(In)Visible Project Confronts Stigma Surrounding Homelessness
By Whitney Frasier
Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) introduced the (In)Visible Project exhibit as part of its ongoing Context Library Series. The multimedia installation is a creation of Roberto (Bear) Guerra that captures an intimate and dignified human portrait of San Diego’s homeless population. The exhibition opened Sept. 12 and runs through Friday, Dec. 16 during library business hours.
There are about 9,000 homeless people in San Diego County who are often ignored on a daily basis. This project confronts the stigma surrounding homelessness, raises awareness about the realities facing San Diego’s homeless population and provides an opportunity for our community to come together to learn, discuss and take action to address the issue. Through timeless photographic portraiture and first-person stories, the (In)Visible Project offers students, faculty, staff and visitors the opportunity to challenge their perceptions of those living on the streets.
“These issues have never been more pressing than they are today,” said Melanie Chu, outreach librarian. “San Diego’s homeless population now ranks fourth highest in the nation. And a recent study from the Chancellor’s Office found that nearly one out of four California State University students are facing food insecurity, and 12 percent are facing housing displacement.”
A free event that is open to the public will explore the local impact of homelessness and food insecurity on students. As part of the Conversations that Matter series on campus, the panel discussion is designed to encourage the campus community to have conversations about difficult topics, and to mobilize students, staff and faculty to take action.
The event is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 in the University Library Gallery. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Educational Equity, and Inclusion. Dinner will be served free of charge.
What: (In)visible, Insecure, and In College: Critical Perspectives on Homelessness and Hunger at CSUSM
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
Where: Kellogg Library at California State University San Marcos, located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road. The exhibit area is on the third floor and is free and open during all library hours.
Directions and parking: CSUSM is located at 333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. For more information or directions to the campus, visit http://www.csusm.edu/guide. Visitors may purchase a daily or timed permit in any general parking lot utilizing the daily permit machines.
Canned-food drive: Aligning with the exhibit and theme, the Library has also partnered with Interfaith Community Services, a local nonprofit that provides programs and services to help people in crisis with stabilizing and rebuilding their lives. For the remainder of the semester, the Library will gather canned food that Interfaith will distribute at its centers in North County. Members of the campus community are encouraged to donate canned goods at the third floor of the Library near the exhibit.