InsideOut’s primary goal – to transform lives through the written and spoken word – had a profound effect on our founder, Dr. Terry Blackhawk (above left). A Detroit Public Schools teacher, Dr. Blackhawk witnessed firsthand the magic of having a writer-in-residence in her own classroom at Mumford High School.
The experience of writing alongside her students fundamentally changed her life: “I thought, ‘If I’m asking them to do this, I should have the same experience myself.’ I fell in love with it. I became a poet.”
With initial seed funding from Bob Shaye and the Four Friends Foundation, InsideOut was founded in 1995. The name InsideOut was chosen by Dr. Blackhawk’s students themselves. As one 10th grade student said,“[When we write] we are bringing what is inside of us out into the world.”
As Detroit’s largest and oldest literary non-profit, InsideOut now serves more than 100 classrooms and community sites annually. Our professional writers continue to help students experiment with words and learn that each unique voice matters – that there is power in “bringing the inside out.”