American Experience Week 2021


July 12 – 16, 2021
10 a.m. in Hall Auditorium

DAVID W. BLIGHT is Yale Professor of American History and 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. This highly recommended book is available in paperback. Blight’s primary focus is on the American Civil War and its aftermath and is chiefly concerned with studying the ways American society grappled with the war and its consequences.

Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, escaped, and became one of the most famous intellectuals and orators of his time, lecturing to thousands on slavery and human rights, including women’s rights. Douglass was the best known African-American in the entire world during his lifetime. Some have called him “the greatest American”. Professor Blight will tell us about him and his time.

David Blight is a native of Flint, MI and graduated from Michigan State University in 1971. Before attending graduate school, he was a public high school teacher for seven years in his hometown of Flint. He subsequently received his Master’s degree in history from Michigan State in 1976 and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1985. His first college teaching appointment was at UMC affiliated North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

“There’s No Place Like Home”: A Forum to Explore Affordable Housing in Emmet County


June 15, 2021
2 – 3:30pm in the Large Tent

Moderator, Scott Smith and panelists, Sarah Ulrich, Emily Meyerson, Sarah Ford and Jane McKenzie from local community groups will inform about current housing crisis and discuss long and short term action plans as well as identify areas where the Bay View community can help.

Stories from Home


July 15, 2021
7:30pm in the Large Tent

This Education Department event will be a celebration of our beautiful time in the Bay View community. Participants will share a personal, cherished memory from their direct experience or from that of a different generation. Humorous and moving memories will all be welcome, with a 3-5 minute limit.

The Stories from Home event will take place on the Bay View campus. Requests with the person’s name and story title need to be submitted to Robin Pettersen ( by June 20.

Bridges: Crossing Cultural Divides 2021


July 29, 2021
7:30pm in Hall Auditorium

Bridges: Crossing Cultural Divides 2021 Speaker MARY MACKINTOSH will examine the perseverance and commitment to action that led to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. She will review the efforts of women working together to gain and promote the right to vote and through video will share voices of women of different generations and backgrounds speaking about how women’s lives have changed in the last 100 years and how we might expect them to change in the 100 years to come. She will explore ways in which women’s experience of “home” affects the course of their own life and that of their family.

Mary’s 35-year legal career has taken her from a Wall Street firm to work with pre-independence Black South African lawyers at the Institute of International Education to representing families of children with disabilities. She has studied and worked with women and children in West, Southern and East Africa since 1977. As both a lawyer and clinical social worker, Mary has been a member of the leadership team of a highly effective prison reentry program serving men and women returning from long-term incarceration and rebuilding connections to society and their families. She is an active Board Member of a Charter School network in East Harlem, New York and of Crossing Thresholds, an organization serving four schools in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, a former Trustee of World Learning in Brattleboro, Vermont and having previously served as an Elder at The Reformed Church of Bronxville, she has now joined the church staff as Director of Missional Engagement. She is particularly focused on building connections among women from diverse backgrounds and understanding how women’s resilience and perseverance lead to lasting social change.

Aging Gracefully Symposium

Date, Time and Venue TBA

Co-hosted with Independence Village, this special event hosts keynote speaker, Amy Weiland, Executive Director of Charlevoix Commission on Aging. Presentations are scheduled on elder law, scams, and life transitions by local experts, and an afternoon panel will address timely topics such as hospice/palliative care, managing retirement spending and estate planning. Boxed lunches provided by Independence Village.

Don Duquette, American Experience Facilitator

Education Director, Jeanne Greer
231-439-9243 (Summer Office Line)