It’s easy enough to imagine writing as a fundamentally solitary activity, but it gains its greatest meaning when it is shared – when it enters, creates or expands community. As the University of Michigan begins to implement its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, we aim to make our initiatives serve those goals.

In collaboration with Literati Bookstore and WCBN, the Sweetland Center for Writing’s “Writer to Writer” program hosted Philip Deloria, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture and History, at Literati’s event space on November 15th. These Writer to Writer conversations invite students and community members to engage with some of our most accomplished faculty members as equal partners in the enterprise of thinking about writing and using writing itself to think. As a scholar who writes about Native Americans, the American West, and the environment, Professor Deloria is well-positioned to discuss how personal, social and scholarly writing overlap. The diversity and variety of Professor Deloria’s interests, responsibilities and writing guaranteed a dynamic and rich conversation.

In the same spirit, on October 20th Sweetland responded to the National Council of Teachers of English National Day on Writing by asking out students to modify the #whyIwrite challenge. We invited them to tweet their answers to the question of “What’s the best possible future for the University of Michigan?” as a way of imagining the scope and scale of writing to and for a more inclusive Michigan.

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