Cultivating Culture – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Cultivating Culture

With my previous experience working at nonprofits, I came into this placement with the assumption that there would be various degrees of inefficiencies and misunderstandings. Within each and every one of us are deeply rooted beliefs that shape our identity; it is our culture.  We make derived meaning from previous experiences, preset beliefs and personal biases. However, I find myself becoming more amazed by the collaborative spirit and passion of its people and its community members at the Michigan Suburbs Alliance time after time.

The Michigan Suburbs Alliance is an inclusive and supportive community that is rethinking and reinventing the future of Metro Detroit. It is exactly that open and transparent culture that gives the organization a respectable reputation among community and staff members. At first glance, you would notice that most of my co-workers are Caucasian and are extremely well educated individuals. They are people of privilege, individuals who have the power to choose and to act with much liberty. Instead of sitting passively in their privileges though, they choose to channel their energies into creating lasting change. They believe in Metro Detroit and in its people. More importantly, they know that everyone counts. There is a sense of community, a fighting spirit among these wonderful people to challenge the status quo together. The organization is effective because they take the time to build a culture of trust and strong work ethics. As a fellow, not an intern, I completely believe in the work that we do.  It feels good to be a part of something bigger than yourself, something that will bring a host of new opportunities for Detroit and for the people of Detroit; we work as a team and to operate as one cohesive unit.

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