By Sabrina Bilimoria, Thomas Friedlander, Noah Betman, Shahnur Ahmed, Amina Bilic, Tyler Underwood, Davina Buruchara, Sarah Twomey, Won Ju Kang, Indulekha Ghandikota
The Global Scholars Program is a learning community at the University of Michigan that aims to teach its students about social issues. Students are split up into Collaborative Groups of ten and each group is centered around one of the Millenium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. These groups spend the year on their Research Action Projects, which involve researching and implementing an action focused on their Millenium Development Goal. Our group focused on promoting gender equality and empowering women. We researched the effects that the media has on violence against women in the United States and in South Asia and concluded that the media has a negative impact in both regions of the world. We wanted to implement an action that would have a tangible impact on someone’s life because we believe that is the best way to contribute to the cause of female empowerment. We focused on raising funds for The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit that employs homeless women in Detroit to make free coats for other homeless individuals. Our hope is to empower women by giving them the financial resources they need to make their contribution to society. By hosting a bake sale in North Quadrangle, a dormitory at the University of Michigan, we raised $250. In addition, we published a piece in our campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily, that was comprised of quotes and pictures by those who bought from our bake sale; our piece included content about campus views on gender equality. The coats that are provided to the homeless as a result of our fundraising will provide homeless individuals with a means to stay warm and sleep comfortably for a long time. The Michigan Daily article will also be available for an extended amount of time, allowing students to read it.