Visual and Critical Studies

Screen Printing Workshops

Inspired by student interest in the arts, Allison secured resources through the Center’s Micro-Grant to utilize her skills as a printmaker to encourage self-expression among students.

Project Description:

Allison Chalco received a Center Micro-Grant to design and facilitate screen-printing workshops at June Jordan School for Equity. Allison built, gathered, and received donated materials that were accessible and environmentally friendly. Allison first recognized an interest and need for her screen printing workshop at June Jordan School for Equity through her position there as a CCA CONNECTS Extern. Inspired by student interest in the arts, Allison secured resources through the Center’s Micro-Grant to utilize her skills as a printmaker to encourage self-expression among students.  There was such an overwhelming interest and engagement with Allison’s workshop that she enlisted the support of a fellow printmaker (Angel) from California College of the Arts to ensure her class had all the necessary resources to thrive.

“There is a buzz about the classroom where students are working together while learning and teaching each other and building upon their skills. There are some very talented printers at JJSE thanks to Allison.” — Ms. Anne Gradeja

Project Outcome:

Allison’s program sparked an interest in screen-printing among students at June Jordan School for Equity. After implementing the beginner workshop, the school began offering a semester-long screen-printing elective course. JJSE continues to use the grant-funded equipment, and is eager to offer the screen-printing class for years to come. Allison has cultivated a creative learning community, where students work together and teach each other to hone their skills. She continued to be committed to the program after her grant.


20/20 Foto

20|20 Foto lead a photography workshop created to empower youth affected by the femicides in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Project Overview:

Seeking to support the critical cultural reconstruction of a region, 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action was the first proposed institutional cross-border art program between the two cities since the 2008 eruption of violence in Juárez. 20/20 FOTO was a photography workshop introducing youth to the fundamentals of photography, critical thinking, therapeutic storytelling, writing, reflection, and installation skills. Taking place in El Paso, Texas and in Juarez, Mexico; 20/20 FOTO partnered with Creative Kids (US) and Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (Mexico) on photography workshops. In order to create a sustainable program Team 20/20 FOTO sought to create a camera library for the organizations and an academic curriculum so that the workshops could continue past their initial implementation.

“We believe, as evidenced in our work with the workshop participants in Juárez, that the longest lasting impact of 20/20 FOTO has already begun with them, as critical thinkers and producers of powerful images.” – 20/20 FOTO, IMPACT Awardee 2011


Prior to the start of their workshops Team 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action presented their project to Pentax, who quickly recognized the significance of their project and donated 20 high quality cameras. 20/20 FOTO workshop participants at Creative Kids (El Paso) and Nuestras Hijas (Ciudad Juárez) shared their experiences with one another through exchanged letters, photographic work, and video chats. Under the theme “Heroes and Super Heroes,” 20/20 FOTO crafted an engaging photography curriculum and hosted an online photography exhibition for the images produced by the young people at Nuestras Hijas about their heroes and superheroes. 20/20 FOTO was such a success in Ciudad Juárez that local photographers continue to use their curriculum to work with Nuestras Hijas on their photograph project.


To Lemon Hill

Academic program for Syrian child refugees living in Turkey

Project Overview:

To Lemon Hill used food gatherings to create safe public spaces and developed an ambitious mentorship/tutoring program for Syrian Refugees at Gelisim Koleji, a nearby Turkish school. Understanding the importance of a holistic approach to address the needs of displaced communities, To Lemon Hill responded to the universal concern around access to education for their children amongst mothers in Turkey’s Syrian refugee community.

The community that is served by this project is only one aspect of the IMPACT of the project. The program bridges cultures: Syrian, Turkish, and Kurdish. In a society where Kurdish people are discriminated against, this program serves to form a bridge of understanding. Moreover, the school is eager to continue the program into the future as long as there is a need.—To Lemon Hill, IMPACT Awardee, 2013


To Lemon Hill’s focus on their educational partnership with Gelisim Koleji not only created a sustainable education program for the undocumented Syrian children, but also builds relationships between the Turkish and Syrian community in Limon Tepe. To Lemon Hill interviewed 50 Syrian families while in Turkey and heard about the challenges and dilemmas of their journeys, To Lemon Hill collaborated with Gelisim Koleji, a local high school, to provide mentoring and tutoring support for the undocumented Syrian children (ages 7 to 14). To Lemon Hill’s project was even integrated into Gelisim Koleji’s curriculum requirements as it aligned with the school’s emphasis on volunteer service and helping the larger community. To Lemon Hill continues to speak with Gelisim Koleji and the Syrian community in Limon Tepe to ensure the continued success of their mentorship/ tutoring program.




Protesting the high crime rates against LGBTQ Jamaicans, STAND UP shared personal and community narratives via social media of Jamaicans who fled their island nation. 

Project Overview

STAND UP uses the unique characteristics of social media to create an active network between the LGBTQ community from Jamaica, the most homophobic country in the western hemisphere, and their allies through testimonial/solidarity videos.

In spite of the socio-political oppression and threat of physical violence, it was the first international campaign to create an active community for LGBTQ rights in Jamaica.

STAND UP partnered with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and its underground counterpart, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (JFLAG) to counter homophobia with community building, storytelling, and safe visibility.

STAND UP was an incredibly powerful experience, being able to meet and share the stories of dozens of brave people, putting themselves on the line to be able to love who they choose, was amazing. If I had been told that I would have done something as large as this, at the beginning of the summer, I would not have believed it.” – Robert Gomez Hernandez (MFA/MA, Film/Visual and Critical Studies)

Project STAND UP worked with a Jamaican team on video techniques that maintained anonymity and to create “safe visibility” for participants. Team STAND UP built upon the We Are Jamaicans Project featuring videos of LGBTQ Jamaicans and prominent community leaders/allies in and out of Jamaica and used their project website as a platform for exponential growth that synched with a YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.


STAND UP’s videos shared personal narratives of LGBTQ Jamaicans and their allies from three different countries and started a social movement that continued on past their time in Jamaica.

Prior to traveling to Jamaica, STAND UP launched an IndieGoGo campaign to extend the life cycle of their project, their fundraising goal was shared by GLAAD, the Huffington Post, CIMA, and other news outlets to support their campaign.

Although they initially envisioned gather 10-15 interviews while in Jamaica, Team STAND UP interviewed 60 participants for their testimonial and solidarity videos that were shared at a final premiere.