In February of 2010, UCSD was faced with a major hate crime on it’s campus – a ghetto-themed party organized by fraternity students to mock Black History Month. As a result students, started to question the way the school handled the issue and started to question the demographic of the student population, leading up to the March 4th protest of Education. During this time, the publication of all media organizations was cut off, a decision that ultimately made students question their ability to publish and speak out in times of trouble. Rather than be able to condemn the events going on, student’s were silenced.

The lecture series was created to continue a discussion not ever meant to end. We are surrounded by problematic images in our lives every day, images that perpetuate the stereotypes that fueled the Compton Cookout Party. It is meant to serve as a forum for which students can come together and look at the images we are all forced to face and discuss them, challenge them, and ultimately make people aware of the power of images and how they can hurt people. The goal is to create a dialogue about problematic images in our society that will illuminate the problems of the images and explain to those people who might not understand why it is wrong to have a ghetto-themed party.

So far, the Lecture Series has looked at the controversial casting of White identities for Asian roles in the Motion Picture Avatar: The Last Airbender, the sexualization of the female body, particularly the African American Woman and the taboo of breast feeding in hypersexualized society, and traced Transgender issues within video game culture. It has explored the transformation of the Latino image from the perspective of a film festival founder and coordinator, as well as explored Iranian identity through the discussion of what it’s like to film in Iran and live in the states.  View detailed info on past speakers here.

We cannot change the world through these lectures, we cannot stop people, companies and filmmakers from producing these problematic images.  But by starting the conversation we not only educate about the problematic images that exist in the media, but we also encourage our audience to go out and make change!

Find out details on past speakers who came to talk about issues of representation in the media.

Need examples on what Racialization in the Media is? Check out Media Matters, a blog on current issues in popular media.