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Photo Elicitation Project (Part 2) Crystal Norwood Loyola University Chicago



As I reflect on my first photo elicitation project I found myself changing many of my photos to encompass a broader understanding of oppression, social justice, and privilege. The photos that I included changed drastically which is partially due to my engagement and the learning experience inside and outside the classroom. I am now able to develop a deeper understanding around these issues and find pictures that connect to the issues and not just the surface for these issues. When I began to examine my first set of photos, I noticed that I could have delvedmuch deeper and incorporated self in the photos which did not come to my mind when I did this photo project the first time. As I began to read articles and have discussion in class I can now see how my own identities can be incorporated into this project. I found myself adding my own experience and identities into part two of the photo elicitation project. In my original project I did not incorporate any of my identities and I used them in my final project because they are more salient to me now. I am constantly thinking about my identity in different setting and environments. I decided to include pictures that were personal and ones that I had a deep connection with, which this final has become a reflection of how I come to understand social oppression, privilege and social justice. My lived experience contributes to what photographs I decided to take then it did for part one of the assignments. Through this class I gained an in depth understanding of the three concepts and I felt triggered at points because it seems as though I was reliving or revisiting these moments as I was writing the descriptions. The main edits that I made in part two of this project related to my everyday life experience, and my intersecting identities.






This is a new picture for the final photo elicitation project. This picture with my scarf on my head speaks to the notion of oppression. Being that I identify as a Black women, there are many stereotypes attached to my identity. I am often asked many questions about my hair and if others can touch it. I tie my hair down because of the texture of my hair is different from other races. If I have a scarf on my head I would not go outside or even let people see because of their judgment. Where I grew up it was normal to go outside and wear your scarf on your head but I never did because the stereotypes that people associate it with such as Ghetto, dirty, and insecure. As Roy stated in the dialogue of Racism that in his undergraduate institution a fraternity wanted to have a “ghetto style party” and it became an uproar because it was about racism. The party was related to black women mostly and how they would dress with scarves scarfs and what Black women do, which was made into a mocking party. I believe that having such party and the racist thought of others is hurtful, disheartening and insulting. I do not think it is okay to degrade black women and that is what the students were doing. In Race and Racism by Yamato she demonstrates that my experience is connected to the category “unaware/unintentional” racism because it comes from not really knowing that your behavior is racist until you get called out on it.



This picture is a new picture for religious oppression. The Ten Thousand Ripples project is a partnership between Chicago-based artist Indira Johnson, Changing Worlds, LUMA, and other cultural and educational organizations across the city and suburbs. The purpose of this project is to inspire discussion about peace, violence, and other contemporary issues in the Chicagoland area. Being that Loyola University Chicago is a Jesuit Catholic institution, it is a privilege for Christians and Catholics to be able to walk around campus and express their religion comfortably. One of the Buddha’s statues is placed in front of the Centennial Forum Student Union and as I was walking one evening I noticed added pieces to it. As I went to go look at it and I noticed a post-it on the Buddha head that said “We are not Buddhist We are Catholic”. I crumbled the post-it immediately because it was hurtful. This demonstrates to oppression. Through class discussion and readings I think the person that wrote the post-it had some strong feelings about this statue being placed on campus. For me this image embodies oppression and shows how hateful this can be for someone that is of the Buddhist faith.



This card is a new photo that I decided to add. This is a Benefit card that means a lot to me as far as access and oppression. This is a card that the government issues families that are in need of food, which the government puts money on the card once a month according to families income. This card is equivalent to the old paper food stamps. This is oppressive because it is forcing individuals that are less fortunate to find other means, which I appreciate that the government support but individuals like to make this option hurtful for those who have to result to this. When I go to stores to buy groceries and I am at the register to pay I try to hide the card because I do not want others to see me using this card because I already know what they are thinking because in past experiences I had some bad experience when people did see me or my family using it. Many associate this card with Black people; stereotypes that are related to this are poor, less educated, and living in the projects. During the classism dialogue and the activity Dr. Bridget Kelly facilitated on classism education really shined light on how someone’s economic status can be oppressive to families. I remember specially my group struggling to spend the money that was allotted to us because of the fear of running out.



Social Justice



This photo of the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SDMA) was a photo that I used in my first photo project but I decided to move the photo from oppresion to Social Justice. When I first looked at the office I was looking through a different lens. I see the SDMA office as a support system for the LGBTQI community so I placeed it under social justice. I also see this office as a space on campus where student of various backrounds can gather and build community. Throughout this semester I seen this office promoted social justice and diversity through various angles such as programs, training and retreats. Social Justice is a both a process and a goals. According to Adams, Bell and Griffin (1997) define social justice as both a process and a goal. "The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure”. This office also provided outlets for students to feel comfortable, as well as work with student in their coming out process and how others can be allies for them. They cover what identity means and what it means to be an ally for various communities. This center revolves around shinig the light on people’s diversebackgrounds and celebrating issues and things in a open environement.



This is currently a new photo that I took to represent social justice. This is a picture of my close friends who are strong advocates for social justice. This picture exemplifies two happy men, who are dating and consider themselves free being that they openly gay with family and friends. According to Berube (2003) in the How gay stays White and what kind of white it stays article states “the way that I am gay will always be shaped by the way that I am white” (2003, p.277). They both are explained how their identity of being black and white has also intersected with their identity of being gay. They both explained that it is hard to separate their identities when both are salient. One of the men stated that when they came out to their parents, his mother said “I already knew Jesus told me, I was just waiting on you, and I will always love you and support you” (A. Greenwald, Personal Communication, November 11th). I hope as a society we can move past this oppression and be inclusive of all identities.



I feel that this picture represents social justice on many metaphoric levels. Loyola University Chicago has repeatedly stated that it advocates for social justice in the Chicagoland area, nationally, and globally. The wall that Loyola’s name and crest is mounted on is dirty, which I feel represents the reality of its social justice mission. The reason being is that it even though Loyola’s mission is social justice, at times it’s not going to be perfect. In reality, many of the events that Loyola advocates for may simply put a band-aid on the issues rather than actually changing the systems in place. In addition, Loyola’s presence has caused gentrification of the Roger’s Park community, for the positive or negative. I believe that the construction in the background furthers this point. The construction could be used as a metaphor for the work that Loyola cannot stop doing if it wishes to continue fighting for Social Justice. The work is long and tiring but you must continue at it because the result will be to the benefit of all.






My passport is a photo that I added that was not in my first photo elicitation project. I decided to change the picture of Loyola sign, which I understand that education is a privilege and I believe that it is something that I often think about because how I got where I am today. I decided to change because I wanted delve deeper and think of something that I often do not think about which is my passport. This photo has to say a lot such as access and affordability. I took it for granted and is something I don’t think about because I do not travel often. I would also venture to say it’s a privilege because it is not something you have to do but something most people do for leisure like myself. Not everyone can travel or use a passport for identity for various reasons and I have the opportunity to travel outside the states and explore other places without being questioned because a passport holds a lot of power.



This is also a new picture I taken during the Chicago Thanksgiving holiday parade. Through speaking with people that were attending, I was trying to get an idea of what kind of parade this was and how it compared to the Macy’s parade in New York. This year Chicago decided to go with the theme of Disney. As I was watching the parade it was festive and beautiful, but I do not think it was inclusive of all holidays during this season. Not once did they have a menorah or a dreidel just to name a few traditional items used through different holidays, but I did see a Christmas tree and Santa Claus. I instantly noticed that and one of my colleagues decided not to go because of these reasons and she is not a Christian. In Confronting the Complexities of Christian Privilege Through Interfaith Dialogue by Larson and Shady expressed how Christians have many options and not just on the basis of doctrine but in regards to musical style, times of services, and even day to day living. This parade is a prime example of the options that Christians have (Larson & Shady, 2012, p.2).



This is a new picture that I added to privilege, which is my health care card. Today in society one of the biggest issues that we bring up is that of healthcare and who has access to it. To a certain extent everyone can go see a doctor, but others can not afford to pay for that visit, pay for the prescriptions drugs or even pay for accessibility to a hospital or a medical facility. For example, in order to receive healthcare I depend on my foster care agency to provide for me; before I relocated to the agency I did not have healthcare because my parents could not afford. In reality healthcare is costly and it is a privilege to be able to obtain it, I do not take it for granted because at point I did not have it. I can now go to the doctor or dentist without thinking anything of it. I now have the option of not having relied on obtaining medicine from a friend, I can go to a doctor. Access to healthcare and medicine is a privilege in every sense because there are tons of people all over the country that cannot afford and cannot enjoy the same benefits because the means to afford it.



Thinking about oppression now, I believe that I have been challenged from many angles. In taking pictures I wanted to address oppression pertaining to my identities. To me, oppression is the act of using power to empower and/or privilege group at the expense of disempowering, marginalizing, silencing, and subordinating another. Oppression is deeply overwhelming in our society and we can tend to overlook it or not recognize and name the reality. Through the readings, especially Teaching and Reading for Diversity and Social Justice, it has brought to my attention that oppression can take on many forms, which some are more subtle than others. Over the semester, I really paid attention to the identities I hold and how they intersect. I also focused more each day when I am emerged in different experiences which identities are more salient at the moment. Exploring identities being a woman has not been in my forefront as much but I came to the understanding that it can be an oppressed identity and how it is. The picture with that connects to religion really had an impact on me. Even though I am not of that particular faith and I was really hurt by the post -it that was posted on the Buddha head. I just believe that oppression is all around us and is something that we must acknowledge to create change. I also believe that someone has to be the change and start putting an end to oppression. I am unsure of how many people actually saw the post it but I made an effort to take it off and throw it away. What concerns me with this image is that the purpose for the Buddha is for peace, which I am unsure if some people understand. Over the semester, I have explored my identity as woman and, specifically, as a Black woman, which is the reason why I chose the picture with me wearing the scarf on my head.



During the Racism dialogue, which is the one I facilitated, I was triggered by the topic and the comments that were stated. I believe this topic puts me in such a place because not only because oppression and discrimination is embedded in our society but many people are unaware of then perpetuating it. In the dialogue Rachel explained that there was a point in her life that she did not know she was being racist because that is what she was taught by her parents, which many others also agreed with her. In the readings by Adams, Bell, and Griffin (2007), it is stated that “Oppression is so deeply rooted in our lives that it can be easily overlooked. It is an infusion of systematic discrimination, personal bias, and social prejudice that encapsulate almost every part of our lives.” I believe this is true and I have experience and witnessed where such racism and oppression has been overlooked.

Social Justice Through class discussion and class readings as well as being immersed in Social Justice at Loyola it helped me to define and make meaning of this concept. Social justice to me is standing against the grain when most are opposed. I believe it is about being brave enough to stand up and become a part of a cause so you can make a difference in the world. I believe that everyone should become involved in social justice because there are so many injustices in the world let alone in our society, which is something that was brought to light in many dialogues, readings, and presenters throughout this semester. It is also about the act of courage and bravery to bring an issue that they, as well as others, to bring awareness and change. When I did this project the first time I used photos such as Loyola ramp near the Student Union, Mundelein as ministry tries to make Loyola a home for all faiths, and the gender neutral bathroom which I believe all are great photos but there is more to be said about social justice and I think I had the ability to dig deeper after given the opportunity to engage in dialogue and in



conversation with peers. I think the second time around I was able to embrace the idea of social justice and the many components of it. After revisiting this project, I decided to use three photographs that pertained to identity and self-expression. I changed them drastically because I believed these were the areas I was lacking understanding and I wanted to challenge my gained knowledge. In Kamaro Abubakar and Andrew Miller’s dialogue on Social Justice and Diversity we spoke about the fear that comes up and the discomfort when talking about these topics under this umbrella term, which I shared that it is important that we lean into discomfort and it is okay to feel not at ease or triggered. Sometimes there needs to be one person to stand up for a ripple to take place. It’s important to name these injustices and start to make change. I believe that humans should be able to live life in peace, free to believe what they want, dress they way they want and so forth, as long as it is not at another person expense. I changed my social justice photos through the project because with my first photo elicitation project I believe that I was touching in surface level social justice and I believe these new photos really helped me to dig deeper and represent my understanding of being an ally, being inclusive, as well as different aspects of social justice. “Social justice involves identifying the oppress and then taking collective action to affect change” (Higbee & Barajas, 2007, p.17). I think this quote emphasizes my belief in social justice and what it means to me and how I have interpreted it through this semester. Privilege

Privilege is a special advantage of a particular group of people. McIntosh (1989) article White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack really helped me to identify my privilege as well as other peoples privilege. My first project had photographs of the basic concepts that relate



to privilege. I often do not realize the privileges that I have and focus on what others have. This course increased my understanding that I do hold privileges and what those mean ,and how will that impact the my work in Student Affairs. I used the photographs of my passport because a passport holds so much power and privilege, which I never explored as much. A passport to be serves as multiple purposes and allows for many opportunities that many people will never have. During class we spoke about how Christian privilege is an overarching privilege of advantages bestowed on Christian. Being a Christian myself I have never looked at my religion as a privilege and I believe that is due to my privilege. The Thanksgiving parade in downtown Chicago this year theme was Disney and showcased many vendors and businesses. Throughout this parade I have seen much Christian privilege such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and ornaments, but in the parade I have not seen anything pertaining to other holidays during this season. It is really sad that we disregard other holiday and forget or do not recognize holidays even in a big holiday parade, where a lot of people gather and watch every year. In my picture pertaining to healthcare I believe that Allan Johnson (2006) alludes to this picture because privilege exist when one group has something of value that is denies to others simply. This also connects that privilege is not always something that is earned, or given to someone it comes in different forms. What I have learned is that recognizing your privilege whether it was given to you or your earned it is the same as engaging in social justice practices. I also understand now that privilege is deeply rooted in society and groups as much as it is in individual people’s personality. It is important that we know our privilege because they have an impact on us and on others and it makes us who we are. Allan Johnson stated “Denying that privilege exists is a serious barrier to change”. (Johnson, 2006, p.21) As an inspiring Student



Affairs Practitioner I am hoping to explore how I can use my privilege and power to advocate for others as well as be an agent for change. Conclusion This photo project has given me the opportunity to reflect on many concepts of social justice, oppression and privilege. Through this semester I have learned about many identities and how they intersect with other identities. I also learned a lot about myself and how I can advocate for social justices but keeping in mind my own identity. I recognized that if I want to be an agent for change I must recognize the dichotomy of privilege and oppression that exist in society, because it is deeply embedded in the society we live in today. I learned that I must focus on my own privilege to effectively promote social justice. Issues of social justice, oppression and privilege are a part of our society and in Student Affairs and Higher Education work. It is important to be aware of these issues that exist and move to creating a more socially just environment for ourselves, our students and our communities Through engaging in dialogue and analyzing the class readings I was able to define these three key areas of oppression, social justice, and privilege. I was able to incorporate these three key concepts in my role as a future Student Affairs practitioner. Through this course I now understand how can I ensure that all students are being treated equal and how can we educate students so that they understand their role in creating a more just society. This project helped me to recognize diversity and the complexity of social justice issues. This course allowed me to I expand my understanding of the concepts and develop skills though the dialogue to assist students and myself. Overall I was able to continue to develop and challenge myself to thoughtfully consider others experiences as well as consider social justice and these issues that



they face in their lives. Formulating and understanding my own personal experience to create change was definitely included through this semester and through this assignment.

PHOTO ELICITATION PROJECT References Adams, M. J., Bell L. A., & Griffin P. (2007). Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.


Berube, A. (2003). How gay stays White and what kind of white it stays. In M. S. Kimmel, & A. L. Ferber (Eds.). Privilege: A reader (pp. 253-283). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Higbee, J.L. & Barajas, H.L. (2007). Building effective places for multicultural learning. About Campus, 12(3) 16-22. Johnson, A. G. (2006). Privilege, power, and difference (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw Larson, M.H. & Shady, S. (2012). Confronting the complexities of Christian privilege through interfaith dialogue. Journal of College & Character, 13(2), 1-8. McIntosh, P. M. (1989, July-August). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. Peace and Freedom, 10-12. Yamato, G. (2004). Something about the subject makes it hard to name. In M. L. Anderson, & P. H. Collins (Eds.), Race, class, and gender: An anthology (5th ed.; pp. 99-108). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.