social injustice affects everyone on a daily basis. if you think an issue of social injustice doesn’t affect you, that means it affects you positively.
Watch RATKING’s music video for “So It Goes” directed by Andrew Kass and Ahmed Klink.
Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.
In a country where many girls are still discouraged from going to school, Sushma Verma is having anything but a typical childhood.
The 13-year-old girl from a poor family in north India has enrolled in a master’s degree in microbiology, after her father sold his land to pay for some of his daughter’s tuition in the hope of catapulting her into India’s growing middle class.
Verma finished high school at 7 and earned an undergraduate degree at age 13 — milestones she said were possible only with the sacrifices and encouragement of her uneducated and impoverished parents.
“They allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Verma said in an interview, speaking her native language of Hindi. “I hope that other parents don’t impose their choices on their children.” (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naressa Valdez photographed by Michael Benatar.Tags: #Naressa Valdez #Michael Benatar