In this work I seek to show how the lack of nuance in data representation and media practices of the American educational system impedes the design of effective educational interventions for low-income Black youth. First, I argue that data on educational attainment misrepresents race and class thereby masking the educational reality of low-income Black youth. “Data realities” and “Black Hole Data” emerge as hidden phenomena. Next, I analyze a successful transmedia civic initiative, the Ice Bucket Challenge, to illustrate how new media structures and technologies are being used to create new opportunities for social impact. I will then communicate the design process called HIIPE, as well as the work titled Black (w)Hole SC-i52 (Street Cred’ iteration 52) that I produced using this process. The goal of this body of work and design approach is to create a new communication system using virtual reality that more clearly articulates the impacts of race and class on educational attainment for low-income Black youth.
About Sultan Sharrief
Sultan Sharrief is currently a PhD candidate in the Media Arts and Practice program at USC. He is a transmedia activist, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur. His interest lies at the intersection of art, business, and community impact.
His directorial debut feature film, Bilal's Stand, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and he has produced four other feature films. He is also the creator and showrunner for the Black Public Media program Street Cred'.
After he received a Masters Degree from MIT in Comparative Media Studies he founded the Quasar Lab, which focuses on data equity. He is currently developing a Virtual Reality Data Visualization Musical as part of his PhD dissertation.
Thesis: Wrestling With Systemic Edges: Designing For Long-Term Social Change