Rollins Premiers "Detroit: The Motor-City Experience"

November 20, 2009

DetroitA 40-minute documentary titled, "Detroit: The Motor-City Experience,” produced in partnership with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, premiered at the ACE Fall Out Festival on November 1. Over 100 members of the Rollins community gathered on Mills Lawn to see the premiere of this much-anticipated film and to show support for their peers.

The film featured an immersion experience taken during the 2008 Rollins Immersion: Alternative Spring Break program in which nine Rollins students embarked on a six day community-based learning experience where they were immersed into the culture and history of Detroit.

In an effort to educate the Rollins community on the importance of this immersion experience, the group decided to document their travels. Videographer Seamus Harte, a producer for the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, traveled with the group and filmed their involvement and volunteer efforts. Throughout the experience the camera continued rolling, filming the learning process.

The students were led by Interim Director of Explorations Meghan Harte, Assistant Director of the Office of Community Engagement Meredith Hein and student site-leader Katie Powell (Class of 2011). Each project provided experiences where participants were able to engage and reflect on the most pressing civic, structural and social issues in the Motor City. Students worked in partnership with the Eastern Michigan University Child Development Center, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Friends In Deed and the Avalon Housing project.

“Immersion experiences by their nature are challenging,” said Megan Harte. “The concept is based on learning through extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions that are pertinent to the object of study, which means you cannot escape the learning.” Detroit provided an opportunity for service and for students to learn about their own lives.

“Watching the movie brought back a ton of good and difficult memories,” said Aspen Fox (Class of 2011), a participant in the Alternative Spring Break in Detroit. “The trip was so eye-opening and enlightening. It was amazing to see the final product. I think it was important for the rest of the Rollins community to see the film because it showed the experiences that students could be a part of and the opportunities they can take advantage of while here at Rollins.”

The Rollins Immersion Program is funded by the Offices of Community Engagement and Student Involvement and Leadership through the generous support of the Rhoda Newberry Reed Foundation.

The film “Detroit: The Motor-City Experience” can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

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