Finding Their Voice: Mill Stories in the Baltimore Sun

Dinah WinnickDinah Winnick is UMBC’s senior communications manager for research.

Congratulations to UMBC’s Mill Stories team on their tremendous work documenting the history of Baltimore’s Sparrows Point Steel Mill community through the past semester. We were so proud to see their work highlighted in the powerful Baltimore Sun web feature on Sparrows Point earlier this month.

Two classes participated in the Spring 2013 collaborative project supported by BreakingGround. AMST 358 Cultural Documentation in Partnership with Communities focused on cultural research and documentation within the communities that have been shaped by the Sparrows Point Steel Mill for over a century. Students explored the ideas, techniques and ethical considerations that underpin community-based qualitative research. They became familiar with the challenges of post-industrial economic and social transition and ideas of community cohesion, sense of place and sense of belonging.

Intercultural Video ProductionStudents in MLL 495/695 Intercultural Video Production focused on creating short digital stories based on community interviews, supporting participants in telling their stories in their own words.

Students learned about diverse aspects of Sparrows Point culture and residents’ experiences, from union participation, to the intricacies of making steel and operating cranes, to experiences of segregation and gender discrimination. View the “Mill Stories” on UMBCtube to see the fruits of their labor.

Contact the author, Dinah Winnick, at