me on this rainy, yucky day.

The shop was open and warm, with murals on the walls and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. It smelled like cold, sweet, cream. There were friendly, hand drawn chalk board signs displaying the different options

for building your ice cream and cute little signs recommending combinations of flavors and mix ins.

I had never been to this shop before and I expected the normal set up: a counter with tubs of ice cream, a couple types of cones and maybe some yummy toppers. This was not the case at The Arctic Scoop. They are a nitrogen ice cream shop, which is, apparently, all the rage right now. I was instructed to pick a “base” from different milk products. I chose almond milk. I was tickled that they had so many non-dairy options when it came to bases. After the “base” I got to choose two flavors. I chose white chocolate and coconut.

For my “add-ins” I got to choose two. It was a difficult to choose from all the amazing choices, but I picked almonds and vanilla wafers. The attendant took all my ingredients and threw them in a metal bowl and swirled them around with a bunch of smoke and magic and created a milkshake.

I don’t honestly know the benefits of nitrogen made ice cream, if there are any, but I know that milkshake was the bomb dot com!!! Creamy and full of flavor and piled high with homemade whipped cream. Smooth and sweet and just what I needed.

Milkshakes are $5.99 for a nice size shake, I honestly don’t know how big it was. They also had ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, banana splits, and other sweet stuff.

It seemed like the perfect place to take a date or bring the kids. I love the fact that it is open until 11 on the weekends. I would love to catch a late night scoop with my hubby one day soon.

 

ColourPop Cosmetics Review

I recently went vegetarian (again…) and I have also been thinking about other aspects of my life and how I can make them cruelty-free and animal friendly. Of course, this is really just an excuse for me to go shopping and buy more stuff, which isn’t sustainable at all… but I digress.

So a friend told me about ColourPop. She mentioned that they were cruelty free and best of all, for your first purchase you got 5$ off! This paid for the shipping when I ordered 3 items from their website.

The website was full of gorgeous, deep colors and a great selection in lip colors, the main cosmetic I was shopping for. I found the Ultra Matte Lip line to be full of rich, pretty colors. I picked out the deepest red I could find, called LAX. I love how each shade of Matte Lip featured a corresponding Lippie Pencil so you could order both and not worry so much about the colors not matching. I ordered the Lippie pencil in Creature.

I have bought and returned several lipsticks from different drugstores because I didn’t like the texture or it rubbed off too quickly. I did not have this problem with the Ultra Matte Lip or the Lippie pencil. The color was very rich and true to the color on the website. It last a really long time, too. After two hours of continuous talking at work my lips had only just started fading and the color was still really vibrant. I was really impressed with how good it looked after a couple hours and I only had to do a little touchup.

The only complaint I have on the Lippie Pencil is that it is plastic-covered and it requires a sharpener. I wish it was the kind that you twist to refill, instead of sharpening it because it is an odd size and doesn’t quite fit my sharpener.

I also bought the Super Shock Cheek Matte Powder in “Bon Voyage.” I just wanted a face powder that could give me even coverage and help my foundation to stay all day. I love that the powder is super matte and it is really soft, almost moist. I use a simple blush brush to apply to my whole face and the color matches really well and applies evenly. After two hours I did have to reapply, but my face wasn’t as shiny as it normally is.

Overall, I loved all the cosmetics I ordered from ColourPop and I LOOOVE that they are cruelty free! Compared to some of the big makeup names, ColourPop is really affordable, each piece was only eight dollars a piece and the coupon code paid for the shipping and handling. I will definitely be ordering more of the Ultra Matte Lip Colors and I would like to try their Cream Gel Liners, too!

I am trying to  live a more earth friendly life. I’m not giving up my lipstick, but I’m proud to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and other products. As I do so, I will  continue to review them. I would love to hear what products you swear by that come from cruelty-free, vegan, and earth conscious companies.

Positive Vibes

xo

Rachael

I’m baaack!

I have been completely MIA from blogging for a few months. I am ready to start again, and be better than ever. First, though I figured I would give a rundown of what’s been going on and where An Adjective And A Noun is headed in the next few months.
My husband and I moved, yet again. This time it is a bit more permanent, and all our own! I got (and quit) a second job. Allen for a new job that requires him to be away from home Monday through Friday. My number one goal has been to keep myself busy so i don’t get too lonely. This means I’ve been crafting,  cooking,  reading,  and drinking too much wine. I can’t wait to share all of my experiences with you guys!
You can expect much of the same content as in the past, but aA&aN will be heading in the direction of a lifestyle blog, particularly my lifestyle.  I will attempt to share my life experiences every day,  whether I’m decorating my new home,  cooking dinner,  or I just finished a new book. I love to write, and this blog started out as a way for me to practice my writing skills.  It has morphed into a type of journal to me.  It helps me to develop my voice and to keep memories close. I write for me, but I’m glad you can enjoy it, too.
As always,  I love feedback and comments.

Stay happy.
Rach

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Olaf, my faithful friend.