Danny Wilcox Fraizer Workshop; “Fault Line: A Nation Divided”

During October 21-30th I was apart of an intensive documentary photography workshop with renowned photographer, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, at Central Michigan University. This workshop was titled “Fault Line: A Nation Divided,” and focused on exploring what has caused our society in the U.S. to be polarized and divided and communities that are working to build unity. Below is my story (which was finalized by myself, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, Kent Miller and a group of peers). There will be another post later explaining my experience, so look out for that. Enjoy!!

P.S. Thank you so much to the community of Mack Avenue Community Church for allowing me into your lives during this week, I am truly grateful.

Listen to this song while viewing photostory, it was presented to the public on the 30th with this audio addition. The song is sung in the Chruch during worship: “Awesome” by Charles Jenkins. This song was my inspiration for the mood and message of this photostory.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_UE7xgNOzM

“Going Block to Block, Neighbor by Neighbor”

Executive Pastor, Leon Stevenson, prays during his personal time in the sanctuary at Mack Avenue Community Church in Detroit on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
On Saint Louis Street in Detroit resides Mack Alive, a community-based organization to help the East Detroit neighborhoods and citizens.
Executive Pastor, Leon Stevenson (center, green), addresses the Mack Avenue Community Church congregation about working together as a community to help each other succeed during the MACC Harvest Festival in Detroit, on Saturday, October 21, 2017.
The Egger Family, (left to right) Kristin (mother), Hazel (10 months), Silas (3 years), Dietrich (5 years), and Nate (father),gather together on the couch in their home in East Detroit after the kids got home from school on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The Egger family has five children, three biological and two adopted.
Edythe Ford stands in her kitchen, that she is repairing, in her home in East Detroit on Friday, October 27, 2017. Edythe was awarded the Spirit of Detroit Award for her contributions and outreach in the community and neighborhood.
The Egger Family, (Clockwise) Kristin, Dietrich (10 months), Aoife (8 years), Nate, Hazel (10 months), Adelaide (7 years), and Silas (3 years) gather hands for prayer before dinner on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
The congregation of Mack Avenue Community Church participates in worship by signing songs before Sunday service begins on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
(left to right) Aoife (8 years), Kristin, Silas (3 years), Nate, Dietrich (5 years), and Adelaide (7 years) listen to “Fly Guy” before reading a passage from the Bible in preparation of bedtime in their home in East Detroit, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
(right to left) Kristin Egger sings “My Little Sunshine” to her daughter Hazel  (10 months) after her nightly ritual before laying her to sleep on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Hazel was born prematurely and has problems keeping food down, she has a tube in her stomach to help with feeding and has to go through breathing treatments as well.
Children participants of MACC Sports warm up before the final soccer games in Pingry Park in East Detroit on Saturday, October 28, 2017. MACC Sports is apart of the MACC Development, one of the many ways Mack Avenue Community Church engages with the neighborhood community and racial reconciliation.
The community of MACC is centered in East Detroit off Mack Avenue. The church works to build connectivity between residents of Pingry Park and Indian Villiage. While areas in East Detroit are starting to improve in living conditions, there are still parts that battle blight and abandonment.
Eydthe Ford leaves a neighbors house after a spontaneous visit while Edythe was out for a walk, on Friday, October 27, 2017. Edythe goes out around the neighborhood and takes photos of houses and yards that are falling apart or in need of repair, during her “Click, Send, Fix” initiative for the community.
Nate Egger brushes son, Silas’ (3 years) teeth before bedtime while daughter, Adelaide (7 years) and son, Dietrich (5 years) act silly behind him, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
Edythe Ford (left) and Paris Randolph (right) sit together in Randolph’s house in East Detroit during a spontaneous visit on Friday, October 27, 2017.
MACC Development also has a youth division, focusing on their young children in the neighborhood and their academics. During this time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, children in the neighborhood come together for afterschool for bible study, physical activity, and academic tutoring.This is one of the many ways Mack Avenue Community Church engages with the neighborhood community and racial reconciliation.
(left to right) Dietrich (5 years), Silas (3 years), Nate Egger (father), and Aoife (8 years), gather around the “Donut on a String” activity during the MACC Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The Harvest Festival was an initiative to bring the community and church members together for a family-friendly event and racial reconciliation.

*This photo essay was apart of a documentary photography workshop with renowned photographer, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, titled “Fault Line: A Nation Divided”*

Mack Avenue Community Church, located on the corner of Mack Avenue and Harding Street in East Detroit is a staple in the community. MACC works to build racial reconciliation in the community under the influence of God and  one of their mottos, “Block by Block, Neighbor by Neighbor.”

MACC is lead by two pastors, Executive Pastor and Pastor of Community Development, Leon Stevenson, and Lead Pastor, Eric Russ. They are also assisted by a group of Church Elders and a Director of Operations. MACC Vision Statment is, “seeing communities transformed both spiritually and physically starting with our own.”

MACC also hosts 5 Ministries, including outReach Detroit, MACC Groups, MACC Development, MACC Youth, and MACC Kids. outReach Detroit is described as (from their website), “Outreach is an expression of Christian (followers of Jesus Christ) servants caring for others with intentionality so that those who live in the city of Detroit may experience true life.” MACC works to build opportunities for children, the community members, and church members to grow individually and as a group both spiritually and physically.

Members of MACC that truly stand out for their outreach and acts by the word of the Bible are the Egger Family and Edythe Ford.

The Egger family has 5 children, 3 biological and 2 adopted. When asked why the need to adopt, Kristin Egger states, “It is a three-fold reason:”

1. Because of Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed; Take up the cause of the orphan; plead the case of the widow.” and the Eggers state that they view this as a commandment by God. 2. They witnessed children in really poor foster homes in their neighborhood and wanted to help give them more opportunities. 3. Before they were married, both Nate and Kristin Egger wanted to adopt.

Edythe Ford was awarded the 2017 Spirit of Detroit award along with two other recognitions from the City of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department for her active work in making sure the community and neighborhood are safe and in good living conditions.

Mack Avenue Community Church is a bring the Church back into the active lives of the neighborhood and community. They are working with all people of all races to build unity and show the strength and hope that lives within Detroit.

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DNCE Concert at Central Michigan Univeristy 2017

I have FINALLY gotten around to posting, writing and sharing my experience photographing the DNCE concert at Central Michigan University this past April during my internship with University Communications.

Working this show was the first time I felt alive again when shooting. I got a euphoric feeling photographing the concert and I realized what I wanted to do with my degree and in the field as a photojournalist. I want to shoot music, from concerts and festivals to studio work with bands/artists for a publication.

This was probably my favorite experience from my internship and the first time I felt like I had what it took to be a photographer. I knew nothing about shooting a concert, I just read things on the internet from professionals and then went out. It was a rush working this show. I had three cameras, a small area to work, 4 other student photographers, and Joe Jonas running all over the stage. It was AMAZING! I believe these were the best photos I have ever taken and I am beyond proud of my work from this event.

This is my calling. I want to be a music photographer, I just need more practice and more chances to gain experience. Below are my best photos from the concert. You can also find these on my Instagram @alisonzywickiphotography or on the Central Michigan University Facebook page under photo albums.

ENJOY!!! (Criqutes and feedback are always appreciated)

DNCE CONCERT WITH OPENING ACT BY CORD OVERSTREET @ CMU

DNCE performs at the Central Michigan University spring concert Friday, April 21, 2017
Cord Overstreet performing his opening act for the DNCE concert at Central Michigan University
DNCE performs at Central Michigan University for the spring concert on Friday, April 21, 2017.
Cord Overstreet performs as the opening act for DNCE at Central Michigan University for their Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 2017
JinJoo Lee (left) and Joe Jonas (right) of DNCE performed for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 2017.
DNCE performed for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 201
Crowd of Central Michigan student sing along with DNCE during their performance for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 201

My Internship With University Communitions This Past Spring

Wow, I cannot believe that last semester I had an internship of a lifetime. I hope I can get the chance to continue working with University Communications, but if not I still wanted to share my experience.

This past spring semester was actually a hard one for me. I struggled a lot with my self, personal issues, school, etc. Yet, I got this amazing opportunity to work as a photography intern with Central Michigan’s Communications Department under the instruction, guidance, and mentorship of Steve Jessmore. You literally could not ask for a better experience than this as a photojournalism student at CMU.

With this position, I got to grow little by little as a photojournalist, ignite my passion more, and learn a lot about myself and my potential. I will be honest and say I don’t believe I gave 110% of myself when holding this position due to my struggles during the semester, but I did grow a lot.

I got to photography things I would have never dreamed of getting the chance to photograph. DNCE (in another blog post), Laverne Cox, CMU’s President Ross, a Pan-African Fashion Show, and more, these are just a taste of what it is like to hold this internship.

I learned how to expand my eye when shooting, leave the front and head to the back of a room to get a wide shot of the crowd or a full photo of the scene. Go behind the speakers or below, looking up, to get different angles. I learned to not just shoot and shoot and shoot. I am not paparazzi. Photojournalists wait for moments, they wait for drama, action, excitement, etc. We show emotion through our work and want to bring the viewers into the scene, making it feel like they were actually there, while accurately depicting what occurred.

I will admit, I was not the best one of the group at first, or even at the end, but I grew. I learned from my mistakes and listened to my critiques. I was told that I need to just be constantly taking photos, every day, of anything because there is always something occurring. This was the one tip I never fully applied though, because with my Resident Assistant position, classes, sorority, personal issues, etc, I thought I wouldn’t be able to. This was just me holding myself back. I have a little bit of free time every day, even if it is just for 10-20 minutes, it is experience, practice, and growth. I have to learn how to find stories with out an assignment now and I will be fully applying this advice this semester, I wish I just fully listened and realized this before. Don’t make my mistake and remember you are a photographer always.

I do really believe I got some of my best collegiate work during my internship with University Communications. I can only go up from here. Below are some of my favorite photos from some of my favorite shoots/events.

Enjoy! (plus, sorry this post was super late in comparison to when I had the internship, lol.)

-Check out my photos from DNCE in another post!!-

Laverne Cox – CMU Speaker Series 

Laverne Cox, from Orange is the New Black, speaks to the students at Central Michigan University about her life, transition, and working career.
Laverne Cox, from Orange is the New Black, speaks to the students at Central Michigan University about her life, transition, and working career.
Laverne Cox, from Orange is the New Black, speaks to the students at Central Michigan University about her life, transition, and working career.
Audience cheers as Laverne Cox walked on stage before her speech with the CMU Speakers Series.
Laverne Cox, from Orange is the New Black, speaks to the students at Central Michigan University about her life, transition, and working career.

 

Annual Meet President Ross, Hosted by the International Student Organization

International Student Organization hosted the annual Meet the President with President Ross in the Park Library Auditorium, on the campus of Central Michigan University.
International Student Organization hosted the annual Meet the President with President Ross in the Park Library Auditorium, on the campus of Central Michigan University


 

Lize-Sized Board Game Event for an RPL Class

CMU students play a life-sized version of Ker-Plunk during an event from an RPL class in the Finch Field House on the campus of Central Michigan University.
CMU students play a life-sized version of Hungry Hungry Hippo during an event from an RPL class in the Finch Field House on the campus of Central Michigan University.
CMU students play a life-sized version of Ker-Plunk during an event from an RPL class in the Finch Field House on the campus of Central Michigan University.
CMU students play a life-sized version of Jenga during an event from an RPL class in the Finch Field House on the campus of Central Michigan University.
CMU students play a life-sized version of Ker-Plunk during an event from an RPL class in the Finch Field House on the campus of Central Michigan University.

 

Annual Griffin Forum

Five state political leaders — including U.S. Sen. Gary Peters — shared their perspectives on how citizens can make a difference in today’s polarizing political climate at the Griffin Policy Forum. – Caption provided by Central Michigan University Communications

 

Girls on the Run 5k 2017

For the past two years, I have been a volunteer photographer with Girls on the Run of Central Michigan. This non-profit works to teach girls in elementary and middle school self-confidence and self-love, all while training to run a 5k. This year was an amazing experience for me, the Director of GOTR referred to me as the professional photographer. It just felt job to have her recognize my work and treat me as a professional, not just a student. I also grew from the experience this year and I learned how to shoot action shots, find moments, and work with large groups of people for portraits. I had a blast. This is definitely another aspect of photography/photojournalism that I am growing an interest in and it only increased my passion for this career.

Below are some of my favorites from the day. Sorry, this post was made late since the 5k was in May. Enjoy!

 

 

Pit Photography Workshop at Warped Tour

This summer I went to Warped Tour and participated in a rock pit photography workshop with photographer Lisa Johnson. It was an experience of a life time.

I got to photograph rock bands, some I have never heard of before, but all of which I couldn’t imagine I would be able to. I got the opportunity to be in the pit for New Years Day, William Control, Stacked Like Pancakes, Andy Black and Dance Gavin Dance.

This a different experience than the time I photographed DNCE at Central Michigan University. I had to struggle with the changing light since the festival was in the day time. I had to deal with different types of security and getting into the pit. I also had to work with different lenses. I knew this experience would be a bit of a struggle because I do not own a wide angle lens and had to struggle with getting the shot. Through all of these minor struggles, I learned a lot from this workshop.

I learned about the safety lane that you have to leave for security so they can get to fans that are crowd surfing. I experienced having to work with a lot of photographers and not a lot of space to work around. Most importantly, I know this is what I want to do. I need more experience, I know I have a lot of work on and I can grow as a pit-photographer, but my passion for this has only grown.

Below are my personal favorite 12 photos from my time at Warped Tour. Enjoy!

Critics/Opinions/Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Nikki Misery from the band New Years Day plays during their set at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
Ashley Costello (left) and Jeremy Valentyne (right) from New Years Day perform during their set at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
A crowd of fans cheers during the set of Dance Gavin Dance at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
Wil Francis (right) and Ben Tourkantonis (left) perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday. July 21, 2017.
Wil Francis (right) and Ben Tourkantonis (left) perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday. July 21, 2017.
Kellen McKay, lead singer of Stacked Like Pancakes, stands on the hands of the crowd during their performance at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
(From left to right) Alec Leventis, Kellen McKay, Andy Dawson, and Zach Foote perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
A fan crowd surfs during the performance of Andy Black at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
(From left to right)Kellen McKay, Alec Leventis, Andy Dawson, and Zach Foote perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.
Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

A Day in the Life of Rabbi B


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/215874382″>A Day in the Life of Rabbi B</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43506384″>Alison Zywicki</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Rabbi Becca Walker (aka “Rabbi B”) is the Senior Jewish Educator for Hillel at MSU and Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan (HCAM). Rabbi B has been an official Rabbi for about a year or so, after 9 years of school from undergrad to rabbinical. Being a member of the conservative movement there can be challenges as a woman rabbi, since only recently the movement opened up the idea of having them. The Jewish Conservative Movement is apart of the three Western “movements” or divisions of Judaism, Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox. So in understanding this, Rabbi B follows an authentic Jewish lifestyle from keeping Kosher to not traveling or using electricity on Shabbat. This does not make her boring for Rabbi B is one of a kind.

She relates extremely well to collegiate students, who she works with on a day to day basis. As the Senior Jewish Educator, Rabbi B is there to help students learn about Judaism (religiously and culturally), interfaith, theology and most importantly showing that being Jewish is part of life. She leads Shabbat services every week and she leads the high holiday services as well for the Jewish community. In addition, Rabbi B works with the Hillel staff on planning events from interfaith dinners to Sparty’s Bar-Mitzvah Party, that they hold twice a year. She also brings a creative side to Jewish learning with her music videos relating to holidays and events and crafts, such as your Jewish glasses.

This is Rabbi B’s first year working with Hillel at MSU and HCAM and we cannot wait to see moe amazing things from her. Watch her video profile above to learn more.

Fighting Antisemitism on CMU’s Campus

Fighting Antisemitism on CMU’s Campus from Alison Zywicki on Vimeo.

In February, an Antisemtic valentine made at party  hosted by  the College Republicans was passed out in Ansapch Hall. This valentine stated “My love burns for you like 6,000 Jews” and in addition had a cutout if Hilter placed on it. A photo of this valentine was posted to Facebook immediately afterwards and spread through social media like wildfire. The posts caught the attention of various News organizations and reached all the way to the Israeli Press. In addition, the Jewish student organization at CMU, Hillel, was informed and they contacted the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity to combat the valentine and to hold a formal inquiry. As a result it was learned that the valentine did not come from a registered CMU student, CMU’s  President Ross issued an email to the campus apologizing for the valentine, and the College Republicans issued an apology via Facebook.

The campus came together a day later to hold a rally and peaceful march against hate speech on campus. Members from Hillel, Hadley Platek and Steven Keene both shared their experiences with Antisemitism and many other community members spoke up about their experiences involving hate speech. The OCRIE office also held two town halls one on Faith and the other on Free Speech to help educate the campus student body.

Watch the video to learn more.

Women of CMU 12. Kathleen Trombley

Senior Kathleen Trombley poses for a portrait in the Bovee University Center on the campus of Central Michigan University, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. “My definition of a feminist is just someone who understands the barriers rooted in this country that go against women and how difficult it is to triumph over those, but continues to do that anyway. Put in the work, put in the advocacy, the activism to try and override those barriers, because obviously they are unequal. So, just really trying to be as intersectional as well with your feminism. Knowing that everyone women of every demographic is involved and they all have equal opportunity to be present in this country as much as any man. I would say also that a feminist is someone who also does more to dismantle those (barriers) for other women, not just themselves,” states Kathleen.

 

This is our last #WomenofCMU entry. This journey was amazing and I have learned so much about women leaders on our campus and different perspectives on what it means to be empowered. I hope you all enjoyed this campaign as much as I did and I look forward to restarting it again next March in honor of Women’s History Month because there are so many more amazing women on this campus that deserve a shoutout.

Say hello to our final and 12th #WomenofCMU for this year, Kathleen Trombley. Kathleen is a senior here at CMU. She is a 2 year SAPA (Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates) member and is a program coordinator within the group. She is also an intern with the Office of LGBTQ Services here on campus since February since February 2016.ml

“With SAPA it really was my experience as a survivor that got me involved in the group and got me interested, along with some of my friends that came before and they would talk about it with me. I was like wow this group is amazing and they do such great work on this campus. So, with that having inspiring women in my life that helped me, kind of pushed me into choosing SAPA and also my experience asa survivor, it made me realize that this is something that I wanted. Something that I would be good at. For a while I felt like I didn’t really find my niche here, I was involved in other things but, I didn’t feel totally comfortable involved in what I was doing until I go into SAPA. With the Office of LGBTQ Services, I am a member within the community, so barriers and struggles for those that are LGBTQ+ have always been something that has been close to my heart. I really understand how hard of a transition it can be coming to college and not really having a support group…I wanted to be that person within the office that maybe someone who is a freshman who didn’t have that support, they can be themselves with,” explains Kathleen.

There is always a reason we get involved in the organizations we choose. There is a reason women on this campus are empowered. For Kathleen, she stated the administrators of SAPA were women who helped motivate her to be an empowered woman and the best advocate she can be. It is everything to have a mentor to guide you and help you become the best version of you. Talking with Kathleen, I could just see her passion on the topics previously stated. She glowed and just shows pride, which is what you want to see in someone who is an advocate. She even wants to be involved as an advocate career wise. Studying Family Studies here at CMU, she has so many opportunities to help people and continue make her impact on this world.

“I would really love to work with individuals who come from families of abuse, whether it be domestic violence or alcohol…along with working with individuals in the queer community who may have experienced those as well…I just really want to work with groups of people when it is difficult to have voice sometimes, because of pressures our society has on those groups of people. Like survivors of sexual aggression and LGBTQ+ people…As someone who is in both of those groups, I understand how hard it can be sometimes and how difficult it can feel to rise about what you have experienced,” states Kathleen.

Kathleen really fits with my 5 pillars of feminism (look at previous posts to learn more), but I also thinks she belongs with her definition, or any definition. She stated her mentors were women who showed what it meant to be dedicated and hardworking, but I see her also being that person, even though it was just a 20 minute interview. That, to me, is extremely powerful. Kathleen, like all the women in this campaign, in some shape or form have left their stamp on this campus and they will be remembered. I am honored get to know these women, their passions, and their perspectives on why it is important to empower women today.

“Negative statements (against women) they produce a toxic culture, where we feel like there is a hierarchy where some individuals are more superior then others. That culture, it makes it okay for people to commit violence or harassment against specific groups of people, making it harder for them (minorities) to rise up in our society as equals…I think women of the past are a great platform, but we need to do better. For example, Susan B. Anthony, she was a great woman, she was a great advocate for women’s rights and women’s voting but, she was also only focused on white women. So, when we look to these women of the past, we also have to look at their areas of improvements. Women of today, Elizabeth Warren or Michelle Obama, (we have to look at) what they are doing now and how inclusive they are being now,” informs Kathleen.

Thank you Kathleen for allowing me to speak with you. Thank you so much for you advocacy on this campus and the positive impact you are making.

 

 

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