Week 9: It’s over already? – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 9: It’s over already?

Just like that, the DCERP program is over and our time at our placements is finished! I’ve had an insightful and empowering summer at HOPE Village Revitalization, just as I predicted in my Week 1 blog. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that we’ll be leaving our partner communities tomorrow. It’s a bittersweet ending: I am sad to be leaving my mentors and community members from the HOPE Village, but I am happy to take a short break from daily Zoom meetings and work before classes pick up again.

Reading my Week 1 blog, the biggest thing I wanted to take away from this experience was a better understanding of Detroit. In my blog, I was picturing a newly found, broad perspective about the various neighborhoods and all the aspects of Detroit that brought the city to where it stands today. Looking back, this was an ambitious task. Yet, I believe that I was able to get an almost complete understanding of Detroit through one specific neighborhood: the HOPE Village. Through them, I saw firsthand the strength and unity that gives Detroit its unique flair. I saw Detroit’s successes and shortcomings through the eyes of residents who have lived there their entire lives. This, accompanied by our lessons from learning groups, speaker presentations, and How to Kill a City, gave me a foundational understanding of Detroit and ignited a spark to continue learning about this city. The one thing I want to do to bring this experience full-circle is to visit the HOPE Village Farmers Market and Community Gardens that I have been overseeing this summer. I plan to visit the market a few times next month before school starts and finally meet the residents and leaders I have gotten to know! My summer strengthened my perceptions of Detroit: like any city, Detroit is complicated and filled with its ups and downs. However, Detroit has a resiliency that no city can ever match.

Moving forward, I’ve evolved to truly understand what community-led, grassroots organizing looks like. I have seen a side of this while volunteering with my student org, GlobeMed, on campus prior to this summer, but now I am confident that I can lead my student org as co-president this year using the experiences that the HOPE Village has given me. With these and a refreshed social justice mindset, I know that I can provide person-centered, equitable, and sustainable care as a future physician.

I am excited to see how our futures build off our DCERP experiences, as well as meeting all of you in-person soon!

5 thoughts on “Week 9: It’s over already?”

  1. Madison Daminato

    Hi Ysabel,

    I share the bittersweet feeling. Working for my community partner was a really awesome experience, but I also will appreciate a break before the fall. Also, your deeper understanding of Detriot is an incredible takeaway from this program. It is great to see you working to understand the city as a whole; I think my community partner helped me gain a greater perspective too. I wish you the best of luck on you academic/professional journey, and I hope you can continue to utilize what you learned from DCERP!


  2. Hi Ysabel!

    I am definitely with you that that leaving our sites is really sad and it seems like you have made some really great connections! It will be nice to take a zoom break however, and I think that it truly is a bittersweet ending to the program.

  3. Did not mean to end my comment- but to continue. I also have found a way better understanding of what community-led, grassroots organizing looks like. I am involved with the Ginsberg Center on campus and they focus on community-led initiatives, but I have not been a part of one besides from seeing proposals submitted to the center. It was so great to be able to be a part of that work this summer!

    1. Thank you for your comment Chloe! My student org is actually partnered with the Ginsberg Center too! I love working with them, and hopefully I will see you around at some of their events this year 🙂

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