Campus Meal Plans: Is It Worth Your Money?

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) offers various different meal plans for students to purchase throughout the entire semester. These meal plans come with their own individual perks and benefits, as some meal plans are catered more towards certain students than others. However, these meal plans are not free, and range any where from a few hundred dollars for commuter-only plans to a few thousand dollars for full-time on-campus students. Because meal plans are relatively expensive and require students to use these plans only for on-campus food suppliers, the goals of this project were to bring awareness to the “real-cost” of a meal and if the cost of these meal plans provided by UMBC accurately reflect on the quality of food that is provided.

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What Empowers UMBC Women?

What Empowers UMBC Women?

Empowerment: The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

For our Gender and Women Studies Activist Project we set out to empower young girls and women by showcasing already empowered women of UMBC.  We chose to do our project on Women Empowerment because we feel that there is a strong need for young women to feel a sense of self-worth and confidence about themselves.  We feel that young girls, in particular, are susceptible to society’s criticism and that these young women need to be “lifted up” rather than “torn down.”

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Appreciation or Appropriation?

  For our project, our goal was to bring attention to cultural appropriation, which is a societal issue that is seldom addressed. We wanted to help others understand how much they can negatively impact and oppress certain racial groups by ignoring the historical context of and borrowing another’s culture. In order to achieve this goal, we interviewed a sample of UMBC students and asked them 5-6 questions regarding the topic of cultural appropriation. Our interview questions were meant to gauge our interviewees’ feelings and knowledge about the individual effects of cultural appropriation, specifically the appropriation of Black culture. We managed to gather a diverse sample of people with varying amounts of knowledge on the topic in order to successfully create a 7-8 minute video on the prevalence and significance of Black cultural appropriation. Continue reading

UMBC Gender Inclusive Housing

When we first started this project, we knew very little about UMBC’s Gender Inclusive housing option. The information available on it was scarce and outdated. In addition, both our individual experiences and the experiences we’d heard about from others who had applied for Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) in the past made us concerned for the situation. We’d heard that RAs and those in Living Learning Communities were not allowed to participate in Gender Inclusive Housing. We experienced being assigned an apartment instead of getting to choose where we live like those in standard housing. We were told that someone’s Gender Inclusive Housing application was denied. It seemed to us as though many aspects of the Gender Inclusive housing process were at best, inconvenient, and at worst, outright discriminatory. Continue reading

Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome, A Survivor Story About Awareness and Hope

fullsizeoutput_2665As a Sergeant in the United States Army station at Fort Bragg, NC and a single mother, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Kimar on August 20, 2007 at 33 weeks weighting 4lbs 4oz and 18in long, she was a healthy premature baby girl and stay three weeks in the NICU.  Kimar meet all the development milestone by age one for be a premature baby.  October was going great, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant on October 1, 2008 and reenlisted on October 22, 2008 for 6 years more years in the Army but things change October 29, 2008 when Kimar became a victim of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) also know Continue reading

The Baltimore Uprising Archive Project

The Baltimore Uprising Archive Project

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The Baltimore Uprising Archive Project is “a digital repository that seeks to preserve and make accessible original content that was captured and created by individual community members, grassroots organizations, and witnesses to the protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015.” Denise Meringolo created the archive with almost no resources. Her goal was to document what Baltimoreans were “seeing, and feeling, and doing as part of the protests.” Meringolo’s initial partners were student activists from UMBC, who helped raise money for the site. Maryland Historical Society (MHS) collaborated with Meringolo to collect artifacts from the protests. Meringolo, in partnership with those UMBC students, are perfect examples of historians. We often frame history as entirely retrospective, something that happens entirely separate from that which preceded and followed it. The Archive Project, in contrast, portrays history as something that is constantly ongoing, something that we can study and record as it happens. Continue reading

Bayard Rustin & the Collective Challenge


Bayard Rustin was a leading facilitator and influential speaker during the Civil Rights Movement, entrenched in social justice at a very early age by his politically active grandparents. Possessing a charismatic personality, good education, and impressive organizing skills it would make sense that he was a prominently recognized figure in history, only that given everything he accomplished, his name will sparsely appear in any school history textbook. Despite Rustin’s achievements for the Civil Rights Movement he was repeatedly forced into the shadows because of his sexual identity.

Rustin’s most notable work includes organizing with Dr. King on the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington. Previous to meeting Dr. King, he had already made waves in social justice through sit-ins and protests in addition to his evasion of the draft during WWII. Having been raised Quaker and adopting Gandhi’s non-violent resistance platform, he often spoke about the path of peace and pacifism.


In fact, he introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Gandhi’s teachings, as King had not at the time of their meeting solidified his position on nonviolence. Rustin acted as King’s most important advisor for many years, but his homosexuality prevented him from being a greater public ally for the movement. He was regularly challenged by individuals within the Civil Rights Movement who on all other accounts would have been allies.

Though he was open and comfortable with his own identity, Rustin was often the target of accusations of perversion and was even threatened with exposure of a false scandal implicating a sexual relationship between Rustin and King. Fearful that such an accusation would completely derail the Civil Rights Movement, King distanced himself from Rustin. King still corresponded with Rustin for advice, but avoided public meetings until the organization of the March on Washington began and it became abundantly clear that Rustin was the only person equipped to coordinate an event of its magnitude.

Bayard Rustin’s impact can be straightforwardly followed through history, but it is significant to note the impact his sexuality had on limiting his success. It can be argued that King could not have accomplished all that he did without Rustin’s advising, thus, it can be speculated that had Rustin been heterosexual he would have the same, if not greater, household name recognition as King today. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2013.

Brother Outside Movie

FBI Surveillance Records of Bayard Rustin

Twenty-Two Days on the Chain Gang