So far I have really liked the events we have had. I enjoy learning about Detroit history specifically, so having the historical museum tours were fascinating and the oral history tours with Jamon Jordan were especially cool because we got to see all these statues, monuments, and places in person during the tour. My favorite event was the Detroit ’67 exhibit at the historical museum. I liked having a tour guide for this event too because sometimes walking around a museum without a guide can be intimidating with all the information there is. I also enjoyed our group events this summer. I love getting to know people from the cohort and having dedicated time to hangout. With all that’s going on this summer, it’s nice to be able to have specific time set aside to just get to know other people in the cohort.
The things I’ve learned from these group events are not just about the history of Detroit, but also about current perspectives in Detroit. There are a few people in our cohort that are originally from the area and to hear their perspectives during the group events and group meetings is so valuable I think for all of us. In hearing perspectives from people that have lived here their whole lives, it just emphasizes that the news articles, books, and media coverage of gentrification in Detroit are not just words or far off stories; they are reality. It’s so easy to read about the tension growing in the city, and depending on your placement you can avoid ever leaving the gentrified part of Detroit so you may never see the line that crosses from coveted real estate to neglected neighborhoods land. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about Detroit and it’s successes and struggles this summer, and am grateful to have experienced it with this incredibly thoughtful group of people as well.