In the time we have been here in Detroit, most if not all of us have been hearing various stories about this city and allowing the residents of the various communities we work in to deconstruct the narratives we initially had about Detroit. In their place now are new narratives, more true and personal to the residents, that we keep adding onto everyday. This practice of dismantling and reconstructing the story of Detroit is something I find to be a part of the culture of this city that is also reflected at my work place.
The Green Garage is a work space that seems to operate by an unspoken motto of “growth and change by learning from each other.” Knowing that the best way to rectify the things that are wrong in this community is to involve the ideas and voices of the people who are from this community and working towards change, the Green Garage creates countless opportunities for people to come and introduce their ideas and generate support for them. Every single Friday they host a community lunch where one of the many businesses in this space shares about what they do, or a specific project they are working on that may require community participation. These lunches are open to the public and everyone present introduces themselves and their occupation. Beyond this, the Green Garage also hosts many business meetings where businesses with a People, Planet, Profit focus come together to expand ideas. People in the offices are always welcome to sit in, even us interns! They also have a listserv where they are constantly sharing information about job openings, business growth opportunities, new people in the office etc.
After only a month, I can see how willing to learn and change these businesses are, a factor I deem crucial when it comes to fixing community problems, and can not help but hope that this beneficial culture of learning in the work place is replicated by many more businesses across Detroit.