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Grant number like: PY-234362-16

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Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI 49401-9403)
Melanie Rebecca Shell-Weiss (Project Director: June 2015 to June 2019)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$11,522 (approved)
$11,346 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 5/31/2018

Growing Community: A Century of Migration in Oceana County

Events that would preserve and raise appreciation for community history in Oceana County, Michigan. The project would be undertaken via a collaboration between Grand Valley State University's Special Collections and Archives and the Kutsche Office of Local History, the Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society, and El Centro Hispano de Oceana. Building on extant community relationships, the Kutsche Office would gather historical materials and oral histories from Latino elders and youth through a one-day “history harvest” event. The project would also present a series of community dialogues, which would take place during Hispanic Heritage Month, about the history of immigration in Michigan.

This project aims to build community among residents of Oceana County, Michigan, by holding a "history harvest" to gather in migrant family histories from across the region. A collaboration among El Centro Hispano de Oceana, the Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society, and Grand Valley State University, this effort will: 1) Build connections between Latino elders and youth through an engaged planning process; 2) Bring together seasonal migrants and year-round residents to document and preserve their diverse experiences and family histories; 3) Preserve these histories so that they will be accessible to future generations; and 4) Use these materials as the basis for a community dialogue as part of Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations 2016. Themes in this exploration will include migration, labor, religion, family, belonging, national and cultural identities, language, and citizenship. It will also help foster a shared sense of community across ethnic and class lines.