The following projects will take place during the 2017-2018 year:
Human Library ($936)
A small team from UROC, OSL, CARE office, the UC Merced Library along with a UC Merced alumna will organize a Human Library event during the Fall 2017 semester. The Human Library is a library of individuals representative of different groups in the Merced community that are exposed to stigma, prejudice or discrimination, who can be checked out to “readers” for a 30- minute conversation. Proposed titles include but are not limited to: Person of Color, Transgender, Muslim, Veteran, Returning Student, HIV+, Undocumented, Refugee, Permanent Resident as well as books centered around education, such as Latinx Graduate Student and International Student. Through conversation, readers will have the opportunity to learn about a person’s individual unique experiences, beyond stereotypes and labels. The goal of the Human Library is to create an environment that supports dialogue conducive to breaking down barriers and fostering a greater understanding between those within the conversation. Founded in Demark in 2001, the Human Library project has since taken place in over 70 countries.
We are proposing a community engaged public art project to help improve the visibility of campus diversity in the built environment as well as help students to be involved in the process of campus development. Through inclusive survey techniques and focus-group visioning sessions for campus groups, clubs and organizations, we will better understand how the students, faculty and staff see themselves, and the community that they are working to create. Survey and focus group data will be analyzed for common themes and will provide the foundation for a mural design. During fall of 2017, the Art for Social Change class and the Yosemite Leadership Program will take on the design component of the Mural. Designs will be community informed, panel reviewed and approved by campus administrative staff. Our goal is to survey a minimum of 300 students and hold at least 3 focus groups. It is our intention to secure an outdoor wall for this project but we are also able to produce large canvases that could be displayed in a variety of locations. Design finalization and mural production will occur during spring semester 2018.
Social Justice Newsletter Project ($ 5,000)
The Social Justice Newsletter Project (SJNP) will be a collaborative, bi-monthly publication composed of undergraduate and graduate students. Its main objective is to highlight the various diversity, inclusion, and social justice research, teaching, events, organizations, and initiatives happening on the UC Merced campus and in the surrounding community. In doing so, the SJNP believes it will allow the UCM and surrounding community to be more aware of the important work being done to make our campus and local community more inclusive and just. This will in turn let others know how to engage and participate in creating a better campus climate and stronger connection to the local community. The SJNP proposes to use the funds to participate in OpEd Project training as a starting point to learn how to communicate important issues to a broad audience.
Staff and Faculty of Color Association Strategic Planning ($4,100)
The UC Merced Staff and Faculty of Color Association (SFCA) seeks to promote a community among staff and faculty that identify as People of Color. The group is in the first stages of developing its mission and goals. A few interests members have expressed are from wanting to promote an inclusive work environment, to strengthening professional/social relationships between groups to creating better engagement with students.