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Graphic design students collaborate with homeless

Graphic Design class

Assistant Professor Jessica Ring leads a graphic design class.

Graphic design students at Towson University are working with homeless individuals, those who were once homeless and area advocacy organizations to produce Word on the Street, a newspaper aimed at increasing awareness of homelessness, according to a story published by the Baltimore Sun.

The quarterly publication is one of 23 such “street papers” in the country and was launched almost a year ago in part by Bonnie Lane, a once homeless woman who now serves as a writer and editor for Word on the Street. 

Towson students work directly with staff members to lay out each issue. From the Sun:

Jessica Ring, an assistant professor in Towson’s art and design department, said working with the newspaper teaches the students about the complex issues that contribute to homelessness as well as the professional aspects of design, such as interacting with clients.

“The class is about connecting students to the idea their work can [serve] the greater good and make a statement,” Ring said. The students repeatedly say, ‘This was a life-changing class.’”

Her class, Graphic Design for Social Issues, connected with the homeless men and women and advocates through the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau, a project of the National Coalition for the Homeless. The students and the newspaper staff meet at least twice per issue to figure out the design and story placement.

Learn more about Word on the Street here. Read the full Baltimore Sun story here.

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