Foundations for Writing

SCSU Site for English 191

December 15, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Implicit Bias in Schools

In our remix, we cover the struggles students of color receive from implicit biases in school and school police. We talk about how the disparities of African American boys getting suspended and expelled can affect a child in the long run. We also show footage of unnecessary police force on these children. This remix was fun to make and find information about because we learned a lot on the topic and see it as a problem that needs to be fixed.

Beau Milbrett
Diego Ludke
Justin Ombui
Khalid Mohamed

December 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Board approves 1 step in moving Ole Miss Confederate statue”

According to the Associated Press (,

A Confederate statue would be moved from a central spot on the University of Mississippi’s campus to a less prominent Confederate cemetery, under a proposal approved Friday by a state board.

The cemetery is still on campus, but it’s in a place few people walk or drive.

The statue is being removed in part because of student protests:

The monument is one of many erected across the South more than a century ago. Critics say its display near the university’s main administrative building sends a signal that the school glorifies the Confederacy and glosses over the South’s history of slavery.

Pro-Confederate groups from outside the university rallied at the monument Feb. 23, causing Ole Miss basketball players to kneel during the national anthem, in protest of the rally. Student government leaders voted March 5 to ask administrators to move the monument to the cemetery, where Confederate soldiers killed at the Battle of Shiloh are buried.

December 1, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Threat against Ilhan Omar leads to Twitter Ban

In case you haven’t heard, here’s the lead of an November 30th article from NBC News:

Ilhan Omar’s opponent banned from Twitter after suggesting congresswoman should be hanged

“Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts,” Omar said in response to the threatening tweets from Republican candidate Danielle Stella.

You can find the rest of the article at

November 20, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Sample Remixes

Here are some remixes that student groups gave me permission to share (and that are publicly available on YouTube). The later examples provide the students’ paragraphs of introduction:

Gender Bias in the Workplace

Our group, composed of four women, worked together to show the differences in how men and women are treated while working. This video uses Disney clips, news articles, and very powerful facts to show gender inequality in the workplace. Learning from the past will help us strive for a better future, and thats what needs to happen.

Racism in the Media

In our video remix we show racism in the media. We show clips of racist acts or saying caught in the news. It is a concerning and growing issue today. As technology has advanced this issue has become more public. We want people to be aware of this problem and make sure the people around us do not make the same mistake as the people in these videos. Everyone is equally a person, no matter their skin color or what they believe in.

Blue Lives Matter

Our video is about the controversy about Blue Lives Matter. We show a series of videos of police officers getting shot and how quickly these situations can happen. We honor the fallen officers in providing images of them that can be found on Fallen Officer Memorial Fund website. Because this is such a controversal topic, we are more showing the situations that caused Blue Lives Matter to form and go public versus arguing this is the correct side to be on. ENJOY 🙂

November 4, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“St. Cloud professor examines Minnesota’s ties to slaveholder wealth in new book”

Professor Christopher Lehman will talk about his new book documenting Minnesota’s ties to slavery on Wednesday, November 6th, at 7 p.m. in Miller Center Auditorium. This St. Cloud Times’ article reveals some of this history. (I mentioned some of this information in class the other day.) I recommend this article and also recommend that you attend Dr. Lehman’s talk. He’s always interesting.


October 13, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

An MPR Podcast: “‘I’ve never told anyone’: Stories of life in Indian boarding schools”

A young girl prays at her bedside at a boarding school. A new book
by an Ojibwe author tells the stories life for American Indian children
in boarding schools designed to purge their language and culture.

Here’s the lead for the MPR podcast and article:

Denise Lajimodiere’s interest in the Indian boarding school experience began with the stories of her parents.

“Mama was made to kneel on a broomstick for not speaking English, locked in closets for not speaking English,” she said. “They would pee their pants and then the nuns would take them out [of the closet] and beat them for peeing their pants.”

Lajimodiere is Ojibwe, and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. She was an educator for 44 years, working as an elementary school teacher and principal before ending her career recently as as an associate professor of educational leadership at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Her parents were separated from their families and sent to federal government-run boarding schools as children. Thousands of Native children met the same fate during the boarding school era, which scholars estimate lasted from the late 1800s to well into the middle of the 20th century. (


October 12, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

A podcast on “Why a suburb’s integrated schools are still failing black students”

In this Washington Post podcast, “Laura Meckler goes back to her hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio, to try to understand why integration efforts in schools there are still not closing the achievement gap” (

October 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

‘Taking ownership of what we look like’: Natural-hair movement takes root | MPR News

MPR has an interesting story (that you can listen to via a podcast or read) about the movement among parents of multiracial families learning to dress the natural hair of their adopted children. Some of you asked me what I meant by “natural hair.” According to MPR, ““Natural hair” means hair that hasn’t been chemically straightened or relaxed.” And “natural hair is becoming the fashion for African-American women.”

The article focuses on the need for learning techniques for managing natural hair since “Wearing natural hair for many black people has not always been the norm.”  This snippet of MPR’s article explains why:

Taylor said wearing your hair in its natural state has been a struggle, especially for black women. There’s a need to assimilate into mainstream culture and look the part.

“It’s Eurocentric. Let’s just be honest. It’s a very Eurocentric perspective,” she said. “It’s not just America, it’s any colonized country. We’ve had to subscribe to this colonizer’s beauty standard in order to get access to things, in order to get jobs, in order to be seen as acceptable.”

As people began to wear their hair natural, it became more accepted, but access to learning tools were still pretty limited to online.

“For the longest time we’ve had to change our hair texture to fit into mainstream society,” she added. “Now we’re reclaiming that power, but at the same time, it’s hard because you’ve never had any experience with it.”

To read the full article (or listen to the podcast), head here:

September 24, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Clean, affordable drinking water is a racial issue.”

Anna Clark points out that drinking water is an issue outside Flint, Michigan, and disproportionately affects communities of color—noting especially Detroit and Chicago.

When it comes to water, you’d think the cities of the Great Lakes would be the envy of the country. In a time of scorching drought and climate change, the northern coast is a place of abundance. The lakes hold an astounding 84 percent of all the surface freshwater in North America.

But even here, we struggle to deliver safe, affordable drinking water to millions of people, often communities of color. Throughout the region, these low-income neighborhoods face high water bills, contamination risks and large-scale shut-offs — all the manifestation of a history that many would like to forget. The “separate but equal” policies of the 20th century are still with us — and they explain why communities cannot take safe drinking water for granted, even amid the magnificent Great Lakes. (

Clark also points out two midwestern cities that are pioneers in removing lead pipes from their water systems: Madison, Wisconsin, and Lansing, Michigan.

September 24, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Black girls say D.C. school dress codes unfairly target them. Now they’re speaking up.”

The Washington Post reports on black girls speaking up on dress codes.

For generations, girls have been sent to the principal’s office for violating dress codes: Shorts must reach past fingertips. Shirts can’t be too low-cut. No spaghetti straps. No cleavage.

But these rules are often enforced in uneven ways, and black girls are disproportionately targeted, students from the District said in a report last year from the National Women’s Law Center. Now, some of those students are beginning to speak up — organizing walkouts, lunchtime protests and meetings with administrators to call out dress codes they see as unfair.

In a new report released Wednesday, the National Women’s Law Center highlighted some of these recent shifts and rated D.C. public and charter high schools based on the strictness of their dress code policies. (

Skip to toolbar