Senior Project Proposal

For my senior project, I propose to create a 16 to 24 page magazine with the theme of southern California Native American culture, “SoCal Native” (working title). As a senior journalism major and photography minor, I am making the ambitious decision to write, photograph as well as design the entire publication.  This magazine will be packaged as a PDF and delivered via electronic publishing platform Issuu. I also would like to raise funds to print five copies of the magazine–one as my keepsake, one as a portfolio for grad school or future jobs, one to submit to the Dean’s Award, one to submit to the University’s archive and another to submit to the photography archives in Miller Hall.

My experience with journalism and photography includes two semesters of Campus Times staff including a position as Arts editor, two semesters of photography staff, currently serving as Campus Times Photography Editor, and three semesters of La Verne Magazine Staff with my final and current semester serving as Editor in Chief.

SoCal Native will include feature stories, photo spreads, question-answer interviews, and narratives. The story budget for this magazine will include an interview with Michelle Enfield, a transgender Navajo woman who identifies as the sacred rank of two spirit, a look into the history of the Kizh tribe in Pomona’s Ganesha Park and their fight for federal recognition, a story on the animosity between the Kizh and Tongva, and a discussion with Cahuilla elders about the establishment and addition to their casino. After covering Ganesha Park’s Indigenous Peoples Day celebration for the newspaper, I learned about an event called the Peace and Dignity Walk that I would also like to feature. Additionally, I want to do a data story with infographics on the Red Circle Project, a non-profit organization that provides HIV prevention services to Native people. If space permits, I will include recipes for traditional dishes such as Fry Bread and “Navajo Tacos.”

Photo spreads will include a tour of the Homestead Museum (a mansion built by enslaved Kizh which is now a museum that houses many of their artifacts), Adobe de Palomares, and Joshua Tree. In regards to Joshua Tree, I hope to submit a request of pedagogical purpose to be permitted to photograph petroglyphs within the park that have a hidden location (to preserve them) as well as the petroglyph known as the Red Lady of Joshua Tree, likely painted by the Chemehuevi or Serrano. I will also attend Pow Wows and use photos taken at the San Manuel Pow Wow at California State San Bernardino this October to highlight the lively, modern Native culture. To tie the magazine back to the University, I will visit ULV’s Cultural Collections held at Jaeger House to research Tongva and Kizh artifacts.

To keep up with this ambitious project, I solidified my concept in October and have put together a story budget in early November. Photos of the Cal State San Bernardino Pow Wow and Indigenous Peoples Day have already been taken. I have previously made contact with the Kizh tribe and I am a member of the Cahuilla. I also attended Michelle Enfield’s event on campus where afterwards she agreed to be interviewed and photographed for my project. I am working to have a pagination ready by mid-November. I plan to visit Cahuilla and Joshua Tree in December and January. In January and February I plan to do the bulk of my interviews and writing. I will attend Pow Wows held in Pasadena, Pomona, Claremont, Redlands and Malibu for additional photos between March and April. Also at this time will layout begin.

I am aware that this project idea requires dedication as well as planning and time. I have been set on creating a magazine for my senior project since my junior year when I created my own magazine using my writing and photography for my Graphic Design and Production class. For this magazine, entitled “Creation,” I made a 40 page magazine also published via Issuu. This magazine was an arts magazine focusing on students and local artists, comparisons on craft stores and step-by-step guides to creating crafts. The magazine also included mock ads of my own design. For SoCal Native, I have decided to go with a smaller page count as I will be going outside the University for the majority of my stories and photos as well as not including ads.

I believe this is a fitting project for me as it culminates all the skills I have learned in my time at the University as well as the various positions I have served for the publications. It incorporates my journalism major and photography minor, but also showcases a skill more self-taught–graphic design. Although the Graphic Design and Production class was helpful in design theory, software such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator were not taught by the professor, but researched on my own. Therefore, I believe this project will be a fantastic showcase of my arsenal of tools learned here.

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