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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

New book gives voice to Syracuse Westside residents

Writing students facilitate creation of HOME: Journeys into the Westside

Aug. 8, 2011, by Judy Holmes

Cover of HOME
Cover of HOME
The Gifford Street Community Press, a Syracuse-based community press, announces the publication of HOME: Journeys into the Westside, an exploration of the diversity and rich cultural heritage of Syracuse’s Westside neighborhood through the voices of its residents.  The publication will be celebrated during an invitation-only event from 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 17 in the Café Kubal at 601 Tully Street, Syracuse.  The book will be available in the Café or by contacting the Gifford Street Community Press.

The Gifford Street Community Press was created in 2010 to provide a venue for the multilingual and multicultural voices of Westside residents to be heard and shared. Building from the community’s sense of kinship, the Press aims to support conversation and build relationships that will foster greater civic awareness of local issues and, when necessary, support resident-driven change in the neighborhood. 

The creation of HOME: Journeys into the Westside was facilitated by Syracuse University students who worked with residents to create their narratives. In addition to the longer narratives, the students collected shorter writing pieces and drawings from residents through a series of community-based writing stations students facilitated, last spring, in churches, libraries, coffee shops, and restaurants in the Westside neighborhood over eight weeks. The students were enrolled in courses presented by the Writing Program in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and cross-listed with the Department of Anthropology in the Maxwell School. 

The Gifford Street Community Press plans to produce and showcase artwork, writings, and other meaningful cultural pieces that represent authentic voices from the community. The mission is to contribute to the promotion of love, healing, and respect within the Westside, and validate the existence of peoples and cultures represented in the Westside Community.

Further information about the Gifford Street Community Press can be found online. For further information about the event, email Steve Parks at  call 267-258-9632.