Social Injustice Proposal

Olivia Meyers (Media Artifact Link): 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

  2. Persona and POV statement Persona: Persona name: Amy Age: 24 School/occupation: Graduate student at UM Location: Born in Flint, MI.   Quote: "Given my area of interests, which I am extremely passionate about, I get the sense that my resume is both overlooked and mocked"   About:
  • American Culture
  • Studying Hip-Hop 
  • Studying Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics (DEI)
  • To get a job at a university
  • To continue studying hip-hop and to show students that hip-hop is just as worthy as classical music, greek mythology, etc.
  • Equal opportunity employment laws


POV Statement:
  • User: Amy, a hard working, knowledgeable PHD candidate is looking to find an academic postion where her expertise in hip-hop and DEI related topics are not overlooked. 
  • Need: Wants to feel proud about her knowledge, hopes to educate and inspire others 
  • Insight: Because of her unsettling upbringing, Amy wants to show how hip-hop, through the use of tempo, dance, and lyric can offer a release of stress and encourage creative expression


3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: State provides events for hip-hop listening, lyric analysis, and creative writing 

SOLUTION 2: State provides a "hip-hop" week in August (same month that hip-hop was founded)

SOLUTION 3: In order to honor hip-hop and recognize social injustice– State uses funding to throw an annual concert with an array of performers and performances



Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan: Given the undeniable fact that the State has granted constitutional autonomy to Michigan's public universities, my proposal aims to address ways to create new possibilities for urban revitalization. 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal? I was particularly drawn to Michigan's "Cool Cities" Initiative and the effort to create change through urban revitalization. 

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal? Recognize the importance of audience and community. Given the diverse community that pays visits to Growing Hope, it is crucial that my creative practicemaking uses appropriate language, clear signage, and thoughtful infographics to articulate a clear message to the diverse community.

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue: 



Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: Many in our community lack an understanding of key concepts relevant to diversity, equity and inclusion or have not had thoughtful and substantive opportunities to engage these concepts, especially across boundaries of difference. It is important to develop approaches so that all students and postdoctoral scholars learn about critical concepts such as privilege, unconscious bias, accumulation of (dis)advantage, and micro-aggressions, and increase their skill level in communicating across cultures.

CONSULTATION 2: Space is a valuable resource, and the way we choose to use that space reflects our priorities and commitments. Space has a tremendous impact on the learning environment within the College. Effective use of space can create natural learning communities that invite intercultural engagement and/or provide “safe havens” for groups to come together and feel included and supported. Where possible, we should examine how to design, redesign, or repurpose the space to be more welcoming and inclusive.

CONSULTATION 3: Despite a concerted effort in outreach and proactive recruiting, our student body is not sufficiently diverse. A number of critical issues faced by undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars were identified. In terms of demographics, the enrollment numbers for many groups are significantly below that of the general population of the State of Michigan and the United States, for example. Female student enrollment across undergraduate and graduate populations is at the mid-20% level. URM enrollment is ~11%, though students explained that this calculation, which is a percent of domestic students, is misleading: because of the significant number of international students, especially at the graduate level, the minority student enrollment “feels” much lower. Many URM students have solo status in their classes. We have not reached critical mass for URM students, and only reach critical mass for women in some departments.


Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

After speaking with both Jeff and Michael, and recognizing the fact that the State has granted constitutional autonomy to Michigan's public universities, my proposal addresses ways to better Michigan as a whole. Strive to engage hip hop as a living and evolving culture that exists across national borders flattening walls to create bridges of intercultural learning.


Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.


Author contributions: All work done by Olivia Meyers


The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

–Engage hip hop as a cultural ethos that refuses to solely entertain

–Ensure cultural institutions reflect our contemporary society

–Create the possibility for more and better representations of lives outside of the mainstream

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).


1. Urban revitalization–  revitalize Michigan’s cities by attracting the jobs and talents of the emerging economy 

2. Promote diversity, innovation, arts, and culture

3. Thinking about how to take hip hop culture seriously for public-serving organizations like schools, libraries and arts institutions, is a significant and necessary shift in values and operational practices within some of our aging institutions.

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. Hip hop culture dismissed as fad

2. Unfortunately, through mainstream media, we have been exposed to many nefarious images of Black criminality and conspicuous over consumption.

3. Critical attention to, and appreciation of, hip hop artists’ work  is not a magical solution for aging cultural institutions.

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  




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