Week 1-Introductions – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1-Introductions

I’m Lillith Jackson (they/them/theirs), a junior double majoring in Asian Studies and International Studies and minoring in Translation Studies. I am a Detroit native and have lived there all my life. This summer, I will be working with LGBT Detroit to help set up the Hotter than July black pride event.

Community to me means safety. Community is having a group of people one can rely upon comfortably and feel safe in their presence. It’s having people look out for one another and uplift each other in their darkest moments. I wanted to do community work in Detroit because I grew up in a poor neighborhood. I often look back at how living with my great grandmother, she relied on her neighbors to take her places or bring her groceries or do favors for her, and they never asked for anything in return. I want to help uplift people and make them feel like their community can rely on them if they need help. I specifically chose LGBT Detroit because growing up, there wasn’t any queer community I could depend upon to feel safe and be myself. I want to help other people avoid that isolation.

Since the first half of my project will be working on social media outreach for LGBT Detroit and the Hotter than July event, I can use my previous knowledge of running social media pages to help reorient their page algorithm to increase traffic. Over the summer, I would like to develop better interpersonal social skills and communicate my ideas more effectively. I’m still a bit shy when speaking in work environments, so I hope to break that habit.

At the end of the DCERP, I would love for Hotter than July to go off without a hitch. This event has been virtual for the past two years, so it would mean a lot for me if we get a ton of engagement with the event from everyone in the community. That would make me happy.

Let’s have an awesome time this summer.

3 thoughts on “Week 1-Introductions”

  1. Hey Lillith! First, your majors sound really interesting and exciting! Is there a specific region in Asia you are studying? I’m from South Asia, which is why I ask. Second, your project sounds really dope. I’m glad to see orgs like this in Detroit that advocate for the LGBT+ community. I’m glad there are safe spaces and events for the LGBT+ community in Detroit. What ideas do you have for the pride event?

    1. My major is sub focuses on Japan, and I’ll probably gear towards anti-racist pedagogy in Japan. I’m not giving any ideas for the pride event itself, but I get to design how LGBT Detroit does its social media marketing for Hotter than July.

  2. Ataia Templeton

    I don’t have much to say, but a) your project is really cool. Can I get an invite to the Hotter than July event? (lol) Also, your definition of community really hit it on the nose. Safety and acceptance are huge benefits of acknowledging and contributing to one’s community(ties). I think those are the core values of most communities.

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