Initiative is from the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Three Schoolcraft College students with a passion for meaningful change will have the opportunity to exercise their creativity and skills this summer after being named Engelhardt Social Justice Fellows.
This initiative from the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) offers an opportunity for students and organizations to propose a mutually beneficial summer project. Students whose projects are selected will be paid $5,000 for approximately 300 hours of work with the sponsoring organization. Interns and organizations create their own work schedule, but the required hours must be completed by August 31.
Schoolcraft College’s Engelhardt Social Justice Fellows are:
- Tamyra Goodwin
- Alex Hawthorne
- Tahirah Viox
Eligible students must:
- Be an enrolled student in good academic standing in a degree program in UM-LSA during the time of the fellowship or be an enrolled student at Henry Ford College, Grand Rapids Community College, or Schoolcraft College, with a goal of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the future.
- Co-create a project with a community organization within southeast Michigan that focuses on social justice, broadly defined.
- Have an existing connection to that partnering community organization.
- Be available for the full duration of the Fellowship
Meet Tamyra Goodwin
Tamyra Goodwin is studying business administration with an eye toward transferring to Eastern Michigan University or Wayne State University to continue her education. She started at Schoolcraft College in August of 2020 and has a sister who is involved in a nonprofit organization (S.I.S., which stands for Sisters In Success), so the Engelhardt Social Justice Fellowship is a natural fit.
“While talking to my older sister, we agreed that one thing we both have an issue with in the community is the lack of care for those who are in need of food and homes,” Goodwin said. “So we will prepare blessing bags given to local shelters which offers the essentials; for example, deodorant, tooth brush, toothpaste, and even menstrual products. And at the end of all of that we will host a sort of ‘gala’ for the girls to show our appreciation to them and being willing to help.”
Meet Alex Hawthorne
Alex Hawthorne, who started at Schoolcraft College in the fall of 2020, is working toward an Associate Degree in Engineering with plans to transfer to the University of Michigan this fall to major in Data Science.
After that, he hopes to work as a data scientist, then become a researcher in artificial intelligence.
“As someone who is very passionate about science and technology, I find that it is important that if I were to contribute to a project related around social justice I would want to work within an area of which I am comfortable with to make meaningful change instead of lifeless chants of activism,” Hawthorne said. “Instead of petitioning for laws to be changed, scheduling a protest, writing a listicle for clicks, or making a tweet, I find it better to be working with my hands for change to a community.
“What good is one’s intelligence if their words speak louder than their actions? I am being sponsored by Oakland Avenue Urban Farms and the projects I plan to take on include a redevelopment of their farming infrastructure in order to use more solar power to increase their efficiency and output. By doing this not only will the group have a cool solar-based system for farming, but they will be helping the community through providing more food as well as helping to reduce electricity use even more for our planet.”
Meet Tahirah Viox
Tahirah Viox started at Schoolcraft College in the summer of 2021. She’s working toward an Associate Degree, then has plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Social Work.
“I hope to have a career in either social work; counseling; or as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant for businesses,” she said. “Any of these paths allow me to help minority groups who are most vulnerable. As someone who is a part of multiple minority groups, I feel that my intersectionality has given me a natural passion for social justice.”
Viox will be working with City of Asylum, which brings together writers, artists, activists, and academics from Detroit.
“My project seeks to uplift the voices of people who are incarcerated or who have recently been incarcerated while also supporting education while behind bars,” Viox said. “My plan is to create an exhibition where I can showcase short stories, poems, and other creative works of these individuals who enjoy writing.”
The exhibition will be digital through a website that Viox will help create. Each artist will include a biography and a link to their commissary and/or a link to a Go Fund Me page for their family. Another portion of the project Viox hopes to bring to life is a drive to donate books and writing materials to correctional facilities.
“Incarcerated individuals are some of the most vulnerable groups of people in our country and there is a lack of resources to help them,” Viox said. “I am passionate about my project and am so excited for this opportunity to make a difference in my community.”