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Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist Program

Each year, the Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (TFVSA) Program brings to CEW+ a social justice activist whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues. One goal of the program is to build the capacity and effectiveness of social activists. This is accomplished by giving the TFVSA time, space, and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.

The TFVSA program gives the selected TFVSA time for reflection, research, planning, and writing related to the area of activism. Each TFVSA is required to work on a project that will advance the future work of the TFVSA and potentially benefit other activists. This project may be a report, plan of action, communication strategy, training tool, or another item relevant to the activist’s work.

During the TFVSA cycle, applicants are invited to reside near campus for up to one month or make intermittent visits to Ann Arbor and work remotely.  The residency typically takes place during the winter semester with a presentation of their project taking place the following fall semester at the annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium. Travel expenses related to the residency are paid by the TFVSA endowment fund as well as a modest stipend for the individual.

Connections between Visiting Social Activists and influential community leaders at U-M and in the Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Grand Rapids regions have a positive and synergistic effect on all involved. Nationally prominent activists draw visitors to U-M, which advances U-M’s commitment to serving the community.  Through interactions and presentations, the TFVSA provides inspiration to community and campus members to advance social justice in their communities. Interactions between academics and TFVSAs nurture a “scholar-activist” mindset that can improve the quality of work done in academia as well as in social justice organizations.

The TFVSA program is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Twink Frey.

Eligibility

The TFVSA program supports activists whose work addresses gender equity issues that affect the lives of women and/or girls. The program defines social justice and equity programs broadly to include activism in such areas as housing, employment, income support, food security, education, violence, child care, health care, and employer benefits like paid sick leave and retirement income.

Visiting Social Activist Project

Interested activists must:

  • Develop a project proposal with deliverables relevant to their work.   Examples include a report, plan of action, communication strategy, training tool, or another item. The project will later be shared on CEW+’s website. Nominees must outline a plan for working on the project during their residency and describe how insights gained from the engagement will be integrated into the activist’s future work. Ideally, nominees should be able to suggest ways to disseminate their completed project in order to advance the work of other activists. Ideas with the potential to have a regional or national impact and/or to be replicable by other activists are encouraged.
  • Commit to spending four weeks dedicated to their residency during U-M’s winter semester, understanding that meetings and interactions can take place virtually but will happen during EST business hours
  • During residency, engage virtually or in person with U-M constituents including researchers, courses, community members, and/or students
  • Present at the annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium the fall directly after their TFVSA residency.  Presentations should: make accessible to a wide audience the importance of the work completed during their TFVSA residency; showcase their project; provide action steps and tools for how audience members (faculty, staff, students, and the broader community members) can implement change in their scope of influence.

Application & Selection Process

Applications are due no later than Sunday, May 22, 2022.

  • The application review, recommendation, and selection process will take place between June 1, 2022 and August 1, 2022
  • Notification of the selected visiting social activist will occur the first week of August 2022
  • The 2023 TFVSA will be publicly announced and introduced at the 2022 CEW+ Advocacy Symposium in September 2022.
  • The four-week residency (virtual and/or in-person) should take place between March 1 and April 30, 2023
  • 2023 CEW+ Advocacy Symposium in-person presentation will occur in September or October 2023 in Ann Arbor, MI

If you have questions, please contact cew-tfvsa@umich.edu.

 

 

 

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