How We Got Started:
Ann Arbor community activist Nancy Margolis visited Sarasota, Florida for many years. While there, she toured Florida’s Embracing Our Differences exhibit and became excited about bringing it to Michigan. She hoped our community leaders would share her enthusiasm and agree it was time for Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to experience the joy and learning from this program.
In Spring, 2021 Nancy began meeting with community leaders to present the concepts of Embracing Our Differences: an outdoor art exhibit and accompanying K -12 educational programs focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Everyone was resoundingly enthusiastic. Nancy and her initial team met with over 100 local organizations in 7 months. Volunteers came forward. A Board of Directors was formed. Embracing Our Differences Michigan became a 501©(3) in Spring, 2022. Our first gift, $25,000, was pledged in June, 2021.
Embracing Our Differences Michigan is modeled after the Sarasota, Florida program. Since 2004, Sarasota has had more than 438,000 students participate in Embracing Our Differences educational programs. Their 2022 Call for Artists and Call for Phrases received over 17,000 entries from 123 countries!
This educational and inclusive concept originated from the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, Israel. A leader in the Florida community saw the traveling exhibit when it came to Sarasota years ago and that community’s efforts have led to our ability, many years later, to bring it to Michigan for all our benefit.