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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

For her final co-op, Charlotte Blair ’16 traveled to Mexico City for two quarters and researched topics around secrecy, (mis)trust, and rumor within the city. Working as an Independent Researcher, there were three key questions looming in her mind: 1) In what ways does information circulate through a community, 2) How do so-called rumors result in concrete actions, and 3) How do the subsequent actions produce or dismantle feelings of (in)security. She settled in a working class neighbored rumored to be plagued by grupos de choque, or, in this context, “local gangs that are paid by big businesses or the State to create chaos within the neighborhood.” As she delved into the daily life of those around her and became a part of the community, Charlotte discovered how the informal neighborhood association took measures amidst conflict. Many of her days were spent frequenting community assemblies and meetings, volunteering at neighborhood cultural and political events, attending international forums and conferences on subjects such as urban autonomy,and interviewing people about their thoughts and understandings of urban (in)security. She also traveled frequently with her neighborhood association to other parts of Mexico, such as the Normal School in Ayotzinapa, in order to support and learn from other groups who are taking actions against things such as precarious State laws, political impunity, and forced disappearances. While at Ayotzinapa, Charlotte learned a great deal about investigative journalism and was further able to analyze the dynamics around rumor and (mis)trust in relation to the journalists allowed/not allowed to enter school grounds. Charlotte continues to decipher her experiences as she puts together findings and draws conclusions. Great work, Charlotte!

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Tanya Couch serves as the Career Communications Coordinator within the Cooperative Education Program. In this role, Tanya prepares students for post-graduate success, by assisting in career development such as resume building, interviewing skills, online profile development, and providing general advice and guidance how to pursue a full-time work or graduate studies opportunity.

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