Queens Power Design
Artist, Hostos Professor, and member of the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Committee, Simona Prives and the students enrolled in her “Introduction to Usable Design” class have collaborated with Queens Power (QP) and the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (ACCR) this semester for a pilot service learning project. Hostos students were responsible for researching and designing a “virtual look” for each organization; the work will be used to publicize and promote the organizations and inform readers about their missions and histories.
“I have known Professor Simona Prives for over a decade,” said Calvin Lyte, Paper Plus Rocket Founder + Creative Director. “She was my instructor when I began my education as a graphic designer. When Simona first reached out to us to speak to her class I was eager. After all, I remembered what it was like sitting in the room and hearing someone from the industry share their experience. More importantly, I thought it was important for the students to see a Black creative in an industry with a diversity issue.”
Lyte oversaw the design process for QP and ACCR and was “very impressed with the students. I was not only able to witness their burgeoning skills as graphic designers, but most importantly their ability to think creatively to solve a problem for a real client,” he said.
The experience was an enlivening and creative one for all involved. “This semester alone we have been able to work with nonprofit organizations on rebranding and getting hands on experience with clients,” Hostos Digital Design student Amanda Quintanilla shared. “Most recently, we have been working with ACCR, an organization that works vigorously to get their clients off of death row. Prison reform and the abolition of death row is long overdue. And, though I cannot help the people that need justice directly, I feel like I’m doing my part by even being able to be a part of this design process, so that I can spread the word about ACCR and the work they do.”
ACCR Executive Director Marc Bookman was thrilled to work with the bright and creative young people of Hostos Community College and relished the opportunity to talk about criminal justice reform with a group of students more aware of past injustices than any previous generation.
“The clients loved the work,” Lyte added.
Queens Power (QP) organizes residents of the borough to fight for and win justice for themselves and the communities they live in, and includes faith communities, non-profit organizations, schools, and unions among its members.
The Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (ACCR) deals with such issues as mass incarceration, wrongful convictions, and undeserved death sentences. Its guiding principle is that the abolishment of capital punishment is the first step in dismantling all the other fundamental injustices within the nation’s criminal legal system.