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Local Writer Watches Teens, Understanding Blossom with Nonprofit

When Lynne Golodner started One Earth Writing, a nonprofit that connects teens across racial, religious and socioeconomic divides through writing, she had no idea what this new adventure would bring her.

It has brought her joy, surprise and so much more. But it also needs support to keep it going. That is why One Earth is hosting its first fundraiser on Wednesday, May 10th, at the Maple Theater, at 6:30 p.m.

Beginning with a presentation to celebrate and applaud the organization’s first graduating class of Ambassadors, the evening continues with a screening of the film Freedom Writers, followed by a Q&A discussion curated by husband-wife journalist team Brian Dickerson (of the Detroit Free Press) and Laura Berman (formerly of the Detroit News).

Tickets are $25 (includes popcorn and a beverage) or $100 for 20 VIP seats (which comes with website and event recognition). The event is sponsored by Zingerman’s.

“One Earth Writing uses writing workshops as a way to connect teens from different races, faiths and socioeconomic origins, and we’re seeing a huge need for this in our current political climate,” says Founder/CEO Lynne Golodner.

Tickets are available at http://tinyurl.com/OEWFreedomWriters.

Part of the funds raised at this event will go to build a scholarship fund for One Earth Writing’s Ambassadors program. The application-only writing program brings together motivated student writers in grades 7 through 12 for an intimate intensive focused on using writing as a conduit for developing identity in the context of the other. Ambassadors also facilitate peer writing workshops during the program.

The completion of One Earth Writing’s first class of Ambassadors will be celebrated at the event. Current Ambassadors, who apply to participate in nine writing workshops and co-facilitate three peer workshops, include Neely Allen, an 8th grader at Berkshire Middle School; Anna Cervantes-Mayville, an 8th grader at Millennium Middle School; Ashleigh Garrison, a senior at International Academy East; Chloe Halprin, a junior at Berkley High School; Sohil Jain, a junior at International Academy East; Shikha Lakhani, a junior at International Academy East; Jillian Lesson, an 8th grader at West Hills Middle School; and Jasmein Minhas, a junior at International Academy East.

“As someone who loves literature and connecting with other cultures, the One Earth Writing Ambassadors program has been like no other,” says Ashleigh Garrison, a Detroit resident and graduating senior. “I would recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about writing and willing to open themselves up to others’ mindsets, cultures and more. Whether you’ve been writing since adolescence or it’s something you are just getting into, apply. No matter your experience level, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge from the program. If you’re looking for a safe, judge-free environment (with great food, too), then this is the program for you.”

One Earth Writing is currently accepting applications for its next Ambassadors program, which takes place July 10-20, 2017. Apply here: http://oneearthwriting.org/ambassadors/.

Karen Dybis

Karen is an editor and writer for Corp! Magazine. She graduated from the University of Michigan and has worked at The Mackinac Island Town Crier, The Kalamazoo Gazette, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram and The Oakland Press. Karen spent five years at The Detroit News as a business writer with stints in retail, workplace issues and personal finance. Dybis also was a blogger on Time magazine's "Assignment: Detroit" project.

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