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The MIT@Lawrence Story Project

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About the M@L Story Project:

How can participatory media tools be adapted for grassroots strategies to seed more forward-focuses institutional memory practices? Can we use these tools, supported by strategies such as reflective practice, participatory action research, and participatory development communication, work in real-time in both the university and community? Can these efforts benefit the practice of both student and community organizers to facilitate two-way flows of knowledge toward truly shared narratives?

The MIT@Lawrence Story is a reflective practice exercise that aims to not only document and reflect on the progression of M@L as a university community partnership, but also as a conversation starter and discussion space for our partners on both sides of the @ sign. We're adopting a multi-layered approach to capture the story, including one-on-one interviews, panel discussions, and student reflections, all feeding into a website that will include a short documentary, an interactive and multi-themed timeline, and a physical summit of M@L stakeholders and friends. The goal is to create both a reflection of the lessons learned and a conversation about what's next in our endeavor to create sustained engagement mechanisms for university and community that lead to transformation of both planning theory & practice academically but also community-based action.

M@L SIMILE Timeline Adaptation - Timeline (, a javascript library developed by the MIT Simile project, allows for the simple depiction of events plotted on a web-based timeline. Using Simile's Timeline as a base, MIT@Lawrence is developing a web interface to create a tool for sustained engagement and collective storytelling. The goal of this experiment is to create a tool that can not only capture the initial timeline of events for our interventions as partnership and visualize them for participants on both sides. In this first phase of the project, the intent is to use our existing partners and participants as a pilot community to create a space for reflection of the lessons learned. It is also a test to see if a new collaborative visualization tool can spark a conversation about our vision to support sustained engagement mechanisms for university and community to work together to transform both theory & practice. This will culminate in an event on April 27th in Lawrence, MA and presentation at the C4FCM conference in June. In the second phase, we hope to adapt and release a tool and set of guidelines for other community-wide coalitions to implement to change the local flow of knowledge, news, and interaction in geographical communities. The M@L Story project is supported by the Center for Future Civic Media, Community Innovators Lab, and the Department of Urban Studies & Planning.

Documentary Credits:

This documentary was created as part of a larger visioning and collective storytelling process by led by current MIT@Lawrence students, staff, and volunteers...


Danielle Martin, Lorlene Hoyt, Marianna Leavy-Sperounis, Nick Iuviene


Amruta Sudhalkar, Audubon Dougherty, Danielle Martin, Marianna Leavy-Sperounis, Nick Iuviene


Alexa Mills, Audubon Dougherty, Danielle Martin, Erin Sisk, Marianna Leavy- Sperounis

Media Combers: Gayle Christiansen, Eric Mackres

B-Roll Videographers:
LInda Ciesielski, Sung Kim, Kim Foltz, Thomas C Guerra, Shan Jiang, Sung Kim, Dan Koff, Kendra Leith, Danielle Martin

Jeffrey Jacob Beam, Debmalya Guha, Danielle Martin, Jase Wilson, and countless other MIT@Lawrence students

Creative Commons licensed mixes from CCMixter users:
grapes, microditto, scottalham, teru

Special thanks those interviewed, who didn't appear here:

Annery Butten, Lawrence CommunityWorks
Armand Hyatt, Lawrence CommunityWorks
Carlos Espinoza-Toro, MIT alum '08
Ezra Harber Glenn, MIT Lecturer
Heather Clark, MIT alum '04
Jeffrey Jacob Beam, MIT Grad Student '09
Jesse Kaminsky, MIT Staff
Ralph Carrero, Lawrence Family Development Charter School
Raymond Villa, LFDCS 8th grader
Spencer Buchholz, Lawrence CommunityWorks
Wesley Harris, MIT Professor
Wendy Huang, MIT Teacher Education Program

Video clips of all interviewed will appear on the M@L Story timeline:

Also special thanks to :

Community Innovators Lab:
Dayna Cunningham, Amber Bradley, Carlos Espinoza-Toro, and Sebastiao Mendonca

Duncan Kincaid and Jesse Kaminsky

And all current M@L Partners:


Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Center for Future Civic Media
Center for Real Estate
Chemistry Outreach
Civil Engineering
Community Innovators Lab
Comparative Media Studies
Department of Urban Studies + Planning
Edgerton Center
Education Studies Program
Fire Hose Games
Media Lab
MIT Museum
New Media Literacies
Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
Office of Engineering Outreach Programs
Public Service Center
Saturday Engineering Enrichment and Discovery Program
Scheller Teacher Education Program
Sloan School of Management
Society of Physics Students
Solar Electric Vehicle Team
Spanish House
Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies
StarLogo TNG
Toy Lab


Arlington Community Trabajando
Bread & Roses Housing
City of Lawrence: Community Development Department
City of Lawrence: Department of Public Works
City of Lawrence: Fire Department
Groundwork Lawrence
International Union of Painters
Jericho Road
Lawrence Alma Arlington Neighborhood Association
Lawrence Community Works
Lawrence Family Development Charter School
Lawrence High School
Lawrence Higher Education Resource Center
Lawrence History Center
Lawrence Methuen Community Coalition
Lazarus House Ministries
Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council
Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity
Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
Movement City
Northern Essex Community College
Panel Claw
PTA Tarbox School
Solectria Renewables
Veritas Bank
YouthBuild Lawrence

MIT@Lawrence is funded by:

MIT Department of Urban Studies + Planning
MIT Public Service Center
US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of University

Creative Commons License:
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

MIT@Lawrence 2009

Comments (1)


Posted over 6 years by Anonymous 00:07:23

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Category: Research | Updated over 8 years ago

April 26, 2009 11:39
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