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About Us

Embracing Our Differences SE Michigan is a nonprofit organization in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family.

The centerpiece is a juried, outdoor exhibit featuring 60 billboard size images created by local, national and international artists, writers and students reflecting their interpre- tations of the theme “enriching our lives through diversity.

Program
Description

Embracing Our Differences SE Michigan uses the transformative power of art combined with an educational curriculum to celebrate diversity. The centerpiece is a juried, outdoor exhibit featuring 50 billboard size images created by local, national and international artists, writers and students reflecting their interpretations of the theme “enriching our lives through diversity.”

Beautiful, breathtaking and insightful artwork on the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion are selected from submissions from around the world as well as from local artists. They will be enlarged to billboard size, printed on 16’ by 12’ 13 oz vinyl posters, and will be installed in Gallup Park, Leslie Science Center Park in Ann Arbor and Riverside Park and Parkridge Community Center Park in Ypsilanti. Chelsea may be a satellite site.

This program has been presented in Sarasota, Fla. for 19 years. (see www.embracingourdifferences.org) Through the generosity of the Sarasota organization and their interest in spreading these teachings, our community has been offered the art, the curriculum, their guidance, wisdom and experience to launch the program here in Washtenaw County. We would use their work for the first few years as a model. We will also feature local artists. We have sent out a Call for Art in Washtenaw County.

Our Vision

A society that embraces differences, builds respect and celebrates the diversity of the human family.

Board of
Directors

BOD-_0006_Bonnie

Bonnie Billups, Jr., Member

Executive Director
Peace Neighborhood Center

evie

Evie Lichter, Vice President

Community Activist

BOD-_0001_Pear

Edwin Pear, Member

Partner
Pear, Sperling, Eggan & Daniels

BOD-_0005_Findley_Lynette

Lynette Findley, Member

Clerk
Superior Township

BOD-_0002_Margolis

Nancy Margolis, President

Executive Director
Embracing Our Differences SE Michigan

Lynne-settles

Lynne Settles, Treasurer

Community arts advocate
Retired Ypsilanti art teacher

BOD-_0000_Smith

Versell Smith, Secretary

Executive Director
Peace Neighborhood Center

The Need

Children – and adults as well -- don’t always have the words to express how they feel --and these feelings can result in negative and aggressive behaviors. That is why art is so important. The art and quotes can be used as tools to spark discussions.

Building a society in which all people can feel equal, safe, admired, and affirmed sounds easy. But achieving such a goal takes community-wide education and on-going support.

Such an effort is rare but greatly needed. This program strives to bring together a wide and diverse population to work together to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family.

The Design

Working with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation department, Ypsilanti Parks and the Washtenaw County Parks Department, we have been given four park sites on which to install the billboards. The installations will remain for four months – May through September, 2022. After that time the billboards will then be available to give to schools, or other organizations.

We visualize that this program would become an annual event.

Team of Diversity Leaders

Lois Allen-Richardson
Wadad Abed
Bonnie Billups, Jr.
Jamill Bufford
Karen Crawford
Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Mel Drumm
Leigh Greden,
William Hampton
Henry Johnson
Huda Karaman Rosen
Evie Lichter
Nancy Margolis
Lucie Nisson
Amy Seetoo
Lynne Settles
Pam Smith
Versell Smith
Christopher Taylor
Brandon Tucker
Anthony Williamson

EOD Action Committee

eod_action_0006_barb bach

Barb Bach

evie

Evie Lichter

eod_action_0004_Diana McKnight Morton

Diana McKnight-Morton

eod_action_0005_Debby Mitchel-Covington

Debby Mitchel-Covington

eod_action_0003_Gill

Nan Gill

eod_action_0000_McKinney

Brenda McKinney

pat

Pat Chapman

BOD-_0005_Findley_Lynette

Lynette Findley

BOD-_0002_Margolis

Nancy Margolis

Lynne-settles

Lynne Settles

eod_action_0001_Marsha Chamberlin

Marsha Chamberlin

eod_action_0002_Grekin

Linda Grekin

Bia_Hamed

Bia Hamed

No Photo

  • Wadad Abed
  • Huda Karaman Rosen

Community
Partners

(As of October 21, 2021)
Amer Assoc of University Women
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Sponsor
Ann Arbor Art Center, Promotor
Ann Arbor Mosque, Imam Abdullah
Ann Arbor Park District, Sponsors: Use of park, scaffolding
Ann Arbor Public Schools, EOD curricula and trips to exhibition
Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Pop up concerts at sites
Beth Israel Congregation, Rabbi Caine, Sponsor
Chinese Center of Ann Arbor
Comcast, Sponsor
Corner Health Center, Student docents
CultureSource, Omari Rush
Destination Ann Arbor, Mary Kerr, Mailings and social media
Detroit Edison Foundation, Sponsor
EMU, Decky Alexander, Leigh Greden, Will promote program and train docents
Hands on Museum, Scrolling banners at museum
Increase Branding & Design, Justin J. Dunn
Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, Sponsor
Leslie Science Center, Supporter
Mayor Chris Taylor, Ann Arbor
Mayor Lois Richardson, Ypsilanti Ministerial Alliance, Rev Maurice Gordon
NAACP, William Hampton, Include in Juneteenth
Parkridge Community Center
Parkridge Heritage Festival, Will promote at festival
Peace Neighborhood Ctr & CAN families, Kids will be bused to sites
Riverside Art Center, Will promote
Rotary, Peg Talburt, Henry Johnson, Will promote program thru DEI committee
Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Will run art program for inmates
Somali Mosque, Imam Ahmad
SOS
Temple Beth Emeth, Rabbi Winston, Sponsor
UMMA, Will promote and train docents
United Way, Pam Smith, Wash Intermediate School Dist. (WISD)
Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw County Administrator
Washtenaw Cty Parks, Coy Vaughn, May host banners in Chelsea
YMCA, Toni Kayumi, High school groups docents
Ypsilanti City Council, Anne Summerville
Ypsilanti Park District, Use of park
Ypsilanti Public Art Commission
Ypsilanti Public Library
Ypsilanti Public Schools, Kathy Fisk, EOD curricula and trips to exhibition
My Brothers’ Keeper

Sponsors

Ambassadors

Partners

Associates

Friends & Boosters

Well Wishers

In-Kind

Land
Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional homelands and ancestral territories of the people from the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Wyandot tribes who lived on the land and along the Huron River for hundreds of years before Ann Arbor’s founding as a city.
We honor the land itself and the people who have stewarded it.

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