The Cube, which is housed in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) and offers publication resources for the Michigan State University campus community and beyond, has won a 2021-2022 Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant (CEIG) to support three of its projects.
CEIG funding is awarded to projects that aim to create a more inclusive educational and work environment for all. The Cube will use this funding to hire paid MSU interns to work on the following three projects: the Detroit Accessibility Project, Indigenous Games, and Holt Public School’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) content and strategy implementation.
“All three of these projects are, at their core, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and each reflects the Cube’s internal values,” said Kate Birdsall, Director of the Cube and Associate Professor in WRAC. “We do all of our work…to make the world a better place, and these three significant projects have the potential to do just that — both internally, in terms of my mentoring and support of students, but also externally, in the form of direct community outreach.”
The Detroit Accessibility Project, which is the brainchild of Professional and Public Writing junior Charlotte Bachelor, aims to help people in the metro Detroit area to find accessible spaces for themselves and their families through the creation of a database, website, and mobile app.
“We do all of our work…to make the world a better place, and these three significant projects have the potential to do just that.“Kate Birdsall, Director of the Cube
The grant also will fund a partnership with Elizabeth LaPensée, Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in WRAC and the Department of Media and Information in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. This partnership aims to revamp and redevelop a website focused on Indigenous game development, Indigenous games, and Indigenous game studies with the goal of promoting gaming that supports inclusion and representation of Indigenous communities.
The CEIG funding also will support the Cube’s work with Holt Public Schools on the district’s new DEI initiative, which will include a full communications strategy and branding as well as website and social media creation and development.
These three Cube projects allow the students who are working on them to have a powerful and positive impact in these communities. Through this work, the Cube aims to fulfill the important focus of the CIEG program by engaging in inclusive activities that provide opportunities for learners from all backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to use their passion and talent in a vibrant and intellectual community built on mutual respect.
Launched in 2017, the Cube works with faculty, students, and community partners on a range of projects.
“We publish projects that matter,” Birdsall said. “Our publishing process consists of research, client feedback, refinement, testing, and drafting. We apply our praxis of research-driven project management to every project to create desirable, functional, accessible deliverables.”
“We apply our praxis of research-driven project management to every project to create desirable, functional, accessible deliverables.”Kate Birdsall, Director of the Cube
When the Cube began four years ago, it started with just Birdsall and two interns. Since then, it has expanded to include a graduate assistant (Ceili Widmann), several College of Arts & Letters faculty members, and a crew of undergraduate interns.
“Since we began,” Birdsall said, “I’ve been committed to partner with and hire faculty and students of color, faculty and students who have disabilities, and faculty and students who are members of LGBTQ+ communities.”
For more information on the Cube and the projects it is working on, visit the Cube website.
(Written by Kara MacKenzie and originally published on the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures website)