Decode Me Space Launch September 16, 2017 @ Open Works
Session 1: Unpacking Emoji
Mentors: Marilyn J. Mosby Esq. (Baltimore State's Attorney), Shervonne Cherry (Community Direct of Spark Baltimore), Crystal Coache (Director of Talent at Allovue) and Charlotte James (Communications Director of Code In the Schools)
For our launch session, we reflected on the range of emotions carried by both parties who enter a bullying situation. Each emotion was assigned an emoji, to broaden our lexicon, beyond "bully" and "victim."
How my bully felt:
I was bossy.
I can get quickly impassioned and bossy but this has cost me friendships. One of my earliest memories was losing my first best friend who lived next door. Another girl moved next to me. We did not gel and she started harassing me daily from her porch. Soon, my friend joined in. High school was different and I met a lot of people who went to school with this girl. Apparently, she had no friends, so she took her anger out on me. The experience has since shaped how I interpret bullying situations--hurt people hurt people.
How I felt:
I felt lonely.
I didn't feel safe on either side of my home, so I took many walks by myself to clear my head. In the long term, this proved to be a good strategy if I felt ever in conflict. Taking time to think about it puts everything in perspective and kept my thoughts clear.
Our Decode Me Space reflection for session 2 centered on superpowers and how superheroes had the choice to use their gifts to elevate, collaborate or oppress.
Students highlighted their strengths and chose to learn about lyricism or music production. MCs Unique Robinson of Dew More and B!Fly helped students zero in on their best qualities and dream superpowers to develop lyrics. Kariz Marcel leant his expertise with the pen and the production studio with stations on beat production and audio recording. The workshop ended with a block party concert with Eze Jackson and Unique Robinson.
Session 2: Back to School Songwriting Workshop at the Motor House Baltimore
Mentors: Unique Robinson of DewMore, Kariz Marcel of Kariz' Kids, and Eze Jackson
September 23, 2017
We dipped our toes gently into action research for an exhibition table at Code In the School's Girls In Computer Science Summit. Before hanging out at the Motor House, a table was set up with prompts and info for two types of research questions.
A. Data Visualization Wall: What interventions do you feel will help meaningfully engage girls in STEAM careers?
pink-mentors, green-clubs, blue-workshops, turquoise-other
B. How did you feel when you came and how did you feel after the sessions?
This data was collected privately, stored in a pink lock box.
It was rewarding to return at the end of the day to see a full data wall and lockbox.
A common response was "sleepy at first, but excited by the end of the day!"
Girls are so often called to solve problems and shoulder emotional weight as a given. We should rightly identify them as researchers.
Mini Session 3: Pop Up at the Girls in Computer Science Summit for Code In the Schools
September 28, 2017
Decode Me Space Session 3: Filmmaking as Activism
@ Allovue Balance November 9, 2017
Koli Tengella and Malaika Aminata shared their gifts as filmmakers and playwrights to discuss how filmmaking can enact social change.
Allovue graciously offered the space as our mobile classroom. Rooted in Active Bystander interventions developed by MIT, we framed the evening in as how we can use art to act as an active bystander. We opened with how we could be an active bystander by providing soft support for victims after the fact by sharing stickers with encouraging messages. Active Bystander training emphasizing to make waves while prioritizing personal safety. You can act in the moment and after the fact, as long as action is taken.
Mr. Tengella led a group chat script writing workshop where teens and teachers dialogued about how to intervene in a group chat bullying scenario.
Malaika Aminata then gave a private screening of her documentary, “Not About a Riot”, which chronicled the Baltimore Uprising from day one, with unwavering clarity. Her style is immersive, letting community members and organizers tell the story. As a director, she crafts the home for these memories. At the time of the uprising, many counter-narratives ran in the media which ignored the peaceful protests and community-driven focus to rebuild. Malaika captured this moment in amber, and in doing so helped preserve Baltimore’s spirit.
Decode Me Space Session 4: Girls STEAM Ahead w/ Girl Scouts of Central Maryland: November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017
As a former scout, it was an honor to lead app development and Active Bystander sticker design workshops as part of the GSCM’s Girls STEAM Ahead event.
We learned how to create vector graphics for a negotiation app by layering shapes on top of each other and then drawing details to define with the line tool.