Recently, we’ve enlisted the help of Syracuse University students to help further some of our current projects. The group of students is part of a Civic Writing course spending a semester learning firsthand about community publishing. They’re in their fifth week and they’ve already supported our work in a variety of ways.
One of the first projects they’ve worked with is a series of chapbooks, smaller versions of some of our full-sized publications, including Home: Journeys in the Westside and I Witness: Perspectives on Policing in the Near Westside. The chapbooks will feature selections of resident writings and interviews printed in English and in Spanish. The class is well on their way to having them done. They’ve selected and proofread excerpts, taken photos, designed layouts and covers and are hoping to present them at an upcoming meeting with the board of residents. We hope the chapbooks will reach a wider, bilingual audience in the Westside and get more residents involved in the work of the press.
Additionally, the class has begun helping with the making of a book about sidewalks in the Westside. The sidewalks have been at the center of conversation both in and out of the neighborhood and we’re interested in projecting this dialogue in book form. They’re also developing a chapbook about the effect of prisons on urban neighborhoods in Syracuse and doing work to update and improve our website.