Grant Recipients

African Americans

Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative

Great Writers Project

$24,922 • Kalamazoo

How can we help students see themselves in works of literature? The Great Writers program took on this question by introducing a group of youth, community members, and educators in Kalamazoo to established and emerging Black and Latino writers through a series of after-school programs. Facilitators helped students learn how themes of social justice are woven into literature to promote social change. After reading a series of texts, students developed their voices and sense of self by producing their own creative writing based on the historical themes and genres they had read. The program worked to:

  1. Expose students to a wider range of literature and authors than the traditional canon of (predominantly) white, male authors.
  2. Invite participants to express themselves in a variety of literary formats such as poetry, essays, and short stories.
  3. Translate the experiences of students into a book, literary performance, video, website, and radio show for wider distribution.

A few of the students who participated in the Great Writers Project, along with one of their facilitators.

Great Writers final video.

Great Writers recruitment video.

Great Writers curriculum video.

Reading great writers video.

Creating great writers video.

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