Studio CNS / Counter Narrative Society

Racial Pre_Filing Vest

A Tool Kit to Avoid Being Racially Profiled

Started May 2010 | Cambridge, MA
CNS team: Mabel Negrete, Marguerite Davenport, John Hulsey and Kenna Cottman

Racial Pre_Filing Vest is a protective performable vest made out of recyclable fabric that contains essential information for individuals who are, on a yearly, weekly or even daily basis, a target of “racial profiling”. The vest is a type of protective synthetic body extension that serves as a portable civic information center and community empowerment tool. As an information center, Racial Pre_Filing Vest introduces users to their constitutional rights, to the meaning and brief history of “racial profiling”, and most importantly, includes a cautionary guide as to how to avoid being unduly targeted under the current United States’ law enforcement and juridical system for reasons related to race, ethnicity or physical appearance. The interactive piece also has a state of the art “invisible racial deterrent device” that block(s) digital devices capable of identifying people by their race or “erasing” them by their ethic group.

(1) Components included in the Vest

(a) What is “racial profiling” in the first place? –
(b) Brief Constitutional Rights Guide
(c) 10 ways to avoid being “racially profiled” – mini booklet — (with cautionary notes)
(d) Invisible Racial Deterrent Device

(2) Functions

(a) For multiple users: (i) youth and adults; (ii) particularly for community of color
(b) Places: (i) inner city, underprivileged, economically impoverished or economically distressed areas and historically undeserved community; (ii) schools / after-school programs; (iii) re-entry programs; (iv) Advocacy programs
(c) User friendly and portable


[Seminar at Recess 2 – 6.30.2010]


[Pilot Presentation at MIT – 5.22.2010]