Fall Quarter 2020

“I wanted to make a poster that encourages the inclusion of transgender students in sports. There is a lot of disagreement over whether trans students should be allowed to play with the gender they identify with or if they should be forced to play based on their biological gender. Schools have tended to side with the parents who complain, even going so far as to imply that Title IX does not protect trans athletes. Because of this, the students have either been bullied out of playing by adults or have been forced to pick between honoring their identity and playing sports. Regardless of identity, that is undeniably wrong and contributes to students not feeling safe at school. Every student deserves the equal opportunity to play and be a part of the team while remaining true to who they are. Schools have the power to keep the game going and let trans athletes play, and it is important for us to show our support for that. We need schools to make the message clear: hate will not be tolerated on or off the field.”

Rhys Cambell
Sociology | UC San Diego

“I really want to be a teacher in the close future. I remember the first time I saw an article about a young Black girl getting sent home from school for having ‘inappropriate’ hair for school. The hair in question was box braids, a protective hairstyle for natural Black hair. I was infuriated, and in such disbelief. I did a lot of research on how prevalent discrimination against ethnic hairstyles is, and it only got worse and worse. Many Black people, Black women in particular, face workplace harassment and/or discrimination because of the way their hair naturally is. A while back, people began to notice that the ‘unprofessional hairstyles’ search yields a myriad of Black hairstyles in Google Images. This sparked a lot of controversy, but I think there is nothing to be debated here. Hair has nothing to do with one’s ability to excel in work or school. One’s natural hair, and the hairstyles that help protect them, should not be deemed unprofessional. We need to stop punishing POCs for how their hair naturally is.”

Kaitlin Gundersen
English Literature | UC San Diego

“I created a poster titled ‘Let’s Empower.’ This creation addresses how students are too often misrepresented and misunderstood due to their intersecting identities. This poster represents how school, a major institution, must refuse racism, homophobia, antisemitism, and any and all biases and injustices. Every student deserves access to proper education and various opportunities, as well as being treated fairly in school and society overall. This can start with educators. Instead of ignoring different identities and putting students into a box, educators should comprehend and work with the diversity of minority youth. By implementing a culturally competent system, teachers will be able to work with a diverse group of people to promote an equitable and inclusive environment. It is essential for administrators to empower students to embrace their cultural identities and give students agency so they can make choices of their own and execute their adjustments in school to meet their own needs. All students have the want to succeed and when it comes to education, it must be equitable to all.”

Tina Truong
Education Sciences | UC San Diego

“I intend my message to highlight the importance of intersectionality in the fight for equality and equity. Black and Brown trans women have been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT and women’s rights. It is of utmost importance that those with privilege stand up and do their part in the fair for the fair treatment of marginalized communities.”

Brad Duran
Mathematics and Economics | UC San Diego

“I honestly struggled to pick a message because I feel like there is so much to say. I started and erased a lot because I have anxiety about how messages are received. But I remembered how a certain author recently invalidated the identity of trans women and referred to them not being actual women because they do not menstruate. This angered me that an author whose work carried me through some of the roughest points of childhood would spread such a hateful message. Women are women. Genitals and internal organs do not define gender identity. Women do not owe society femininity either. It’s important we respect the identity people have because that is who we are.”

Anonymous Undergraduate Student
Human Biology | UC San Diego