Author Archives: showmejusticefilmfestival

Guest Blogger: Chris Moore



Chris is a grad student studying communication at UCM.

M. Night Shyamalan and Indian Representation in Hollywood

M. Night Shyamalan’s career is an interesting subject to crack. Like many of his movies, it seems to find a way to surprise most people. I don’t know if I can think of another mainstream filmmaker that can create such polar opposite reactions in people when he is brought up. He has been labeled everything from “The Next Spielberg” and “genius” all the way to “one trick pony” and “hack.” He has made a best picture nominee in The Sixth Sense while also having the credit for what some consider the worst film adaptation of all time in The Last Airbender, a movie that sends shivers down the spine of the original show’s fans.


I’ve always been interested in his career full of ups and downs. I think when he is on, he is reallyon, but when he’s off… well, he’s definitely off. I appreciate that he still takes shots at telling original stories though. I’d even argue that there would be no Dark Knight trilogy without Unbreakable, a movie that showed realistic superheroes before it was all the rage. Hell, even Tarantino called Unbreakable “one of the masterpieces of our time.”

But I’m not here today to debate Shaymalan’s work, good or bad. Rather, I think his career warrants an interesting discussion on the representation of Indians in show business. I wonder what the sociocultural challenges Indian artists face while they work towards being successful filmmakers in the American film industry.


A quick Google search quickly shows that there aren’t many top grossing movies directed by Indian filmmakers in America outside of Shyamalan. Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Mirror Mirror) has had a few wide release movies but I wouldn’t bet on him being considered a household name. Aziz Ansari has done some great work in writing and directing his show Master of None, but still, nothing on the silver screen. Why is that? Why are there so few Inidan-American filmmakers finding success in Hollywood?

During a recent interview on Netflix’s Norm Has a Show, Shyamalan spoke about how overcoming the challenges of beating those odds started early, right in his own home. Growing up in a family that contains 14 doctors, he went against the norm and decided to pursue his dream of making movies. One of the things he commonly heard was, “it’s crazy, it’s Philadelphia, you’re Indian, this is crazy!” M. Night then went on to explain further, saying, “I get it, it is crazy…culturally that’s just not what you do. Artistry is not pushed in an immigrant family household.”


Outside of in-house cultural pressures, Shyamalan also noticed other pushbacks during his rise. During a behind the scenes featurette for The Sixth Sense, M. Night talked about a specific instance when he sent in a first cut of the movie for review. One of the first notes he received was a question flat out asking “what’s with the Indians, why are there so many Indians in the movie? Will it be distracting?” Shyamalan said he was confused at first, but then it kind of gave him a chip on his shoulder. Aside from his own cameo, there was only one other scene in the entire movie that featured two Indian-American actors.

PEW inidan population.png

Hearing that made me wonder if Shyamalan would have been asked to change the scene or cut out the Indian actors had he not negotiated having final cut over the film. I also wonder how many times “concerns” similar to that have been discussed behind the scenes before.

Since 1999, the population of Indians in the U.S. has more than doubled while becoming the fastest growing ethnic population in the country. Has the number of Indian artists working in the film industry reflected the fast rise in the Indian population? I really don’t get the feeling that it has.

Why is there such a low representation of the Indian population in Hollywood? Is it more of a familial or cultural influence? Societal? Both? What is your take on this? I’d love to hear any thoughts, personal opinions, and any extra information on this. Feel free to comment below!


And what would a post over Shyamalan be without a little twist at the end? So, in true M. Night fashion, here is a fun, surprising factoid: he penned the live action Stuart Little adaptation, wrote and directed The Sixth Sense, and ghost-wrote She’s All That (yes, the one you are thinking of) all in the same year. Each movie happened to be their three separate studio’s biggest hits of 1999.

Guest Blogger: Chris Moore

Chris is a grad student studying communication at UCM.

Inclusion Riders and the Future of Hollywood

Back in March of this year, Frances McDormand took the stage at the 90thAcademy Awards to accept the award for Best Actress.  Like her characters she portrays so well, she immediately grabbed everyone’s attention with her speech as she asked for all of the women in the audience to stand up. She told the room to look around. Told the men in the room to take notice. She pointed out how there are so many talented women who are ready to work. That there are plenty of people eager to bring forth new ideas to Hollywood, if only they had more opportunity.  “We all have stories to tell,” she said.

Right before she left the stage, Frances McDormand ended her speech with; “I have two words to leave with you tonight. Ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”

And the room listened.

Following her speech, many people wondered just what an “inclusion rider” actually was. Merriam-Webster even said it was one of their most searched terms for the day. It was apparent that more than just the room was listening.

So, what is an inclusion rider?


Well, a rider itself is simply a list of requests (or demands, however you want to look at it) that the performer wants fulfilled in order to complete the performance they were hired for.  The requests can be technical or personal and often have a mixture of both. The personal ones are the fun demands you usually hear rumors about, like rock bands wanting only a certain color of M&M’s in a bowl, or pink toilet paper only. Riders can appear overly demanding but there is usually a good reason behind the specific things they request. *Keyword: usually.

Some are almost completely technical. For instance, I once received an email with actor Crispin Glover’s rider for a traveling live act of his I was going to help set up. When I opened his rider and saw that it was over six pages of single spaced walls of text, I thought to myself, “Holyyyy… for a small, one man show?!” But after looking it over, I quickly realized that he had written it himself and the whole thing was compiled over time to help the people in my position. He had seen what had worked in the past, what didn’t, and compiled an extensive list that (if followed correctly and not blown off) would make all of our lives easier when we worked together. It wound up being super-helpful and really showed he was both professional and courteous.

Some riders can get a bad rep, but some can be extremely helpful to everyone involved.

Now, when Frances McDormand brought the idea of an inclusion rider to the front of everyone’s minds, she was simply talking about using some of those requests to make sure some of your fellow co-workers have less of an uphill battle in trying to be considered for jobs.

This can be really effective when a bigger name adopts inclusion riders. The bigger the name, the bigger the pull. You think a studio is going to tell Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington to get lost when they request that their work environment resemble real world demographics? Nah. Definitely not. And that’s why it is kind of brilliant.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out, if people will use this tactic to help bring more diversity to entertainment. Actor Michael B. Jordan committed to having his production company, Outlier, adopt inclusion riders into their future projects. From there he convinced Warner Bros. to include it for a movie he is filming with them and in turn, they expanded it to a company wide policy.

Only time will tell how much of a difference it makes, but if a company as big as Warner Bros. is adopting it, I’d say it’s off to a good start.

Guest Blogger – Robin Canfield

Robin Canfield is the founder of Actuality Media, an organization that leads global experiential education opportunities for people who want to tell stories that matter. His documentary La Otra Manera is an official selection of the 2018 Show Me Justice Film Festival. La Otra Manera centers on an after-school program in Peru striving to develop each child’s potential and promoting the overall health of the community. 



Last night was a morning like any other for me. That’s not to say my days begin by waking up after sunset – I had changemakers to call, people to talk film projects with. And last night the morning light in Cambodia was clearly shining on the other end of the video call.

I am based in Florida, as is Actuality Media – the Documentary Study Abroad organization I am the Programs Director of. The myriad changemakers we work with are scattered across the globe. Prepping for a call to an innovative food kitchen NGO in Guatemala for this summer, or for that call last year to the social enterprise hostel/education center in Peru that you’ll learn more about with La Otra Manera at Show Me Justice this April – those calls were easy.

Lusaka, Zambai – that’s seven hours ahead.

Jodhpur, India – ten and a half hours ahead.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – a flat 12 hours ahead of me. And putting the call in the morning for the changemakers there isn’t just a nicety. In the developing communities where I am looking to take students and emerging filmmakers, the internet is not usually a reliable (we’ve even begun warning our crewmembers-to-be that they should prepare for an “internet drought”). So if a changemaker has to run to a cafe to get a better signal, it’s a much easier change at 11 AM than at 11 PM. And yes – that has happened.

The effort to schedule calls on the opposite side of the world paid off. Not just because I get to speak with people leading awesome organizations that are doing great work to solve social and environmental issues. There are – unfortunately – enough problems in the world that – thankfully – changemakers abound. I’ve spoken with, and filmed with enough changemakers over the many years I’ve been with Actuality Media that halfway through a call I’m usually holding back from starting in on documentary story examples and ideas that would fit to their work. I get excited by the possibilities but I hold it in because I want to hear it all, and I know if I wait long enough I’ll hear something that tells me what really makes them unique.

AM Peru 17 CP Shoot PROCESSED-0519

On both calls I made last night the organizations had that “more” factor, a twist on stories familiar to me that made them even more worth creating films about.

The first call was with an incubation group that designs products to improve sanitation and water quality conditions. These products are meant to sell on the open market and compete with less solution-oriented products. They aren’t sold by the changemaker, though – as I understand it, they spread the designs to locals across Cambodia to fabricate and sell. This was a unique quality already, but add to that their ultimate goal – not specifically to solve sanitation and water issues, but to render their own organization obsolete and unnecessary. It has been years since I spoke to a changemaker with such an ideal goal.

An hour after the first call, I started chatting with the Director of an NGO in Phom Penh that is adjacent to the city dump. They have support services for local youth in an area where many people are trash-pickers – they scour through freshly dumped trash and debris for anything they can sell. I’ve seen it before from afar when I filmed with a nonprofit school in Guatemala City, right next to the biggest landfill in Central America. Around the neighborhood plastics and metals looked to be erupting from under people’s couches and beds, and out their windows – waiting for the going rate to be high enough before they cash in.

In Cambodia the situation sounds much the same, but with a twist. The organization was previously also an orphanage (trash-picking is not a healthy profession) until the government recognized that many of the orphanages in Cambodia were swindling people with children forced to pose as orphans to bring in donation. All orphanages were outlawed. Now the organization helps re-integrate former “orphans” into life with the family they never actually lost. My amazement was surely palpable, even from 9,500 miles away.


There is a uniqueness to the story of every good changemaker. I’m practiced at finding it. Actuality Media will help emerging filmmakers and storytellers to find those qualities with changemakers this summer. And for you global citizens, students, supporters and audience members – every chance a changemaker has for their story to be told is an opportunity to learn not just what good they are doing, but what makes them unique.

You’ll have many such chances at the Show Me Justice Film Festival this April. Look forward to it, and I’ll keep making calls, and working to create more documentaries to bring you these changemaker stories.

Guest Blogger – Dan Goldes

Dan Goldes is the director of the documentary Arrested (Again), an official selection of the 2018 Show Me Justice Film Festival. Arrested (Again) focuses on activist Karen Topakian, who has been arrested dozens of times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. In turn lighthearted and moving, Karen’s story speaks to the need for Americans, now more than ever, to exercise this important First Amendment right.



When Karen Topakian was studying filmmaking at the University of Rhode Island and getting arrested at a New York City demonstration against nuclear proliferation in 1982, she had no idea it would lead to a lifetime of arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience, culminating in a protest on a crane near the White House. Topakian, now the board chair of Greenpeace, Inc., is the subject of my short documentary film, Arrested (Again), which screens at the 2018 Show Me Justice Film Festival.

My first foray into activism started in 1977 when my public interest lawyer roommate asked me to testify before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission about lowering residential rates during off-peak hours,” says Topakian. “Shortly after that I became a community organizer and haven’t stopped organizing since.”


In Washington, D.C. on January 25, 2017, Topakian and six other Greenpeace activists scaled a crane at a construction site near the White House to unfurl a 70-foot-long banner emblazoned with the word, “RESIST.”

The protest itself and the simple message, ‘Resist,’ resonated with thousands of people in this country and around the world who need support and hope in the struggle for peace and justice,” says Topakian. This protest took place after Arrested (Again) was filmed.

The activist, who is 62 and lives in San Francisco with her female spouse, believes that nonviolence plays a key role in these direct actions. “I approach acts of civil disobedience with a strong commitment to do no harm to property or to people,” she says, “though I understand the anger felt by those who want to destroy the power structure that property can represent.”

After completing her film studies in Rhode Island, Topakian moved west to study film as a graduate student at the San Francisco Art Institute. After graduating in 1987 – and ahead of the IRS, which had caught up with the tax-resister and threatened to garnish her wages – she became a nuclear disarmament campaigner for Greenpeace in San Francisco. That was followed by 16 years as the Executive Director of the Agape Foundation Fund for Nonviolent Social Change, which awarded grants, loans, and fiscal sponsorship to California-based grassroots nonviolent social change organizations. In 2010, she became chair of the board of Greenpeace, Inc., and she now runs Topakian Communications, a freelance writing and communications consulting business that works primarily with advocacy organizations.


Along the way, Topakian’s commitment to activism never wavered. She’s regularly arrested at Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day protests at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was arrested in October 2016 at Citibank’s San Francisco headquarters for protesting the bank’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline. She has protested the launching and commissioning of Trident submarines in Connecticut, blocked railroad tracks in Antioch, California, where DuPont produced now-banned ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and was once arrested in San Francisco for simply being in the vicinity of a protest against Henry Kissinger.

Taking risks every year is part of the credential of being an activist,” Topakian says, “and with this president, I’m concerned that if I don’t exercise my First Amendment right, he might try to take it away from us.”

For resources about nonviolent civil disobedience, visit the Arrested Again website.

Guest Blogger: Justin Head

Colin Kaepernick protestJustin Head is a senior at the University of Central Missouri majoring in Digital Media Production with an emphasis in audio. He is currently taking an interest in Radio Production, Audio for Digital Cinema, and also studio engineering. He enjoys going to concerts with friends, listening to new music, and traveling across the country.

The Kaepernick Effect

Colin Kaepernick has had a very busy year throughout the NFL season last year and also through the media this year. Last NFL Season he decided to take a knee for the for the national anthem which sparked controversy not only throughout the NFL but throughout the entire country.

When asked about not standing for the national anthem, Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” These are strong words coming from Kaepernick and while many applauded him for having the guts to take a knee during the National anthem, others such as the president of the United States despised it.

President trump went at Kaepernick by telling Fox News “I watched Colin Kaepernick, and thought it was terrible, and then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming, and frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again. They could have then suspended him for two games, and they could have suspended him if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem. But I will tell you, you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem – you cannot do that”.

There were several other football players that publicly supported Kaepernick’s protest like NFL players Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks and Malcolm Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles. Kaepernick’s protest started at the end of the last NFL season and Kaepernick decided to depart from the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick took a team to the super bowl and clearly has the talent to be on any NFL roster. Since he was the first to protest, teams do not want to sign him because of the media attention that he will bring, and also owners are telling their staff not to sign him. You can’t find an NFL analyst that says that Kaepernick doesn’t have the talent to be at least an NFL backup on all 32 NFL teams.


Many of the who took a knee for the anthem felt as if they wanted to get their messages across they would need a high profile white athlete to support their cause. One of the most popular athletes in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay packers, stated that “I think he should be on a roster right now. I think because of his protests, he’s not. I don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation. What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Kaepernick was referencing – or any of my teammates have talked to me about. … But I know it’s a real thing my black teammates have to deal with”. Aaron Rodgers then went on to say that he will support his teammates who choose not to stand and this was a great step forward in order to create change. As of right now, Kaepernick still remains without a job in the NFL and has filed a collusion case against the NFL.

Do you think we’ll see Colin Kaepernick in the NFL again?

Guest Blogger: Terrell Burrage

Terrell Burrage is a senior at the University of Central Missouri majoring in Digital Media Production with interests in all fields with an emphasis in audio. He is trying his hand out with other as well like Cinematography, Radio production, and scriptwriting. He enjoys music and culture and also enjoys finding the nuances of modern media. He wishes to own his own multimedia production company one day.






Art has no limits. It can mean 10 things to 10 different people. Art is subjective. One thing I struggled with growing up is bad words and explicit content being displayed on the screen. Everything from music to film has censorship obligations. I think it is safe to say that censorship exists to moderate between the product and the consumer. The art, whether it’s music or film, has to sit well with the consumer and the family in order to become a “household name”. If we look at the typical family, parents usually feel more comfortable with PG or PG-13. That narrows down the rate of consumption drastically as the lines are becoming more blurred. I say that to say this……..Why does censorship even Do we feel censorship compromises artistic integrity? How does the constitution come into play?



In 1915, the Supreme Court decided that film was not art due to the fact they are made to generate profit. So that prevents it from 1st Amendment protection. “In the case of Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, the judges reached a 9-0 decision that “The exhibition of moving pictures is a business, pure and simple, originated and conducted for profit…not to be regarded, nor intended to be regarded by the Ohio Constitution, we think, as part of the press of the country, or as organs of public opinion” (Durham Back in the day there was no refuting the stance they were taking on censorship. This lead them to develop the MPPDA (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America organization. Now the government can oversee the regulations.


Now I think it is safe to say that film now has more of a social responsibility. Which is why we can have something like the Show Me Justice Film Festival. My question I would like to know is that can we get rid of censorship when it comes to artistic integrity in the realm of small festivals at least? If there is a message we want to clearly communicate to our audience do we need to dumb down or water down the substance just to make sure we don’t rub some folk the wrong way? Or should we have the freedom to express whatever message however we see fit in order to uphold the effectiveness of the art form? Is there a way to separate mainstream box office legalities on censorship from film festivals since they serve different purpose? Tell us what you think. All thoughts are welcomed here!



Guest Blogger: Lindsey Adell

Lindsey Adell is a senior at the University of Central Missouri studying Live Studio and Remote Production. She plans to dedicate a year of national volunteer service,  following graduation in December. After her service year, Lindsey would like to continue her education in Kansas City and obtain a master’s degree.


 When it comes to LGBT and television, we’ve come a long way. I remember as a child I hardly ever saw a gay character on t.v., not to mention, many of those times the representation was less than favorable. Now, the story is different. From Orange Is The New Black to Modern Family, LGBT is finally getting some of the positive recognition it deserves.

Asides from these shows, there is one series that has really stood out to me as being a raw representation of what specifically transgender life can be like. Transparent is an eight time Emmy Award winning Amazon series that highlights the life of a Jewish L.A. family, as the father Mort (played by Jeffrey Tambor) begins her transition to becoming Maura, the woman she always was.

Transparent displays the grueling process of a transgender transformation, as well as giving an insight into the injustice towards people who identify as transgender. Many times in the series, Maura is put in situations where she must interact with close-minded people. These tense and enlightening episodes are what really stand out as showing the raw truth of how cruel the world can be. From a strange checkpoint at the airport, to a doctor that will not put female on her charts, you get an insight into the pain and hurt that transgender people feel every day.

Throughout the series, you also follow the lives of Maura’s children and gain deeper insight into the family as a whole. By touching on the subjects of outside rejection and disappointment, you see the strength it takes to come out as yourself to your family and colleagues. But, there are growing moments in the show where you find yourself invested in the family and each of their struggles. You watch Maura as she finds her way towards self acceptance and expression that will pull on your heart strings, in only the best way possible.

And it’s not just transgender life that this show touches on. Each member of the family has a backstory, filled with real world sexual situations that they have to work through to find themselves. One daughter explores her sexuality and her future, as a son tries to piece together a sexual situation from his childhood that left him feeling broken. This show has truly been beneficial to me, because it has given me a better understanding of the LGBT community, and what I can do to make each person feel safe and loved the way that they are.

So, if you haven’t seen the show, I recommend you go watch it. You’ll be blow away by how much you thought you knew, and how much you still have to learn. Also, we all know you have amazon prime so there is no real excuse there. At the end of each season I watch, I like to ask myself what I’m doing to help, not only the transgender community, but the LGBT community in general. Have I offered support when needed? Am I supportive at all times or do I maybe turn a blind eye when someone is being intolerant? Am I living what I’m preaching? These question are something that all of us could have trouble answering. So go out, watch the show, and learn something new and enlightening about others, as well as yourself.


Guest Blogger: Brock Masters

Brock Masters is a senior at the University of Central Missouri that is studying Digital Media Proudction and Marketing. He works for KMOS-TV and the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation. He has made a number of short films throughout his career. He also maintains his own blog that covers the reality TV shows Survivor and Big Brother.



Recently, I made a trip up to Kansas City to do some shooting on a documentary that I am making. The documentary is about two twelve year old boxers that are also twin brothers. I went up to the gym they train at to get some footage of them and there were definitely some challenges that I faced when shooting. Some problems were easily fixed. Others, not so much.

First off, the gym they train in was very small. It is kept in the basement of a community center that is very old. To get an idea of how old this place was, one of the rings there had been there since 1917. Anyways, the rings were just barely able to fit in the rooms they were held. This really limited what I could do as far as camera movement goes. To actually move the camera around the ring, I had to take it into the ring first, put it on the other side of the ring and then do the same with the tripod. It was hard to get some shots, but the way I worked around this was by recruiting a crew.

A crew is a very important part of the film making process. Whenever you can, I highly recommend getting a few extra hands to help out. My crew was able to help making moving all the gear pretty easily and it didn’t take as long as it would’ve if I would’ve been by myself.  I also had one of my crew members man a second camera on a handheld rig. This gave them the freedom to get shots that I couldn’t because it just would’ve been a process to move everything around.

The other big thing that probably will create problems in post production was the lighting in the gym. There were many different types of lights in the gym so it was hard to really nail down a color temperature. I ended up setting the White Balance at around 5000K and the footage looks alright right now. Because the cameras we used shoot so desaturated though, there is going to be heavy color correction going on. The challenge is going to be getting it to match the handheld cameras colors. The camera I shot on was the Black Magic Production Camera and the other was a DSLR camera. DSLR’s shoot color pretty much to a T so that is what I am going to try to match up.

Keeping the brothers in focus when they were sparring was also a little difficult just because they were moving so fast. I constantly had to ride the focus to try and keep them from being blurry. If I could’ve done it again, I would’ve changed some of my camera settings such as the aperture to give me room to work with.

All and all the footage turned out really well and I am excited to get to editing on it. What problems have you encountered on shoots?

Guest Blogger – Ayesha Meriwether

Ayesha Meriwether a senior at the University of Central Missouri who study’s Digital Media Production. Ayesha’s hobbit consist of: working sports broadcast for her University’s football, volleyball and soccer games. She enjoys helping others as well as experiences a positive attitude. After college Ayesha plans on landing a job in sports broadcasting or working for a marketing company.




Heterosexual privilege is when something takes for granted the privilege they have US. What is heterosexual? A person who is heterosexual is emotional, physically and sexual attracted to the opposite sex. Have you ever consider what privilege heterosexual have over lesbians, bisexual, gay and transgender. An example of a heterosexual privilege is they can show their sexual attraction without being judged or being ashamed. This blog will point key privilege heterosexual, show why they should appreciate it, and help heterosexual gain a better understand of LGBT challenges.

In the article 30+ Examples of Heterosexual Privilege in the US by Sam Killermann (DATE) 5 key examples of the privileges heterosexual have are:

  1. Immediate access to your loved one in case of accident or emergency.
  2. Expressing affection in most social situations and not expecting hostile or violent reactions from others.
  3. The ability to teach about lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals without being seen as having a bias because of your sexuality or forcing a “homosexual agenda” on students.
  4. The ability to play a professional sport and not worry that your athletic ability will be overshadowed by your sexuality and the fact that you share a locker room with the same gender.
  5. Not risking a chance of being fired from job.

These five privileges are just a few out of many more. There obstacle homosexuals have go through in order to see loved ones if an emergency. They are asked question to prove they are here for the loved one. This could become annoying to a homosexual because they are stressed wondering if there lover one is okay.  In today’s society we don’t see people who identify LGBT community express their affection for their partner. Most times they are afraid of consequences they could face and what others will think. Heterosexual have the free will to express their affection for their partner. People rarely see lesbian’s bisexual gay and transgender kissing in public.   

Sometime heterosexuals are focus on their own life they fail to realized what advantages they have .It important heterosexuals are aware of the privilege have so they can appreciate them. The goal is to give those same privileges to homosexuals. Why should homosexuals be hinder, judge and not treated unequally.  

Teaching about LGBT topics or even talking about them can make people ASSUME that you are providing the way it should be or an agenda, when the LGBT person may simply be explaining something.

What about being a gay man who is an athlete, how often are they thought to be “looking” at all of the guys in the shower?  Why can’t the heterosexual person simply think that the gay athlete is showering and not ogling the other mens bodies.

Can LGBT people put pictures of their loved ones on their desk without worry that they will be harassed, just as the straight people can?



Read more at:

Guest Blogger – Sophia Howard

Sophia Howard is a graduate student and research assistant at Virginia State University. She will be graduating in May with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. She graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a B.A. in Psychology and English. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in School Psychology and become a licensed psychologist to positively impact the lives of socioeconomically disadvantaged and ethnic minority children and adolescents.


The Lack of Ethnically Diverse Teachers in an Ethnically Diverse America

In America, most ethnic minority children are taught by a teacher that is racially and culturally different from them. The majority of teachers in America are Caucasian females. This is problematic, as studies have shown that Caucasian teachers consistently have more conflict with ethnic minority students, particularly African American males.

The higher rates of conflictual relationships between Caucasian teachers and ethnic minority students has academic and interpersonal consequences. Students who have conflictual relationships with teachers are more likely to have conflictual relationships with future teachers. Additionally, preschoolers with conflictual relationships with their teachers with are more likely to have slower literacy gains and negative views of academic self-competence.


In some cases, negative relationships and interactions between Caucasian teachers and ethnic minority students are attributed to implicit racial biases and attitudes teachers may possess. Research has shown that in some instances, Caucasian teachers interact differently with Caucasian students than ethnic minority students. Furthermore, Caucasian teachers perceive relationships with their African American students to be the most conflictual compared to students of other ethnicities, suggesting that race impacts how the teacher forms and perceives the relationship quality.


Studies have conversely shown African American teachers have more positive relationships and higher expectations of African American students compared to Caucasian teachers. Additionally, an African American preschooler is more likely to demonstrate better adjustment in a classroom with an African American teacher.



What Can We Do?

America is diverse in every way. It is necessary for the classrooms in America to mirror the melting pot America truly is. Ethnic minority teachers are needed in these ethnically diverse classrooms of students. The implicit biases about race some teachers possess are detrimental to ethnic minority childrens’ academic achievement and social-emotional development. It’s time a shift is made and we encourage diversity in these diverse classrooms.