February 7, 2010

It's over UMN, it's been...

I have officially finished my time at the University of Minnesota. I earned two degrees (M.A. in Women's Studies and Ph.D. in Feminist Studies), and even had a room at the U named in my honor: The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center.

I am now an Assistant Professor of media production at the University of Alabama, see here.

I now blog here: inspired.

For the most part, I've enjoyed this wild ride...

March 16, 2009

SCSU - Assistant Professor of Film Production, one-year replacement

Position Available:Assistant Professor of Film Production, one-year replacement, contingent on funding (Vacancy Number 793506)

Salary:Commensurate with education and experience

Date of Appointment:Fall, 2009

Responsibilities:Teach two courses in the fall and three courses in the spring. Fall courses are The Art of Film (a large introductory aesthetics class of 95 students) and Filmmaking I (introductory digital filmmaking). Spring courses are The Art of Film, Filmmaking I, and Filmmaking II (intermediate digital filmmaking). Oversee the department’s film production program (including production equipment and post-production lab), mentor students, and pursue creative and/or scholarly work.

Qualifications and Experience:MFA in discipline of Film and/or Video Production, training in the art of New Digital Media, Film History, Theory and Criticism required. The successful candidate will be able to incorporate into Filmmaking I the major elements of film production, including screenwriting, digital editing (Final Cut Pro), basic cinematography, directing, and sound recording and mixing. Ability to teach large and small courses and work with students individually and in groups essential. The successful candidate will also show evidence of genuine enthusiasm for undergraduate film education and have a demonstrated ability to teach and work with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds. Please make sure your cover letter addresses these qualifications.

Apply to:St. Cloud State University
Department of Theatre, Film Studies & Dance
Chris Jordan, Search Chair
720 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud , MN 56301-4498
Phone: 320.308.3229

Application Information:Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, work sample on DVD (30 minutes maximum) three recent letters of recommendation, and graduate transcripts (copies OK) to address above. No faxes or electronic submissions. Application materials must be postmarked by April 13, 2009. Notice: Employee’s motor vehicle records are checked annually.

Application Deadline:April 13, 2009

Department Information:www.stcloudstate.edu/theatrefilmdance

January 13, 2009

This Saturday in St. Paul!

IFP MN's Education OPEN HOUSE and RED Camera Workshop!
Saturday, January 17th, Noon – 6pm

COME GET YOUR LEARN ON. IFP Minnesota's wildly popular Education Program is giving potential students and members a sneak peak at what we've got to offer in '09. Our superstar instructors will be on-hand to showcase various classes by giving hands-on demonstrations in everything from HDV cinematography, editing with Final Cut Pro, special effects using After Effects, image manipulation in Photoshop, and more. There will also be tours through the Center for Media Arts facility, including printing demonstrations in our black and white photo darkrooms. Don't miss this opportunity to check out IFP's and meet some of the local professionals that make our Education Program rock. The Open House is FREE and open to the general public. Then...

RED One Camera Workshop, Saturday, January 17th – 3pm-6pm
The afternoon will culminate in an exclusive RED One Camera Workshop by local RED experts Steve Speers and Scott Ferril. The RED camera is today's version of a digital motion picture camera. RED uses 35mm format lenses, shoots 4K images and brings the best of 35mm filmmaking along with the convenience of a purely digital workflow and on-set experience. RED has not only changed but has revolutionized the market of high end filmmaking.

This workshop will be a 2-part evening geared towards anyone in the industry: camera people, producers, editors, and directors. In the first half, Steve Speers of CineMechanics will lead a camera and hardware overview featuring a "Pro" RED camera package for high end users as well as an "indie" RED camera package. In the second half, editor/post supervisor Scott Ferril of Rent the Sky Films will lead a RED Post overview, with a mobile RED Assist cart that handles on-set color grading, editing, file management and video assist. Visit www.redonecine.com to find out more about the RED Camera and its availability to Minnesota filmmakers.

January 10, 2009

No wonder...

when I talk on the phone too much I get headaches that won't quit.

Peep it:

January 2, 2009

CALL FOR PAPERS: Hip Hop's Languages of Love

Women and Language calls for submissions to a special issue dedicated to “Hip Hop’s Languages of Love.? The issue will focus on love in hip hop as it relates to language and gender. It will be published in the Fall of 2009.

Critical examination of hip hop’s languages of love is important because despite its crude stereotypes, hip hop is an often-consulted source on the subject. We intend to expand the definition of love by embracing its complexities. We seek perspectives on love that are not singular and do not polarize. For instance, we welcome manuscripts that address diverse sexual identities and relationships. Moreover, our definition of hip hop extends beyond rap music to embrace an entire culture that includes other forms of music, dance, visual art, comedy, fashion, film, poetry, journalism, literature, scholarship, and politics. The culture’s influences are readily found in media, professional athletics, and religious and educational institutions, just to name a few of the major sites.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

* How is language used to portray intimacy among and between men and women in hip hop?
* What role does the language of passion play in hip hop’s heterosexual and homoerotic spaces?
* What relationships exist among language, love, and the pornographic in hip hop?
* What language patterns and definitions represent commitment (or the lack thereof) in hip hop among individuals, between individuals and the industry, and/ or between individuals and the art of performance?
* In what ways does self-love manifest in hip hop?
* What relationships exist between the love of the divine and the language of hip hop?
* What are the ramifications of conceptualizing hip hop as a love-filled or loveless space?

We invite scholars from diverse disciplines, experiences, and backgrounds to consider such questions in a special issue devoted to hip hop and love. We seek pieces that take theoretical, critical, scientific or creative approaches to developing an understanding of the interactive dynamics of hip hop, love, language, and gender. Submissions can range from theoretical or critical analysis to personal experience, to reports of research, to book or film reviews, book notices, or poetry.

Submissions should be sent as MS Word attachments to Ebony A. Utley at hiphoplove09@gmail.com no later than January 15, 2009. Author identifications should appear in the body of the email and not with the paper itself.

Any material that includes references should be prepared following the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Manual. Preferred maximum length of submissions is 15 pages or 3600 words, but longer articles will be considered. If you would like to discuss your ideas in advance with the editors, please e-mail Ebony A. Utley: hiphoplove09@gmail.com.

Women and Language, an international, interdisciplinary research periodical publishing thought‑provoking essays and inquiries, book reviews, bibliographies, and more, on topics of interest to a wide range of scholars interested in communication, language and gender, will be edited for this special issue by Ebony A. Utley and Brenda J. Allen. Any questions related to other issues involving W & L should be directed to Ataylor@gmu.edu.

January 1, 2009

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Looking Back, Moving Forward



December 31, 2008

Free OPPORTUNITY for Twin Cities girls (14 - 19 yrs old)

Do you know girls who like to write poetry/spoken word, dance, sing, make art or want to? Are they between the ages 14 and 19? Articulating Our Voices Now is beginning a new session this January! It's a 12 week class where we will write, dance, sing, do visual art, and tell our stories through a variety of different ways. We will work with guest artists (dancers, musicians, spoken word artists, etc) from all over the Twin Cities. No artistic experience is necessary! All that's needed is energy, ideas, and
interest to join the class! The classes are absolutely FREE! Everyone is welcome!


*What:* Articulating Our Voices Now

*Where:* Hope Community Center, 2023 Portland Ave S Mpls

*When:* Tuesday's 4:30-6:30pm and Thursday's 4:30-7pm; January 6th - March
26th 2009. (Start date subject to change)

*Cost:* FREE

Space is limited. There are only 20 spots available!

To enroll call or write Kristy at 612-435-1687 or kristy@hope-community.org.

Spread the word! Please pass this message on to youth, youth organizers and activists, family members, everyone you think would be interested.

December 30, 2008

Boat Carrying Cynthia McKinney being Attacked by Isreali Navy

From the Free Gaza Movement:

(This is the sixth boat that the Free Gaza movement has sent to Gaza ... in a symbolic effort to end the seige of Gaza. These are small boats, and they do not cross into Israeli waters at all. This Israeli attack on the boat, which occured in international waters, cannot be described as 'self defence' by any stretch of delusional imagination. CNN has report on this--it helps that one CNN reporter is on board-- : http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/12/29/penhaul.gaza.bpr.boat.cnn )



URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.


Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while at school and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist. She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.

December 29, 2008

IFP classes enrolling now


click the image or HERE FOR PDF of all the classes, or HERE for more info

Introduction to Video Production – Learning the Techniques
Instructor: Rachel Raimist
6 sessions: Wednesdays, January 21–February 25, 6:30–9:30pm

Reg. deadline: January 14
Tuition: $245/$205 members
Max. enrollment: 12 students

This course is designed for all skill and interest levels - beginners, video enthusiasts and more experienced students needing a refresher course. Students will gain hands-on production experience using digital video. We’ll focus on directing the camera, lighting for video and sound recording. We’ll also examine video production techniques of various film forms and genres through a mixture of screenings, discussions and hands-on exercises. There will be no hands-on editing during the course. Tuition includes camera rental for use outside of class.

Digital Storytelling
Instructor: Rachel Raimist
2 sessions: Saturdays, February 21–28, 9am–6pm
Reg. deadline: February 14
Tuition: $245/$205 members
Max. enrollment: 5 students

Storytelling is a tool for preserving memory and history, learning, entertainment and healing. It is in the telling of our stories that we discover our connections with others and the world. Our stories reveal truths about ourselves and our community; they reflect our experiences and point of view. We are the stories that we tell.

This workshop gives students the tools to tell their stories using digital media (video, still images, sound and artwork) edited on a computer. Students will individually produce a short video (5 minutes and under). Through the process we’ll examine modes and power dimensions of storytelling, and topics like truth, authenticity, and responsibility. This class is perfect for those who are creative writers, filmmakers, photographers, visual artists, or creative thinkers. This is a hands-on, Mac-based computer intensive workshop. Students do not need to know how to use particular editing software but should be comfortable using computers. There will be a lunch break each session.

December 26, 2008

Films on prisons, prisoners, ex-offenders, and the school-to-prison pipleline

i've been compiling lists of powerful films on ex-offenders, prisons, schools, and the school-to-prison pipeline. it's time to share! and PLEASE add titles and links in the comments.... this list is far from exhaustive

a couple off the top of my head:

Perversion of Justice

Nuyorican Dreams

Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Short film made by hs students on literal school-to-prison pipeline in CT-
#5, Media That Matters Film Festival:

MTV's Juvies


The Farm

Execution of Wanda Jean

XIara's Song

Troop 1500: Girl Scouts Beyond Bars
ACLU Freedome Files: School-to-Prison Pipeline:

In Prison My Whole Life

Audio programs (w/photographs):
along w/this website: Perspectives on U.S. criminal justice system -

national video used for MN DOC and MinCorr to promote prisons as
alternative to global factory:

Films on Reentry:

Hard Road Home

PBS Independent Lens film - A Hard Straight

YouTube distributed film on Reentry:
Part I - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzHPuq8VewY
Part II - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHd_KaI76xc

Omar and Pete:

about power of arts working within prisons:

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Medea Project (Rhodessa Jones' Theater for Incarcerated Women)
doc on the project - "We Just Telling Stories"

Eve Ensler (problematic but provokes good, critical discussion about voice and representation):

Some local MN links I use when I teach about the prison industrial complex:
MINNCOR Industries website in class:

virtual "tour" of Minnesota's prison at the MN DOC homepage:
(although Shakopee is not accessible)

Deborah Appleman is using her sabbatical to teach "Language and Power"
inside Stillwater:

national organizations:
Critical Resistance

The Innocence Project
their audio/video archive

other links:
library catalog of "prison films":

December 15, 2008

Intermedia Arts: The Time Is Now

Dear B-Girl Be Supporters and Community,

Rumors are a flying, and, as you may have heard today, over the past several weeks, Intermedia Arts, home to B-Girl Be, has experienced sharp reductions and significant delays in funding. As a mid-sized
arts organization, we rely on foundations and funders for our general operating support—foundations and funders who have lost enormous amounts of their assets in our current economic crisis.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But here's the thing— crisis does not equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response to this crisis that will determine our future.

This a call to action. For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts participants and arts organizations each
year. Intermedia Arts is a vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—allow this work to disappear.

So, What Are We Going to Do About It?
We are going to act, and we need you to act with us. Intermedia Arts can survive this economy. We can even come out on the other side stronger and more sustainable than ever before. But in order to do
that, we have to make huge changes in the way we operate, and we haveto make them immediately:

•In January 2009, Intermedia Arts will be moving our five full-time staff members to contract or hourly positions. The work that we do as an organization will be done by our Executive/Artistic Director,
Theresa Sweetland; our board of directors; current staff members working as independent contractors, and community volunteers.

•As of January 9th, we will open only for scheduled events, mostly in the evenings. We will be closing our gallery and eliminating our gallery and poetry library hours but will be expanding our rental
programming in our theater, gallery and classrooms. Our building is a valuable asset to the arts community, and we encourage you to look to us for your upcoming rental needs.

•We are currently working with other local arts groups and organizations to discuss ideas for sharing resources and sustaining our programs. We will also discuss the ways in which our building
could be most valuable to the arts community as Intermedia Arts re-structures our operations and rebuilds our capacity.

•Intermedia Arts has organized a meeting of small and mid-sized arts groups—SOTA: State of the Arts. None of us can do this alone.

I know. It’s huge. It’s fast. It’s dramatic. But we—our staff, our board, our artists, partners, and funders—all of us, are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of Intermedia Arts. I know you are too.

Calling On Our Community (This Part is About You)
We can’t do this without you. Really and truly, whether Intermedia Arts closes its doors or not depends on you. This is what I'm asking you to do:

1. RSVP now. I need you here at Intermedia Arts’ Community Townhall: Rally the People! at 5:30PM on Friday, December 19th. I am asking you to make it a priority to be here, in person. You are our
community; we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

2. Make a donation. Supporting Intermedia Arts is critical right now, and every dollar counts. We need your support to help us with our general operating expenses as we implement our plan for long-term sustainability. This isn’t about keeping Intermedia Arts open for another month; this is about keeping Intermedia Arts in our community for the long-term. Right now, that future depends on you. Don't
wait: make your donation today.

3: Email us. We need to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your commitment of support, your encouragement, your suggestions and feelings. Send us your questions, tell us what you think, and look to our website for updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and every step of the way. Email: Community@intermediaarts.org.

* * * * * * * * *

Seriously. You are our community. You are the reason we exist. In
everything we do, we work from the community up. We promise
transparency, honesty and integrity in every step of this process.
You are our artists, our audiences, our members, our friends, our
fans, our volunteers, our supporters, our program participants. You
love B-Girl Be; you love the way we look at the world and ask how we
can make it better.

With your support, we will meet this challenge and lead our community
forward. Now is time for each and every one of us to draw on our
passion and our conviction, and play our part. Because Intermedia
Arts matters. Because your voice matters. Because Intermedia Arts is

I know we can do this, and I know we can't do it without you. I will
see you this Friday.

+ + +

Please RSVP Now—Show Your Support by Showing Up.
Intermedia Arts' Community Townhall: Rally the People!
5:30PM Friday, December 19, 2008
Free childcare available!
We are calling on all friends, fans, supporters, members, artists,
participants—anyone and everyone who cares about the future of
Intermedia Arts. This a call to action. Please make it a priority to
be here, in person, for this Community Townhall. You will hear from
artists, community leaders, Intermedia Arts’ staff and board. You
will have a chance to ask questions and offer suggestions. You will
find out what you can do to keep Intermedia Arts alive.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized
arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But crisis does not
equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response
to this crisis that will determine our future. You are our community;
we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our
community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts
participants and arts organizations each year. Intermedia Arts is a
vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—
allow this work to disappear.

Full details, updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and
every step of the way: www.intermediaarts.org

December 1, 2008

GWSS Tech Talk: Feminist Teaching with Technology

Monday, December 8th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
in the Feminist Media Center (FMC), 468 Ford Hall
Facilitator: Rachel Raimist - raim0007@umn.edu

Workshop Description:

In this GWSS Tech Talk / Feminist Media Center (FMC) workshop, I will share some theories and practices of feminist teaching, learning, research, and creativity using technology. I will use examples from GWSS courses: Gender, Power and Everyday Life: An Intro to GWSS, Feminist Thought and Theory, Feminist Film Studies, Digital Storytelling In and With Communities of Color, to show how technology can help support and deepen feminist pedagogical practices.

In this session, I will:

+ Demonstrate multiple uses of course blogs // Blogs can be used to create community, continue/deepen course discussions, post creative work (images, sound, video), extend reading responses, track news items, post event info, and easily share content to all members of the classroom community for large and small course enrollments [ see my personal blog on how and why i use blogs for teaching and learning ]

+ Briefly demonstrate key uses of WebVista (formerly WebCT) // WebVista is a course website that can be used as a reading repository for enrolled students, place of accessible web links, announcements, computer-graded quiz tools, message boards, chat rooms, calendar tool, gradebook, and other helpful features. I will forward you the UMN DMC for extended training on WebVista (their workshops are free, many are available online, and they are great!)

+ Illustrate UMN supported multimedia tools // Moodle, Breeze, Wikis, Jabber, and other digital media tools offered through MyU Portal

+ Share UMN tech resources // free and low cost classes, free online tutorials, and new state of the art classrooms available for course use

+ Get you posting to the GWSS community blog - GWSS Tech Talk: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/gwss/blog/
You can advertise courses, events, share calls for papers, funding opportunities, and other information of interest to our community [ and everyone will learn how to post to this blog during this session]

!!! Seating is limited. RSVP is encouraged! Please RSVP to raim0007@umn.edu if you are planning to attend this session.


November 26, 2008

NEW PSA for Puerto Rican Freedom Project

November 8, 2008

Obama Grabs Headlines


Look at all these cover stories from http://obama2008.s3.amazonaws.com/headlines.html


November 5, 2008

"It's A New Day" by Jeff Chang

Throughout the north side of Pittsburgh, one of the city's three major Black districts, they lined up before dawn, hundreds deep in the 47-degree weather as if they were waiting for history to be made. Even after the polling places opened into an instant crawl, they kept coming.

And they kept coming all day.

One of them was a 19-year old named Loric Frye. Frye was a Pennsylvanian, and because of that, he was a key voter in the presidential election. Senator John McCain had staked his strategy on winning the state, hoping to steal it from Senator Barack Obama in his comeback bid.

But Frye was far from the kind of clean-scrubbed, neatly partisan first-time voter Republicans would ever think to appeal to or CNN would ever bother to interview.

Frye was a young brother in oversized pants. His young son was at home and his girlfriend was pregnant with their daughter. He had no high-school diploma. He had no fancy title. Frye was, no, still is in the process of putting it all together.

If you went strictly by the stats, he wasn't even supposed to have found his way into the voting booth yesterday. And truth be told, he almost didn't.

He admits that up until this year, politics didn't interest him. Barack got his attention. But the person who really turned him around was a man named Paradise Gray, a legendary hip-hop promoter and activist, who got Frye work as a community organizer doing voter outreach.

Frye spent the year canvassing, registering and door-knocking with Khari Mosley and the League of Young Voters. He started to feel deeply invested in the election and the political process. He spent the last few weeks doing get-out-the-vote work. All politics remains local. All transformations begin
with the personal.

So Loric Frye was excited to cast his first ballot yesterday.

But when he showed up with his voter registration card, he was told he "wasn't qualified", he said. "Something about it was illegal."

At first he thought it was the fact that he had been arrested once. But he had never been convicted or charged. He called Mosley and Gray. They came and took him down to the Board of Elections. There, Frye discovered that there were 6 registration forms in his name. Faced with conflicting information, including different social security numbers, some clerk had decided to qualify him.

It was true that he had moved twice since filling out his first form. When you're young and you're trying to get yourself together, that kind of thing happens. But he was so hyped to vote he made sure to re-register his new address every time that he moved.

When the Board of Elections official pulled out the other three forms, Frye could see that they were fakes. The registering agents were from ACORN. They had apparently used his name, invented addresses, and forged his signature 3 more times. The irony of the ACORN voter fraud case is that, in the few instances that it did impact real people, it didn't affect McCain supporters, it affected the poor people most fired up to vote for Obama.

When dawn had broken, a massive national effort at election protection got underway, born of the nightmares from the disputed 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. It was aided in part by web 2.0 tools. A fraudulent text message and a hacker-produced email at George Washington University that urged Obama voters to show up on Wednesday were both exposed via the internet.

In battleground states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, the highest voter turnout in almost a century led to worries about a lack of ballots and slow lines. At South Carolina State University, a historically Black college, dozens of students were told that their polling places had changed. Student activists and the NAACP organized buses to get 32 students to the correct locations, but worried that at least 50 more were discouraged from voting.

Even Republicans circulated a memo detailing voting irregularities. Most of the incidents rose nowhere near the level of the kinds of voter suppression that Democrats faced in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004. In fact, the first listed on the memo, an accusation of intimidation by alleged members of the New Black Panther Party at a polling place in North Philadelphia, was little more than a hilarious televised encounter between a Fox News reporter and a Black poll-watcher that seemed as if it was scripted for The Boondocks.

Republicans also explored allegations of double-voting by students in Georgia and media in Kansas who may have voted both in person and through absentee ballots, unfilled absentee ballot requests in New Mexico, missing military absentee ballots in Virginia, and calls in Pennsylvania with fake polling

But hours later, all this seemed moot.

As soon as the polls closed in California, all of the networks called a landslide victory for Barack Obama. The margin was nowhere near close. In the popular vote, Obama beat McCain by nearly 6 million.

Over 90% of African Americans voted in record numbers for Obama. But he also won among women, split the white working class, and picked up a much larger number of white male voters than John Kerry had in 2004. Obama's electoral college tally corresponded to his margin of victory among young people, Asian Americans, and Latinos: 2-1.

The election of the first biracial African American president in the history of the U.S. set off ecstatic celebrations all across the country. Twitter's server stopped for a few minutes, overloaded by messages. In Oakland, Berkeley, and Seattle, people poured into the streets and instant block parties sprung up as if it was the Bronx in the summer of '77. Crowds marched cheering to the White House. They filled Times Square as if it was New Year's Eve. They came 1 million strong into Grant Park to hear Obama deliver his victory speech, the very place where the Democratic Party collapsed in police riots 40 years ago.

For a small group of people in Pittsburgh, the victory began earlier that day, when an elections official restored Frye's right to vote and handed him a ballot. For Mosley, the League's National Political Director, a longtime community organizer and a veteran of the 2004 battle, it was a gratifying moment.

"The biggest thing I've seen today is the number of young African Americans from the hood that have never voted—teenage parents, the formerly incarcerated, just an incredible number of people voting," he said. "We're really seeing a sea change. The college students have been voting. Now we're seeing a movement among those who never did go to college. That could be monumental not only on the local level but the national level."

"Man, I'm happy as hell I get to vote," Frye told Mosley. "I'm just so happy to get my voice heard."

The victory would not just belong to Barack Obama, but to Loric Frye. "I'm hoping for change," Frye said. "I know it ain't gon' come today or tomorrow, but I'm hoping for change. I'm pushing for change."


About Me


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I am a Feminist Studies doctoral candidate in the DEPARTMENT OF GENDER, WOMEN, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES at the UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. I am minoring in AMERICAN STUDIES. In my everyday I am a mother, a filmmaker, a hip-hop feminist, an activist, community organizer, and that go to girl. I am most known for my documentary NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME, distributed by WOMEN MAKE MOVIES, about women in hip-hop.

I have a B.A. and an M.F.A in Film Directing from the UCLA SCHOOL OF FILM AND TELEVISION. I have taught video production at the University of California, IRVINE and Los Angeles, and in the WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES at MACALESTER COLLEGE. Currently, I teach FEMINIST FILM STUDIES and DIGITAL STORYTELLING in communities of color at the University of Minnesota, Intro to WGSS at Macalester College, IFP Center for Media Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in the Spring of 2009 I'll be teaching "Hip-hop and the Media" in AMST and "Digital Storytelling" at Carleton College.

My areas of interest: feminist film, video, and digital media makers, women of color feminisms, feminist media studies, personal narratives, digital storytelling, feminist photography, and feminist praxis used for social justice. Plus, I love technology, and teaching with technology!

Course Blogs
@ UMN:
  • GWSS 3390 SPRG 2008
  • GWSS 3307 FALL 2007
  • GWSS 3307 SUM 2007
  • WOST 3307 FALL 2006
  • GWSS 1001 SPRG 2006
    @ IFP Center for Media Arts:
  • Intro to Video Production -
    Learning the Techniques
    FALL 2007
  • Advanced Video Production -
    Shooting the Short Film
    FALL 2007
    @ Macalester College:
  • WGS/AMST 194
    FALL 2005