Social Injustice, The Arts, & Potential Growth for State of Michigan Proposal

  Olivia Meyers (Media Artifact Link): 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. I wish there were more creative opportunities in cities outside of Ann Arbor, for example Flint and Detroit, which would attract more tourists and locals, and take advantage of unused resources."   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 the arts and Hip-Hop 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 uses more money to promote cities like Detroit, Flint, etc., from a marketing standpoint– enabling more spaces for creative opportunities and education, attracting both locals and tourists. 

SOLUTION 2: State provides a music appreciation "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, attracting both locals and tourists, and promoting the arts. 



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. With that said, State funding can be used to enable more creative opportunities at Michigan funded schools where a diverse body of students can showcase their responses to our current world. Hip-Hop culture can have an impact across a variety of geographic, political, linguistic and cultural borders.

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal? Particularly drawn to Michigan's "Cool Cities" Initiative and the efforts to create change through urban revitalization, my proposal aims to address the abundance of unused resources located in Michigan cities that are, for the most part, neglected. 

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


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: UMich Professor Dr. Alison C. Bailey– 

"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. There is so much room for growth in certain Michigan cities such as Flint and Detroit that are being overshadowed by more prosperous cities in Michigan.

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: Flint Born Rapper Ira Dorsey– Although Dorsey has love for his hometown that fuels his desire to give back, he’s steadfast in his belief that there is insufficient investment in resources for students in Flint.  

"Flint was the first city to support me musically. Flint was the foundation I built my whole life and career on. Founded “Flint’s Youth Got Talent” to provide a platform to showcase the diverse talents of kids in the city. Growing up, there were so many talent shows I attended that sparked my career. A lot of kids have never experienced that, so I want to bring all the different sides of town, all the different gang associates, I want to bring everybody together and see that there’s a lot of talent. As opportunities for kids to participate in positive activities have shrunk over the years, so have opportunities for the city’s residents to get to know each other. Using music and art as a teaching tool as part of a weekly program at Flint Southwestern Academy, I try to help improve the city’s literacy rate– using Hip-Hop as an avenue to start dialogues gets students thinking about other creative outlets or sources of information. We look at social, economic, and political issues by using music and art to build a conversation. Usually when I incorporate music into the conversation, they open up more. The conversation flows easy when they can incorporate rap into it. It’s been successful. We’re building on it."

CONSULTATION 3: Mark V. Campbell– Mark V. Campbell is member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Arts Council and Founder at Northside Hip-Hop Archive

Cultural institutions need hip hop communities now more than ever. Hip hop culture, dismissed as fad when it first emerged out of New York City in the 1970s, has grown into a cultural phenomenon with global purchase which translates differently in countries around the world. Everyone needs to notice that Hip-Hop culture is doing more than just entertaining the masses. Hip- Hop is a multidisciplinary and multi-sensory art form. Hip-Hop culture illuminates a way forward within cultural institutions’ growth, evolution and vibrancy. 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.

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

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. The expression "pure Michigan" truly has two sides to the story. It is undeniable that the state is using money to promote already prosperous cities while not fully recogonzing the potential for the remaining. In order to evolve culture and build more creative opportunities, it is crucial to flatten the walls to create bridges of intercultural learning, which will undeniably attract more locals and tourists and provide more money to the State. (Spoke with Stefan Santrach).

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.

–Conversations with my listed consultants really shed light on the issue I am proposing. The arts can be a vehicle to guide people out of poverty and give people a way to structure all of their energy. Michigan's youth is packed with energy, and if proper outlets are not available, it has been proven that many will end up devoting it in negative ways. The arts can help mold creativity and take you places you could have never imagined. It would be wonderful to see Michigan's youth become better educated and properly informed about the power of art, culture, and Hip-Hop. For public-serving organizations like schools, libraries and arts institutions, a significant and necessary shift in values and operational practices within some of our aging institutions are necessary for change. With that said, better education and increased attention paid to creating platforms to showcase the diverse talents of kids in cities such as Flint and Detroit would offer a necessary beneficial outlet. These platforms could give all viewers the ability to look at social, economic, and political issues by using music and art to build a conversation. Hoping to provide visability to underpriveledged kids who face gender and social rights issues, creativity is used as an escape outside traditional methods.

Author contributions: Reaction formed 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

Whereas Hip- Hop is major

Whereas Hip-Hop does not recieve the same recognition as other musical genres such as jazz, classical, and contemporary

Whereas Previous Hip-Hop success stories (I.E Flint) give the State new opportunities to bring in money

Operative clauses


1. State creates showcase for Hip-Hop and the arts to not only give representation to students and citizens who are creating, but also to create economic benefit and growth

2. Incentivise for more opportunities of arts displayment to allow for creative expression, diverse practicemaking, and cultural unity

3. Greater arts funding and opportunities for learning within Michigan funded schools

4. Set up opportunities that showcase the seriousness of Hip-Hop culture and the arts (talent shows, competitions, etc.) 


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.

4. Why should the State focus more attention on cities that are not as prosperous as others

5. Negative sterotypes associated with Michigan cities that are not as developed.

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)?  

–A venue in Detroit, Approx. 250– 1700 people: ~($1,000– $10,000). Venue used to create opportunities for talent shows/ arts exhibitions/ and competitions

–Rented Speakers: ~($500)

–A Host Speaker: (Volunteered for educational purposes)

–Gallery Work: (Selected through application)

–Concessions: (Donated and provided to get company's name out there and promote events)

–Printing flyers, brocheres, posters, billboards: ~($2,500)





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Total votes: 22