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Collections by Michelle Brown WSG Julia Putnam, Principal of The Boggs School

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Collections by Michelle Brown

Collections by Michelle Brown


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In 1992 James and Grace Lee Boggs brought together a coalition of local and national activists/organizations to work with young people to form a multicultural, intergenerational youth program/movement called DETROIT SUMMER. Our guest is Detroiter, Educator, and Activist Julia Putnam. Today she  is the principal of the James & Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit named after the legendary Detroit activists.

The school offers a Place-Based Education (PBE) program which is committed to school-community partnerships to develop students as citizen-stewards of healthy ecological-social systems.   PBE immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum. It emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the school and the local community, often focused on eco-justice.

Participation in service projects for local community is nothing new to Putnam. She was the first youth Volunteer of DETROIT SUMMER.It was led by James and Grace Lee Boggs along with a coalition of local and national activists and organizations. The experience of working with this broad spectrum of people challenged some of the preconceptions she had picked up as a youngster. DETROIT SUMMER was a family and catalyst to many activities in the rebuilding, redefining and respiriting of Detroit's neighborhoods. The Boggs’ challenge to activists, volunteers, and the community was “What can we be that our children might see?”  The legacy lives on at the school in its new home and in Putnam.

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