OLLI will be virtual this Fall!

OLLI is planning to offer all programming virtually this Fall.  Our Fall catalog is being designed right now, and we are excited for all of the wonderful programming that is planned.  We do hope to be back in person as soon as safety permits, and will continue to provide timely updates on when programming will begin to transition back to in-person gatherings. 

- OLLI Staff and Leadership 

Thank you for supporting
Big Hearted Stories: Generations!

We had our Big Hearts for Seniors event on May 27th, thanks to everyone who joined us! If you missed it, you can still watch the free event recording HERE.


Donate to OLLI!
To make a gift to OLLI's annual fund to support OLLI operating costs, to sponsor a lecture, or to make a gift to the Friends Endowment Fund, Click Here: 

Thank you, The OLLI Development Committee 

Finding Zoom Meeting IDs and Links: 
  • Zoom information is sent out in e-mail a few days before the event takes place.
  • Zoom information is also available in OLLI's online Course Catalog for events for which you have registered as well as for events that do not require registration. To view the information in the Course Catalog (i) sign in using your OLLI account and password, (ii) go to the Course Catalog, (iii) locate your event and click on it to see the event's details, (iv) you'll find the Zoom information under Location toward the bottom of the page (you may need to scroll down to find it, if the event's description is long).
  • If you are signed in you can also see Zoom information on the payment History web page. 
  • If you can't find the information you need to connect using Zoom or you have any other questions about using Zoom, send e-mail to OLLI at or call 734-998-9351
Important OLLI Web Resources –
Click on the links below to connect you!

OLLI Website 
OLLI Video Catalog 
OLLI Course Catalog 
OLLI Program Calendar
What's New at OLLI
OLLI Commons Calendar
Are You Looking for Volunteer Opportunities at OLLI?
*** OLLI Special Projects Committee is currently recruiting volunteers!***
Looking for a fun and stimulating volunteer opportunity and a way to contribute? Join the Special Projects Committee, the OLLI "New Program Incubator". This is the committee that developed the Climate Change series, the COVID series, Torn from the Headlines, OLLI @home and OLLI Reads. Join us if you like generating new program ideas and making them happen.  

Contact Jane Spinner at or Laurie Barnett at if interested or to get additional information.

OLLI is Always Looking for Volunteers for Committees
There are a multitude of volunteer opportunities at OLLI - We need you! Please contact OLLI Director on more ways to get involved:  Lisa Barton  734-998-9356.

Interested in sponsoring an OLLI Event?

If you're interested in sponsoring a lecture, lecture series, or special event at OLLI, please let us know!  These sponsorships can be dedicated to someone special, or in honor of a special person or occasion. For more information, please contact Lisa Barton at, or at 734-998-9356.

Summer Lecture Series Presents 
Thursday, June 17th, 10:00 – 11:30am. Online. $5. 

Fair Food Network: Hungry People, Local Farmers, and Vulnerable Communities

Kate Krauss became Fair Food Network’s (FFN) Executive Director in 2019 after four years as the organization’s COO. Before joining FFN, Kate was Managing Director of Slow Food USA. She recently re-joined Slow Food as a member of its national board of directors. Kate, who has over twenty years of non-profit experience, began her career in television journalism. She is a graduate of Columbia University.

Ms. Krauss will provide an overview of FFN’s work toward greater equity in our food economy, increased access to healthy food for everyone, and a more sustainable ecological future. She will describe its Double Up Food Bucks program that matches locally grown fruit and vegetable purchases up to $20 a day for individuals eligible for SNAP funds (formerly “food stamps”). The FFN, started in southeastern Michigan in 2009, works with community partners in almost every county in Michigan and has expanded its programs across the U.S.

For more information and resources about the series, click here.

To Register: Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog. Sign in at

Lunch Bunch meets at noon to discuss the morning’s lecture.
On Thursday, June 17, Debby Nicholas will facilitate the discussion on the lecture
“Fair Food Network: Hungry People, Local Farmers, and Vulnerable Communities”
Registering once for Lunch Bunch is now required to receive the Zoom link for each session.  Registering once means you will receive the link each week, allowing you to join after any lecture you just heard and would like to discuss.
  Use the 
instructions here to register
We look forward to having you in these lively discussions!

Please log on prior to noon

Afternoons With OLLI
Heard Around Town: Michigan Speak
with Anna Curzan

Wednesday, June 16
3:30 – 5:00 pm, $5 online

“Do you say ‘pop’ or ‘soda’ or ‘soft drink’? Do you know what a ‘Michigan left’ is? Did you know ‘Yooper’ is now in some standard dictionaries? Come hear about what is happening to English in Michigan and share the changes you’re hearing in the language.”

Anne Curzan, dean of LSA at University of Michigan is a trained linguist, studies the history of the English language. She describes herself as a fount of random linguistic information about how English got to be the way it is—information she
shares every Sunday on the show “That’s What They Say” on Michigan Public Radio. She has also dedicated one major strand of her career to helping students and the broader public understand linguistic diversity as part of cultural diversity,
and language change as a natural part of living languages. 

Curzan has received university awards for outstanding research and undergraduate
teaching, including the Henry Russel Award and the John Dewey Award. She is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Linguistics, and Education.

To Register: Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog. Sign in at


Summer Lecture Series Presents: Key Organizations Serving Food-Insecure People in Washtenaw County
Thursday, June 24th, 10:00 – 11:30am. Online. $5. 

Washtenaw County is wealthy. Median household income is $76,500, 28% above the Michigan average and 17% above the U.S. average. However, there are significant pockets of poverty in the county. About 11% of the population is below the poverty line. Similarly, 11% is food insecure, a percentage close to the national average. The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly worsened the problem. Since March 2020, county food distribution agencies reported a 30-300% increase in visitors. To quote one agency head, “[T]he pandemic created a perfect storm of food insecurity...We have never seen anything like it.” This panel discussion will feature leaders of three front-line organizations doing battle against food insecurity: Food Gatherers, serving all of Washtenaw County, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, and We The People Opportunity Farm in Ypsilanti. Each leader will describe their organization, its target audience, and operations.


Alison Foreman, Executive Director of Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels (YMOW), has worked with Ypsilanti area non- profit organizations for more than 15 years. Ms. Foreman serves on the boards of the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund, Washtenaw Leaders Advisory and the Area Agency on Aging 1B Diabetes Program Advisory Group, and is a former member of the SOS community services board. She has appeared as a guest on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and CNN’s “The Lead.” Prior to YMOW Alison worked with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in juvenile justice and a master’s degree in public administration from Eastern Michigan University. YMOW provides nutritious meals, social contact, and other services to homebound elderly, ill, and disabled persons in eastern Washtenaw County. YMOW’s vision is a community where every senior feels nourished, valued and supported.

Melvin Parson (AKA Farmer Parson), spent approximately 13 years of his life incarcerated, was homeless on 3 separate occasions, and battled with substance abuse for many years. He has experienced many of the challenges that come with being on parole or probation. In 2015, while he was earning a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University, he co-founded a mentor program for men and women returning home from incarceration called A Brighter Way. In 2018 Mr. Parson founded a nonprofit organization, We The People Opportunity Farm (WTPOF), to create a sustainable farming system that can support a workforce of formerly incarcerated persons. He believes a main factor for people returning to prison is their inability to find meaningful employment or enrichment opportunities. One of his goals is to provide a paid internship program that will act as a springboard to future employment, continued education, and meaningful strides towards caring about themselves, others and their community.

WTPOF’s mission is to break the cycle of incarceration in Washtenaw County. Its Paid Internship Program includes farming activities, as well as literacy and learning related to organic foods, career-building workshops, financial literacy, and home rehabilitation. In 2020, WTPOF started a Food Distribution Program and has given over 1,200 lbs. of food to 300 neighbors. 

Eileen Spring,
recently named 2021 Woman of the Year by the United Way of Washtenaw County, has spent 27 years at Food Gatherers (FG) and is currently President and CEO. Ms. Spring helped develop and steward a community-wide Food Security Plan that has dramatically improved the amount of fresh produce and protein available to individuals struggling with food insecurity in Washtenaw County. She has been active on the board of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, has participated at the national level with Feeding America, and is a founding member of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Food Gatherers was the first food rescue program in Michigan and the sixth nationwide. The food bank serves all of Washtenaw County and provides millions of pounds of free or low-cost food to a network of 170 hunger relief pantries. FG also provides direct food assistance in the form of hot meals, nutritious snacks, or emergency groceries to low-income adults, seniors and children. FG operates the Community Kitchen/Job Training Program at the Delonis Center, as well as Summer Food Service and Healthy School Pantry programs. FG also advocates for policies to improve food system equity.

For more information and supplemental resources about Food Insecurity visit:
To Register: Visit OLLI’s Website Course Catalog. Sign in at

OLLI is honored to share the obituary of Helen Hill, past member and loved instructor who touched so many here in Ann Arbor both before and after she moved to California.
Helen’s students and peers honored her in 2014:
In appreciation of Helen Hill for twenty years of teaching Memoirs and Personal Essays:
With quiet grace, a sharp eye, and a ready laugh, she encouraged each while creating an atmosphere of mutual support and respect.

Helen Hill Obituary (1915 - 2021) - Ann Arbor, MI - Ann Arbor News (
Helen, you will be missed but your contribution to OLLI will always be part of who we are.

- OLLI Staff and Leadership

A Cartoonist's Perspective in 2021 with David Fitzsimmons
Monday, June 14, 4:00pm EST, FREE

Always a popular presenter David is back and updated for 2021, complete with his own COVID-19 cartoons. Topics include: Why and how freedom of speech ensures the survival of democracy, a history of social protest art with an emphasis on how political cartooning came to emerge as an art form, the endangered state of political cartooning today, my philosophy: how humor helps individuals, communities, nations, and political theories to endure, today’s struggle: The global survival of journalism in an age of ever-growing censorship.

Presenter: David Fitzsimmons
Dave Fitzsimmons, is the Cartoonist, and Columnist, for The Arizona Daily Star, where he began drawing cartoons back when Geronimo was just a paperboy. Right around 1986. A Pulitzer Finalist, Fitz’ cartoons are syndicated to over 800 news publications around the world. The Arizona Press Club voted him the best columnist in the state. What do they know. No one in the news or in his audience is safe when his pen is uncapped. Described as a “Flaming moderate at the fringe of America’s center”, Fitz is a snappy dresser who loves reading hate mail from readers and making his kids laugh.


Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War
Thursday, June 17, 7:00pm EST, FREE

Join OLLI at Berkshire Community College, MA for an online discussion with presidential historian and speechwriter Jeff Shesol on his new book, one of the Washington Post's "20 books to read this summer:"

If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War— a moment when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the US to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival— and America was losing.

When John Glenn blasted into orbit on February 20, 1962, his mission was greater than circling Earth; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re- creates the sense of tension to a flight that riveted the world. Drawing on new sources, interviews, and Glenn’s personal notes, Mercury Rising shows how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the “hour of maximum danger.”

Juneteenth is today. What it means, why it matters, how to celebrate - CNET
Juneteenth - June 19, 2021
For celebrations and events regarding this national observance in metro Detroit, click here.

Looking for Summer Reading?
Check out these book recommendations from English professors at the University of Michigan! Click here to read the article.


The Commons is OLLI’s FREE meetup place!

To receive the Zoom link for a group or event please register beforehand.
Use the 
instructions here to register.

You register only once for each Commons activity that interests you. For example, if you’d like to attend the Poetry Reading (which meets on the third Friday of the month at 7pm through the summer), you register once for Poetry Reading. After you register once, then on a monthly basis, you’ll receive an email reminder with a Zoom link for that month’s Poetry Reading.

Join us at one of next week’s meet up groups!

Coffee + Show or Tell: Tuesday, June 15, 9 – 10am with Marta Skiba
Join Us! This Tuesday we’re talking about a trip you would like to take if money was no object.

The Schmoozery:   Wednesday, June 16, from  1 – 2pm with Hank Greenspan
A facilitated conversation:   At our Age…In this Age
The Schmoozery will continue meeting through the summer and into next year.

Lunch Bunch:  Thursday, June 10,   Noon – 1pm with facilitator Debby Nicholas
Join the group to discuss the lecture Fair Food Network: Hungry People, Local Farmers, and Vulnerable Communities.
Register for the Lunch Bunch now and receive the link each week. Join us whenever you want to discuss the Thursday lecture you just heard!

Poetry Reading: Friday, June 18, 7 – 8pm with Ginny Bentz
You’re invited to a Poetry Reading!
Please bring a poem of your own or a favorite one written by someone else. You will have about five minutes to read aloud and to give some context, so one longer poem or two short ones work well. If you’d rather just listen, that’s okay too. Sip on a glass of wine or a cup of tea as we sit back, relax, and applaud each unique offering! Contact Ginny Bentz at for details.
Poetry Reading will continue through the summer on the third Friday of the month from 7 – 8 pm and into the fall.


Check The Commons web page for registration information.

 See The Commons Calendar for event details


OLLI Book Beat—Summer Reading Suggestions

Sheila Konen, of the Ypsilanti District Library, recommended these books, among others, at her May 25th guest visit to Book Beat.

* Mary Jane, by Jessica Anya Blau, Genre: Coming-of-age stories

* One Night, Two Souls Went Walking, by Ellen Cooney, Genre: Literary fiction

* How to Order the Universe, by Maria Jose Ferrada, Genre: Coming-of-age stories

* The Kindest Lie, by Johnson, Nancy, Genre: African American fiction

* The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Genre: Psychological suspense

* The Arctic Fury, by Greer Macallister,
Genre: Historical fiction

* Aquarium, Shehori, Ya’ara, Genre: Literary fiction

* Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead, Genre: Historical fiction;

* Light Perpetual, by Francis Spufford, Genre: Literary fiction

* Hummingbird Salamander, by Jeff Vandermeer, Genre: Dystopian fiction

* The Elephant of Belfast, by S. Kirk Walsh, Genre: Historical fiction



If you would like more information about Michigan Medicine resources during this challenging time, please reach out to OLLI Director Lisa Barton at 734-998-9356 or She will be happy to connect you.

COVID-19 Resources and Services in Washtenaw County
Washtenaw Community Health Department:
Michigan Medicine:

COVID-19 Help and Services Washtenaw County - Google Docs
Grocery Store, Pharmacy & Fresh Food Hours for Ann Arbor Seniors
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