Capturing Community: Digital Storytelling and Community-Driven Archives Speaker Series

A collaboration between Western Michigan University Center for the Humanities and University Libraries.

Introduction

The art of storytelling has been around for thousands of years. And throughout history, storytelling has been a way to influence others, shape cultures and highlight issues we care deeply about.

In this series, our guest scholars will talk about how they use community-driven archiving and digital storytelling collaborations to highlight underrepresented communities, preserve their histories and stories, and capture history-making social justice movements. 

These experts will share their successful collaborative projects and participate in a panel discussion at the conclusion of the series.

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Meet the experts

  • Mark Crain

    Mark Crain is executive director of Dream of Detroit, a Muslim-led, community-based, neighborhood renewal organization also known as DREAM (Detroit Revival Engaging American Muslims). Prior to joining Dream of Detroit, Crain served as communications and outreach coordinator for the Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) of Chicago, another Muslim-led organization devoted to community development and civic engagement. Additionally, for nearly a decade, Crain played a dynamic role at MoveOn.org , where he served as campaign director, Mobile Innovation Director, and Chief of Member Experience, consulting on political and campaign strategy for highest priority initiatives.

  • Nancy Liliana Godoy

    Nancy Liliana Godoy is head of the Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Initiative at Arizona State University (ASU) Library and has been the associate archivist of the Chicano/a Research Collection since 2012. She has received grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Arizona State Library to engage and empower historically marginalized communities in Arizona. Godoy is the recipient of the Arizona Humanities Rising Star Award (2017), ASU Catalyst Award (2019), Arizona Library Association’s Outreach Services Award (2019), and Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers Award (2020).

  • David Todd Lawrence

    David Todd Lawrence teaches at the University of St. Thomas and is co-director of Urban Art Mapping Research Project, a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and students engaged in the analysis of art in the streets since 2018. David actively documents and analyzes street art created in the context of Covid-19 (Urban Art Mapping: COVID-19 Street Art) and the 2020 Uprisings (George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art).

  • Dr. Alisa Perkins

    Dr. Alisa Perkins is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University. As an anthropologist, Perkins’ ongoing research is an ethnographic study of Muslim American civic engagement in the Detroit-metro area. She is currently collaborating with the non-profit organization Dream of Detroit on “The Detroit Muslim Storytelling Project,” a public humanities initiative to build knowledge about the city’s African-American Muslim leadership, with support from the Pillars Fund and Whiting Foundation. Perkins’ first book, Muslim American City: Gender and Religion in Metro Detroit was published by NYU Press in 2020.

  • Heather Shirey

    Heather Shirey teaches at the University of St. Thomas and is co-director of Urban Art Mapping Research Project, a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and students engaged in the analysis of art in the streets since 2018. Heather actively documents and analyzes street art created in the context of Covid-19 (Urban Art Mapping: COVID-19 Street Art) and the 2020 Uprisings (George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art).

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