This summer, I get to work with Nortown CDC’s Executive Director, Pat Bosch. Pat has been involved in community organizing for over 40 years and continues to be a strong advocate for the Northeast Detroit Community. She first became involved with nonprofit/social justice work around 1975-1980, when she became a chairman on the social justice committee of her local church. This committee was formed to analyze the needs of the community- things like food, clothing, financial aid, etc. Around this time, the area was predominantly white (98%), and there were deliberate attempts by real estate agents to blockbust neighborhoods- in which they’d pressure homeowners to sell their houses for low prices by instilling fear that the value will depreciate as African Americans move into the area. As the Northeast Detroit area experienced more racial injustice and slow economic decline, Pat and other community leaders formed the We Care about 7 Mile Community Organization, and eventually the Nortown Community Development Corporation. Since then, Pat has served as the Executive Director of Nortown CDC, and continues to prioritize community outreach, organizing, and collaboration. Today, Pat and Nortown CDC continue to fulfill the mission of fostering community-controlled economic development in Northeast Detroit. Right now, Pat and other community leaders are pushing for the City of Detroit to allocate funding for the “forgotten” neighborhoods in District 3.
Overall, I would say that I’ve been incredibly inspired by Pat’s commitment to community engagement and social justice since my first day, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer!