All posts by Brighton Huynh

Interview with Dr. Rose Ojo-Ajayi

By Kitty Wang (A’23)

Editor’s Note: With our new digitally distance world, we as a team have decided to take advantage of the medium and publish video interviews instead of classically transcribed interviews. The first in our series, Kitty Wang sits down with the Cooper Union’s Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Rose Ojo-Ajayi to highlight her work. The interview is accessible through this link here and also embedded below:

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The Traitors of Modern Feminism: “Gender Critical” Misogyny

By Deena Fahed A’23

Trans exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, are a plague on the contemporary feminist movement. Although these “gender critical” radical feminists comprise a relatively small percentage of people who call themselves feminists, they are a very vocal minority. J.K. Rowling made headlines earlier this month for tweeting that trans acceptance is a Trojan horse for the erasure of “real women’s” identities, adding yet another chapter to her long history of platforming transphobic messages. TERFs contribute heavily to dangerous cultural narratives about trans women, often expressing a vitriolic hatred for them. These narratives contribute to real world violence – nearly half of the trans population in the US experienced some form of harassment in the past year, 47% of them have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and “trans panic” in still a legally viable defense against murder charges in 40 states – and this violence disproportionately affects trans women of color and lower income trans people.

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NEW YEAR, NEW CHAPTER: The Call for Diversity in Architecture Education through NOMAS at Cooper

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By MC Love AR’24

I hope this article finds you ready to join a movement long overdue in architecture. Within the architecture community, minorities face many challenges that most architects would never even consider. Following the petition put forth by the students at Cooper, the faculty and students have been working diligently to reimagine curriculum. There are places within the architecture and design community where privilege impairs diversity, and here are some statistics to paint the picture of what I’m talking about. I have gathered data collected by the National Architectural Accrediting Board regarding diversity in accredited architecture programs:

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Want to Help, but Don’t Know How? Here’s Where You Can Start.

By Sabriah Al-Bahish A’23, Ky Yurchuk CE’23, Brighton Huynh CE’21

With the cold-blooded murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, the Cooper Union Pioneer recognizes that Black Lives have, do, and will always matter. Social media has been flooded with various infographics and screenshots of text suggesting ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against systemic racism. Inherent to the modality of social media, the wider context of a lot of organizations and actions isn’t always conveyed due to (digital) space constraints. This following list includes various charities, organizations, and resources that tackle these systems through various ways; systemic racism is ingrained in almost every facet of our lives. Although we worked to cover a diverse range of issues, these organizations are by no means a comprehensive review of the multitude of people working hard to change the system. We hope that with a dedicated space for these organizations, that we can continue fighting and continue supporting the effort against institutionalized racism not only within this current flashpoint, but also throughout the future.

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10 Black LGBTQ+ Films for You to Watch this Summer

By MC Love AR’24

June is typically a joyful time filled with vacation plans and Pride parades, but this year it’s clearly not looking like that. However, as best we can, we must face Miss June 2020 and all her baggage. Who knows, 2020 may be the year America cures racism, homophobia, and coronavirus all at the same time.

Recently, I think everyone can relate to self-growth during the past few months of isolation, but what about a collective growth? Is everyone done thinking about themselves and ready to think about others and our planet? I would hope so.

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Collective of Students Work to Create an Anti-Racist Institution

By Brighton Huynh (CE’21)

(Editors Note: The content of footnotes have been moved to the end of the article. For those whom the letter is addressed to, I have shortened two job titles and moved the full titles to the end of the article to maintain continuity in the formatting of the letter)

Update (1JUL2020): The Cabinet of the President posted a recent response to the collective letter on June 8th recently.

Systemic racism has plagued the country since its founding and continues to do so. The cold-blooded murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Nina Pop have prompted a mass movement calling for the nation to proactively confront systemic racism. A collective of students took action to ensure that the Cooper Union transforms itself into an actively anti-racist institution. The following is a statement from some of the students involved accompanied by the body of the letter:

The letter below, addressed and delivered on June 8, 2020, to the administration of The Cooper Union, is by no means exhaustive in scope but hopes to serve as merely the beginning of a series of conversations needed to foster and transform The Cooper Union into an actively anti-racist institution. The actions proposed were initially questions and concerns voiced in a town hall hosted by students on June 1, 2020, as well as informed by other school-wide meetings held during that week. The letter circulated around various social media networks to reach students and alumni across the three schools. The letter was edited collaboratively using Google Docs and any signee was permitted to suggest changes and post comments to the letter. Each of these suggested changes or comments were addressed individually by the organizing members. The hope is that these conversations surrounding institutional racism will continue to develop throughout The Cooper Union.

Since the submission of the letter to the administration, the document has been further copyedited for typographical errors and improved readability.

The original collaborative document is available on Google Docs here.

If you wish to add your signature to the letter, please do so here.

If you wish to join the conversation, please read, comment, suggest, and share the developing list of questions—most of which were delivered jointly on June 8, 2020 with the letter below—which is available here.

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