Right Start UP
Upper Peninsula Digital History Initiative
$25,000 • Hancock
Right Start UP of Hancock, Michigan, in collaboration with the Finnish American Heritage Center of Finlandia University and Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly of Hancock, Michigan, carried out the UPDHI to promote intergenerational dialogue and local community engagement with topics related to the cultural and historical diversity that is characteristic of the areas within the Keweenaw National Historical Park. The UPDHI is a community project that paired youth volunteers with older adults of the community to plan, record, edit, produce and disseminate the older adult participants’ video life histories. Dissemination included the creation and hosting of an interactive website navigable by geographic area of participants and discussion topic; presentations at local venues with project participants; social media dissemination through series of short video clips on specific topics; and live radio call-in sessions to incite open discussion about key socio-cultural and historical topics of local interest. In addition to creating a valuable cultural heritage resource, the UPDHI promoted community connectedness, an increased a sense of well-being among the older adult participants, civically-engaged learning and pride among youth volunteers, and intergenerational dialogue on key current issues related to multi-culturalism and immigration, inciting tolerance and empathy.