Wednesday, September 30

va: the big idea

Mary and I met today and have finally figured out a direction. After some backtracking on our problem statement (check previous blog post), we decided to focus on the children instead of adults. We realized a couple of important things the other day:
  1. Expanding Academie Lafayette may not be the best direction to go in because it’s a controversial topic that has strong pros and strong cons. We became acutely aware of this when we contacted a person who was a part of one of the groups against the partnership. Unaware of the controversy, we asked to meet after explaining our problem statement of expanding Academie Lafayette, but was met with surprising rejection.
  2. The reason for the backlash with the partnership (which would be crucial in the expansion of Academie Lafayette) was neglecting the current students at Southwest High School. The groups that were against the partnership said that the city should focus on the students themselves as a priority.
Informed by these realizations, we stayed with our revised problem statement (How can we promote the integration of Kansas City through raising awareness and improving the perception of Academie Lafayette?) but redirected our solution from AL expansion to focusing on students.

See some inspiration below:





Based on Darron Story’s group, Parents Promoting Diversity, Mary and I are going to create a sister-group called Kids For Diversity. This will be a campaign that Mary and I will try to advocate for. We are not sure how much we are going to collaborate with the original group, but we know that we want to empower children, instill hope in KC education, and capture the kids voice.

Right now, we know that gathering interviews of kids at AL and KCPS is crucial to our project. How we will publicize/put these out there are still not decided.

Things we need to do:

  • Connect with kids, but HOW?
    • we have contacted supervisors at AL on how to get to the students
    • we hope to first have an arts and craft activity with kids so that they can start to be comfortable with us, we also want to use the kids’ artwork as imagery so this would be beneficial in that way as well.
    • Mary has some connections with a family and teacher that go to AL
  • VOICE + IMAGE
    • Like in the videos we’ve shared, we want to use the kids’ voice & their perspective to promote the school in a positive,refreshing, and impactful way.
    • Voice= recording, writing, video
    • For image we have decided that their own creations and artwork could be impactful, rather than using their photograph like we had thought of before.
    • Image= video, print, etc.

We have already contacted some of the faculty at Academie Lafayette. Next steps involve reaching out to some faculty/students at other KCPSchools. We also need to flesh out a lot of details, such us what activities we will do with the kids, discussion topics (to provoke “diversity promoting” quotes), and platforms for sharing.
Generally, we think a video combining VOICE + IMAGE (as discussed above) could make an impactful video
as a main component. But also using these things in social media and print materials, possible broadcasting.  

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