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Solar Eclipse for the Visually Impaired

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 5:28pm

Solar and lunar eclipses happen everyday, but on Monday, August 21st, for the first time in almost 40 years, the path of the moon's shadow passes directly over the United States! The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse.

Viewing parties similar to the one hosted by AADL are not hard to come by, but what about those that are visually impaired? Here are two options for those that are not able to view the eclipse:

The American Council for the Blind in collaboration with Nashville-based trained audio describer Julia Cawthon, will describe the eclipse as it happens and provide a vivid “translation” of the visual event into words for the benefit of anyone who tunes in. Click here to access the broadcast, or dial 605-475-8130 and select option 4 to listen by phone.

The Eclipse Soundscape Project, from NASA's Heliophysics Education Consortium, will also deliver a multi-sensory experience of this exciting celestial event. The project includes real time audio descriptions of the eclipse, recordings of the changing environmental sounds during the eclipse, and an interactive “rumble map” app will allow users to visualize the eclipse through touch. You can download the iOs app here; an Android app will be available soon.

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Community Conversations: The Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Crisis in Washtenaw County

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:00pm


[|Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton], [|U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg] and [|U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell] invite you to attend a vital kick-off conversation with residents about the mental health/substance use disorder/opioid crisis affecting all of us across [|Washtenaw County]. The conversation will take place on August 21, 2017, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at [|Saline High School]. Come together as a community to learn, provide input and discuss how to address this crisis which is devastating to many families. To register for this event click [|here], e-mail or call 734-973-4613.

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Support Group for Parents of Suicidal Children

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 4:14pm

[img_assist|nid=364846|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=79]A new support group for parents caring for children with suicidal thoughts and behaviors will have its first meeting on Monday, August 21, 2017 from 7pm-8:30pm. This meeting will be held at the [|Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD)] building located at 1819 South Wagner Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

This new support group will be led by trained [|National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)] volunteers, and is a collaborative effort with NAMI Washtenaw County, [|Washtenaw County Public Health,] [|Community Mental Health,] [|University of Michigan Depression Center] and the WISD.

Please note that participants will be the parents or guardians of children (middle-school aged to 25 years old) who are currently exhibiting suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or have done so in the recent past.

Please contact Alison Paine, NAMIWC at with additional questions.

AADL has a number of [k:suicide?search_format=a|books] related to this topic, as well as occasional [|events] for those going through the grieving process.

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Blog Post


Fri, 07/07/2017 - 2:58pm

Spring Awakening today is, for some, what Rent was in the ‘90s. Originally written as a German play by Frank Wedekind in the 19th century (and promptly banned), it resurfaced as a rock musical by Duncan Sheik in 2006. Starring Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff of future [|Glee] fame, the show took home eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score. It was recently revived on Broadway by Deaf West Theater in 2015, receiving an additional three Tony nominations.

The story follows teens under oppressive boarding school and home regimes as they navigate a multitude of difficult topics including sexuality, pregnancy, abortion, suicide, neglect, and abuse – serious stuff! That’s why [|Ann Arbor in Concert] – which is producing the show for one night only on Saturday, July 15th – is working to ensure that prospective patrons learn as much about the musical’s content and topics as they can before deciding if the show is right for them. The Ann Arbor District Library is presenting, [|“Spring Awakening: How a 19th-Century German Play Rocks with Relevance Today,”] a talk and discussion led by Corner Health Center Health Educator, Social Worker, and Teen Peer Education Theatre Troupe Leader, Craig VanKempen, MSW, MPH. This event will take place on Monday, July 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library’s Downtown Branch.

The Library offers a plethora of additional resources for community members to educate themselves about Spring Awakening and its topics. Patrons can check out the [|musical score] or [|soundtrack] to hear the incredibly powerful music and decide if the more explicit lyrics are their cup of tea. Frank Wedekind’s [|Four Major Plays] is also available for those interested in reading a translation of the original story.

One of the primary conflicts of the musical is that the adults prioritize avoiding their own discomfort over their children and students’ safety. Today we know that, although uncomfortable at times, understanding and talking about sex, consent, suicide, and bullying reduces shame, promotes accurate information, and enables people to access resources when they need help. How different would the story of Spring Awakening be if Wendla’s mother had talked to her the way that Grandma talks to her grandchild in [|Anastasia Higginbotham’s book], or if members of the entire community had been about to check out resources like [|Kate Bornstein’s book] from their local library. Today we also have many excellent organizations in our community including [|Ele’s Place], [|Ozone House], [|SafeHouse Center], and [|Corner Health Center] to provide additional support and resources to those who need them.

Spring Awakening is not a show for everyone, and Ann Arbor in Concert has posted a parental advisory to encourage prospective patrons, particularly those with younger family members, to learn more about the show before purchasing tickets.

AADL's [|Pulp] has published a [|preview] about the show.

Ann Arbor in Concert’s one-night-only performance of Spring Awakening will be on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets are on sale at [|] or at the [|Michigan Union Ticket Office].

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Blog Post

Queer Prom

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:15am

[img_assist|nid=361481|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=71]Join Ozone House and Corner Health as they host this year's Queer Prom! The event will be held Friday, June 23rd from 7-11 p.m. at Bona Sera Underground.

If you are 14-20 years old, and identify as LGBTQ or are an ally, this party is for you! Admission is free, but an RSVP is required. Interested persons should text "TXTRSVP QUEERPROM" to 313131 or visit the [|Ypsi Queer Facebook page.]

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Is the Good Neighbor Project Right for YOU?

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 7:06pm


[|The Good Neighbor Project] is co-mentorship program designed to match up free-world individuals with Michigan prisoners who are serving Life or long sentences.

The Project is a program that applies [| restorative justice] practices and principles by way of a one-on-one “co-mentorship” within the community by providing tools for repairing harm in relationships caused by crimes committed by our incarcerated neighbors. The program also seeks to foster the change necessary to facilitate the political will to advance criminal justice reform.

Many of these prisoners have been incarcerated for so long that they have lost their network of social support from family, friends, and the community. It is through letter or email correspondences that the co-mentors develop strong & meaningful relationships that are meant to promote transformation, redemption and healing. The next two (2) hour training session in providing our outside participants with all the information necessary to create a productive “co-mentorship” will be at The AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program, 124 Pearl Street, Suite 607, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 (734) 761-8283 | Prisoner number: (734) 761-9796 on Thursday, October 5th from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Other sessions are as follows, all from 6:00-8:00 PM:

Wednesday, October 18

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Dawn Farm's Educational Series

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 1:48pm


You’re invited to Dawn Farm’s free Educational Series. The Education Series schedule can be found [|here]. You can also contact Dawn Farm at 734-485-8725 or All programs are free, and all are welcome to attend! Registration is not required. Programs will be held at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center Auditorium (ground floor,) 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti.

Does Addiction Treatment Work? will be presented on Tuesday May 16, 2017, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, by [|Dr. Carl Christensen, MD, PhD, FACOG, FASAM, ABAM]. Recent publications claim to define research-supported definitive truths about the root causes of addiction and efficacy of treatment modalities; however, conclusions are conflicting and have been subject to differing interpretations. Dr. Christensen will review the recent criticisms of treatment for addiction including Twelve Step, residential, and medication assisted therapy, the scientific studies that do and do not support their use and other controversial issues.

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Washtenaw Literacy and VISTA

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:50pm

Washtenaw Literacy has been awarded two AmeriCorps VISTA positions by the Michigan Non Profit Association for 2017-2018. Click here for posting and link to application. The VISTA positions will support the development of the Community Opportunity Center by providing outreach and onsite management. Additionally, VISTAs will be working on projects to improve financial and workplace literacy for adult learners. Interviews are conducted now! For more information, contact Alison. These full-time positions begin August 8 and are a great opportunity for someone just graduating college, changing careers or newly retired. Don't miss out on a chance to have a significant local impact through VISTA service!

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Ann Arbor Arab American Parent Support Group Meeting

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 8:59am


The Ann Arbor Arab American Support Group, A2A2PSG, will be hosting their final meeting of the school year on Sunday, May 21, in the 3rd floor freespace of the downtown library.

The Ann Arbor Arab American Support Group:

  • Promotes the success of all students in the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) with special attention to students of Arab descent.
  • Partners with AAPS staff to create an environment of respect and appreciation for diverse cultures within and beyond the school community
  • Serves as a liaison between AAPS and students and their families
  • Coordinators of A2A2PSG typically meet in the freespace on the 3rd floor of the downtown AADL, once a month during the school year. You may contact the group at:, or for more information, visit: (this site requires flash). New members are always welcome.

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    Medication Take-Back Event

    Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:20am


    Three in five teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parent’s medicine cabinet. Help protect your teens against [|drug abuse] and overdose by disposing of unused and expired medications. On Saturday, May 20 from 10:00-2:00 in the [|Pioneer High School] parking lot, join the University of Michigan [|Division of Pain Research] (Department of Anesthesiology) and the [|Ann Arbor Police Department] to battle the very frightening but real trend of prescription drug abuse. They will be accepting the return of pills, capsules and patches. Not accepted items include needles, syringes, lancets and liquids. If you have any questions, contact Kristin Bennett at 734-998-0455 or