Reflections on Group Meetings – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Reflections on Group Meetings

Y’all, can you believe this program is almost over? I feel like just yesterday we were moving in, starting our placements, and going out to explore the city for the first time. The last two months have flown by, and I am starting to get that finals-week-feeling of “oh crap, so much to get done in such a short amount of time!” Even with all the stress, though, I am incredibly thankful, and I have loved so much about DCBRP. A big part of that love comes from our group meetings.

It has been really special for me to get to know the city of Detroit again. A few of you have heard me talk about the Episcopal cathedral on Woodward, St. Paul, which I lovingly call my “home church.” I grew up going to St. Paul with my grandma, and we used to explore the city after service every week. Gram moved a few years ago, though, too far away for us to go to church together on Sundays like we did for all of my childhood. When she moved, I stopped spending as much time in the city, only coming in once in awhile for a protest or a trip to the DIA. I’ve relished being back here again, walking past the church that nurtured my social-justice-seeking spirit, and reconnecting with a place that meant so much to me in my formative years. I wouldn’t have been able to fall back in love with Detroit and her people nearly as much if it wasn’t for our group meetings, though.

Our outings, like the Detroit 67 tour, Juneteenth, and the gentrification panel, reminded me that this city is living and breathing – has always been living and breathing. They showed me the resilient, passionate, fighting spirits that longtime residents have. They showed me that sometimes, activism isn’t marching and making protest signs, but rather leading tours at the historical society or singing songs about water justice.

They reminded me why my Gram chose to take us to church here when we were little, as seeking equity and justice as Jesus did has always been something she taught us to do.

As the program draws to a close, I am feeling grateful, activated, angry, and so many other things. My home church, with its ornate red doors and little rainbow flag gently draped over the fence, is full of countless memories of my childhood in Detroit. I’m honored that I got to make so many new memories here, as an adult, with all of you.

(Here is a picture I took of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, if you’re interested. When I first saw the rainbow flag on the fence I smiled, cried, and texted my grandma to thank her.)


2 thoughts on “Reflections on Group Meetings”

  1. It’s so nice that you were able to find somewhere you once felt at home again this summer!

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