Research

Substance Abuse& Mental Health Among Migrant Farm Workers:

These presentations are slides from a semester-long group project for GLC, where I am a consultant. 

Final Presentation

Mid-project Presentation

Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Appalachia Report

Effects of Substance Abuse in Appalachia Presentation

Sexual Assault Campaign project

These presentations are slides from a semester-long group project for my Strategic Communication Research and Theory class. 

Secondary Research Presentation

Secondary Research Report

Qualitative Research Presentation

Qualitative Research Report

Quantitative Research Presentation 

Quantitative Research Report 

 

 

Social Media Work

This is an event and social media campaign my PR account (Scripps JSchool) put on for Valentine's Day.

This is an event and social media campaign my PR account (Scripps JSchool) put on for Valentine’s Day.

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I interviewed, wrote copy and posted about this professor for #FacultyFriday and it was one of our most engaging posts.

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I wrote the copy for this post, which was boosted, after talking to Sarah about what Planned Parenthood means to her.

At my internship with the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, I connected national awareness campaigns to our mission

At my internship with the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, I connected national awareness campaigns to our mission.

In addition to writing about the opening of this shelter for the newspaper, I sent out a tweet in real-time as it was happening.

In addition to writing about the opening of this shelter for the newspaper, I sent out a tweet in real-time as it was happening.

 

 

A campaign my PR account and I put on; one of our most engaging social media posts.

A campaign my PR account and I put on; one of our most engaging social media posts

Distributor Spotlights:

James Davis 

James Brown 

Maurice Golsby

*Cleo Wombles

Lee McCoy

*Melissa Mosby

*Raeshawn Gipson

Event/Issue Coverage:

*Same-Sex marriage legalized: Moving towards equality for all 

*Women’s Center opens in Mt. Auburn 

Women’s Expo held on Fountain’s Square 

Black Lives Matter March: Justice for Rekia Boyd

Contact Center celebrates Social Security’s 80th birthday 

The struggle for equity in public education: The demise of House Bill 80 

*UC police officer Ray Tensing indicted for murder 

Op-ed: Black Lives Matter demands recognition during Bernie Sanders speech 

 

Portfolio – Journalism Work

Distributor Spotlights:

James Davis 

James Brown 

Maurice Golsby

*Cleo Wombles

Lee McCoy

*Melissa Mosby

*Raeshawn Gipson

Event/Issue Coverage:

*Same-Sex marriage legalized: Moving towards equality for all 

*Women’s Center opens in Mt. Auburn 

Women’s Expo held on Fountain’s Square 

Black Lives Matter March: Justice for Rekia Boyd

Contact Center celebrates Social Security’s 80th birthday 

The struggle for equity in public education: The demise of House Bill 80 

*UC police officer Ray Tensing indicted for murder 

Op-ed: Black Lives Matter demands recognition during Bernie Sanders speech 

the post

These are pieces that I wrote for The Post, the daily newspaper at Ohio University.

*Stars indicate the pieces I am most proud of.

February 2016

Dress codes force women to worry about being sexualized at school and work

November 2015

Vigil held in honor of International Transgender Day of Remembrance 

Trans Education Week to be held in line with International Trans Remembrance Day 

Crafternoon in Ohio University LGBT Center allows for safe space

October 2015

Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costumes could be offensive to LGBT individuals 

New Women’s Center director to hold a ‘fat activism’ panel, meet and greet 

Ohio University’s Women’s Center celebrates ‘Love Your Body’ Day 

*Prior sexual experiences could defer one from donating blood, FDA in process of changing policy 

The Ohio University LGBT Center will team up with several other activist groups for a combined pride presence at the Homecoming Parade 

Old Lesbians Organizing for Change to speak on ageism 

September 2015

Companion app co-founder speaks on unexpected success 

Ohio University Women’s Center to hold screening of ‘The Purity Myth’ 

Local trainer to hold women’s self-defense and personal safety training workshop Friday 

*Site created by Scripps associate dean looks to bust trolls, encourage women to speak openly online

*Polyamorous relationships redefine commitment, love 

August 2015

Ohio University filled its vacant spot of director of the Women’s Center

OU LGBT Center invites community to attend pride event Saturday

June 2015

*LGBT-Inclusive preferred name and pronoun policy approved for the 2015-2016 academic year 

(see also: Weekly recap blogs of ‘The Bachelorette’)

April 2015

West Green students being offered more healthy options 

Writers try to sidestep stereotypes when writing LGBT characters 

Athens local restaurants limited by small seating capacity 

March 2015

Faces of pride posters to be hung around campus 

New LGBT-friendly lecture offered this year to help better train OU medical students

*Wanted: Healthy food for Ohio University students on West Green

In Athens, Ohio University students can cause trouble with Court St shuffles 

International Women’s Day festival highlighted cultural appreciation 

February 2015

*Conventional dating: Is it dying, or being enhanced for generation Y? 

January 2015

Goodfella’s and Big Mamma’s seen as late-night food havens of Athens 

*Women’s Center lone male worker inspires LGBT students

Students with new year fitness goals make mistakes on their track to healthy living 

December 2014

Athens begins to celebrate holiday season

November 2014

*Hip-Hop Shop relocates after fire 

Inspiration: Student volunteers for food donations

October 2014

Benefit concert for Spinal Muscular Atrophy this Saturday

FuckRapeCulture plans march, rally

Cliftones, Boomslang and Wanyama to play Friday 

September 2014

Quartet to perform, work with students 

spark

These are longer-form pieces I wrote for my high school newsmagazine, Spark, which I was also an editor for.

* Stars indicate pieces I am most proud of.

*Home (Isn’t) Where the Heart Is 

Touching Base 

Sounds from the Basement 

The Duff Report 

Friend or Faux 

The Illuminaudi 

The Knight Shift 

Contact Center Celebrates Social Security’s 80th Birthday

 

People wore birthday-themed hats, cooked out and munched on cake at the Contact Center on Vine St. last Friday. The celebration? Social Security’s 80th birthday.

Contact Center, a community-based membership organization aimed at making changes in policies that affect low-income people and health care, celebrated the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Social Security Act of 1935 by President Roosevelt.

“Before 1935, seniors may have slaved for as long as they could until they just fell over and died,” said Lynn Williams, lead organizer at the Contact Center. “You had to rely on having a child to help you in your old age, and if you had no surviving children, that’s why a lot of seniors ended up homeless.”

About 50 people gathered, many of who are on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Lead organizer at the Contact Center Lynn Williams estimates that about 90 percent of members of the Contact Center have a disability.

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The Contact Center celebrates Social Security’s 80th birthday.

“Because a lot of our members are getting older, they’re very concerned about how they’re going to live into old age. Social security is very important to them,” said Williams.

One attendee, John Munnis, is on SSDI and said he hopes to protect social security especially for people like him who have Spina Bifida, a developmental birth defect of the spinal cord.

“I was born with Spina Bifida and my mobility is quite good, but many people with Spina Bifida need SSDI,” said Munnis, who volunteers for the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati.

One way to protect social security, he feels, is by “scrapping the cap.” Currently, anyone who makes more than $118,500 each year does not pay social security payroll taxes on anything above that amount, Williams said.

“Millionaires and billionaires should be paying their full share,” Willaims said. “It’s something that low income people can’t even comprehend just how much they’re making on stocks alone.”

Phillip M. Jacobs, who works with Dr JW Jones Center for Training & Innercity Development, said that while social security is worth celebrating, there is still work to be done.

“Hopefully the new president will make some better social security benefits,” Jacobs said. “When you have social security, you have (less) problems in the community.”

Social Security

Distributor Spotlight – James Davis

 

Every piece of Streetvibes distributor James Davis’ outfit has a special meaning.

His hat, which has a dolphin on the front, is from Tampa, where he and his friend, Marcus, played music last summer. His bright blue shirt—which reads “Bill Bell for Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge,” is a two-year-old campaign shirt, but he still wears it in support of his friend and patron. He bought his sandals from the old Value City in Kentucky, his all-time favorite store to shop at as a kid. He found the silver ring on his finger under a bench, and claims it’s given him good luck ever since. He listens to 100.3 FM—“old school Cincy”—through the bulky headphones around his neck. And the colorful beads he wears are from New Orleans, where he and his nephew, Dave, like to play music to earn extra cash.

Streetvibes Distributor James Davis in front of the Homeless Coalition.

Those beads might be the most defining part of his getup—he hasn’t gone a day without wearing those beads in three years, he says.

“Oh, I love these mardi gras beads,” James grins, laughing and laughing. “My regular (Streetvibes) customers down here, they love them, too. They say, ‘you have on so many magnificent beads!’”

James’ unique style matches his eccentric personality, says William D. Bell Sr., a Cincinnati lawyer and the man behind James’ old campaign shirt.

“I think that (his style) sets him apart from some of the other people who are doing the same thing,” says Bell, who buys papers from James outside of his office on the corner of 9th and Main St. “James is a good spirit, we kid with each other all the time. He’s had some issues, but he has never ceased to be James. He’s never ceased to be a good person.”

Fellow Streetvibes distributor and friend of James, Willa Jones, can attest to his good spirit.

“Me and James, we like to make people laugh,” Jones says. “We try to take bad situations and make some good out of it.”

His style not only attracts potential Streetvibes customers, but it’s also consistent with his music, one of the things he’s been extremely passionate about since a young age.

James Davis shows off his mardi gras beads.

“I made my first pair of bongos out of oatmeal boxes,” says James. “I took two of them, I cut one shorter than the other and tied them together to get two different sounds out of them. I was 6 years old. I’d sit on the steps, practice and beat along with them.”

In addition to playing the Djembe drum—his favorite—he plays blues, jazz, gospel and reggae on saxophone, trumpet and keyboard. Most of his family, including his parents and his seven brothers and sisters, are musically inclined. He thinks he got it from his mother, the pianist. That was one of his favorite things about her—next to her “to die for” lemon meringue pie, of course.

James admired everything about his mother—for taking him and his siblings on camping trips to Caesar Creek despite “not being the outdoorsy type,” and for taking him and his siblings to church every Sunday.

“We couldn’t get out of church for nothing in the world,” James remembers. “Even if we were sick. She’d tell us we go to church and get healed! Things were so bad (financially for us) then, but she built this faith up in us. Wow, it was remarkable.”

At age 17 he ran away from home in what he describes as a time in his life when he was “naïve” and “didn’t know what to do.” He experienced homelessness, tried out college for a year and a half before his scholarship ran out, and eventually came back around to his mother who welcomed him with open arms. Even though she passed away 10 years ago, he still remembers it like it was yesterday.

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” James says. “Oh god, I will never forget it. I felt like a part of me left the world.”

But James has worked many jobs since, from car washing to landscaping, and lives every day hoping that he’s making her proud. According to Bell, he is.

“He really is phenomenal,” Bell says. “He has this personality that warms somebody’s day, and I think that’s very important. He’s a genuinely good person.”

And every time he enters the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, he has a grin on his face.

“I hate coming in here to hear that I just missed James Davis,” says fellow distributor James Brown. “I see him selling Monday through Friday and I see him selling on the weekend selling At Findlay Market… the way he takes care of business is amazing.”

James is more than just his headphones and mardi gras beads. He dresses to commemorate the memories he’s created with the people who mean the world to him—the snazzy style is just a plus.

“I have a lot of passion for people. I love people to death,” James says. “I’ve been through ups and downs and I’ve learned a lot of things. I believe you can never be too kind. And I believe if you stay strong inside and put your mind to something, you can do anything.”

James Davis James Davis 2

My Summer Internship & An Unlikely Encounter

“People act like homelessness is a choice—but when you lose your place and you have nothing, it’s not a choice. It’s something you have to deal with.”

That’s what Lee McCoy told me in October 2013 when I trotted alongside him as he marched in the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition (GCHC)’s homeless awareness march. After the march, I wrote an article for my monthly high school newsmagazine, Spark. I wove my article around Lee and the issues that he faces with the homeless shelters and gentrification in Cincinnati.

That article later won a national social justice award. I was flown to Baltimore in October 2014 to give a speech about the article in front of prominent media figures like Brian Ross from ABC News and James Risen from NYT. In the speech, I talked about the impact that Lee McCoy had on me.

Lee McCoy works with Streetvibes, a bi-weekly newspaper that covers social justice issues and is put out by GCHC.

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A photo I snapped of Lee McCoy at the Homeless Awareness March in October 2013.

The cool part about Streetvibes is that it’s sold by 50+ distributors – all of which are homeless or extremely low-income. Each paper is bought by a distributor for 50 cents, and then sold for $1.50. All profits go directly to the distributor who sold it to help save or pay for housing, food, etc.

A few weeks ago, I sent an email to Justin Jeffre, the editor of Streetvibes who I had interviewed for my article last year. I asked him if there was any way I could help out, and, remembering me, he quickly replied and asked me to stop by the office when I was in town so we could talk about opportunities.

Yesterday, I braved my fear of downtown driving, made it down to Over-The-Rhine. I wasn’t surprised that a few people panhandled me for money on my three-block walk to from the parking garage to the office, but I was happy to be approached by a Streetvibes distributor asking me to buy a paper.

The stout man wore sunglasses and a hat, and had little gray tufts of hair poking from the sides of his face. Before I could explain to him that I was already fairly familiar with Streetvibes, he gave me the whole spiel and asked if I would be interested in buying a paper.

I pulled out my money and explained to him that I was headed to the Streetvibes office now to talk to Justin.

“Well that’s great to hear miss,” he said, tucking the newspapers beneath his arm so he could shake my hand. “And what is your name?”

“I’m Rachel,” I said, shaking his hand.

streetvibes

Me and Lee and the newest issue of Streetvibes.

“Rachel,” he nodded and smiled. “I’m Lee McCoy, it’s great to meet you.”

Lee McCoy. Neither of us recognized each other at first, but after I refreshed him, he remembered our interview. I told him that he had helped me spread Cincinnati homeless awareness and win this national award in which I talked about him in my speech, and he couldn’t believe it.

“Could you show me that next time I’m at the office?” he asked.

I smiled.

“Absolutely.”

I’m no expert on homelessness, and I’ve really only have a sliver of an idea of the struggles that they go through every day. I start my internship tomorrow, and I can’t wait not only to expand my understanding of the misconceptions of homelessness and share that knowledge with others, but also to help out with an organization dedicated to doing good.

Maybe it’ll be a good summer after all.