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The 365 Project Promotes Black Culture in Yellow Springs

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The 365 Project is a Yellow Springs-based nonprofit organization that promotes African-American heritage, Black culture, and racial equity 356 days a year. It was formed in 2008 to serve as a catalyst that challenges and supports the people of Yellow Springs and Miami Township in fighting racism, and to share the history of Black Americans in the local area.

Kevin McGruder—Antioch College vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of history—is Treasurer of Project 365 and, with Steve McQueen ’08, co-coordinates the Blacks in Yellow Springs walking tour program and the Blacks in Yellow Springs Encyclopedia program.

McGruder explains that for the last six years, Antioch students have been actively involved with the project, many involved through the Miller Fellows program. Administered by the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, The Student Miller Fellowship has been awarded to over 200 Antioch College students since its inception in 2011, thereby allowed students to work in more than 185 positions for over two dozen Yellow Springs nonprofits.

Regarding student involvement at present, McGruder says, “Fourth-year student Kensy Zelaya ’21 is currently working part-time as a Miller Fellow, assisting with website management, Blacks in Yellow Springs Encyclopedia editing, and other tasks. Second-year student Rayy Graham ’24 is working as a Miller Fellow student doing his co-op during this Winter quarter. He is constructing an online Yellow Springs African American history exhibit using materials from our various projects.”

McGruder says that Professor Emerita Louise Smith ’77 has been an active member of the 365 Project as well. “A few years ago, Louise was on the subcommittee that developed information regarding re-visioning policing in Yellow Springs.”

One initiative of the project is a video series produced by local high school students that take viewers on a virtual journey through the Black history of Yellow Springs. The video shared this week on Facebook is a walking tour of Black land ownership history in the village, and begins on the Antioch College campus before exploring the surrounding area. Another video, shared in August, focuses on the Black History of Antioch College.

To learn more about the Project and opportunities to be involved, visit The 365 Project website.