Kyle Week 4 – Cultural Cues in Detroit – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Kyle Week 4 – Cultural Cues in Detroit

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone is having a good week! This week’s post is about cultural cues and observations from my worksite (Nortown CDC).

Workplace Culture

The culture at my workplace is similar to my job during the school year. It is professional but also a “doing what we can on a shoestring environment”. It’s a similar mix to when I was on UM-Dearborn’s FSAE Racing team and my time as an office assistant at UM-Dearborn. We are a highly dedicated group of people doing everything we can to work for our cause with a very limited budget. For me the people I work with are extremely important. It can make the difference in liking what I do. I also find that I’m happier at work when I’m doing something I believe in and find fulfilling. I’m happy to report that we all get along and work together well. We are all also passionate about the work we are doing. I think this is important and a great thing to experience.


I am the youngest person in our office which is shared by three companies. Nortown CDC, Nortown Homes and Restore North East Detroit (NED). I have no problem with being the youngest. I am used to working with students to older professors at UM-Dearborn. I try my best to be professional and open minded. I like to think I am good at being non-judgmental and open minded. This is easy in my office as I am around like minded people. With such a large gap between me and my boss I think we rely on each other’s differences that come with age. Pat is a walking encyclopedia of everything that has to do with the neighborhood. She also has been community organizing for a very long time. This only comes with the experiences she has had living and working here. I don’t have this same experience but I do have the knowledge of current technology and ways of working with it. I also have training in grantwriting, community organizing and public health. These contrasting viewpoints and knowledge bases pair well together as we complement each other’s weaknesses with our strengths.


My viewpoint on race has always been to treat everyone as people. To me one person is not worth more than another person. I try to treat everyone the same. This seems to be the same with everyone at my workplace. We are diverse but and I haven’t noticed anything other than positive interactions at my workplace. I think this is a very positive thing.

Detroit Culture

I’ve made a few observations about Detroit culture in my time here. I’ve noticed that outside of Midtown, everywhere I go I see people who know each other. For example, I went to the Walgreens by my office to get something to drink and several people started talking to other people there. They clearly knew each other but didn’t come there together. I’ve noticed this everywhere. There’s a coney island by my work that I’ve been to a few times and everyone knows everyone there. They say hello and know the workers by name. There’s a greater sense of community that I haven’t really felt before. In the suburbs where I live no one talks to each other. I don’t know my neighbors names and we never talk to each other. I go to the store and don’t know anyone there. But in the city people know each other and interact more. I think that’s pretty special and very cool. I remember reading about this in “How to Kill a City”. It being a desirable thing and important part of the lives of the longtime residents. I can see how big of a loss it would be to be forced out and not only lose your home but also your sense of community which may have been built and with you over your entire life.


It’s definitely been a culture shift for me to move to the city but I think it’s been a great learning experience and positive change for me. I’m grateful that I’m getting to experience firsthand what it’s like to live and work in Detroit. I’m glad I’m experiencing such a positive culture at work and in the city and will continue to try to get more experience while I’m here.

2 thoughts on “Kyle Week 4 – Cultural Cues in Detroit”

  1. I also think you are great at being non-judgmental and open minded, I’m glad that is serving you well in fitting in with the culture of your workplace. I love your observation about the community culture in Detroit as a whole, I’ve made almost the exact same observations about people knowing each other once you leave the midtown area! I agree that thinking about the impact that housing insecurity/displacement has on the residents of Detroit is incredibly relevant in our field of Public Health.

    1. Thanks Scarlett! That’s good to here that its not just how I feel about myself. I think it’s pretty cool that you noticed the same observation about the culture after leaving Midtown. I think it is very relevant for the residents and our field as Public Healthers.

Comments are closed.

lsa logoum logo