Housing Works R.I.
In the Fall of 2018, two sections of Dr. Hendrickson's CORE 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Examined Life course, produced a research report on the ethical dimensions of housing and
recommended opportunities for digital storytelling. In Spring 2019, students in WTNG 299: Community-Based Writing in a Digital World course used that report to research and plan video interviews with several organizations - ONE Neighborhood Builders, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, and YouthBuild Providence - who address housing as an economic, environmental, and educational issue. These stories spotlight the faces and voices of the movement to address the housing crisis in Rhode Island while demonstrating that just as the problem of affordable housing affects every aspect of our lives as Rhode Islanders, so do the solutions.
The students worked with Housing Works Rhode Island who conducts research and
analyzes data to help shape public policy related to housing in Rhode Island. Housing Works plays an important role in advancing housing affordability as a public policy priority which is essential to Rhode Island’s economic future and health. The organization wants to better communicate directly with Rhode Island residents to raise awareness of how the lack of affordable housing affects everyone. Dr. Hendrickson's classes have partnered with the organization to help humanize the data through digital storytelling, a strategic way to further inform people about the importance of affordable housing and to challenge common misperceptions. Through this partnership, Roger Williams University students are learning how to creatively raise public awareness regarding real community issues in artistic and thoughtful ways.
Author: Kerry Clark