The event, Storytelling for Change, was sponsored by a grant from the Student Center Challenge Grant, Office of Institutional Diversity, and Office of Community Engagement-all provided support to SOC 435 which organized the event.
SOC 435 has been a year-long course/internship. Students are paid a small stipend and earn course credit at the same time with the thought being that many students cannot afford to participate in internships off campus. In SOC 435, an internship is a part of students' daily lives on campus.
The course content, focused on bridging divides between students, came out of my experiences directing the LexEngaged LLP where I witnessed the rural and urban divide, as well as students' financial struggles regardless of where they came from. Students in SOC 435 conducted oral histories with rural and urban students in the fall and in the spring, focused on raising awareness about financial need-as a way to address needs and foster empathy among students irrespective of their backgrounds.