Rackham Public Scholarship: Where to Start? Outreach for Community Engaged Scholarly Projects

The process of starting a publicly engaged scholarly project can often be overwhelming, particularly when trying to find entry points and build connections to community partners. This workshop will introduce graduate students to the essentials for building a project-based relationship with a community partner organization, from first idea to community research to modes and strategies of communication.

A panel of graduate students and faculty will break down the process of establishing contact, and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship for the student’s progress as well as community needs.

Questions and topics for discussion with panelists will include:

  • How did they forge relationships with community and public partners? 
  • What were the challenges to entry? 

All panelists will be asked to cover the following from their own experiences:

  • Best practices for first contact—introducing yourself and your project.
  • Best practices for maintaining a relationship. Did you consider ways you might contribute to the community, organization, or individual?
  • What elements helped you connect—language, shared culture, shared experience, resources, help? 
  • Did you ever feel like an outsider, and how did you overcome that feeling or status?

The format is intended to be conversational and will include time for questions. 

Panelists Include: 

Dr. Antonio Ramirez, Associate Professor of History and Political Science, Elgin Community College, Project Director, Chicagolandia Oral History Project

Jennifer Sierra, PhD Candidate, Linguistic Anthropology, University of Michigan, Research: Digital technologies of communication and the transformation of the linguistic and social practices of the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous society in the Peruvian Amazon.

Kathryn Berringer, PhD Candidate, Anthropology and Social Work, Research: Social and medical services for LGBTQ youth in the United States, LGBTQ organizing in Detroit, HIV treatment and prevention, ethnography. 

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