SCOPE Grants for Community Service & Social Justice
The mission of the Wilson Center’s SCOPE grants is to provide opportunities for students at the University of Maine to explore their values, to act on their concerns and to build human connections through programs that are designed and led by students. The SCOPE grants are given in honor of Rev. Elizabeth Morris, chaplain of the Wilson Center from 1990-1993.
Proposed projects must be aimed at addressing a particular social justice issue and/or community need. Students should look critically at a social issue they would like to address. Potential issues include poverty, homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, barriers to school & job success, environmental degradation, access to quality medical care, gender discrimination, racism, LGBTQ+ issues, and prejudice and discrimination of all kinds. We have found that SCOPE projects work best when they come from the bottom up and work to empower local communities and thus we encourage students to consider partnering with an existing organization. Additionally, we welcome creativity in addressing a wide range of social issues. If you have a question about whether your idea fits into the category of a social justice initiative, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Wilson Center staff to run your idea by us!
Winners of the 2017-2018 SCOPE Grants:
Rachel Alexandrou is a senior at the University of Maine studying Environmental Horticulture. She will work with the UMaine greenhouse to provide unique fruit and vegetable cultivars and growing support to low-income families.This project works to address the problem of the increasing food insecurity in Maine, while also attempting to help children and their parents reconnect with each other, their food, and the natural world through the joy of gardening.
Danielle Daigle is in her second year as a graduate student at the University of Maine School of Social Work. Her project will benefit the Black Bear Exchange by purchasing the materials necessary to begin blanching vegetables, which is a process in the freezing of vegetables that extends the “shelf-life” of these perishable yet important food items.
Winners of the 2016-2017 SCOPE Grants:
Dylan and Andrew Smith are Anthropology majors, minoring in Native American studies. Dylan and Andrew wanted to provide an opportunity for students in the forestry, anthropology, and Native American studies programs to learn about traditional knowledge of forest resources. In Spring 2017 Dylan and Andrew Smith showed a group of students how to make a wigwam (a traditional Native American shelter) and other traditional skills such as foraging, making tea, cooking meat over a fire, weaving wampum, and making fishing nets. They also showed them how to make traditional tools like arrow heads, arrows, bows, hand axes, atlatls, and clubs.
Ming-Tso Chien is a Ph. D. student studying literacy education. Ming-Tso hopes to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding, encourage family literacy, and empower parents as agents of family literacy. A work in progress, his project will aim to give parents an opportunity not only to recommend culturally appropriate children’s books but also to create their own bilingual texts for their children and other children in the community.
Susan Smith is an interdisciplinary Ph. D. student focusing on the intersections of art, critical theory and activism. While working on a project devoted to the refugee crisis in Europe, she began to realize that displaced populations across the world were not very different. As people are displaced from their homes and must make new lives, Susan’s project focuses on this idea of home, what home means to different people, and how that idea changes based on our personal experiences. She is currently working with various community partners in the area to create cardboard representations of their idea of home. Once completed, the houses will be on display at various galleries in Maine throughout the next year, including The Wilson Center!