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Filipino American Oral History Project Michigan

Directed by Emily P. Lawsin and Joseph A. Galura

This project is a collective effort between University of Michigan faculty, students, staff, and community members. Our project aims to document the history of Pinays—Filipino American women—and Pinoys—Filipino American men, with a special focus on those who migrated and settled in the Midwestern United States. Through team-taught, service-learning courses in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies (AMCULT 310 "Filipino American Experience" and AMCULT 305 "Asian/Pacific Islander American Community Service and Learning," students have collected hundreds of photographs, life histories, and artifacts since the project's inception in 2001. We have partnered with various organizations: the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Ma'arte Tribe Artists Collective, the Philippine Study Group Association (PSG), the Filipino American Students Association (FASA), the Philippine Historical Society, the Filipino Women's Club of Detroit, Paaralang Pilipino Language & Culture School, and the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM), teaching K-12 students and elders how to preserve their history. Students and project volunteers have also traveled to different conferences and campuses around the country, stressing to others the importance of documenting our histories. In 2002, we published the first book on Asian Americans of Detroit, titled Filipino Women in Detroit, 1945-1955: Oral Histories from the Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan. University of Michigan Sponsors include the Arts of Citizenship Program; the Center for Research, Larning, and Teaching; Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning; Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies; the Department of American Culture; the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and the Department of Women's Studies. University of Michigan and Community Partners include: Bentley Historical Library, Lisa Hunter, Ma'arte Tribe Artists Collective, United Asian American Organizations.

Pin@y Performance Project

Directed by Emily P. Lawsin and Joseph A. Galura

We launched this project in 2003, as one historian has put it, "To take oral histories out of the archives and onto the stage!" Through 15-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute multi-media performances, a diverse all-volunteer cast dramatizes stories, poems, memoirs, photographs, and interviews of Filipinos in Michigan that we have collected in the Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan. In 2004-2005, performances featured students, ages 12-25, from the Filipino American History class taught on Sundays at Paaralang Pilipino/PACCM.Project


Detroit Chinatown Revitalization Project

Directed by Scott Kurashige and Emily P. Lawsin

Our community partners are Detroit Summer, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, Association of Chinese Americans, American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice. In 2004, we established the Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) mentorship project, which operates both as a Summer Intensive and a Year-Round Mentoring program. We have produced a Community Mural, have organized exhibits, and are conducting ongoing collection of oral histories of Asian/Pacific Islander American residents in Detroit. University of Michigan funding was provided by a Michigan Roads Scholar Grant.

Japanese American History Project

Directed by Scott Kurashige and Emily P. Lawsin

In partnership with the Japanese American Citizens League Detroit, we are engaged in ongoing collection of oral histories of Japanese Americans in Michigan, developing an Oral History and Photo Archive, and curating traveling exhibits.