Week 8 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 8

I think that the events we’ve been going to and How to Kill a City tie into each other very nicely. Both have enhanced my knowledge of the history of the city. The book has definitely made me think about my place in the city as an outsider moving into midtown and working at my placement. First and foremost, I don’t think that I would have been able to work at my placement ethically without knowing what I have learned about gentrification. There’s a reason why some people have all the power in the city. You need to understand why some problems exist in order to begin to try to alleviate them. Reading the book has made me more conscious about where I spend money, trying to support local businesses. It’s made me a little more wary of any new development, knowing that there’s a large chance that it comes from two developers.

It’s also something to come to terms with knowing that I am a part of the gentrification process without meaning to be. It’s especially interesting considering that I am looking for a place to live next year at the moment. One of the potential roommates I’m talking to is pretty dead set on living in midtown, but it is clear he doesn’t have much experience with the city as he has sent me listings that are not in midtown. However, judging him for this is extremely hypocritical of me, considering that most of the knowledge I have of Detroit is relatively new and I am still an outsider. Navigating this kind of situation with the knowledge I have gained from reading this book is interesting and I’m still not entirely sure how to do it.

2 thoughts on “Week 8”

  1. Josephine Kate Graham

    I feel the same way, Sarah. I think it would have been wrong of us to work at our placements without the knowledge we have gleaned prior and over the course of the program on gentrification and other social and/or political issues, among others, pertaining to Detroit. I also recognize my place as an outsider in the city; I still have so much to learn about Detroit: its past, present, and the future implications of the two.

  2. Don'aa Williams

    I agree. Throughout the program, we learned similar information in different forms. I think it is important that we share the information we learned with as many people as possible.

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