Week One Blog: Community – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week One Blog: Community

Dear Le’Elle,
Do you remember when you were a little girl? On Sunday mornings, your father would take you to your grandmother’s two-family flat on the corner of Mack and Gratiot. You would play games with your cousins in her big yard, while she prepared for church. Then, your father would escort grandmother Juanita to church and take you to the Easternmarket. Both of you would indulge your sweet cravings at Rocky’s candy store. During this time, you learned the value of the city you call home.
When you reflect on your time as a child in Detroit, you think about experiences with family. Detroit has given you the people and the communities that showed you the delights of the city. The community is the people and places that made Detroit truly special for you as a child. The community is the history and culture created by those of similar experiences. The community is the sounds and tastes of “D-Town” that fill your surroundings. All of these aspects attract you to working in the city of Detroit.
Becoming acquainted with the functions of an urban planning firm will be difficult but, working remotely will present its own challenges. While working remotely through a pandemic, you will gain unique experience by working with Downtown Detroit Planning (DDP). Considering all happening in the world today, DDP will provide you with a framework for intensive problem-solving (i.e., issues of a pandemic). During this time, you will be able to contribute your outside perspective to the urban social spaces of Detroit. As an outsider, you have a different view of the landscape of the city and different opinions on how to improve social spaces.
Alongside working with community outreach with Detroit Community Research Program, you can look forward to gaining on-hand experience with a nonprofit organization. You will be able to work closely with people that share the same passion for Detroit as you!

Best Wishes

1 thought on “Week One Blog: Community”

  1. Hey Le’Elle! The beginning of your letter instantly transported me to your memory. As someone not as much familiar with Detroit as you are on such a personal level, I truly see the heart and passion you have for working there! And while none of us ever expected to be in such a strange situation today, interning remotely, it sounds like you already have your plans and contributions set for making the most of this experience. Let’s have an amazing summer together! 🙂

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