From the Nominator
This special news website commemorated one of the largest protests in the University of Wisconsin–Madison's history, and a pivotal event that continues to resonate with students today. The strike, which played out over two weeks, involved dozens of black students and thousands of their white allies. It forever changed campus, leading directly to the creation of the Afro-American Studies Department, one of the first such university departments in the country. For this oral history project, our communications department worked with 10 student journalists of color to interview many of the strike's organizers, as well as participants and bystanders. Given that the university continues to struggle with issues of diversity and inclusion, the project created many opportunities for reflection while giving the original protesters the recognition and credit that eluded them 50 years earlier.
From the Judges
Many universities are facing challenging reconciliations from their past digressions, and few are really rising to the challenge; the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of them. The university took a pivotal moment in time from its history and found a way to honor the sacrifices made while educating current students on these events. This site features powerfully engaging content that draws you into a more in-depth and immersive web experience. The beautifully designed timeline, strong usage of colors, and creative sound bits from interviews keep you on the page. That is evident by the more than six minutes of time spent on the website by visitors. They found a way to condense 50 years of history into digestible bits that did not overwhelm you.. This site design seamlessly crosses over to mobile, drawing just as unique and intriguing as an experience. One of the most creative parts of the project is that it was done in-house and the only cost was the payment to the students who conducted the interviews. So, next time your institution is faced with a similar challenge, use this website as a guide for success!