March 6-8, 2019
University of San Diego
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Thursday, March 7 • 10:00am - 11:10am
How the Rural American Digital Lab Dissolved Borders in Eastern Washington

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During June 2018, two dozen students from Heritage University in Toppenish (WA) and Whitman College in Walla Walla (WA) participated in a unique new digital story-telling initiative called the Rural American Digital (RAD) Lab. With guidance from Seattle-based tech start-up, PopUpJustice, the student participants brought to light often-ignored or forgotten stories of the non-urban part of their state. During the four weeks of the project, members of the cohort spent time on both campuses, enjoyed broad exposure to faculty and staff from both institutions, and worked together to create digital stories about their place, culminating with a June 28 public screening and reception in Walla Walla that filled a 100-seat auditorium and garnered significant media coverage as well as opened future opportunities for the students to share their stories with high profile audiences. At the end of the month the planning team gathered extensive feedback. During our workshop, we will tell the story of this pilot program and reflect on lessons learned. We will also share future aspirations for this collaboration. Session attendees will be invited to think about whether their institutions are able to help spotlight the often overlooked stories of their communities through creative partnerships like this one.


Kimberly Bellamy-Thompson

Asst Professor, Heritage University
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Lindsay Brown

Director of Student Life, Heritage University
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Noah Leavitt

Director of the Student Engagement Center, Whitman College
liberal arts!

Aurora Martin

Founder, popUPjustice
Aurora served up justice for nearly 20 years in legal aid as a public interest lawyer who grew up from intern to executive director at Columbia Legal Services. During her tenure, she led Columbia's transformation to become a creative social justice advocacy organization with a mission... Read More →

Thursday March 7, 2019 10:00am - 11:10am PST