Joy Malonza Final Project URL

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Project Proposal

For my project, I would like to create a map of the urban areas in Richmond that qualify as food deserted areas. Last year, I did a project on this very issue and indeed Richmond has a large problem in terms of the prevalence of food deserted areas, which are defined as areas in which there is either no or very limited access to fresh foods. Instead, these areas are cluttered with fast food shops and convenience stores. I would like to present this on a map because it is a significant issue that has come to define Richmond in recent years and highlights the prevalence of an acute problem that speaks volumes about the state of poverty in the city, which also means that there will be plenty of data to work with.

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Motro Reflection

Politics and religion aside, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always been a war of geography. This is something that I never really considered until now and indeed, the dispute stems from a lack of agreement on both ends on where Israel ends and Palestine begins. Numerous agreements have been based on the amount of land that has been negotiated to represent each group and each time, Palestinian territory shrinks as Israeli territory grows, thus presenting a geographical image of the political reality of Israel’s power that has been able to undermine the Palestinian struggle. This was the theme central to the problematic nature of the Swiss cheese map which broke up Palestinian land into tiny sections across Israel. Arafat’s walkout was based on the fact that this geographical representation of Palestine would only undermine the Palestinian people through segregation as moving from one Palestinian area to another would require crossing Israel over and over again. This article is a great representation of how geography shapes our world and reflects upon the political realities that take place.

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Map 2 – Total number of murders reported per 100,000 people in 2013

Screenshot (37)

This map depicts the total number of murders reported in 2013, which was the most recent year provided, on the county level across the United States. These murder rates, according to reports filed, is filed by the TRF Policy Map maker as a indicator of the quality of life in different counties. Thus, those with lower reported murders rank higher on the scale of quality of life than those with higher reported murders at least where violence is concerned.

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Map 1 – Female Employed Civilian Population 16 Years And Over: Self-Employed

Map 1

This map illustrates clusters of self employed women across the United States. As can be seen, the larger clusters are in states with large metropolitan areas, perhaps with more opportunities for female business owners.

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Introducing Me

My name is Joy Malonza and I am currently a junior double majoring in Healthcare and Society as well as International Studies with a concentration in Economics. I found myself signing up for this course after finding out that it was a newly offered class that would enable me to knockout another Healthcare and Society requirement. This was actually a rather late discovery as I just joined the class but a great discovery nonetheless!

In the true spirit of the liberal arts, it’s great that while geography is not quite directly tied to the content matter of my major, I am still able to be part of a class in a subject that I have never before considered becoming immersed in. This is my first geography class here at the university and I’m very much looking forward to learning new things and getting a glimpse of the unknown. I also look forward to unraveling everything from the basics of how maps are made to engaging in conversations that discuss the political connotations that influence the depiction and subsequent understanding of our complex world. Furthermore, I am very intrigued by the chance to accumulate some hard skill that is rather specific and, considering my major, perhaps slightly random but also incredibly practical and useful in the long run. Actually, when I think about it, knowledge of geography is key to numerous fields of study. How does one begin to analyze the economic situation or the status of public health within a country without the context of location which gives away history, politics and so many other contributing factors that are all part of the larger puzzle? Geography is at the genesis of comprehending why our world is the way it is today, the answers to which are applicable in any field.

 I signed up for this class with an open mind, ready to soak in everything that it has to offer and  I can’t wait to see the end results of this detour. After all, an open mind has been the theme of my whole academic experience at this university. I came to Richmond thinking that I would be a business major, and while economics is not so far off, public health is very much a field of its own, which, as is evident now, has led to my introduction into new areas of the Richmond experience that I wouldn’t have imagined myself being a part of before.

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