National Day on Writing 2020

Celebrate National Day on Writing at URI!

This just in: URI’s fourth annual celebration of National Day on Writing has been extended two more days! This year’s celebration, now from Nov. 2-8, will focus on writing for social and racial justice, and we invite all students to participate

We’ve partnered with URI student organizations, as well as a community organization, to identify issues that matter to their membership. These organizations have designed writing invitations so that you, too, can add your voice to important conversations about racial and social justice. 

To participate, you’ll choose one or more community organizations listed below and accept their invitation to write for change. Different organizations will invite you to engage with different issues, using many different kinds of writing –– from protest signs and spoken-word poetry to self-care plans and letters to editors of local news outlets. Share your writing on your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI and read what others in our URI community are writing about, too.

Writers who participate Nov. 2-6 will be entered in daily drawings to win $200 Amazon gift cards. At the end of the week, all writers will be entered into a drawing for an Apple iPad. The more you write and share, the more opportunities you have to win!

For more than a decade, the National Day on Writing (NDOW) has celebrated the many places, reasons, and ways in which we write each day. This year more than ever, URI writing leaders recognize the power of writing to create a more just and equitable world; thus, we invite you to join us and write for change. 

URI Student Organizations: 

Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council (M.U.S.I.C.)
Cape Verdean Student Association (CVSA)
Ether(bound)
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Uhuru Sasa
The Womxn Project
P.I.N.K.
The Good Five-Cent Cigar
Student Alliance Welfare of Africa (SAWA)
Latin American Student Association (LASA)
Black Student Union (BSU)
Brothers on a New Direction (B.O.N.D.)

Sponsors and Thanks
This event is sponsored by First Year Writing, Harrington School of Communication and Media, Undergraduate Writing Center and Writing Across URI. Special thanks to Harrington majors Naleen Camara, Theresa Brown and Kaleigh Brunner, as well as pharmacy major Marisa Jacobs for their leadership and hard work on the NDOW planning committee. For more information about NDOW, please contact First Year Writing Director Stephanie West-Puckett (stephwp@uri.edu) or First Year Writing Assistant Director Genoa Shepley (genoa_shepley@uri.edu).
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council (M.U.S.I.C.)

NDOW focus: Black lives lost to police violence

Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council
Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council

About
The mission of the Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council (M.U.S.I.C.) is to serve as an organization and representative council of the student organizations affiliated with the URI Multicultural Center or ones that represent cultural or social change student groups. This council promotes cooperation and collaboration among multicultural student organizations. M.U.S.I.C. is committed to create joint efforts to help promote and sustain an inclusive atmosphere that fosters and enriches multicultural understanding among all members of the URI community.  This council facilitates communication and relations between M.U.S.I.C and the University to contribute to building a diverse, supportive and inclusive campus culture. Through partnerships and advising from the Multicultural Center, the council supports and provides a focus on educational, cultural and social programming that enriches and challenges the URI campus on issues of multiculturalism and diversity.

NDOW writing invitation
Every week of this year, there has been at least one Black person killed by a police officer in the United States. Protests all around the world have called for police officers to be held accountable for the unrightful death of Black people. 

We ask fellow M.U.S.I.C. members, the membership of all multicultural organizations and the larger URI community to create protest signs (digital or physical) in honor of and solidarity with the Black lives stolen due to police violence. Protest signs are a form of writing that forces attention to a cause. Whether using a phrase, picture, or a name, a protest sign can carry power and influence history. 

Join M.U.S.I.C by creating a virtual protest sign or post a picture of your physical protest sign — maybe even a selfie of you holding the sign — to your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI.

How to get involved 
We encourage you to join any one of URI’s great multicultural organizations.

Cape Verdean Student Association (CVSA)

Cape Verdean Student Association (CVSA)

NDOW focus: self-care

About
The mission of the Cape Verdean Student Association is to promote, educate and expose the members of the University of Rhode Island of the history, culture and lifestyle of Cape Verdean Heritage. CVSA is a family-style organization that aims to educate our members on Cape Verdean culture through music, dance, language, food and other customs and traditions, while also cultivating a family culture to where we all develop bonds within the organization. We are also concerned with the welfare of the Cape Verdean community, and through fundraising and community service events, we strive to give back to a community that we cherish so much.

NDOW writing invitation
Tell us how you practice or engage in self-care. Why do you think it’s important for you and others to practice self-care? Post your response (and maybe a selfie!) to #NDOW20URI.  

How to get involved
Visit our Instagram page: @cvsa_uri for updates on events planned throughout the year.  
Watch our recent Instagram Live discussions on Black Lives Matter.  
Follow on Facebook and Twitter
Email: cvsa@rhodysenate.org

Ether(bound)

NDOW focus: food insecurity

About
Ether(bound) is a literary arts magazine founded by undergraduates at URI. The group’s mission is to provide a venue for any and all forms of artistic expression through our magazine publication and to build a community of artists and creators.

NDOW writing invitation
According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, nearly four in 10 Black or Hispanic families face  food insecurity as the COVID-19 pandemic widens racial disparities.  

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 11 million children in the U.S. lived in homes considered food insecure. The USDA projects those rates will reach 18 million after the pandemic. Respond by writing a letter to Congress or by writing a poem.
Write a letter to Congress

Step 1: Go to Congress.gov and search for “food insecurity.” Find a bill that has recently been introduced (e.g., H.R.3718 – “Closing the College Hunger Gap Act of 2019”) and note where the legislation  is in the process (under Actions) so you can reference the status in your email.  

Step 2: Read How to Write a Letter to Congress and draft an email to your congressperson, asking them to fight on behalf of bills supporting food security. Feel free to draw upon templates but don’t just copy a form letter. Write a personal letter from the heart.  Introduce yourself and explain why the issue matters to you. If you have any personal or professional experience on the issue, say so — that adds to your ethos! Example: Because I have seen how food insecurity negatively affects learning, I know first-hand that this bill, if implemented, will improve student learning

Step 3: Post your letter to #NDOW20URI.

Write poetry—written or spoken word  
Join Ether(bound) by writing a poem that seeks to bring statistics related to food insecurity to life. Post your poem to #NDOW20URI.  

How to get involved
If you are a URI student (undergrad or grad), send us your work — or let us know if you are interested in joining our editorial board. Email: ether@rhodysenate.org Website: https://www.etherboundmag.com/  

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

NDOW focus: educational inequality

About
The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

NDOW writing invitation 
NSBE is concerned with academic and educational inequalities in the Black communities and inner city schools. Write about a personal experience that you (or someone you know) had where the education system failed you (or them). Or, if you want, write about education inequality in general. Choose the format best for you (e.g., a letter to self or another, a poem, a memoir/diary). Then, post your writing to #NDOW20URI. 

How to get involved 
Check out our website. Follow us on Instagram @nsbeuri. Join our Facebook group.
Email us: President.uri.nsbe@gmail.com or membership.uri.nsbe@gmail.com.
Tweet us: @NSBEURI. Join us Wednesdays at 6 p.m. (location tba).

Uhuru Sasa

NDOW focus: BIPOC safety and wellbeing

About
Our name translates to Freedom Now in Swahili. Our mission is to promote diversity, unity, love and friendship on URI’s campus. 

NDOW writing invitation
We are concerned with how Black people and people of color can be protected and be safe in our own communities. 

Join Uhuru Sasa in writing a self-care plan or a plan for the community for how you can promote health, safety and well-being. 

How to get involved 
Our organization meets Tuesdays, 7 to 8 p.m. Our email is uhurusasa@rhodysenate.org; Instagram & Twitter: @uhuru_sasa. 

The Womxn Project

NDOW focus: voting access and reproductive justice

About
The Womxn Project (TWP) is a statewide organization dedicated to building a strong movement that harnesses the power of art, activism and advocacy. We believe that together we can dismantle systems of oppression and uplift the voices of people in our communities throughout Rhode Island in order to shift power and shape the policies that impact our lives and the lives of our neighbors. We commit to embodying the principles of reproductive justice, cultivating innovation and advancing real and lasting change. 

NDOW writing invitation
Join TWP in writing letters to local magazines and newspapers (Providence Journal, The Independent, Narragansett Times, or Motif Magazine) to demand voting access, reproductive justice, access to high-quality women’s healthcare and a full range of contraception options. For tips on writing these letters, see The Good Five-Cent Cigar NDOW invitation.

How to get involved 
For news, events, and opportunities, visit the website.

P.I.N.K.

NDOW focus: breast cancer, sexual assault and rape culture stories of survival

About
We strive to develop a sense of belonging and membership to increase the retention of multicultural women. We aim to promote self-exploration, professional development and leadership opportunities, which enhance the undergraduate experience of multicultural women and prepare graduates for the workforce.

NDOW writing invitation
Join P.I.N.K. Women in sharing stories about the impact of breast cancer or sexual assault and rape culture. Post a story in words, pictures, videos, etc., to your favorite social media platform using #NDOW20URI.

 

How to get involved 
P.I.N.K. holds informational meetings 7 p.m. October 28 and November 18. The process for joining P.I.N.K. Women begins in the spring semester. There will be a breast cancer fundraiser from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 25 via Instagram, @pinkwomenuri, as well as A Night for Survivors and Solidarity via Zoom 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. October 28. 

The Good Five-Cent Cigar

NDOW focus: racism and injustice, concerns about COVID 19

About
Founded in 1971, The Good Five-Cent Cigar is URI’s student-run newspaper, dedicated to informing the URI community and acting as the student voice. The Good Five-Cent Cigar focuses on individuality and on allowing students to share their voices and identities with the community, as well as speaking up for what they believe in through editorial pieces and letters to the editor. 


NDOW writing invitation
 
The Cigar invites writers to compose letters to the editor (LTTE) of the Cigar and other local newspapers about  issues and concerns they may have in the world around them. These opinion pieces can focus on racism and injustice or concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips on this kind of writing: keep your piece short — a perfect LTTE is 250-300 words, know what you’re arguing and informing your audience about, and know what arguments people may have against your case. Prove them wrong! Tell people why they should be concerned or informed about what you are writing. If you have resources to share, include them.

How to get involved  
The Cigar holds meetings on Mondays at 6 p.m. over Zoom. The link is posted on our website. You can follow us @rhodycigar on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

Student Alliance Welfare of Africa (SAWA)

NDOW focus: police brutality in Nigeria

About
Students Alliance for the Welfare of Africa (SAWA) places Africa under a positive light for the benefit of everyone belonging to the University of Rhode Island and its surrounding community, and to increase their awareness and understanding of the several heritage and cultures of her people.

 

NDOW writing invitation
The #EndSars is a movement that is going on in Nigeria to demand the Nigerian government to put an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The squad was put in place to protect citizens from armed robbers, but instead of protecting they are extorting, attacking, and killing young, innocent civilians. Every single Nigerian has suffered directly or indirectly due to the SARS. Young demonstrators are calling for an end to bad governance and poor economic conditions. Nigeria is in chaos. The government is sending soldiers to shoot citizens at random. Many people are dying. SAWA demands an end to government exploitation and police brutality in Nigeria. We demand the attention and protection of the United Nations to help protect the people of Nigeria. 

Read Twitter feed @ENDSARS and work to understand conflict and violence in Nigeria around police brutality. Do you see similarities between Nigerian and American anti-police protests? What are your thoughts about how to end police brutality everywhere? Write a brief reflection and post to your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI.

Latin American Student Association (LASA)

NDOW focus: child detention and family separation at the U.S. border

About
As the Latin American Student Association on campus, our organization strives to educate and promote Latin culture within our URI community. We are dedicated to voicing issues regarding the Latin community. We welcome all peoples regardless of ethnic background. We are here to support one another in all means possible.

NDOW writing invitation
Our organization would like to speak on the current issues happening at the U.S border with  children being detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Lots of families have been broken up, and children undergo various forms of abuse and have traumatic experiences. Often, they are not fed or provided with adequate living situations. 

Join LASA in creating virtual or physical protest signs addressing this issue. Post your virtual protest sign or a picture of your physical protest sign — maybe even a selfie of you holding the sign — to your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI. 

How to get involved
LASA meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. (emails get sent out weekly to let members know if meeting will be on Zoom or Instagram live). To learn more, contact us at urilasa@gmail.com.

Black Student Union (BSU)

NDOW focus: Black Lives Matter

About
The mission of the Black Student Union (BSU) is to create a link between all students at the University of Rhode Island.  We strive to host conscious conversations on Black issues by Black people. The BSU strives to become a major social hub to serve the Black community of URI. (Black as an inclusive term for all students who have African descent). We seek to make all students of the University feel comfortable while being culturally competent on campus. We strive to encourage ALL students to become culturally aware/sensitive about Black issues and the Black Diaspora in order to unify the campus of The University of Rhode Island.

NDOW writing invitation
The BSU is most concerned about the well-being and unification of our Black student population at URI. However, this concern also extends to Black/African American people nationally. Our core values are unity and healing, which we advocate for and promote through our programming, events and organization as a whole. 

Join The BSU in expressive writing that speaks to the ways that Black lives more than matter through love, joy, desire, fear, pain, anger and struggle. Post to your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI.

How to get involved 
BSU’s Executive Board has been promoting and holding a lecture series instead of our normal meetings and details can be found on our Instagram @bsu.uri. You also can contact us at bsu@rhodysenate.org.

Brothers on a New Direction (B.O.N.D.)

NDOW focus: Black community issues

About
Established in 2007, Brothers on a New Direction (B.O.N.D.) is a brotherhood that recognizes the need for unity amongst young men. Through service and mentorship, the men of B.O.N.D. pledge to guide young men towards personal and professional growth.

NDOW writing invitation 
Right now, we in B.O.N.D. would like to address the state of affairs for members of the Black community whether that’s police brutality, oppression, lack of opportunity and more. 

 

BOND welcomes our brothers (and other members of the community) to create and upload a written or spoken word poem on any of these issues. Post to your favorite social media platforms using #NDOW20URI.

How to get involved 
B.O.N.D. will be having a semester long process to plan what will be happening this spring. We have a virtual information session on Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m.