Category Archives: Gen Z

Geek Culture

“I”m part of a higher ed professional network, called geekEd. For the past 7 or so years, our group has participated as panel presenters for San Diego Comic-Con International.  Our group has several folks who are subject matter experts (and self-identified geeks/nerds who fully embrace geek culture i.e. gaming, comic books, movies/films/TV, cosplay, etc.).

In past years we have presented on geek culture (and the tropes/metaphors) and how it speaks to students in dealing with bullying, feeling ostracized, identity development, and resilience. This year we will be presenting at San Diego Comic-Con again for four different panels (nerd identity as a part of intersecting identities, mental health, games/gaming, and geek culture in secondary education).  If any of you are in San Diego on Sunday, July 23 from 11am to 3pm, this event is free and registration is open right now! (In other words, you do NOT need an ever-elusive Comic-Con badge to attend our sessions.)  Any of us would be happy to speak with you about promoting such kinds of events for students (i.e. Geek Weeks, etc.).

There is a lot of work being done on geek culture not only as part of our American mythology and culture, but as allegory to social issues (even dissertations are being written on the topic). It’s a great way to connect with students from a contemporary culture perspective but it also relates to the emotions of feeling like “the other”.


Yes, students love it, but I’ve also found that faculty and staff love it, too! At UC Berkeley, we have a formal organization called Berkeley HEROES (Higher Ed Reading Org for Employees & Sidekicks) where we not only read a graphic novel each month (this past month we watched the movie Wonder Woman and read a recent WW graphic novel), but we also provide community service events to our campus’ student family housing.  Our group has been around for three years now and is 70+ members strong!

If any of you are interested in more information, please send me a personal message and I can get you connected with other folks across the country who are doing this work.



Rodolfo “Rod” T. Santos
Residence Affairs Supervisor – Office of the Registrar
Campus Film Location Manager
Berkeley HEROES Co-Founder
University of California, Berkeley

Children’s Trust suit against climate change


The lawsuit, filed by Our Children’s Trust in 2015, relies on a novel legal strategy that has yielded victories for climate activists seeking sweeping policy change in other countries. The federal government, under both the Obama and Trump administrations, and the fossil fuel industry have repeatedly sought to have the case dismissed. But federal judges have so far upheld the plaintiffs’ right to a hearing, which means the case could come to trial as early as November.

Ageism in Youth Studies: Generation Maligned on sale

Ageism in Youth Studies: Generation Maligned

Ageism is prevalent in a great deal of current scholarship in the social sciences as scholars fault youth for being delinquent or politically apathetic. Researchers ignore young people’s actual voices, despite their leadership in recent global uprisings, some of which unseated entrenched dictators. Neoliberalism must be exposed in its focus on youth sub-cultures and styles rather than economic barriers caused by growing inequality and rising youth unemployment rates. Ageism in Youth Studies also discusses the debate about “Generation We or Me” and if Millennials are narcissistic. Resources about global youth studies are included, along with the results of the author’s surveys and interviews with over 4,000 young people from 88 countries.


Date of Publication:01/05/2017
Pages / Size:235 / A5
Old Price:£61.99

Chinese and Japanese Gender-Bending Bands

Japanese entertainers and fashionistas experiment with gender-bending in their clothes and makeup, including androgynous boy bands.[i] Acrush is a similar group of five young women who dress like boys, intended to replace the South Korean bands that were unofficially banned by Beijing in 2016. A promoter explained, “there are so many androgynous-looking girls these days, we thought they would be more relatable.” [ii]One of the singers said, “My family has always thought that girls should look and act like girls. But for my generation, we think: My life is my own life.”

[i] Jennifer Robertson, “Japan’s Gender-Bending History,” The Conversation, February 28, 2017.

[ii] Amy Qin, “The 5 ‘Handsome Girls’ Trying to be China’s Biggest Boy Band,” New York Times, May 20, 2017.


Ugandan Girls Need Textbooks says 15-Year-old

Teen to Headmaster: Girls Need Their Own Textbooks

By: Moureen Kisakye7 hours ago

From our partner Women In Leadership Uganda

When I was 11 years old, my school days were hard like rocks because even if it rained cats and dogs I had to leave very early for school to be there for 7 a.m. Hunger and canes were my daily friends. We were hit with sticks for many different reasons: for being late, for not wearing the right socks, for dirty uniforms, for not finishing work. When we came late, we were told by our beloved teachers that “latecomers eat bones.” We were also hit for not putting on the proper school uniform at the school campus. Our teachers used to tell us that “You are caned because we want you to improve your academic performance.”

I also had to run barefoot the 20 kilometers (more the 12 miles) to and from school since my parents are poor like church mice and couldn’t afford shoes. This isn’t unusual in Uganda.

The transition into high school  wasn’t easy. I was a boarding student and made sure to sit in front so I could understand what the teacher was teaching, especially during mathematics and physics lessons.

At this level the studies were more complicated but the shortage of textbooks made the situation extreme. Especially for the girls in the class. One day, a mathematics teacher sent students for textbooks. He ordered the student to bring 50 books even though the class had 78 students. Boys were given one book each and girls were given one book on each desk. This meant that we girls had to share one book between four people while the boys read individually. After reading, the boys disturb the girls by taking our books from us. This practice is causing some of the female students to lose interest in their studies.

I don’t want to drop out of school. I want to become a doctor. At school I spend a lot of time on my science classes, including biology, chemistry and physics. But how am I supposed to study and learn and beat the boys in my class if I only get one quarter of a textbook to learn from?

This essay serves as my plea to the directors, headmaster and staff: Please buy more books and distribute them evenly among the students. I can’t help our people who suffer from malaria and diabetes unless you help me learn.

This story is part of Teen Voices at Women’s eNews. In 2013 Women’s eNews retained the 25-year-old magazine Teen Voices to continue and further its mission to improve the world for female teens through media. Teen Voices at Women’s eNews provides online stories and commentary about issues directly affecting female teens around the world, serving as an outlet for young women to share their experiences and views. Learn More.


Moureen Kisakye, 15, is a student at Townside High School in Busembatia, Uganda.

Being a Minority University Student

2% of youth in the US are people of color, about twice as many as in the Baby Boomer generation. If you’re a student of color, the website in the endnote provides resources including organizations, scholarships, and rights. Amasha describes how she copes being one of the 2% of African American students in a California university in a YouTube video of a radio interview from my “Ask Dr. Gayle” radio show (along with a Chicano convict) about surviving in a hostile environment.
Like Alexis, Amasha finds support in a campus organization for students of color.
Alexis is the co-chair of her campus National Organization of Negro Women chapter at a PWI—predominantly white institution/college in Washington, D.C. She recommends that students of color find the multicultural center on campus and spend time there to relax with people who look like you and talk like you. You can take your armor off in this kind of environment and don’t have to explain yourself. It’s tiring to be the token person of color in class, the student that people ask to explain current events like Black Lives Matter. Since the Trump election as president, she faced increased racism, like being called the “N” word by another student on campus. More subtle microagressions are comments from friends like, “You don’t sound black,” or “Why didn’t you go to Howard University?” (a traditionally African American college). She relies on the support of her mother’s family who believes in her and is proud to be black. Michele Obama provided another approach when she commented about diversity awareness, “Real change comes from having enough comfort to be really honest and say something very uncomfortable.”