What Community Means to Me – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

What Community Means to Me

Dear Grace,
When you read this during week 9, I hope all remains well. I expect that you’re completing your goals and staying safe. I hope what’s going on in today’s climate, specifically, with the injustices of society is changing for the better and you’re fighting to create this change. We can discuss more on this later, right now we need to discuss your role in the community!
As of now my perspective on the meaning of community is that it is not merely one definition. It is a diverse term that bridges us together. Community means a group of people with similar characteristics and pathways that come together to care about a similar interest and identity. In my opinion, a community goes further than people living in a similar place. It can be based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other demographic statuses. One of the main things about a community is that it is something that can always be strengthened and improved.
What attracted us to community work in Detroit started when we were a child around ten years old. As a child, we spent the majority of our time in Detroit and it quickly became a second home. I can never forget how we were in a local Detroit choir touring around the city spreading positivity and strength through song. We would wake up early every Saturday and spend all day in Detroit practicing and soaking in the culture. Not only have we seen the city’s weakness, but we’ve also seen its strengths. Fast-forwarding into today I still have the opportunity to connect with the city and people uniquely. Getting the chance today, to work with our community partner, Chandler Park Conservancy(CPC), we get to continue our mission of bringing strength and positivity through the city and that’s what attracts us to the project.
Although things have moved online, I believe things will be just how we envisioned them. Is that true now that you have completed the internship? After communicating with CPC, we will be having the opportunity to create change from a public health perspective, working on protocols, surveys, grants, and safety measures (woohoo, that is right up our ally:) ) Overall, I hope to achieve creating a lasting impact with my organization. In the end, I would like to be able to know we created something that can be beneficial after the summer is over. One thing I hope to gain from DCERP is gaining a bond with fellow mutuals where we can continue to discuss social justice issues and support one another after the internship is over.
I’m excited to see our growth over the summer! This is an experience of a lifetime to be able to work first hand with a non-profit. Talk to you soon.
All Love,

3 thoughts on “What Community Means to Me”

  1. Hi Grace! I loved your point about building on Detroit’s strengths and completely agree with your mission of bringing positivity to the city. In the media, a lot of focus goes to what Detroit can improve on, focusing much on the weaknesses. I think it is equally important (if not MORE important) to highlight the strengths of the communities in Detroit. I’m truly confident that all of us will be able to connect to our placement organizations to strengthen community ties and uplift the people in our communities this summer!

  2. Hi Grace! I really enjoyed hearing about your thoughts this first week. Your love for the communities within Detroit and your eagerness to learn more about them and strengthen them is really appreciated. I am looking forward to hearing more about the awesome work you’ll do for the Chandler Park Conservatory. Good luck on Week Two.

    Madison D

  3. Hi Grace,
    I really enjoyed reading about your early experiences in Detroit and hearing about your time in the choir. I’m bummed that I won’t be able to see the city you know so well this summer, but I’m hopeful that we’ll all be able to grow in our knowledge and understanding of Detroit through our placements and group meetings. I’m wishing you the best at CPC and looking forward to getting to know you better through the program Zoom calls!

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