WEEK 1: A Letter to Myself – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

WEEK 1: A Letter to Myself

Dear Damaris,

I have a feeling you are going to have a great summer! I know how excited you are to participate in this wonderful program. The DCBRP is full of opportunities to make a difference, meet new people and contribute to this great city. I know Detroit holds a special place in your heart. You take a great deal of pride in being born and raised in this great city. The city of Detroit has invested so much into the person you have become today and still has a great impact on you. But now is the perfect opportunity to give back.

Being placed with Nortown CDC is perfect because of their focus to help restore Northeast Detroit, the area you are from. I want you to take this chance to learn more about the inside issues of not only Northeast Detroit, but the entire city as well. Sometimes we can live in an area our whole lives and still not know exactly what the issues are.

Nortown Community Development Corporation
Nortown Community Development Corporation

Because you are so passionate about the city and community development, I know that you are anxious to bring about change. I want to be very realistic as to what you hope to contribute. This is your opportunity to to help contribute to Nortown’s agendas and projects, and lend a helping hand. Take time to listen more and speak less. Your supervisors have great wisdom to share. The most important thing I want you to learn this summer is how the non-profit world operates day-to-day. The third sector is very different from others. Because you aspire to have your own non-profit organization someday, this is a great opportunity to jump start into the field.

I'm from East 8 mile and Schoenherr! =)
I’m from East 8 mile and Schoenherr! =)

Detroit is home to you. It’s special to you. You’ve lived your whole life here, attended church, Detroit Public Schools, and created fond memories on these very streets. It’s a treasure to you. But what you may consider a treasure, others may call trash. It is true that Detroit has its rough patches, but it is far from trash. Detroit is a city with great potential. Detroiters are pioneers and innovators from the auto industry to techno music and jitting (see video below!) . It seems like many want to leave the city of Detroit and escape the problems, but Damaris, I encourage to stay, stand by your city, bring about change while changing perspectives.





2 thoughts on “WEEK 1: A Letter to Myself”

  1. Love the video, and now if someone else asks me if I know what jitting is, I’ll be able to say yes ;). I’m so excited to be working at Nortown with you this summer- it’s been great so far, and I so appreciate your knowledge of and passion for the Northeast Detroit community. This opportunity will serve as such a great basis for the future music and art-oriented non-profit you want to start! Here’s to hoping we get the grant funding so part of our work this summer can focus on integrating art into the parks of NE Detroit!

  2. Great post Damaris! It’s really cool to hear you talk about your connections to the city, and your experiences growing up here. Your wealth of information and recommendations have been really helpful for me as a newbie in Detroit! 🙂

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