Image via Photobucket

Student who will run the project: Logan Anderson

Other students involved, if any: Sydney Blanchard

Faculty member who is advising the project: Tad Odell

Category: Wild Card

Purpose: Louisiana State University’s campus is a hotbed for discrimination. Every day, students across campus experience racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and a host of other forms of prejudice. These incidents are discussed, but in safe and closed spaces: Feminists in Action meetings, SPECTRUM events, Black Student Union forums, etc. What I want to do is create an online safe space where people can voice their stories of discrimination for the entire LSU community to see. Hopefully, by bringing these stories out of their closed safe spaces and into the light, LSU’s community can begin to have real conversations about the rampant intolerance on this campus — and those conversations may begin to open the door to real changes.

Process: An email address will be set up, where people will be able to submit their stories in whatever form they see fit. It can be as simple as a tweet or a photo, or as complex as a blog post, detailing a full story. Students will have the option of having their stories posted either anonymously or with their names attached. In addition, people will have the option of inviting either me or my partner to interview them and produce a news story based around the prejudice they faced. These stories will include the personal tales of what happened to our subjects, as well as interviews with those people in the community (LSU police, student government officials, etc.) on the steps being taken to ensure that something is being done to cut down on discriminatory acts. My partner, Sydney Blanchard, will be producing long form written stories, while I will be putting together news packages, giving people the option of how they want their stories told, as well as introducing journalistic diversity to the project.

How it will use social media, including specific social media tool(s) to be used: The main tentpole of the project will be a blog, something along the lines of Call It Out LSU dot com (or as close to that as we can get). The site will have an accompanying Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube pages. At first, the accompanying social media sites will be used to explain the project and ask people to submit their stories. However, once the site has picked up steam, each social media site will be used in it’s own unique way to promote content on the blog. However, once the website has picked up steam, each social media site will be utilized for it’s particular set of skills around the main theme of discussing discrimination. For instance, we will host Twitter chats, where we discuss a certain form of prejudice (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.) and invite a member of LSU’s faculty that has studied that form of prejudice to answer questions people have. We will also have signs for people to print out every month with a different theme, which they can then hold up for photos that will be posted on our Instagram page.

At the end of the project, we will hold an event on LSU’s campus, allowing people to read their stories aloud, or read/discuss the stories of others that affected them in some way. This event will be bring the online community to “the real world,” allowing the safe space created by the website/online community to begin to extend to the LSU community as a whole.

How it will engage and/or inform the community: Call It Out LSU will give a voice to members of LSU’s community that are normally left in the shadows. It will give people a chance to tell their stories in a new, larger forum than ever before, without fear of reproach or judgement.  This whole project is about engaging members of the community to inform others of the discrimination on LSU’s campus.

How you plan to measure success: Response from the LSU community, number of submissions received, general success of Twitter and Instagram campaigns, number of attendants at the end of the year event.

Timetable: Full year project