Presented by Julia Bouwkamp & Jo Ellyn Clarey and co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council.
The historical charting of Grand Rapids women's runs for public office upends conventional wisdom and offers surprises about dates, the numbers of races, and the identities of women who participated in local politics beginning in 1887. Julia Bouwkamp and Jo Ellyn Clarey reported on how the national crowdsourcing project Her Hat Was in the Ring invited local researchers to share their data with the world, helping others complete and complicate American women's history by seeking out every woman who ran before 1920. This unique historical accounting hopes to inspire cities across the nation to create their own comprehensive elective histories.
On Monday, February 5, 2018, the Kutsche Office of Local History hosted a reception in honor of Levi Rickert and the exhibit: Standing Rock, Photographs of an Indigenous Movement.
During the recent Standing Rock resistance to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline, American Indian journalist, Levi Rickert, knew the largest American Indian movement since the 1973 Wounded Knee was unfolding. Rickert, the publisher and editor of Native News Online, covered the emergence of the movement from Standing Rock, Washington, D.C. to the steps of Michigan’s capitol. The results of his photo-journalist work yielded over 1,500 photographs that capture the intensity of the movement. Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement provides a glimpse of the struggle for indigenous water rights and tribal sovereignty.
Photo credit: Bri Luginbill, Bird + Bird Photography
On November 8, 2017, close to 40 individuals from local historical societies, museums, and libraries joined the Kutsche Office of Local History for the 2nd Annual Fall Luncheon. M. Christine Byron presented: Promoting Michigan for 100 Years: A History of the West Michigan Tourist Association.
Voices of GVSU: Activism through the Decades (12 Photos)
In February 2017, the Kutsche Office of Local History in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship and Special Collections & Archives hosted an exhibit highlighting student activism at the university form its founding until 1979. Featuring university photographs and articles in The Lanthorn, the exhibit underscored students’ social justice efforts. The exhibit also included more recent examples of student activism on campus, inviting viewers to consider the question “How do you define activism?” Special thanks to Andrew Collier, who served as the OURS Undergraduate Research Assistant on this project, and undergraduate student Courtney Wagasky, who designed the exhibit posters.
8th Annual Local History Roundtable (52 Photos)
Held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 in GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Kirkhof Center (Allendale, Michigan), the 8th Annual Local History Roundtable focused on the theme "Reconstructing Home." Highlights included presentations by Professor Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen (MFA in Writing Program at University of San Francisco). Julie Tabberer, head of the Grand Rapids Public Library's Local History Department, and Nathan Nietering, Executive Director of Saugatuck Douglas History Center, as well as a panel discussion on the value of History Harvests, focusing on work in Oceana County.
On Thursday, February 9, 2017, a panel of undergraduate students discussed their experiences organizing on campus and how they view their social justice work. They reflected on what propelled their advocacy and work in various campus organizations.
Grand Rapids and Social Activism in Today's Political Climate: Connecting the Broader Movement to the Local Experiment (32 Photos)
Grand Rapids and Social Activism in Today's Political Climate:
Connecting the Broader Movement to the Local Experiment
A resurgence in social activism occurred within the last five years. Nationally, protests and boycotts reflect a desire and movement for change that addresses societal inequalities. Dr. Louis Moore will give a presentation examining how the national movement and actions towards social justice impacts the local experience of those living in West Michigan. He will highlight the origins, evolution, and deeper meaning of the movement and how activism in today’s political climate interacts with higher education. This presentation is sponsored by the Kutsche Office of Local History and is part of its project, “Histories of Student Activism at GVSU.”
Nuestra Comunidad Hispana (100 Photos)
Focusing on Holland, Michigan's Latino communities, this project collected over 50 oral histories between August and November 2016. Those materials are permanently archived in the Herrick District Library. Everyone who participated in the project received a free copy of their photograph and oral history at a special reception held February 28, 2017 at Herrick District Library. These photos are from that reception.
Telling Your Story--Holland High School (56 Photos)
On November 9, 2016 Kimberly McKee facilitated a "Telling Your Story" workshop for Holland High School seniors. She discussed the importance of oral history and storytelling traditions as a method to preserve personal and community histories. Students reflect on how social media is a twenty-first century archive.
Over 40 members of local community organizations gathered for lunch and discussion on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons. Following lunch, Dr. James Smither, Professor of History at GVSU, and Director of the GVSU Veterans History Project facilitated the workshop, "Getting it Right: The Best (and Worst) Practices of Oral History", which was attended by students and community members.