Analyzing “Mapping Prejudice”

I chose “Mapping Prejudice” from the University of Minnesota for this blog post. This project is a coalition of historians, geographers, digital humanists, and activists who are looking to “expose structural racism.” There is obviously a message being sent by the creators of this project. The creators not only intend this tool to be used for “fact-based policymaking,” but also want to uncover a willfully forgotten history of racism and Jim Crow law in the twin cities of Minnesota. The target audience of this project is two-pronged; primarily the public will be given this tool to use for education as well as activism, additionally, whether through the activism mentioned previously or through direct action, this tool can be given to policymakers directly. Besides the intended use and audience for the project, the black box is slightly unique. Among all other aspects (presentation being the most average, no search capabilities, virtually no interactive elements on the maps) the sources are most interesting. This is because everyday citizens and activists can get involved in the data collection for the project and are able to “build the map” themselves! This serves a double purpose, both making data collection and continuation of the project easier as it ages, but it also spreads the word of the project to communities and can help bring communities together! Overall, the project seems to have gained major traction and is making a positive impact in the community, but could use some better interactivity on its website, as that is most likely where it derives the majority of its interaction from.


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