Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program – Undergraduate Detroit Community-Engaged Research

Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

The Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program (DCERP) provides U-M undergraduate students opportunities to work with Detroit non-profits on research and creative projects led by the organizations themselves. Students selected for the 9-week summer program are paid a stipend and become part of an intentional learning community that shares a passion for social justice and making change. DCERP fellows attend program meetings and form small collaborative learning groups that delve into topics of mutual interest, such as the city’s culture and history through a social justice lens, community engagement, personal growth and professional development.

DCERP Student Blogs

  • Week 9: Last Week
    I can’t believe it is already the last week! There is so much to unpack within the last 2 months from living and working in Detroit. Working at KGD and interacting with other members of the DCERP cohort has… Read more: Week 9: Last Week
  • Week 9: Growth & Gratitude
    Hello everyone! I can’t believe it is time for me to write one final blog post for the summer. Week 9 felt lightyears away at the beginning of June, but here we are! I’m writing this on Friday, so… Read more: Week 9: Growth & Gratitude
  • Week Nine Blog
    Well, a lot has changed in just nine weeks. For one, I no longer intend to major in history, thanks to my experience in Detroit. I’m hoping to apply to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Urban Technology… Read more: Week Nine Blog
  • Week Nine – Ahmed أحمد
    Assalamu Alaikum (peace be unto you) everyone As I revisit my first-ever blog post penned at the outset of this incredible journey, I’m struck by the depth of transformation and growth that these weeks have ushered into my life.… Read more: Week Nine – Ahmed أحمد
  • Week 9
    When I reflect on what drew me to Downtown Detroit Partnership and the opportunity to work with DCERP after nine weeks I have learned that I did not realize how much I would be interacting with the community around… Read more: Week 9
  • Week 9: Reflections(!)
    As I reread through my first DCERP blog post, I find myself to be pleasantly surprised. Sure, I could have gone into more detail about expectations or hopes, but overall my former predictions have transformed into key takeaways —… Read more: Week 9: Reflections(!)
  • Week 9!
    Time really has flown so fast. I can’t believe there’s only two days left of this program!! Reading my first blog post, I definitely mentioned how I hope to become more involved in community work, and this summer has… Read more: Week 9!
  • Week 9: A Circle Back to the Beginning
    When I wrote my first blog post, I was very motivated by the concept of public, shared space because of the book I was reading, Palaces for the People. From the book, I took note of how public spaces… Read more: Week 9: A Circle Back to the Beginning
  • Week Nine: The Final Blog Post
    As cliché as it sounds, these nine weeks have gone by incredibly fast. I’ve gotten to meet so many awesome people, see different parts of Detroit, and learn a lot about so many topics–agriculture, history, culture, and beyond. When… Read more: Week Nine: The Final Blog Post
  • Week 9
    Hi all! It’s crazy to me that it has already been 9 weeks and our program is ending in just a couple days. Looking back on my time with DREAM, I am so glad that I was accepted into… Read more: Week 9
  • week 9
    Reflecting on the first week I feel like I’ve definitely learned a lot about the community, Detroit history, and culture. My time in the program definitely let me learn a lot about Detroit’s disability community, current initiatives, and issues… Read more: week 9
  • Week 8
    The Detroit Food Academy is an amazing program. I’ve enjoyed learning more about nutrition, self-awareness, and financial literacy through the organization. One of my goals this summer was to create two visual presentations that represented the experiences of the… Read more: Week 8
  • Week 8: Many thoughts!
    As I write this blog post, I only have 6 days left at NSO and 5 days until the DCERP showcase. The time has truly flown by! As I reach the nitty-gritty and final stages of my project, I… Read more: Week 8: Many thoughts!
  • Week 8: The Conner Creek Greenway (not the same as the Joe Louis Greenway!) …. And more 
    The project I was assigned at the Nortown Community Development Corporation (NCDC) was an investigation into the Conner Creek Greenway (CCG). In short, the CCG is a bike trail that extends from the northeast corner of Detroit all the… Read more: Week 8: The Conner Creek Greenway (not the same as the Joe Louis Greenway!) …. And more 
  • Week 8: Changes
    Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about changes. I’ve finished the first draft of my “report” on Clark Park, so now I’m making revisions. I’m also thinking through ways to adjust my presentation for the showcase. And, importantly, I’m… Read more: Week 8: Changes
  • Week 8 Blog
    Hi everyone! I can’t believe that there’s only a week left of DCERP! This past week has been my favorite so far. Just yesterday, I attended the ADA celebration in which I helped host a table with the Office… Read more: Week 8 Blog
  • Week 8
    Hello! At week 8, this means we’re nearly at the end of the fellowship and it’s a bittersweet thing I think. Working for DREAM has taught me so much and really opened my eyes to how much of an… Read more: Week 8
  • Week 8!
    As my time in Detroit starts winding down, I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer and the work that I’ve had the chance to do at Brightmoor Artisans Collective. This summer, I had the chance to finish Phase… Read more: Week 8!
  • Week 8
    This project has increased my understanding of the issue surrounding small businesses and how the community they are in plays a large role in helping them break out into the commerce scene, especially women-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses which already… Read more: Week 8
  • Week 8 Blog
    My project is almost done, even though I didn’t initially think I’d be able to complete it. With one week left, I may be able to scan all of the photos. Considering my project mostly dealt with photos of… Read more: Week 8 Blog
  • Week Eight: The DPFLI, Part II
    There have been many different pieces to this experience, and all of them have progressed greatly over the past eight weeks. I have surveyed 16 Detroit farmers for my research project, most of those through in-person interviews and tours… Read more: Week Eight: The DPFLI, Part II
  • Week 8: Reflection on Food Sovereignty
    It is insane to think about how it is the end of the program is steadily approaching us. Just in the beginning of June, we were talking about how much this summer would “fly” by, as we excitedly anticipated… Read more: Week 8: Reflection on Food Sovereignty
  • Week 7
    This week, Maggie and I chose to interview each other for our blog post to get to know each other more. As we sat outside in sunny Detroit weather we got to share more about each other and our… Read more: Week 7
  • week 8
     This project has definitely expanded my view of the issue, as well as the different approaches of people involved in work towards addressing disability rights in the community. I’ve spoken to people concerned with community outreach, staying grassroots, autism… Read more: week 8
  • Week Seven: “And Still We Rise”
    Last week was my first time visiting the Charles H. Wright Museum and their “And Still We Rise” exhibit. Initially, coming into the museum, I had an idea of the themes that may be covered. However, I was surprised… Read more: Week Seven: “And Still We Rise”
  • Week Seven: Lessons From Our Guest Speakers
    All of our guest speakers have impressed me with their knowledge and work. I have appreciated learning about the history of Detroit as well as its current challenges and the countless groups attempting to provide some kind of solution… Read more: Week Seven: Lessons From Our Guest Speakers
  • Week 7 Blog
    I read a recent article in the New York Times discussing how Detroit is beginning to reassert the authority of the municipal government in code enforcement and other community needs. While the ability to maintain essential services is great,… Read more: Week 7 Blog
  • Week Seven – Ahmed أحمد
    Assalamu Alaikum (peace be unto you) everyone, This week we were honored by Ms. Tiffany Brown, who came to speak about her experience running the Detroit Food Academy and Developing Despite Distance and the importance of self-care. Her presentation… Read more: Week Seven – Ahmed أحمد
  • Week 7
    Hi! This week I decided to look back on what has happened so far in this fellowship and what I had learned; more specifically, in the DCERP meetings. We have meetings twice a week and most weeks we had… Read more: Week 7
  • Week 7: Getting to the Core
    At Week 7, it’s hard to separate parts of DCERP. In fact, planning for the Showcase has shown me that all of these themes — community, leadership, Detroit identity, wholistic planning and organizing, research, my site, and so much… Read more: Week 7: Getting to the Core
  • Week 7: Meet Siya Yinti 🙂
    Hello everyone! For my blog post this week, I interviewed one of my fellow 2023 DCERP cohort members: Siya! We had a nice conversation in the courtyard outside of our apartment building where we’re staying this summer. I hope… Read more: Week 7: Meet Siya Yinti 🙂
  • Week 7
    OR interview another DCERP fellow.  Find out about where they’re from, a fun fact about them, and some fun facts about their project/community.  Visit a new Detroit place or try out a new ice cream flavor together and write… Read more: Week 7
  • Week 7: Interview with Marie!
    This week I decided to interview one of my roommates, Marie Taylor, a native Detroiter! What do you like to do for fun? I mostly like to play video games, read, draw, write, really anything that allows me to… Read more: Week 7: Interview with Marie!
  • Week 7 Blog
     I had an amazing time listening to Ms. Tiffany Brown! I’m thankful that she took the time to come and talk with the DCERP group. She gave an awesome presentation on the wonderful work that she does with the… Read more: Week 7 Blog
  • Week 7!
    In my blog post this week, I want to focus on an article I read a few days ago about Detroit by the New York Times. (The article is here I do want to start off by pointing… Read more: Week 7!
  • Week Seven: Mindful Organizing
    One guest speaker who particularly stood out to me (although all of the speakers gave very insightful presentations!) was Dr. Gloryvee Fonseca-Bolorin, who spoke about mindful organizing and planning. In her presentation, she discussed how to incorporate self-reflection and… Read more: Week Seven: Mindful Organizing
  • Week 7: Just Being
    A guest speaker that stood out to me was Ms. Tiffany Brown, who recently spoke about the organizations that she is a part of which includes being executive director of the Detroit Food Academy and founder of 3D; Developing… Read more: Week 7: Just Being
  • Week 6
    I am choosing to write about an article from Bridge Detroit called “‘Rationing justice’: Legal aid programs struggle to meet high demand” by Nushrat Rahman. “‘We’ve never been funded at a level to really provide services. We are always… Read more: Week 6
  • Week 6: Twists and Turns
    Hello again! I just realized I never undrafted this post, so it’s coming a week late! My apologies! It has been a busy week for me in DCERP and NSO. This past week has been comprised of so many… Read more: Week 6: Twists and Turns
  • week 7
    Gloryvee coming in to speak with us about mindfulness was something that stood out to me. For me, I am someone who doesn’t like to procrastinate & would rather focus on getting things done before I am able to… Read more: week 7
  • Week 6
    Hello! This week has been one of my favorites simply because I feel like I have really gotten in the groove of things. Film shooting days seem normal, listen and typing descriptions of transcripts from my supervisor verbatim is… Read more: Week 6
  • Week Six: Van Dyke Ave
    The drive to my work site is about seventeen minutes long from the Anthony Wayne apartments. It takes me east through Midtown until I merge onto I-94. I continue on along the highway before taking exit 218 to turn… Read more: Week Six: Van Dyke Ave
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