One of the things I have enjoyed the most during my time with Challenge Detroit has been being able to listen to and participate in community conversations.
Live 6 / Model D Speakeasy
1. The first community conversation I was able to observe was with Live6, regarding community relations between University of Detroit Mercy,Marygrove College and the neighborhoods (University District, Bagley, Fitzgerald, Martin Park, Palmer Park, Sherwood Forest, etc.) that surround their campuses. This was the first of a series of conversations that Live6 hosted in partnership with Model D. This speakeasy series covered public safety, youth engagement and more. Video of the events can be found here.
2. Detroiters Speak is a series of conversations hosted by the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Wayne State University, and University of Michigan (Semester in Detroit). The conversations are described as a “community classroom” where everyone is welcome to learn. During one of the conversations focused on the future of education in Detroit, Carla Underwood, a junior at Western International High School, spoke about how education is failing its students, stating “… a lot of the stigmas that some adults have is that kids just don’t care (about education) anymore, but it’s not that kids just don’t care anymore, it’s that we don’t care for how you’re giving it to us… you keep trying to force this way of education on us, and it’s just not working out for some students…”
"Instead of speaking for us, pass us the mic." Incredibly proud to know this young woman! She's an 11th grader who is working in her community/school to educate and empower her peers. #DetroitersSpeak #FutureofEducation #PurposeofEducation #Detroit #Education #detroitindependentfreedomschools #freedomschool
City of Detroit Planning and Development Department
3. The Planning and Development Department of the City of Detroit has also been doing hosting community events to hear some concerns of residents in neighborhoods where projects are being planned. During a Challenge Detroit project for EcoWorks and West Village, my teammates and I conducted a mapping activity that allowed residents to identify areas of concern (safety, traffic, speed, etc.) during one of these community meetings.
American Black Journal
4. American Black Journal an “historic television program that has been presenting issues and events from African American perspectives since 1968” on Detroit Public Television. The live taping that I was able to attend was focused on Southwest Detroit and covered education, environment, immigration and other community concerns.
There are many other community-driven conversations happening in the City. One I’ve yet to attend are events hosted by Urban Consulate. I hope to be able to attend soon.