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Meet Shauna Ricketts – Our Summer Intern [CLICK]

Meet our summer intern, Shauna Ricketts. Shauna is a full-time student at SUNY Geneseo in Western New York, originally hailing from the Hudson Valley. Her studies focus on Sociology and Political Science. She is also interested in art and photography. She believes that art is an amazing tool to spread awareness and engage in social messaging. Family structures fascinate her both personally and academically. She has been given a position as a Teaching Assistant for a Sociology of Families course, which she is super excited about. She has also watched the development and maturing of so many different children around her through the years. Her mother is one of twelve children and she has always analyzed interactions and outcomes within and around the family structure.

Shauna’s summer project at the Museum of Motherhood has been spurred by her studies in sociology. She writes “I am always amazed when I talk to people about social services such as food stamps and they are quick to draw assumptions about the people involved, this can be seen in the Welfare Queen ideology.” Her project aims to dismantle some of the stereotypes formulated around marginalized populations of young mothers.

The target population of her summer research will be single mothers, who are classified as living in poverty by the Federal Poverty Guidelines (http://familiesusa.org/product/federal-poverty- guidelines). Her work will focus on single, low-income mothers from minority backgrounds. The main theme of this body of work is going to involve understanding how these women see themselves within society juxtaposed with how they believe they are viewed in society. The women will have an opportunity to tell their stories using their own authentic voices. We hope this will be experienced as empowering.

In Shauna’s words: Each week I will release an interview either in a video format with the woman speaking, a photograph with a written piece, or a story with a photo that I have drawn of the woman (if she wishes to not be pictured via photograph or video) or a picture that the woman drew of herself (representing how she views herself) followed by a picture that the woman drew of how society views her next to a photograph of what she currently looks like. I want to draw attention to the stigmas that exist within the social welfare system, specifically programs such as WIC and TANF. I want to explore whether or not these stigmas influence the target population and if so how, specifically in their period of pregnancy. I hope to interview some women who are pregnant, but also women with younger and older children. I want to draw upon their experiences in discovering that they were pregnant and the outlets that they were able to draw upon for support. I would also like to focus on the expectations that these women have for their children and ask them to select words that describe their ideal child. In the event that women natively speak in another language such as Spanish, I would like to keep parts in that original language but provide translations in order to maintain the authenticity of the woman’s story.

MEET SHAUNA RICKETTS  HERE {LINK}

6/11/2016 – READ HER FIRST INTERVIEW WITH ERIKA HERE [LINK]

6/22/2016 – READ HER SECOND INTERVIEW ABOUT RACE & CULTURE HERE [LINK}

6/28/2016 – READ HER THIRD INTERVIEW WITH DIANA [LINK]

7/12/2016 – READ HER FOURTH INTERVIEW WITH JESS [LINK}

7/21/2016 – READ HER FIFTH INTERVIEW WITH CELINA [LINK}

8/03/2016 – READ HER LAST INTERVIEW HERE [LINK}

(read more about the goals of this project below photo)

Shauna.jpg

Overall goals of my work
-to tell the stories of single, low-income, pregnant mothers from minority groups
-to document the stories that I hear from these women and to consult them regarding the type of media that is used
-TO EMPOWER WOMEN and supporters of women!! By promoting positive body image and self-esteem, providing the mothers with resources that will be of use to them, listening to their thoughts and respecting the position from which they speak.
-to create art that captures how women see themselves, how they think the world sees them and what they actually look like (photograph).
-to raise social awareness and to de-stigmatize social welfare programs
-to gain insight into the ways we can help this target population
-to expose the barriers that exist for this target population and their unborn children

Shauna will be posting on the following weeks throughout the summer: June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25

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