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This Is Why You Can’t Judge A Book by Its Cover
By: Self Identities
By looking at a books cover you may think it’s not a good book but you haven’t read it yet. We constantly judge others by the way they look and dress. This is especially true for young people from the moment they leave their homes, beliefs, assumptions and impressions are made before they even speak.
Youth from underserved communities know all too well how easily opinions are made based on ill-informed reputations. Mass media (TV, Radio, and News) also reinforces and perpetuate generalizations about various youth groups without knowing the facts.
“These negative stereotype images on TV, radio and in the newspaper are not reflective of me and my community”, - says Kenye 10th grader from Washington D.C.
“It’s like we are being judged based on someone or a group of people, I don’t connect with at all” – says Christopher a poet and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) student
A group of student’s from Washington D.C decided “enough is enough”. They consider themselves to be the “alternative”
These students decided to find a way to undo this long-standing cultural misrepresentation. The students worked with their teacher in search of a way to improve the image of youth in media.
Hearing the plea of these students and with the help of incredible professionals within the creative arts, education and media field, we developed the “Self Identities” project.
The Self Identities project is a 9 week program that uses the arts (visual design, poetry, photography, graphic design and fashion), technology and media to present a more positive and diverse depiction of underserved youth. The project participants develop branded t-shirts, paintings, photos, poetry and videos that reflect images and stories representative of their own positive self-identity.
These students understand that they have only one chance to make a good impression. However a large proportion of people form their opinions about these students through unfavorable mass media. The lack of diversity leads to false statements and judgments. Through, photography, videos, poetry, technology, and T-shirt design students can reshape and recreate a more positive image that is representative of their “book cover and content”.