In 2018, the SRG began collaborating with the Michigan Homeless Speakers Bureau on The MI Homeless Voice Spoken Word Project. The project is a collaboration between formerly homeless individuals with MSU faculty and students to audio record spoken word stories and set them to original music. As well, the group is working together on a documentary about homelessness in Michigan, a content strategy for circulating the audio/video recordings, and educational materials for classroom use. Together, our goal is to

  1. Reduce social stigma about homelessness and housing instability;
  2. Raise awareness about homelessness in our communities; and,
  3. Create content that can be circulated across public and professional spheres to make goals 1 and 2 possible.

One of the overarching academic goals of the project is to bring participatory design praxis into the context of creative-critical work in sound. In this way, we hope to develop what Ames Hawkins refers to as “iterable processes” and make what we’ve learned visible to groups interested in doing similar work, while also drawing heavily on scholars/ship in community writing and cultural rhetorics.

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