The Cube (publishing – process – praxis) has won a 2021-2022 university Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant (CEIG). The grant, which provides funding for Colleges and Academic Units that “demonstrably benefit students and create a more inclusive campus community for all,” will be used to support three of The Cube’s upcoming projects: the Detroit Accessibility Project, Indigenous Games, and Holt Public Schools’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) content strategy and implementation.
The Cube works with faculty, students, and community partners on a range of projects. Dr. Kate Birdsall, Associate Professor and Director of The Cube, describes The Cube’s mission as such: “We publish projects that matter (to an individual, to an organization, to a community). Our publishing process consists of research, client feedback, refinement, testing and drafting. We apply our praxis of research-driven project management to every project to create desirable, functional, accessible deliverables.
The Cube launched in 2017 with just Birdsall and two interns, but their staff now includes several faculty mentors in CAL, graduate assistant Ceili Widmann, and a crew of undergraduate interns. As Birdsall notes, “Since we began, I’ve been committed to partner with and hire faculty and students of color, faculty and students who have disabilities, and faculty and students who are members of LGBTQ+ communities.”
We do all of our work… to make the world a better place, and these three significant projects have the potential to do just that.Dr. Kate Birdsall
The grant funding will be allocated to hiring paid interns to work on the three community partnership projects listed above. “All three of these projects are, at their core, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and each reflects the Cube’s internal values,” said Birdsall. “We do all of our work… to make the world a better place, and these three significant projects have the potential to do just that—both internally, in terms of my mentoring and support of students, but also externally, in the form of direct community outreach.”
The Detroit Accessibility Project, the brainchild of Professional and Public Writing junior Charlotte Bachelor, aims to help people in the metro Detroit area find accessible spaces for themselves and their families through the creation of a database, website, and mobile app.
The grant will also fund a partnership with Professor Elizabeth LaPensée, a faculty member with a joint appointment in WRAC and with Media and Information Studies in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. LaPensée is revamping and redeveloping a website focused on “Indigenous game development, Indigenous games, and Indigenous game studies,” which will promote gaming, specifically with the goal of inclusion and representation for Indigenous communities.
Finally, the grant will fund The Cube’s work with Holt Public Schools on their new DEI initiative, which will include a full communications strategy, branding, website creation and development, and social media creation and development.
With the grant funds and the work of the students who will participate across the projects, The Cube will fulfill the important focus of the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants program: engaging in inclusive activities that provide opportunities for learners from all backgrounds to bring their passion and talent and join a vibrant, intellectual community built on mutual respect. These three Cube projects allow students to have a powerful, positive impact across the communities in which they live, learn, and work.
Written by: Kara MacKenzie