Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project

16684181_1228329453880783_1162471551740918012_nFor the past several years, Starr has been proud to help with the important work of bringing together our local communities of Albion and Marshall. During the closing of Albion schools and the merging of the youth from Albion into the Marshall School District, Starr collaborated with Albion College to host a Youth Symposium to facilitate the kids learning about diversity and building relationships. Recognizing the positive impact of the first symposium, similar programming has been planned and executed since, in order to help students each year get to know one another and learn to work together in the classroom.

Building on the successes of the children who attended these symposiums, Starr has been integral in creating the Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project. With this project, the hope is to help the adults from both communities enter into a dialogue with one another and build a strong sense of unity and healing.

This project is bringing members from the Marshall and Albion communities together through field trips, movie screenings, book discussions, fellowship, the arts, workshops, and structured dialogues throughout the year. These events are designed to create safe, yet brave, spaces, which will allow community members to be their most authentic and vulnerable selves while showing empathy to those around them.

Derek Allen, Director of the Starr Global Learning Network and project lead for the Albion Marshall Resilient Communities Project, has been moved by the reception in the community. “At our kickoff open house, we had more than one hundred people from both communities, of all different stripes and backgrounds, who came together to say yes we can.  We can come together, overcome our differences, and build a world-class school district and set of communities where our children and families can flourish. ”

In the end, we hope that the Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project will build a sense of unity between the communities, allowing them both to become a more vibrant place where all people have the opportunity to flourish. If we can make this change among the adults, we can help to heal historic wounds and end rivalries.

If you are interested in attending one of the Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project’s events, you can find them on their website at or on their Facebook page. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call 1-800-837-5591.