Written by Sam Moore
On the morning of May 20th, I carried a box of food from a car into Shattuck Hall at Portland State University. The walls of the room where the food was lain were decorated with maps and butcher paper where people could write feedback.
Resistance GIS https://resistancegis.wordpress.com/ was a grassroots event that created a discussion about using GIS for purposes more constructive than resource extraction, commodity consumption and surveillance.
For example, speaker Veronica Velez shared how she used cartography to assist a Latinx community in its struggle for educational opportunity equality. She advised the audience to become an integral part of the community with which one collaborates. Do not play baseball- that is, don’t be an opportunist who is “helping” for personal gain and is liable to run when staying becomes inconvenient.
Another presentation that I found inspiring was made by Erin McElroy. She introduced me to the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. This endeavor is the product of a small collective that is using interactive maps personal stories, and direct action to illuminate the injustices perpetrated by landowners upon the dispossessed in California.
There was ample time to meet one another, share our interests and skillsets, and chat about the topics raised over the course of the conference. The idea that we have the capacity to become a force of change by helping the underrepresented speak for themselves gives me hope for a better future for our nation and the world.
6/6/2017 02:26:27 pm
Great post! This was a great experience although I only got to see the anti-eviction mapping presentation. It was pretty amazing and inspiring.
6/7/2017 12:31:12 pm
I attended the GIS resistance conference and thought it was a great experience the speakers had lots of good information and the venue was held at a great location with good amenities. I also liked making new connection with other like minded people and cant wait for the next event.
6/11/2017 11:27:04 am
Community engagement is what it is all about. Thank you for providing these take-aways from the Resistance GIS event, I especially like the "baseball" analogy. I agree that giving time and effort to our communities should be reward enough, rather than using the opportunity for personal gain. Speaking up for others and using one's unique skill set to raise awareness of social and economic inequities needs to be demonstrated more, so those who wish to contribute can see the beneficial impact of that effort. Good post, Sam :)
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Blog posts are written by students in the Interactive Map Design course at Portland Community College.