In 1989, a young University of Michigan student was preparing to study abroad in China. “Then Tiananmen Square happened,” remembers alumnus Glynn Washington. “I decided to take a chance,” he said, recalling the decision to go to Japan as member of the inaugural JCMU program and without any prior study of the language or culture. Glynn, who was born in Detroit and grew up in rural Michigan, considers his JCMU experience to be transformative: “When I went to Japan, it started a trend for me of trying new things. It gave me the confidence to leap from one thing to another.”
Since JCMU, Glynn’s life has been a mosaic of experiences: he has starred on a game show in Japan, composed music for Kunst Stoff dance performances in San Francisco, rocked live spoken word poetry in Detroit, joined a band in Indonesia, and administered non-profit organizations across the United States. Now living in northern California, Washington’s newest project is Snap Judgment, a public radio program exploring stories of people who have made life-altering choices in a matter of moments. When asked if he encourages others to study abroad, Glynn was adamant in his support for international programs. “JCMU still colors everything I do. It was really formative: there are strong memories, powerful relationships. You’ve got to get out – throw a dart at a map and just go.”
Learn more about Glynn’s latest leap at the Snap Judgment website. Glynn will be performing live at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on December 9th! For ticket information, visit the following link: Snap Judgement tickets.