At the start of this week, you entered Brilliant Detroit’s headquarters curious yet uncertain of your role in their summer project, questioning how you would contribute. There are still questions, but as you experienced more of the organisation’s character, passion, and progress you’re gradually learning how to ask better questions while also becoming more comfortable in the community that has welcomed you. Interacting with the faces of Brilliant Detroit has characterized Detroit as open, passionate, and motivated toward growth. Reading “Having Nothing, Possessing Everything” and engaging in Asset-Based Community Development has allowed you to better understand Brilliant Detroit’s mission to provide resources for an already able and multi-talented community. And, while “Having Nothing, Possessing Everything,” provided a positive and accurate definition of the state of low-income neighborhood communities, “How to Kill a City,” has better fleshed out the negative reality of low-income Detroit communities and their relationship with a government that consistently fails to recognize their talents – or one that at least avoids how to best incorporate and invest in them.
You’re learning a lot and you’re thankful for that. You hope to be able to put this knowledge to use this summer through Brilliant Detroit and Asset-Based Community Development. While still fuzzy on what that development will look like, you’re content with what you have so far and believe it’ll be able to lead to positive program development, organized asset-mapping, and a method for better incorporating Detroit neighborhoods with Brilliant’s process – though they’re already doing great in those regards. You hope to be able to get better acclimated to office culture because you’ll need it. You’re not stressed about it though. Just curious.