Michigan Movement- Project Connect Michigan Movement (MIM) is a student-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded and based here at the University of Michigan. We were born out of urgency; as students living in Ann Arbor, America’s most educated, yet 8th most economically segregated city, MIM began as our means of redressing the disproportionate rates of chronic homelessness in our community. Our mission is to aid individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Washtenaw County, promoting dignity, health, and catalyze community engagement along the way. To realize this mission, we apply a holistic approach that includes providing basic necessities, education and employment services, and social advocacy and community engagement. Our most significant event each year is Project Connect, during which students create and distribute 150 MIMkits (care packages) consisting of food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. With a focus on collaboration and innovation, we have expanded our Project Connect resources to include medical services like vaccines, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, vital document accessibility, as well as preventative dental exams and haircuts. To achieve this, we have enlisted the help of our local core partner organizations such as Mercy House and the Delonis Center. We have also forged new relationships across the public and private sectors, from partners ranging from Infinity Salon to the University’s Dental School. Through the addition of music and a free meal, we hope Project connect will also bring in a larger population of the community and foster relationships where students and members of the community can interact with each other. The strong relationships we develop will further allow us to better understand the needs of our community, and work to end stigmas and stereotypes associated with homelessness.
Library Mentor: Alex Deeke
PILOT is a diverse collection of undergraduate students from marginalized populations striving towards a broader mastery of leadership development through outreach, social justice programs, and college access. One of PILOT’s projects is Dreams2Reality (D2R), a social justice outreach program for first and second year high school students from underrepresented communities in Detroit. D2R provides students with the opportunity to meet others in surrounding areas and learn about the social justice issues affecting each community. D2R consists of several bi-weekly workshops held in Detroit, and a culminating ‘Dream Day’ on the University of Michigan campus. The workshops focus on a variety of topics, from learning about stereotypes and microaggressions to exploring the issues of urban inequality and gentrification. Participants are able to interact with not only other high school students, but also college students from a variety of majors. During Dream Day, the participants get the chance to meet and talk to faculty and staff at the University whose work relates to social justice or issues facing Detroit. Through the dialogues and activities facilitated during workshops, participants develop communication and leadership skills, and leave inspired to pursue activism in their own schools and communities.
Library Mentor: Alex Rivera
The magazine O Menelick 2Ato is an Afro-Brazilian digital and print magazine published since 2007 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. O Menelick 2Ato aims to contextualize and reflect on the history and the roots of the Afro-Brazilian cultural identity and its connections to the black diaspora in the Americas, focusing on the visual arts. Since 2018, O Menelick 2Ato has been developing projects in partnership with the University of Michigan, and the magazine is part of the UM Library collection. The project “O Menelick 2Ato: Art, Culture and Society From the Perspective of Alternative Contemporary Brazilian Black Press” aims to build on this collaboration by a series of events that will take in the months of February and March 2020. In the public talk “Black Art, Politics and Visibility: “Printed” Challenges for the Black Community in Brazil and the US in Times of Totalitarianism” Luciane Ramos Silva and Nabor Jr, editors of the magazine, will discuss historical and current relations between Brazilian and American black presses. By discussing the dominant aesthetic and poetic regimes of representation, Luciane and Nabor will propose the black arts as a fundamental channel of critical engagement in contexts of social and political cleavage. The launch of the 21st issue of the magazine and of a curated edition in English will take place on February 26th, 2020 at the UM Hatcher Library. The release of the new issue, including a panel discussion with the magazine’s editors and UM faculty, will be followed by the opening of the digital and print exhibit “O Menelick 2Ato. Making Black Press in 21st Century Brazil”. The exhibit, on display until March 11th at the Hatcher Graduate Library, will feature selected magazine’s covers by Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Diasporic artists.
Library Mentor: Barbara Alvarez
This work consists of research and art-making based on contemporary Millennial diaspora in the West. As a woman of color artist, I am conducting experiments to expand the space occupied by diaspora and using millennial voices as a thread to bring together disparate narratives. Instead of molding ourselves to a dominant narrative or culture, we created this site to build up autonomy of millennial diaspora voices. This place can be a louder speaker for Korean millennial diaspora by inviting other ethnic millennial diaspora voices. I am collecting testimonies, and using techniques like screen printing and projections to display them in public spaces. Instead of molding ourselves to a dominant narrative or culture, we created this site to build up autonomy of millennial diaspora voices. This place can be a louder speaker for Millennial diaspora by inviting other ethnic millennial diaspora voices. The mix of technology and analog is important to me. I’m trying to run a series of experiments to see what it takes to be heard – large, ostentatious font or micro text – and how loud I can amplify the diaspora community’s voices.
Library Mentor: Jungwon
Han Na Shin
Sweat, tears, or the sea is a two-part photo-series that comments on the physical space of where 1) working-class Asian-American parents spend their days working (i.e. dry cleaners, restaurants, grocery stores, beauty supplies) to support their families and 2) to capture the tenderness, beauty, and product of the children to create an identity of what it means for them to know that their family has chosen the path of “sweat, tears, or the sea” in America.
Library Mentor: Jamie VB
This project, “Improv for Diversity and Inclusion,” uses improvisational comedy (improv) as a platform for undergraduate students to deepen their ability to build inclusive communities on campus. Over the course of 6 weeks, we will facilitate introductory improv classes that will culminate in a performance for the wider community. We collaborated with the library to develop a marketing plan to attract students across a wide range of identities. Our project provides undergraduate students with a safe and non-judgmental space to engage with individuals of diverse perspectives. Additionally, emerging research suggests that improv comedy can be applied as a therapeutic intervention to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, so this project will also positively affect mental health outcomes on the individual level. Overall, the main goal of this project is to explore how improv can be used as a tool to promote diversity and inclusion on college campuses, and the curriculum also reflects that mission.
Library Mentor: Jason Imbesi