Community Read is a program of the Faculty Senate's First Year Experience Committee (co-chairs Katherine LaCommare and Kristin Poling), modeled after the Big Read of the National Endowment for the Arts. The intent is for students, especially those new to campus, to engage with topics from several disciplinary perspectives.
The reading for 2023-2024 is Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging, edited by Ghassan Zeineddine, Nabeel Abraham, and Sally Howell. Hadha Baladuna was named a 2023 Michigan Notable book award winner.
Hadha Baladuna (This Is Our Country) is a collection of creative nonfiction exploring the diversity of Arab American voices and experiences in our region, from a Lebanese peddler in the 1920s to an Iraqi-Lebanese poet inspired by Tupac Shakur. Topics include family, history, religion, immigration, music, gender, assault and recovery, and political activism. These diverse voices and topics will provide many opportunities for class and community activities.
This book has many connections to our campus, through editors Ghassan Zeineddine (English) and Sally Howell (History), and through UM-Dearborn alums among its contributors, including Teri Bazzi, Yasmin Mohamed, and Hanan Ali Nasser.
We anticipate a year of programming that celebrates the many stories of our campus community and our connections to our vibrant Dearborn community. The FYE Committee is planning events and activities to facilitate cross-campus conversations, including lectures and readings, writing workshops, and a small grants program for faculty to support related classroom or co-curricular Please consider using selections from the book and encourage students to participate in the year's activities.
Our first event is a Faculty Teaching Workshop, Thursday, May 25th, at 2:00 pm on Zoom. Here, faculty will have the opportunity to conversation with the book’s editors and with faculty who are already using the book, to develop ways to use the book and its themes for fall classes. The first 20 people to sign up for the event will also receive a free hard copy of the book to use in their teaching . Please register here.
Last year's reading was All We Can Save, an selection of 60 essays and poems related to the climate crisis, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. The anthology is part of the All We Can Save Project.
The book for 2021-2022 was William D. Lopez's Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid. The book traces wide-ranging economic, social, psychological, heath, and educational fallout from one ICE raid in 2013 in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Dr. Lopez is an assistant professor at the UM School of Public Health.
The reading for 2020-2021 was How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. UM-Dearborn faculty members prepared video presentations on individual book chapters for use in classes or as guides to prepare class presentations. These chapter video commentaries are available on the UM YouTube playlist. The Mardigian Library also has several web pages devoted to Antiracism resources.
Teaching Workshop for Faculty
Thursday, May 25, 2:00 pm
At this event, faculty will have the opportunity to have a conversation with some of the book’s editors and several faculty on campus who are already using the book in the classroom to help you develop ideas for how to incorporate the book and its themes into your own teaching as you plan your fall classes. The first 20 people to sign up for the event will also receive a free hard copy of the book to use in their teaching planning. Please register here
Faculty Small Grants Program
Through April 2024.
Small grants are available to assist faculty in creating student activities, projects, and assignments related to Hadha Baladuna and its themes. Full details will be posted soon; meantime, please address your interest and inquiries to Katherine LaCommare, Kristin Poling, and/or Amy Finley.
- Co-chair: Katherine LaCommare, Academic Affairs: CASL Biology (Term expires 08/31/2025)
- Co-chair: Kristin Poling, Academic Affairs: CASL History (Term expires 08/31/2025)
- Anne Dempsey, Academic Affairs: Student Engagement Librarian, Mardigian Library (Term expires 08/31/2025)
- Mike MacDonald, Academic Affairs: CASL Composition & Rhetoric (Term expires 08/31/2025)
- Margaret Rathouz: Academic Affairs: CASL Mathematics (Term expires 08/31/2023)
- Natalie Sampson, Academic Affairs: CEHHS Environmental Health (Term expires 08/31/2023)
- Lynda Dioszegi, Student Affairs, Senior Advisor, START, ex officio
- Amy Finley, Student Affairs: Dean of Students, ex officio
- Tyler Guenette, Student Affairs: Director, Student Life & Dearborn Support, ex officio
- Kevin Lewtschanyn, Enrollment Management: Director of EM Communication and Events, ex officio
- Dareena Matti, Student Government Vice-president, ex officio (Term expires 05/2023)
October 14 and 15th: Students planted trees with the Wildlife Habitat Council, Friends of the Rouge and National Fish and Wildlife Service.
October 28, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm: Dearborn-SHINES schoolyard garden project. Student volunteer activities included weeding, painting, spreading mulch, and topping soil at selected Dearborn Public Schools.
November 10, 7:00-8:30 pm: Film and Panel Discussion: In the Land of Palm Oil. This virtual webinar was organized by Palm to Palm: a student-led, tri-campus initiative dedicated to ending exploitation of humans and wildlife in tropical regions. Panelists included: Emmanuela Shinta (Indonesian social activist), Denise Dragiewicz (film director), Jocelyn Zuckerman (author, Planet Palm: How Palm Oil Ended Up in Everything―and Endangered the World), Dr. Anne Russon (York U psychologist and primatologist), and Dr. Andrew J Marshall (UM anthropologist and primatologist). About the film: https://www.eyesoftheworldfilms.com/in-the-land-of-palm-oil.html About Palm to Palm: https://sites.google.com/view/palmtopalm/home About Ranu Welum Foundation, an Indonesian NGO purchasing land to protect endangered species from palm oil development: https://www.eyesoftheworldfilms.com/
November 17, 7:00-8:30pm: Virtual webinar panel discussion on the revival of the River Rouge, sponsored by the Environmental Interpretive Center and the Friends of the Rouge. Panelists included: Orin Gelderloos - Professor Emeritus of Biology and Environmental Studies, UM-Dearborn, John Hartig - Visiting Scholar, University of Windsor's Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, Sally Petrella - Monitoring Manager, Friends of the Rouge, and Cyndi Ross - Restoration Manager, Friends of the Rouge.