Please help us improve lives by preserving stories

I’ve come to know some members of our community who need our help. Your small donation to the Odyssey Project, a course in the humanities for adults facing economic barriers to higher education, will help bring a writing workshop to these special students who are poised to succeed in college.

These individuals have completed a nine-month introductory humanities course and will begin their studies on campus at the UW-Madison next fall. They’ve worked hard to prepare. But are they truly ready for college-level expectations? That’s where your donation can help.

Odyssey Graduates May 2011

These students need a bridge to college. To provide that bridge, I will conduct a summer oral history workshop. Students will collect the experiences of Odyssey graduates 50 or older who have suffered discrimination and hardship, yet achieved success.

These are tough stories.

When Juanita (at 71, the oldest Odyssey graduate) went into labor, she was turned away from Evanston Hospital and sent to Chicago’s Cook County Hospital instead because she was black.

At age 14, Tom traveled from Milwaukee to Memphis to hear Martin Luther King speak and got permanent scars from local police, who beat him for being an “uppity” outsider.

The workshop will not only gather compelling stories like these, but also give students practice at interviewing, writing, and editing. Literacy is crucial to their success. Each program activity is designed to enhance academic writing proficiency.

This summer workshop has received grants from the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission and the Friends of the Goodman South Madison Library Branch. We have enough money to go forward. But more funds would help us do more.

How will your contribution help?

  • Twenty dollars allows an additional individual to take the workshop.
  • Ten dollars pays a student to spend an hour transcribing, building typing and formatting skills.
  •  Five dollars buys a gallon of gas for a student who otherwise couldn’t travel to attend the workshop.

Please give to the Odyssey Oral History Project. To make your donation online click here.

Make sure your gift is designated to Odyssey Project (12543729)–the default option on that page.

I thank you from my heart. And so will the challenged students you help.

Sarah White

Me (2nd from left) with participants in my 2009 Odyssey Project workshop, in which we produced the Meals and Memories memoir/cookbook.

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About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
This entry was posted in Call for action, writing workshop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Please help us improve lives by preserving stories

  1. Pingback: Celebrate Our Odyssey Stories on August 3rd | True Stories Well Told

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