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Explore the Neighborhood

Explore the Neighborhood

Explore the Neighborhood

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Explore the Neighborhood is an experiential learning opportunity with a focus on diversity in Ohio.

This project will include hands-on activities, speakers, a book discussion group, and digital storytelling. 

Throughout their journey, students will have the opportunity to obtain stamps in an Explore the Neighborhood passport, earn a Good Neighbor certificate, and have a chance to win some great Ohio University swag.

 Exploring the Neighborhood through Story Mapping and Digital Storytelling 

Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Place: OHIO Lancaster
Virtual: Receive a link after registering


Dr. Troy Hicks, professor of English and education at Central Michigan University, will help you discover ways to integrate images, audio, and video into storytelling projects. We will explore the process of story mapping (creating web-based interactive maps with multimedia elements), as well as digital storytelling (creating brief digital videos that allow us to visualize personal narratives). In doing so, we will engage in experiential learning with the devices that we carry in our pockets and purses, using our phones to tell our neighbors' stories. 

Book Discussion

While the Earth Sleeps

While the Earth Sleeps We Travel: Stories, Poetry, and Art from Young Refugees Around the World by Ahmed M. Baer

Date / Time:



Beginning in 2018, Ahmed M. Badr—an Iraqi-American poet and former refugee—traveled to Greece, Trinidad & Tobago, and Syracuse, New York, holding storytelling workshops with hundreds of displaced youth: those living in and outside of camps, as well as those adjusting to life after resettlement. Combining Badr’s own poetry with the personal narratives and creative contributions of dozens of young refugees, While the Earth Sleeps We Travel seeks to center and amplify the often unheard perspectives of those navigating through and beyond the complexities of displacement. The result is a diverse and moving collection—a meditation on the concept of "home" and a testament to the power of storytelling.

See the interview with actor Ben Stiller HERE.

Service Learning Trips


Students are encouraged to attend a service learning trip to the Center for Refugee & Immigrant Services (CRIS). Transportation and lunch will be provided for all who attend. 

Dates / Times:

  • Friday, October 27 departing at 12:00 noon
  • Monday, November 6 departing at 12:30 pm
Friday, November 17 departing at 12:00 noon

Departure Place: Brasee Hall | North Parking Lot

Podcast Like a Pro



PAST Date/Time: Tuesday, October 24 at 3:30 pm
Place: OHIO Lancaster

Cheri Russo, Community Engagement Manager at WOUB and co-producer / host of the WHO Lies Beneath podcast, talked about the basics of how to podcast like a pro. 

Refugees and Immigrants in Ohio

PAST Date and Time: Wednesday, October 18 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Place: OHIO Zanesville, 425 Newark Rd, Zanesville

Flannery Rokeby-Jackson, of the Columbus Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), spoke about the challenges refugees and immigrants face in Central Ohio, the contributions they make to our communities, and the ways in which we can support them.

About CRIS:

CRIS's mission is to help refugees and immigrants reach safety and stability, sustain self-sufficiency, and achieve successful integration into the Central Ohio community. Flannery Rokebay-Jackson works with community members who are interested in supporting CRIS's mission to connect people to a wide array of programs.

"American Son" Theatre Performance

American Son 1
American Son 2
American Son 3
American Son 4
American Son 5
American Son 6

PAST Dates and Times:

  • Friday, September 22 | 7 pm to 8:30 pm 
Saturday, September 23 | 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Sunday, September 24 |  2 pm to 3:30 pm 


An estranged bi-racial couple must confront their feelings about race and bias after their son is detained by the local police following a traffic stop incident. Their disparate histories and backgrounds inform their assumptions as they try to find out what happened to their son.

Exploring American Indian Cultures in Ohio & Their Descendant Communities: Past and Present


Date: Tuesday, October 3 - PAST
Time: 7 pm
Place: OHIO Lancaster


Dr. Chadwick Allen, author of Earthworks Rising

Dr. Alex Wesaw, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi / Director of American Indian Relations 

Dr. Brad Lepper, Senior Archeologist for the Ohio History Connections World Heritage Program 

This session was open to the public and available to other campuses in streaming format.

Field Trip - The Great Circle Mounds & Flint Ridge


PAST Date and Time:

  • Friday, October 13 | 8 am to 12 noon


Jim Williams, of the Ohio History Connection, gave a tour of the Great Circle in connection with their designation as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Students tried their hands at flint knapping and using ancient drills at Flint Ridge and toured The Great Circle Mounds to learn about the history of Ohio as part of the Exploring the Neighborhood – Past and Present Initiative.  This initiative is paid for by a grant from the Ohio University Office of Experiential Learning

Students enjoyed a lunch stop to eat Asian Cuisine at East West in Heath, Ohio.


Explore the Neighborhood is a collaboration between OHIO Lancaster and OHIO Zanesville.

All activities are free-of-charge. 

This initiative is paid for by a grant by the Ohio University Office of Experiential Learning.