Artist spotlight: Tonita Johnson

Artist Bio:
My name is Tonita Johnson and I am currently a Wildlife Conservation and Management major here at HSU. While I love animals, I am also a huge lover of photography! I attended CHAMPS Charter High, a performing arts school in Los Angeles, and spent my 4 years there learning and strengthening my photography skills. After graduating, I have continued my journey taking portraits of my friends and family as a hobby. 

Speaking with my BIPOC friends here in Arcata, I constantly heard stories about the challenges they experienced surrounding incidents of racism and prejudice. They felt their voices weren’t heard and attempts to ensure their safety were overlooked. Frustrated by the lack of change on and off campus, I decided to create a platform that allowed this community to speak about their experiences and shine a light on their unique backgrounds. 

I wanted this project to bring attention to the beauty of BIPOC Womxn and non-binary communities here in Arcata and the injustices they have experienced. Although this started a summer project, I am grateful that these photos and stories have been able to reach a broader audience than I ever could have imagined.

In my project title I used the term “Womxn”, this is an inclusive term for ANYONE who identifies as a woman. To further explain this term is not limited to society’s basic definition of what makes women.

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