In conjunction with KUED Channel 7, the Community Writing Center (CWC) at Salt Lake Community College is inviting all people to write about civil rights as part of a program called “Utah Freedom Writers.” The writing campaign’s name stems from a group of 400 Americans who, in 1961, risked their lives by riding buses in the segregated South. These civil rights activists became known as “Freedom Riders.” The question that submissions to the writing campaign should answer is, “While we’ve come a long way, are we there yet?”
The submissions that the CWC is looking for are ones that relate to experiences that members of the community have had with civil rights, or the change in civil rights that writers want to see. The CWC will be accepting these submissions until September 1, 2011. The CWC is looking for poetry, essays, or testimonials. They need to be 500 to 1,000 words in length.
“The purpose behind this is to get people writing,” Nkenna Onwuzuruoha of the Community Writing Center said.
The CWC has posted some suggestions of topics for writers who are having a hard time getting started, such as, “Can you think of a time when you, purposefully or not, violated someone else’s civil rights?”
In conjunction with the writing campaign, KUED is airing programs about the Freedom Riders. The station recently aired an “American Experience” program that told of the Freedom Riders in 1961, as well as a program about the fight for civil rights in Utah. The community stories will be placed on KUED’s website as well as the Community Writing Center’s website.
The Salt Lake Community College Writing Center is located at 210 East 400 South, Suite 8 in Salt Lake City. The CWC supports, motivates and educates people of all abilities and educational backgrounds who want to use writing for practical needs, civic engagement and personal expression.
The CWC offers different programs for community members, including workshops that include a one-on-one session for 30 minutes. In this workshop, CWC employees offer any kind of help that is needed to revise a draft. Community members can come in twice a week for this.
The CWC also offers DiverCity Writing Groups, which give members of the community the opportunity to gather together and write about important issues. Some of these groups include the Gay Writes Group, the Environmental Group and multiple Literacy Action Groups, among others. Most of these groups meet in different areas throughout the city.
The CWC also has writing coaching classes at some libraries throughout the valley and at places like the University Neighborhood Partners (UNP) and the Heartland Center, where immigrant people stay. SLCC partners with the University of Utah to help educate these individuals. The center also offers workshops for writing in such things as writing for change, Utah Arts Festival, book reviews, screen plays, and other genres of writing. “We challenge the notion of what is good writing,” James Singer, Offsite Programs Coordinator said.
The CWC’s website address is www.slcc.edu/cwc, and their number is 801-957-2192.