Week 9: Reflecting on my first week – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 9: Reflecting on my first week

I’ve come to the end of the DCBRP program and as I reread my first blog post, it almost seems like just yesterday that I was writing it. The time has flown by but even within this short amount of time, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge about Detroit and the role that non-profits play in the city.

After my first four days in the office, I wrote about how I had not anticipated for my work to  be more “businessy” but now as I am thinking about these past 9 weeks, I think that “businessy” would not be the correct word to describe what I was doing, and even though I hadn’t come to see how what FoodLab does was directly related to food and health yet, I definitely see that connection now. I was right when I wrote that I would learn a lot of valuable things and interact with many new and interesting people who would demonstrate the importance of FoodLab’s work.

For some reason, I couldn’t put in words what my perception of Detroit was after only five nights in the city. I suspect it is because I just found it very odd or unfair to state my perceptions of a place I hadn’t really come to know. Even now, I don’t think I am capable of fully conveying to you what Detroit is in my eyes without it being an inaccurate or incomplete picture. But I will say that the most important thing that marks my perception of the city are the residents of Detroit who are adamant about being heard as they speak up about issues like gentrification and are acting to combat them one community development organization at a time. This is the most important thing I have taken away from the program.

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