Hey everyone! My name is Malak, and I’m a rising sophomore planning on double majoring in Economics and International Studies with a Political Economy and Development (PED) sub-major or possibly switching to the Public Policy major at the Ford school.
To me, a community is a group of people brought together by their shared qualities and interests. After working with Nortown CDC for only a few days, I can already see what a strong community the Nortown neighborhood has and how passionate its members are about restoring and improving it. I was specifically interested in doing community work in Detroit because I’ve lived just over half an hour away from the city for the majority of my life, but don’t know very much about it. I’m excited to learn more about not only the city itself, but also about the relationship between nonprofit organizations and city government.
One of my projects involves researching various properties in the Nortown area and establishing a database of key commercial target areas in other cities that can be used as models for vacant properties in Northeast Detroit. I think I can complete this project successfully because of my attention to detail and organizational skills. Another role I will have with Nortown CDC is to assist with land use policy matters. Today, I (virtually) attended a land use zoning hearing and two city council meetings, and the procedures and language were very new to me. A skill I’d like to develop this summer is to have a strong understanding of city government procedures. Something that would make me really proud is really understanding the importance of community engagement in government/policy decisions.