"If we are truly committed to increasing our graduation rate and making the Syracuse school district the most improved district, we need to revise our transportation policy immediately. We can't wait any longer.”

- US History Teacher Joyce Suslovic at a school board meeting



In Syracuse, NY, students who live a mile and a half from school or less do not have access to school buses. They have to walk. The population affected is disproportionately African or African-American, largely made up of refugee students, new to the United States. 


Students are mugged and assaulted, caught in gun-fire, and parents across the city are forced to weigh safety and education. 


When the city failed to respond, an activist group of teachers, students, and parents emerged last year to demand better busing from the school board and the transportation sector. While they successfully reduced the minimum distance for bussing from 2 to 1.5 miles, their fight is not over. Their goal? To reduce that distance to one mile for all students.


By asking students to draw and annotate maps, and juxtaposing these to their portraits, I seek to explore the fears, anxieties, and experiences they undergo while walking to school.


Dynah, 1.6 miles

info
×
Dynah is afraid on her walk, through projects, a basketball court, an underpass, and a busy intersection. From Rwanda by way of Kenya and the DRC, the walk to school often triggers traumatic memory for Dynah.

Dynah, a refugee from Rwanda by way of the DRC and Kenya, fears her daily walk to school. The walks, especially in the dark, trigger traumatic memories.

info
×

Jules, 1.6 miles

info
×
Jules, a junior arrived to Syracuse, NY, from the DRC last year in the middle of winter. Within months of arriving in the United States he was jumped twice on his walk home from school.

Jules, a junior arrived in Syracuse a year and a half ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was mugged twice on his walk to school. 

info
×

Amer, 1.4 miles

info
×
On the days when the father of Amer Albabeh, 6, cannot drive to pick him up (he works night and often sleeps during the day), his sisters or his mother walk him to and from school, through a park that scares them.

On most days the father of Amer Albabeh, 6, cannot drive to pick him up (he works night and often sleeps during the day). So his mother or sister walk with him through the park. 

info
×
Using Format