Lessons on Community Building from The Dream Storytelling Project – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Lessons on Community Building from The Dream Storytelling Project

Inez Mendez


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Alisa Perkins, Ethnographic Research Director
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Dream of Detroit,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 6
Presenter: 1

Event Link


The Dream Storytelling Project is an oral history initiative with the purpose of educating the wider public about Detroit’s African American Muslim and African Muslim community-building and revitalization efforts. I served as a transcriber for several oral history interviews. In this capacity, I worked to make the content of each individual’s interview clear for the wider public. As I carried out my work, I learned about the mosque as a venue for community-building, acting as a gathering place for people to meet throughout the week. I also observed the importance of language and shared rhetoric, noticing the prevalence of Arabic terms and phrases. Additionally, I noted the importance of community building efforts via the devotion of individuals’ time and skillsets, applying them to the different needs of the population in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all. Once finalized, the transcripts are then shared via an interactive multimedia website and permanent public archive. This allows for The Storytelling Project to provide educational materials about African American Muslim and African Muslim history and leadership in Detroit, thereby building knowledge about under-represented and under-served populations.

Authors: Inez Mendez
Research Method: Community Based Research

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