The Building Bridges Showcase Event will be held on Tuesday, April 9 from noon to 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center atrium. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend and celebrate the work done by members of our campus community, including visual arts, music, poetry, creative workshops, demonstrations and more.
In spring 2018, the university launched Building Bridges, an initiative designed to foster connections among UMass community members who come from myriad backgrounds and hold differing perspectives. Activities under the umbrella of Building Bridges include art installations, enrichment courses for staff, efforts to amplify the voices of immigrant workers on campus and other events, says Enobong (Anna) Hannah Branch, associate chancellor for equity and inclusion.
One of the exhibits will feature oral history projects in a course called “Transforming Your World: Introduction to Community Engagement,” taught by Ellen Pader, associate professor in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. The goal of the course, Pader says, is to help students understand the value of community engagement, develop skills to make positive change and to think about the world beyond of their own experiences. As part of the class, teams are students are matched with UMass employees through Labor/Management Workplace Education. The students interview the person, then write a story based on the conversation, in the voice of the interview subject. Each year, the stories are collected in a booklet and posted on a class blog.