After some time of looking at archives, collecting information, and discovering Michigan’s history for the first time, it is time to put it all together.
It’s putting together pieces of a puzzle that you had lost and have to find to understand the whole picture. The whole picture being the university’s history and the stories of those that have not been given a platform or a voice. It’s a big task, because THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES.
Perhaps it could be because I knew little of the University of Michigan’s history prior to this internship, so it feels overwhelming to want to learn about every struggle students have encountered at the University of Michigan over 200 years in the course of one summer. In a sense, it just feels unfair, knowing that despite all we have found about the people that have constructed their own communities and spaces to organize and change campus for others to follow, that we don’t know about everyone and everything. There are students that have dedicated their whole experience at U of M to fighting for others and bringing change to campus, but because there is no paper trail, we don’t know about them, they remain invisible.
It is because of this that makes writing out the content to display on the website difficult, because I always know now that there is something that should be mentioned, but we couldn’t find.
It is a big responsibility to write about the struggles of others and communities I don’t belong to, which is why it makes it harder for me to figure out what to say about the history that I’m just finding out for myself. But being able to work with others has helped with this. Hearing their ideas and their perspectives, give me new way to think about topics and together collboratively shape and put together the stories we are finding that should be known and given a platform.