HIGH POINT, N.C., May 4, 2016 – High Point University students presented today a book filled with 28 narratives from people in High Point’s historic Washington Street neighborhood.
Students spent their semester in an English service learning course interviewing community leaders, business owners and children who participated in the Community Writing Center on Washington Street to compile the 94-page book, titled “The Voices of Washington Street.” The book showcases the voices and stories of those community members.
Beginning June 1, the book will be on permanent display at the High Point Library in the Heritage Resource Center. It will also be on display at the HPU library and can be purchased at the HPU bookstore.
“I am grateful that my story is being told as a person who is very invested in this community, and I am honored that they wanted my voice to be in this book,” said Rev. Frank Thomas, pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. “It is great to connect with each of the students involved in this. Being able to talk about the past will make good steps to moving forward when it comes to Washington Street. In order to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been.”
HPU students and those whose narratives are in the book celebrated their accomplishments by reading and reflecting on the narratives that they created together.
“We are excited to expand and deepen our partnership with the Washington Street community,” said Dr. Cara Kozma, assistant professor of English at HPU. “Since we started the Community Writing Center on Washington Street, we have gotten to know the interesting history of that community and the innovative work that community members are doing. We are grateful to have this moment to hear their voice, share their stories and have them work together with the HPU students to develop this important project.”
“This process has been a great learning experience for me being able to work with my peers as well as members of the community,” said HPU student Jennifer Swiger. “It’s been incredible to see the relationships that have formed between the students as well as the community members that they worked with. This has shown me the power of relationships and what it means to sit and listen to someone speak about their story.”