Arts at Michigan, ArtsEngine, and the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service & Learning
have created the Art 4 Activism initiative as an annual competition promoting student engagement
and activism through the arts. The results are a series of competitions asking students to create
written and visual art addressing social justice themes.
Arts at Michigan, ArtsEngine, and the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service & Learning collected
submissions for Art 4 Activism: A (Very) Short-Form Writing Competition. The winning writer gets their
work incorporated as thematic content in a poster to be designed and distributed around campus during
the Winter 2018 semester! This year's theme is "American Values?"-- writing submissions could take the
form of a poem, a statement, a call to action, a creative reflection, a message-- as long as they got
their point across in 500 characters or less!
Miriam Saperstein's winning submission:
America will steal your land, your dreams, your heart, all while saying “I love you.” America will suck the
life right out of you, singing “liberty, liberty, liberty.” America, don’t you know “I’m sorry” only works
if you don’t do the same thing again? Healing’s hard work, America— we’ve got a long way to go, and the stakes
are high. America, are you listening? Are you willing to try?
What do we value? We value ourselves. Our strength is that we are good. Our weakness is that we think we are
Constantly watched and preyed on as young girl Constantly watched and preyed on as a Black child Constantly
watched and prayed over as a young Black girl Because those who came before me knew from the moment I took
my first breath What it was that I would have to face And those who come after me will know too Because as
a Black woman I bear no right to who I am, because who I am will never be right to you.
Our world is changing. We live in a united state of confusion; We live in disunited states of mind. Our world
is changing. You act like you hate me; I don’t understand you. So I ask, if we're really so different: What
are your American values?