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August 26, 2013


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Derrick Miller-Handley Creates Visual Vocalizations by and for LGBTQQ Youth

August 26, 2013

Point Scholars are required to complete an annual Community Service Project (CSP) that will positively impact the LGBTQ community.  Here is a highlight of Tyler Clementi Point Scholar Derrick Miller-Handley’s recent CSP.

Vibrations is an adaptable and replicable series of workshops that result in the creation of visual messages, vocalizations, by and for LGBTQQ youth. In a world shaped by visual messages in advertising, entertainment, politics and public campaigns, VIBRATIONS seeks to educate and empower LGBTQQ youth to utilize their creativity and savvy to create imagery that frames the issues and perspectives that are relevant and important to them as individuals and members of a community.

Piloted last year with Hetrick-Martin Institute’s (HMI) photography program in New York City, VIBRATIONS expanded this year to include HMI’s Stars of Change internship program as well as the photography program. Each group of youth worked on separate campaigns branching from the issue of knowing one’s HIV status. Additionally, replicability was explored by training a staff member to independently adapt and deliver the series to the photography group.


  1. To train an HMI staff person to replicate the workshops, with content covering history of visual campaigns in LGBTQQ movements, word & image pairing, and how to say what you mean while reaching your target audience.
  2. To successfully adapt and replicate the series with another group of LGBTQQ youth while expanding the use of different media in the campaign.
  3. To launch the work at a community building event for LGBTQQ youth

The Campaigns

With me leading the Stars of Change group and training an HMI staff person to lead the
photography group, we began in spring with a section covering the history and context
of creating visual imagery as part of community-based campaigns. This was followed by
sections aimed at teaching how to use images to speak, utilizing interactive exercises. Each
group then developed and evaluated specific ideas related to the topic of HIV status. Final
artwork was developed in collaboration with students and staff.

Each group created a unique campaign utilizing different media to vocalize about knowledge of one’s HIV status as a way to empower yourself and your community.

Speak Up, Be You!” resulted from my work with Stars of Change and will be utilized as a multi-edition card campaign with health information, including a short viral animation for digital campaigning and social networking.


Get Tested” resulted from the HMI staff person’s work with the photography students and utilizes their original photography in a series of 9 posters.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="838,837,836,835"]

Both campaigns launched on August 23, 2013 at inPROGRESS, an HMI sponsored community arts showcase by and for LGBTQQ youth, with wide distribution planned for the fall.


Derrick Miller Handley at inProgress campaign launch with Clementi Foundation Derrick at the gallery opening with Co-Founders of  The Tyler Clementi Foundation


This post was written by Derrick Miller-Handley
Throughout childhood and adolescence, Derrick Miller-Handley endured vicious anti-gay bullying and violence every day in his neighborhood and at school. Expressing that experience through his art helped Derrick to survive persistent isolation, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. Derrick is thrilled to finally be pursuing a formal fine arts education, a childhood dream. Studying Graphic Design at the Pratt Institute has allowed him to re-discover who he is as a creative thinker and visual problem solver. Learn more about Derrick.

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