It has been a pleasure to again help share the poetry and art of our Ivy Tech peers. While participation this year was down, the work of those who were able to share compelled us to publish another edition. Please consider taking some time to visit the Ink Cloud archive. There you will find this year’s iteration added to our growing collection.
You’ve started your semester, what’s on your bookshelf? New textbooks, old textbooks, reference books, nothing – “because it’s all online now”?
Library Shelfie Day is Wednesday January 27th this year. Show us what you’ve got (or not) by taking a picture of you and/or your bookshelves, and posting it on social media with the tags #Shelfie and #ivytechfortwayne
Or, post a link to your Shelfie in the comments.
Here’s one of your Fort Wayne librarians with their home reference shelf – what is that Knitting Encyclopedia doing in there?!
And here is librarian Liz Metz with a prized book from her shelves: an autographed copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Vol. 1
This is a multiple-anniversary year for suffrage in our nation! Indiana residents must register to vote by October 5th. See our state voting requirements here.
In the last century, only 50-60 percent of eligible citizens voted in United States presidential elections. It was around 80 percent in the previous century.
According to the Constitution of the United States, voting is a right and a privilege. It is not mandatory. Our Constitutional Congress followed English Common Law, which restricted voting by class well into the 19th century: the UK National Archives states that in 1780 less than 3 percent of the population could vote.
U.S. citizens have never voted directly for President: we vote for a slate of Electors. The Supreme Court affirmed during its last session in Chiafalo v. Washington that these Electors may not change, but must vote for the candidate they pledged to. Read the decision here.
In the early days of our republic, Election Day was a holiday in many states and remains so in some, including Indiana. That it is not a federal holiday today is a cause of concern, as people’s work schedules often prevent their voting. Our subscription database Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers current controversies over elections in the United States.
Originally, citizens in different states voted at different times for their presidential Electors, from the beginning of November up to the meeting of the Electoral College in December. In 1845 Congress passed the Presidential Election Day Act, setting the date for “the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.” Elections for the House of Representatives were then moved to this same day.
In 2020 we celebrate several anniversaries for voting rights. African-American men were enfranchised in 1870 by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Women were granted suffrage in by the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified by the states in 1920.
The 1924 Snyder Act granted citizenship to Native Americans born in the U.S., and thus conferred on them the right to vote. However many states still denied Native people enfranchisement. The state of Maine was the last to comply, prompted by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act prohibited the use of poll taxes and tests that were infamously used to disenfranchise African Americans.
2020 is also the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, when students protesting the Vietnam War were killed and wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen. Read a historical summary of the event from Kent State faculty here. At that time, men could be drafted into military service at age 18 – three years before the legal voting age of 21. A majority of people came to feel this was unfair: “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” was the slogan. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, quickly proposed and passed during the spring of 1971, lowered the voting age to 18.
This federal government webpage provides general information about who can vote in federal elections. Some citizens are excluded.
Current voting rights campaigns are focusing on felons, whose voting rights depend on their state government. Only Maine and Vermont allow imprisoned persons to vote. Most other states restore voting rights after sentence has been served, but the person must re-register. And some states deny felons the right to vote indefinitely. To find out more about the voting rights of convicted felons, visit this webpage from the bipartisan National Council of State Legislatures.
During the last year, arguments have raged about voting by mail. The current bill in the House of Representatives, the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, was first introduced over ten years ago. You can track legislation using the website Congress.gov: simply choose Legislation at the left of the search box and type in your search terms.
Absentee ballots are also handled by mail. They can be requested in all states; some states require that an excuse be given in writing. In Indiana, absentee ballot applications must be received by your county board of elections by October 22nd this year. Here is absentee ballot information for Indiana voters.
The Library of Congress has primary source document sets with teaching materials for all the presidential elections. This webpage contains many useful links to their other resources on elections. These include a slideshow of past presidential campaign posters (requires Flash player). And the National Archives maintains links to all the Presidential Libraries.
Sources used in this article:
The American Presidency Project. University of California at Santa Barbara. (n.d.). Voter turnout in presidential elections. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/voter-turnout-in-presidential-elections
National Archives (Great Britain). (n.d.). Getting the vote. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/struggle_democracy/getting_vote.htm
June is LGBTQIA Pride month. This commemorates, in part, the June 28th, 1969 resistance by gay and trans people to a police raid on a popular bar, Stonewall, in New York City.
One year after the Stonewall resistance, a parade was held in New York City to commemorate it. Called the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, after the district where many gay bars were located, it is considered the first Pride Parade. The Library of Congress has recently released online the documentary video of this parade made by Lilli Vincenz.
This year, fifty years after that parade, we are celebrating affirmation by the Supreme Court in “Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia …” that gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, and queer people may not be denied employment on the basis of sex. This is an interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. One case that created precedent for this determination was brought against Ivy Tech Community College. Read about it at FindLaw: Hively v Ivy Tech And read Ivy Tech’s current statement on diversity, equity, and belonging here.
The Library of Congress has gathered resources on a Pride Month research guide. This includes links to their collections relating to famous and significant LGBTQIA people: Walt Whitman, Aaron Copland, Margaret Mead … and so many more. It is a reminder of the important contributions that LGBTQIA people make to our society.
Your Ivy Tech library has many LGBTQIA resources. Begin by searching the broad term sexual minority in Discover or IvyCat and limit the search results by format, date, additional key words. For help with more targeted searches, contact your librarian.
Explore Resources on Faith and Sexuality, compiled by Dawn M. Burns of the Ivy Tech Warsaw Academic and Learning Resource Center
Explore the Digital Transgender Archives online: https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/
While we pause to express pride, we know there is more work to do.
Talking, and listening to others talk, about race is difficult. But we must keep those conversations going as we work together to overcome racism, because we will only find answers to our social issues by learning from each other.
We find this resource from the National Museum of African American History and Culture helpful. It is concise, with options to go more in depth. It is for educators, parents, anyone who may need to lead a conversation about race, and individuals wondering where to start.
Click HERE to download!
It is my pleasure to present to you Ink Cloud 2020. It has been a gift during quarantine to put this edition together for those who were able to participate.
Please take a few moments to enjoy the transformative effects of art created by Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff. We do not typically receive much traffic on this blog, but if you do stop by and one of these poets or artists reaches you, please let them know in the comments!
Let’s give everyone a reason to keep creating and sharing.
“The poet is the priest of the invisible.” — Wallace Stevens
In 1996, the Academy of American Poets designated April as National Poetry Month “to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.” Twenty-four years later, during this uncertain shelter-in-place April, we turn once more to poetry.
Poet Mary Catherine Harper, who gave a reading on the Warsaw campus in March, shares that during this time especially, “Poetry reading is a vital part of my daily routine. Poetry sustains me.” Adjunct English professor Shari Benyousky, who thinks of poems as conversations, says that writing poetry, “is really helpful therapy these days of being cut off from so many people.”
This year both the Warsaw and Fort Wayne campuses are actively celebrating National Poetry Month. Ivy Tech Warsaw is posting a poem a day to its Facebook page drawing from a range of poets, styles, and themes, including Lynn Ungar’s timely poem “Pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to write and contribute poems to Ink Cloud, the annual poetry publication which showcases campus poetic and artistic talents. With an extended deadline of April 19th, time remains to submit!
Interested in exploring poetry and making it a sustaining part of your life? Here are some resources to start with.
This April and every month, be well and read more poetry!
While we all adjust to the uninvited consequences of the pandemic, please consider investing time in your creativity. Few explorations are more transformative and empowering than cultivating your art.
Submissions for the 2020 Ink Cloud publication will remain open until April 19th. Please share your original poetry with us. Original artwork for the magazine’s cover remains just as welcome.
Contingent on student and staff interest and time, the Ink Cloud Open Mic is still possible, but the venue would be moved online. Expect those specifics mid-April. In the meantime, stay safe and create.
That relies on what you want to say!
What started as a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month in April of 2015 has become an annual Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library publication. Ink Cloud showcases the poetic and artistic talents of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students and staff.
This year we embrace the non-competitive nature of the art of poetry by dedicating the event entirely to its contributors. A poem’s merit can speak for itself. But unlike its merit, poetry expects only one thing from you: You will share it.
Anyone who has shared their work knows that the spirit of poetry waits within its release. So share with us! If you choose to share with us, you can expect to be included in 2020’s publication of Ink Cloud. Then join us and your fellow Ivy Tech poets at the Ink Cloud Poetry Reading to listen and be heard!
Find the details here: https://library.ivytech.edu/inkcloud!
In addition to poetry, participants may submit original artwork to be considered for the Ink Cloud cover. We are also looking for talented graphic designers to reimagine the Ink Cloud logo.