Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah


Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah Essay #3 Reflection

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I loved creating my Composition in Two Genres compared to writing a traditional essay. I felt I was able to be more creative and more myself when making my political cartoon and meme. I also found the brainstorming process to be easier and less stressful. Looking at the example essays and reading everyone’s responses to each prompt assigned throughout the duration of this assignment was also very helpful. Not only was the brainstorming process less stressful, but the entire process of this essay was just easier for me to handle. This could also be because we were called to utilize an assignment/topic we already completed for this course in order to do this specific essay. I think it was a wonderful way to end the semester before completing our Final Portfolios. I knew I wanted to do a meme and political cartoon after looking at the example essay about abortion. When I saw that essay, my ideas immediately began to flow. My intended audiences encouraged me to make my compositions relatable, funny, understandable, and ironic. I felt that these elements would engage my audience the most. I drew on pathos for this assignment as humor relates to emotions and can be very helpful in relaying a message. Also, if one laughs, which is a positive reaction, at the message being relayed, I believe this can enable one to more easily consider the message being portrayed. If one can consider and think about the message, then they can also begin to agree with whatever is being portrayed. Overall, I am very proud of the work I did and was very pleased to see what my group members composed.

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah’s Audience Strategy

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My intended audiences are adolescents and adults. I plan on making a meme/political cartoon like visual aid as well as an advertisement to be shown on social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Thus, my intended audience need to be active partakers on social media apps. I also think some of my audience members need to be the type to follow political meme accounts. I want my audience to understand the root issues of homelessness, to feel compassion for people who experience homelessness in our communities, and think critically about how our world works and what one can do individually to better our world. I want my audience to recognize homelessness as an issue that can be attended to by individuals like you and me. I want my audience to care about this issue and hopefully influence others to care about this issue as well. The genres that I included above, meme/political cartoon and advertisement, are attractive and accessible to my audience as they will be found on social media. Most adolescents and adults that I know are active on social media. Since some members of my audience follow political meme accounts, I feel that they will enjoy a political meme/cartoon as that is the content one assumes is on an account like that. Advertisements, when made correctly, catches one’s eye and allows for information to be presented in a timely/condensed fashion. To engage my audience, I will use pathos to invoke feelings of, “I want to help people who are experiencing homelessness/someone who is less fortunate than I am”. I will also use logos to logically present the idea that capitalism ensures the issue of homelessness to remain constant. I want to make my visual aids somewhat witty or amusing to get attention, yet critical and serious at the same time as my topic is very important.

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah Essay# 3 potential genres proposal

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I again want to focus on homelessness for this assignment. I will continue to focus on the issue of homelessness in New York City. When looking at the sample assignments, I became inspired because I have seen many political cartoons, social media memes, and ads regarding my topic. But, once I read that I had to create my own visual aids, I was worried if my own version of images like this would be too similar to some that already exist. However, I want my two genres to be a poster and a political cartoon. I feel that, when not too hard to interpret or analyze, political cartoons and posters are very effective in getting a message across to an audience. Despite this, I was also thinking about using advertisements, as I have seen advertisements speaking on the topic of homelessness. Or maybe even commercials. But, I am not sure how to make my own commercial. I want to communicate how important this issue is to my audience. Because it is such a normalized injustice, as we are often exposed to homeless people, I feel that our society just accepts how things are. Maybe I can communicate how, just like that, you could be homeless as well. People get so comfortable in the positions they are in regarding money or housing, the possibility of any of us becoming homeless seems so out of reach. Nonetheless, things happen, people who are not homeless end up becoming homeless. For example, my coworker’s building caught on fire when she was younger. She lost everything and had to live in a church. Maybe I will include how one can be a solution to this issue. I know when we come together as a community to help someone, a lot can be done. For example, many gofundme pages go around detailing someone in a vulnerable situation, in need of money. Maybe people can become encouraged to pool money among a lot of people to donate towards organizations that aid and support our homeless population. I want my target audience to be citizens of the United States. I want to encourage my audience to think critically about their place in this world, how they can help uplift our homeless population, how privileged we really are.

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah Essay 2 Reflection

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I was inspired by my first essay’s topic, homelessness. I wanted to do further research, because the eradication of homelessness is very important to me. Although it is very important to me, there is still a lot I do not know in regards to homelessness in New York City. When refining my research question, I considered the feedback the professor gave me. I wanted to analyze how our local government either criminalizes or uplifts our homeless population, so I ended up using the question: How does the local government address homelessness in New York City, and how do their policies affect the homeless population? I was able to examine how the local government affects our homeless population in terms of accessibility to resources like healthcare, overdose prevention, shelters, public spaces, and hygienic necessities. 

I actually found it pretty easy to find information on this topic. There is an abundance of sources on New York City’s homeless population and policies. Sometimes I would come across sources that were not specific to New York City, but that did not affect my process too much as I just moved onto the next one. Despite this, I felt like a lot of my initial sources were too broad and included specific policies, however with little information on said policies. Going to the writing center allowed me to get specific. My writing center tutor helped me take things found in a broader source and locate another source that provided more information on that particular thing. 

When analyzing my sources, I found the reading, Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources, to be very helpful. For the regular news articles, I found it better to read through the whole thing. But, because the scholarly sources can be so long, I located specific words through the “Find” tool on google chrome. I also made sure to look at the abstract, ending, and slowly skim through the meat of the source. I think the sources I used were pretty straightforward. Going to the writing center was helpful as I also looked through all of my sources with my tutor. I will definitely utilize the writing center more moving forward.

My intended audience was New York Citizens and representatives in our local government. I made sure to include locations around the city for certain sections. Sometimes when a New Yorker reads a street number or name of a neighborhood that they recognize, it provides a sense of familiarity and piques more of an interest. At least for me it does. I also included policies implemented by Mayor DeBlasio, a known name throughout the city. I included understandable language and organized my information in a coherent way. I used a news article specific to New York City as my model to emulate a legit source. Including a picture of a homeless man living in the subway in the beginning of my essay gets the topic of the essay across before one even reads any words. It is also a familiar sight, and can evoke feelings of pity, as I do want my audience to feel the urge to do something or think critically about this topic.

I personally liked writing this essay, more so than the first essay. I am used to this type of informative writing style. After this assignment, I know how to better work with long sources instead of getting overwhelmed. In order to be an effective writer, one needs to be able to think critically when analyzing the sources they are gathering. One needs to know how to analyze lengthy time-consuming sources in a way that does not take up too much energy. One needs to know how to create an outline, as a strong foundation does a lot for the completion of a paper. I also think one needs to keep their motive and audience in mind at all times. The hardest thing about this essay was getting started on the actual draft. It was so difficult for me, I was not even able to submit a rough draft. I think my personal life and other classes contributed to this. However, once I left the writing center, I had a newfound sense of motivation, energy, and determination. So once I did start, I was on a roll and happy with the final product.

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah Essay 2: Research In Progress Report

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How does the local government address homelessness in New York City, and how do their policies affect the homeless population?

So far, I have found a lot of sources that directly address my topic question. Most of them are newspaper articles and scholarly articles. I used the CUNY Academic Database to find my scholarly articles. I used google’s search engine to find my newspaper articles. Because my topic for our first essay relates to my current topic, I was fortunately able to reuse one source from that assignment. The sources I have found are published on reputable platforms, like the New York Times or Maternal and Child Health Journal (scholarly journal). Some sources describe a policy/policies that exists in New York City which then affects our homeless population. The other sources provide statistical data regarding our homeless populations, and various necessary definitions.

One source I found while doing research but am not sure about is Characteristics of Mothers and Infants Living in Homeless Shelters and Public Housing in New York City. This source has a lot of helpful and relevant statistics and information. This source was also found using the CUNY Academic Database and is a scholarly article. This source mentions different services offered to homeless women and children, but not necessarily how the services itself affect them. They mostly include this information to shed awareness on the amount of homeless people who used the services and compare that number with mothers and children living in NYCHA buildings. However, I do learn about the many health disparities that plague our homeless mother population. I also learn that when a baby is born to a homeless woman, Medicaid is used to pay the hospital for the delivery. This shows that the government issues Medicaid to the homeless, and the homeless can use Medicaid to help with hospital costs. Homeless women often go to clinics for prenatal care. Clinics tend to be free or low cost to those who do not have healthcare. Clinics are also implemented by the government. As I read into this source more, I realize I can definitely use the information for my essay. I was unsure was because this article did not explicitly state “this policy exists in order to do this and affects the homeless like this”, I had to connect the dots on my own.

One source I found that I discarded was actually from my previous essay, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10911359.2012.707941. I decided to discard this source because the statistics are not specific to New York City. I will find other scholarly articles that fit better with my essay. I remember when brainstorming, I thought of using TikTok videos made by homeless people as a popular media source. Now that I have a definite topic, I am not sure how using a TikTok video would be effective for my essay. For example, there is this account I follow by a homeless woman named Bugs. However, I realize she does not live in New York City. My topic question is specific to the happenings of New York City. I remember I follow a homeless man on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/mauriceboldenphotography/, I see him often in Harlem. When looking through his profile, I realized he documents his lifestyle as a homeless person, but there is nothing about policies or how the government treats him as a homeless person. Because I want a testimonial from a homeless person, but so far do not feel what I have come across is sufficient, I thought of visiting https://www.instagram.com/humansofny/ on Instagram. This person documents words from homeless people, maybe I can find evidence here. It is time-consuming to scroll through the account, so I may decide to keep searching google instead. My plan is to find more scholarly articles. I also want to intentionally include policies that both negatively and positively affect the homeless, and I believe the sources I have so far do just that.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Hu, Winnie. “’Hostile Architecture’: How Public Spaces Keep the Public Out.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/11/08/nyregion/hostile-architecture-nyc.html. 

“Homelessness & Poverty in New York City.” The Bowery Mission. Rebuilding Lives Since 1879., Oct. 2020, www.bowery.org/homelessness/. 

Hennelly, Bob. “How New York’s Programs and Policies Are Keeping the Homeless on the Street.” CSNY, 8 Mar. 2020, www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/housing/how-new-yorks-programs-and-policies-are-keeping-homeless-street.html. 

Ricciulli, Valeria. “Housing, Rental Vouchers, Outreach: Can NYC Fix Its Homeless Crisis?” Curbed NY, Curbed NY, 25 Feb. 2020, ny.curbed.com/2020/2/25/21146143/homelessness-new-york-city-how-to-fix. 

Reilly, Kathleen H., et al. “Characteristics of Mothers and Infants Living in Homeless Shelters and Public Housing in New York City.” Gale Academic Onefile, Springer, May 2019, go-gale-com.ccny-proxy1.libr.ccny.cuny.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE. 

Sommer, Marni, et al. “Menstruation and Homelessness: Challenges Faced Living in Shelters and on the Street in New York City.” ScienceDirect, Elsevier, 25 Sept. 2020, www-sciencedirect-com.ccny-proxy1.libr.ccny.cuny.edu/science/article/pii/S1353829220310923. 

Semuels, Alana. “How Can the U.S. End Homelessness?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 25 Apr. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/end-homelessness-us/479115/. 

Mckinley, Jesse, and Vivian Yee. “Questions Over Cuomo’s Order on Homelessness.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Jan. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/nyregion/questions-over-cuomos-order-on-homelessness.html. 

AYESHA ABDUL-FATTAAH Essay 2 Research Proposal

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QUESTION: How does the local government address homelessness in New York City, and how do their policies affect the homeless population?

I ended up choosing this question with the help of the professor. I knew I wanted to analyze how our local government either criminalizes or uplifts our homeless population. This question allows me to examine how the local government affects our homeless population in terms of criminal justice, education, accessibility to resources, etc.  I have seen homeless people all around the world, from California to China, Philadelphia to the Philippines, New Jersey to Nicaragua, and so on. I personally know people that have been homeless at some points in their life. My mother and father included. We, as a society, have grown so comfortable with this issue, it has become an acceptable injustice. I believe this topic is important as it is our duty as humans to be there for one another and improve the quality of life for people who are struggling. Because of the prevalence of this issue, although my essay will be specific to New York City, I am sure one can apply my findings to other homeless communities throughout the country. Even throughout the world.

My audience are New York Citizens and representatives in our local government. I want to inform fellow members of my community. If one is aware of how the local government is or is not improving the predicament of this vulnerable population, one can better understand what needs to be done and start doing what they can to advocate for any changes necessary. Or even be the change themselves. This can also enable local representatives to be more vigilant when it comes to solving this issue in our city. There needs to be a shift in how we view homeless people, this essay will do just that.  I plan on having a more extensive list of secondary sources, as well as a completed outline with some content in each section, by Friday. This also means I will have completed research for my secondary sources by Friday. I hope to have a completed first draft by next week Friday. 

MODEL ESSAY: https://ny.curbed.com/2020/2/25/21146143/homelessness-new-york-city-how-to-fix 

I feel like this essay is appropriate as a model for my own essay. This is because there is a relevant picture shown which I want to include. Also, the organization of each sector in this essay makes sense and I can envision what titles I will give my own portions. The title of this essay is a question, which I want to replicate for my own essay. This model essay is over 1500 words, is related to my topic, and includes secondary sources. Thus, conforming with the requirements for our model essay.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Hu, Winnie. “’Hostile Architecture’: How Public Spaces Keep the Public Out.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/11/08/nyregion/hostile-architecture-nyc.html. 

“Homelessness & Poverty in New York City.” The Bowery Mission. Rebuilding Lives Since 1879., Oct. 2020, www.bowery.org/homelessness/. 

Hennelly, Bob. “How New York’s Programs and Policies Are Keeping the Homeless on the Street.” CSNY, 8 Mar. 2020, www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/housing/how-new-yorks-programs-and-policies-are-keeping-homeless-street.html. 

Ricciulli, Valeria. “Housing, Rental Vouchers, Outreach: Can NYC Fix Its Homeless Crisis?” Curbed NY, Curbed NY, 25 Feb. 2020, ny.curbed.com/2020/2/25/21146143/homelessness-new-york-city-how-to-fix. 

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah’s Essay 2 Topic Reflection

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Like our first essay, my topic for this essay will be related to homelessness. I felt inspired by the sources I read when composing my first essay and wanted to do even more research. I especially want to find sources that include the voices of homeless people, with words directly from them. I follow some youtube accounts that interview homeless people. I also follow homeless people on TikTok who spread awareness about the conditions they live in and their experiences being homeless in general. I know of a couple Instagram accounts that document work done to aid the homeless. Specifically, I want to know how I can further make a difference so I can do my part as well as inform others on how they can do their part. I think it is our duty as humans to be there for one another and improve the quality of life for people who are struggling. I also wanted to familiarize myself with facts about homelessness. My first idea for a research question was: How can one help solve the issue of homelessness? However, I feel my first idea cannot be easily debated against. It could also be too broad. This led me to think of the research question: What NYC laws further criminalize or improve the lives of the homeless population? This question may be too specific, however it can be disapproved and requires research to be done. I also thought of the question: How does being homeless affect students in NYC public schools? I feel like I can look at how the NYC public school makes it easier for the lives of homeless youth and also how it can make it harder. I am not sure how many sources are out there for this topic though. As of right now, I am leaning towards the questions of how can one help solve the issue of homelessness and how does homelessness affect the lives of students. I hope to get some help in figuring out which is better to use.

EDIT: While reading through other student’s topic reflections, I started to find interest in the topic of  the prison system. How does the prison system work? Does the prison system help or harm our society? Who does the prison system help or harm? Should prisons be more rehabilitating rather than punitive? I will probably stick with the topics I thought of above, however I hope I will get the chance to research this topic in a future essay for this class.

AYESHA ABDUL-FATTAAH’S Essay #1 Reflection

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I believe that writing is an important form of expression. It is almost everlasting, as we are able to read people’s writings from the beginning of time and apply it to whatever we want in our time. I believe that writing is a necessary tool and can help one manage emotions. When writing in my journal, I use my pen to place any inner turmoil onto the paper, it heals me. Writing can communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. in a specific way, unlike any other form of communication. This class is further teaching me how to use writing to communicate ideas and thoughts with others. This class is also teaching me how to analyze what I am reading and apply it to other texts as well as in real life. What I am learning in this class does not necessarily aid me in using writing as a way to deal with my emotions. However, I am able to write about what I feel passionate about, as I am allowed to choose my topics. 

I tried to make a timed plan for this essay, finishing one source a day from the time of 7:30 to 9:30. I used to do this in my freshman and sophomore year of high school when I went to a community school. This approach failed, I ended up submitting my final essay days after the extended due date. One reason why this approach failed is because I allotted time during the night to work on this assignment, rather than during the day. My anxiety increases during the nighttime, making it hard to do stressful things. Sometimes I would end up falling asleep while trying to do it. Another reason this strategy failed is because I prioritized work from my other classes as well as responsibilities I have throughout the week. Only giving myself 2 hours a day to work on this essay was not realistic, and I was in a bad space mentally. To cope with my anxiety, I avoid the very thing that is contributing to my anxiety. For our next essay, I will make more time during the day to work on the assignment. I want to schedule time each day so I am not struggling to finish the entire thing within one day. I also will do breathing exercises to cope with my anxiety, continue going to therapy, and I plan on doing yoga again in the mornings and at night. 

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah: Source list for Homelessness essay

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WEBSITE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H32z45o0WxA&ab_channel=TheDailyShowwithTrevorNoah This Youtube video is an interview of author Anand Giridharadas on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In this video, Giridharadas describes the issue of very wealthy people, who claim to be philanthropists, contributing to the financial inequality of our world, making it so that positive change for those who do not have a lot of money, including the homeless, cannot happen. We learn that the 1 percent takes 49 percent of new income and the top .1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 80 percent of this country. We learn that very rich people keep their money by under-paying people, avoiding taxation, insecurely employing people etc., and then publicly present their little bit of philanthropy work as if that offsets the measures they take to keep their money. Capital equals power, so the more capital you have, the more power you have. 

MAGAZINE ARTICLE: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/9ky735/kanye-sold-a-jacket-inspired-by-a-homeless-teen-for-400-and-people-are-not-happy This magazine article, “kanye sold a jacket inspired by a homeless teen for $400 and people are not happy” by Tyler Watamanuk, exhibits the exploitation of a jacket worn by dead homeless teen Tweaky Dave by one of the most famous capitalists in the world, Kanye West. We learn that Kanye West got an idea for a jacket he sold for 400 dollars at a pop-up shop from a replica of a jacket that Tweaky Dave wore when he was alive. We learn of the lost opportunity for homelessness awareness that occurred when Kanye West appropriated Tweaky Dave’s jacket and the upset it caused for those who knew its origins. This article exhibits a very clear example of how capitalism feeds off of homelessness.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-13/what-causes-homelessness-start-with-capitalism This newspaper article, “How the Streets Got So Mean” by Mimi Kirk, identifies the history of homelessness and examines the link between capitalism and homelessness through the lens of professor and author Don Mitchell. This article identifies different legislative changes that target homeless people rather than helping homeless people in the name of capitalism. What homeless people are able to do in public spaces is regulated in order to enable public spaces to produce capital. We also learn about how these legislative changes have an effect on the rest of the general public in a negative way. Capitalism does not take care of the most vulnerable groups in our society, it exploits and targets them. 

SCHOLARLY SOURCE: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10911359.2012.707941 This scholarly article, “Social Stigma and Homelessness: The Limits of Social Change” by John R. Belcher and Bruce R. DeForge, sheds light on the link between homelessness and capitalism. We learn of the stigma that homelessness is caused by the individual, rather than the social and economic systems that exist, and evaluate these opposing arguments. Apparently, capitalism needs and values laborers and consumers, and homeless people often are not actively working or consuming as much, thus they are not valued in the eyes of capitalism. We are provided with different ways people approach the issue of homelessness, some are apathetic and some are sympathetic. We are also given different methods of solving this issue. Overall, the role of stigmatization is emphasized in this article as a means of keeping homelessness alive.

Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah’s Topic Reflection: Homelessness

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One social issue that interests me is homelessness. This issue interests me because I have seen homeless people all around the world, from California to China, Philadelphia to the Philippines, New Jersey to Nicaragua, and so on. I feel like we, as a society, have grown so comfortable with this issue, it has become an acceptable injustice. Growing up in New York City, I have been exposed to homeless people for as long as I can remember. My attitude towards homeless people has changed throughout the course of my life. When I was younger, I was more influenced by those who raised me, like my mother, grandma, and father. My grandma told me to not give money to homeless people who beg because they will just spend it on drugs. My mom never said this, but I also never really saw her give money to those who begged. My father was the only adult I saw who would interact with and help homeless people. I later became aware that my father, and even my mother, was homeless at some points in his life, and have realized that some friends of mine have been homeless before too. The issue of homelessness had felt so far away when I was a kid, as if only a stranger, someone with no connection to me, could be homeless. As I started middle school and began to travel by myself, I was always inclined to give to those who beg. Even if I myself needed the money or the food or the water or the sanitary napkins, I still was aware that their need was more dire. Today, I am still like this. By writing and researching about this topic, I hope to learn about the reasons people become homeless, the demographics of those who are homeless here in the United States, how does the government play a role in keeping homelessness alive and well and vice versa, what can be done to help homeless people in my communities, the history of homelessness in America, how racism, capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy have an effect on homelessness, and other attitudes people have towards this issue that I may not know about.

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