I'm Emma Brush and here I am at the place where it all began-and by "it," I mean Motown, of course! That's right, I've been living, working, and thriving in my hometown Detroit this winter. I spent 11 weeks as an intern at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, a non-profit civil rights organization that works for inclusion and equality of opportunity in Metro Detroit.
The internship was essentially half history class, half real world. I got to do research at the Detroit Public Library, listen to oral histories, and learn about the history of Detroit, specifically in terms of race and discrimination. At the same time, I was working on the Roundtable's "Race2Equity Project," which included writing a script for an educational website and creating a guidebook for a traveling exhibition. One of the coolest parts was attending a retreat for the Metro Detroit Truth & Reconciliation Commission (although it was unfortunately the same weekend as Winter Carnival). This "Truth Commission" was established to hear testimonies from the people of Detroit and make them public, so as to address what happened in the past-like during the race riots of 1943 and 1967-in order to be able to look forward to the future.
The whole experience was eye opening in many ways. One of which was that working eight-hour days really helps you to appreciate hour-long classes. But another was that racism and prejudice are alive and well, and whatever I end up doing in life, I want to be combating them. The work can be frustrating and disheartening, but it can also be rewarding. I have Dartmouth to thank for providing me the window of opportunity to learn more about my city and about what