The Power of Art

April 10, 2013


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by Lori Lawson

If you’ve been doing much walking around campus lately (which you should, because the weather is finally fantastic), you may have seen this slightly unsettling display of a schoolbus. For those of us who have done a little bit of investigating, chances are you aslo have seen the various articles floating around the internet explaining that this is a traveling piece of art by artist Victor Mitic of Toronto, Canada, showing up in the D.C. area as a commentary on recent gun violence. This piece is part of a larger art instillation called the “Newton Project: Art Targets Guns.” Although the artists insists that this project is not aimed at teling you what to think about the issue, it is clear that seeing something as shocking as a bullet-ridden school bus is going to make you reevaluate things.

As a Constitution-loving Government and International Politics major, I have to say I support Second Amendment rights. Regardless, stepping into this mobile art installation just reminded me how important it is to push mental health reform and closing loopholes on background checks. These views, however, aren’t what I wish to discuss here. I want to bring up the point that performance art and pieces of art can have a huge effect on people’s opinions and awareness.

Read the rest of this entry »


April 9, 2013

I’m going to go off of my usual topic here and write about street fashion. I really do love a good fashion/personal style blog (my favorites are here and here) and something I’ve noticed rapidly growing in the fashion blogging world is street fashion. Street fashion is basically just what it sounds like: what people are wearing on the streets in everyday life, usually in big cities. This can be anything from fairly average styles to styles that look like they came right off the runway.

Street fashion has been getting so much attention that it’s almost become a game. Photographers and bloggers follow people around like celebrities, and the people being photographed are becoming increasingly adventurous in their styles to gain more attention. Here’s a really short documentary on this cultural phenomenon.

Sometimes the attention can get to the trend-setter’s head. There’s a sense of power in the attention and it feels good; but in order to be a good leader, one must know when power is starting to control their actions. This lesson can be applied to other contexts such as the workplace, a school organization, etc. In order to exhibit effective leadership, it’s important to stay humble and not be overly effected by what others think and do.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Feminism: Dare I Say It…

April 8, 2013

I am doing my History 390 project on the ‘Woman’s Suffrage Movement’ and came across such an interesting and liberating moment in the movement. Jeannette  Rankin was the first female elected official as a Representative in the United State Congress. Rankin was known for her anti-war disposition when it came to voting on sending our troops into the World War I and World War II. Rankin’s most famous for being the voice for females, “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” Representative Rankin also voted on giving woman the right to vote. She said, “If I am remembered for no other act, I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”


Moving forward requires knowing where we came from. Every era in time has presented in society a hot reform for women to push: the right to vote, the right to be able to be allowed to work, and now 200+ years forward… We still need to overcome obstacles in our communities and state societies. Throw a stone at the glass ceiling, because one day.. It is going to break, ladies!

People of Color: An LGBTQ experience.

April 8, 2013

I’ve never always identified myself as a leader in regards of my identity, every time I think about leadership–it has been attempting to help out an organization that supported others and in return learning from my experience and making wonderful friends.

But my color, my sexuality, and my background make up an important aspect of who I am and how I go about life–and slowly but surely I’ve learned to make many of my opportunities as being a leader related to working with my identities and helping foster a safe and inclusive environment.

There is a certain beauty when people use their identities in order to create a safe environment in which others feel empowered to be involved in the leadership process. Though not everyone may be explicitly a member of the LGBTQ, creating an environment in which people in all parts of the queer spectrum are allowed to grow and foster their leadership identities.

Management & Leadership Going Hand and Hand

April 3, 2013

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

-Peter Drucker


My thoughts about management and leadership are that they go hand in hand; being organized and able to manage things well is a quality that I feel is essential to being a well rounded leader. Without good management skills things get lost and unfinished and all around it is a bad scenario. What person would look up to a leader that doesn’t have they’re stuff together? I know I sure wouldn’t! Those that are organized and able to manage properly are usually more efficient and can handle a lot of things on the plate at any given time. As Drucker said in the above quote “management is doing things right” as in how society would like to see things being done. Possessing organizational skills like being timely, effective, and efficient when working is, in my eyes, some of the best qualities to have under your belt because they can be used in so many different aspects of life to make you a better individual and to bring light to a group. However “leadership is doing the right things” like giving that helping hand when you see someone that is struggling or recycling that water bottle that is just sitting on the side of the road. Both being a good manager and leader are great qualities but I see them being even more pronounced when they are put together. So moral of the story is being a great leader goes hand and hand with being a great manager of either your time, your followers, your studies, or whatever you have that needs to be managed!





Leadership at the Virginia State Capitol

April 1, 2013

George Mason University is taking the non-profit higher education lobbying firm based in Richmond, Virginia21, and bringing its presence on-campus. A group of highly motivated, determined, and passionate political/higher ed junkies from Student Government were elected to sit on the Student Leadership Committee at Virginia21. This group of students will represent GMU at the Virginia State Capitol each month to discuss the reformation of higher education and hot topics such as: increasing financial aid, state support for GMU, student campaign ideas, and area delegate or state gubernatorial legislators/races and their influence on student academic economic policies. If you are interested in joining GMU’s Chapter of Virginia21, please contact for a great leadership opportunity!

Leadership Family

March 13, 2013

So on this lovely spring break I have been watching a bunch of old Disney movies with my sister. We watched Lilo and Stitch the other night and I couldn’t help but think of my family back at Mason.  Family  is really important to me, just as it is Lilo in the movie and I feel as if I have two families now; My Mason Leadership Family and My home family! I am so glad to have meet such a great group of individuals that can always work together with each other as inspiring leaders. Even though I won’t be returning to the LLC next year I know I will still be involved in leadership things around campus and I hope to see you guys too. I know  this group strives to make sure no one is left behind or forgotten and that always puts a smile on my face 🙂 So stay awesome Piedmont Second!

Friendship Week

March 5, 2013

So I think this would be awesome to do at Mason! I’ve been thinking about Mason traditions…and if I could make one Mason tradition, it would be a Friendship Week and I would incorporate ideas like this Soul Pancake video 🙂

Here at George Mason, we boast about being a diverse campus. However, as many of my peers have argued, our diversity is often segregated, and groups are not always eager to intermingle. Establishing a Mason tradition such as a Friendship Week that would be entirely devoted to stepping out of your comfort zone to meet new people would be a wonderful way to unite the Mason community. Having a week completely devoted to simple and random acts of kindness by hosting events such as a block party for the neighborhoods, intercultural meals, or a ball pit where you can “take a seat and make a friend” on North Plaza, Mason will begin to create a truly diverse campus.

Thankfully, I have witnessed a few Mason students who have gone out of their way to make other people’s days. For example, students stood outside to give free hugs at North Plaza and a group of guys gave every girl in the Johnson Center a red carnation for Valentine’s Day. For me, it meant the world to receive a flower on Valentine’s Day. It made me smile to see people giving out free hugs as well, and I was not even having a bad day to begin with. Imagine the impact these little things can have on someone who is honestly struggling and looking for a friend.

In my time at Mason I have made a conscious effort to seek out friendships with those who are racially, culturally, and religiously different than I. These friendships are what bring me so much joy in my day-to-day interactions, and have ultimately made me love and appreciate Mason’s diversity even more. I strongly believe a valuable Mason tradition such as Friendship Week would inspire people to become bold in seeking out the friendships they have always wanted, but never had the courage to pursue.

Starfish Service

March 5, 2013

“A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” Read the rest of this entry »

A Prism of Possibility

February 20, 2013

This semester I let ambition and aspirations get the best of me and signed up for a level 300 International Theory and Politics course. I entered the class, positive that I was up to the challenge. I was quickly blindsided by terms, words, and phrases beyond my intelligence level and comprehension. I e-mailed my academic advisor in a panic and she reassured me that I was indeed in the wrong class – not exactly the reassurance I had anticipated. Nonetheless, being as strong willed as I am, I devised to stick it out. The following class, I reached a point of somewhat understanding – this was a breakthrough.

This was more of the reassurance I was looking for, so I ran with it. Just this past week we delved into Contsructivist theory and I realized I actually really like this stuff. It all started coming together. But one thing stood out the most, we began discussing the idea of how states act according to their interests in further accordance with social norms etc. Some how I managed to make the connection that maybe, we as individuals, aren’t so different.

My professor described the perspective of state’s in terms of action as being defined through a ‘prism of possibility’ whereas our capacity for change and development both individually and collectively is determined by the actions of other states both past and present and further defines our discourse and action in response to the world around us.

I see myself looking through a prism of possibility every day. As leaders, I believe we’re called to look outside of this prism and truly view the whole picture. I thought back to when we went to the Edge and how we were called to look outside the box of practicality. Through taking the risk of widening our perceptions and aspirations we are further challenged to overcome the prism of possibility by redefining what is possible and achieving what has never been thought of as comprehensible.