Week 2: Working with CDAD – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 2: Working with CDAD

Hey everyone, the happy second week of work !!

I hope everyone’s projects are going well and having a nice summer :))

The community organization that I am working with is the Community development Advocates of Detroit(also known as CDAD). Through community engagement, advocacy work, and capacity building, we hope to improve the quality of life and alleviate some of the burdens of the housing crisis that is ongoing in the city of Detroit. CDAD collaborates with various other organizations and political figures to best meet the community’s needs and influence legislation. Some major projects that currently underway include ARPA, right to counsel, and creating a master plan for community development.

I will have the opportunity to dive into public policy work at Detroit and learn about various political structures. I primarily have been working on getting the right to counsel ordinance up and running. Right to counsel will ensure full legal representation for tenants facing eviction. It has been interesting learning about the nuances of the law and the obstacles that the community is facing. I am looking forward to doing substantial work with my community. 

In addition to the work I have been doing, I also had the opportunity to meet with various people who work at CDAD. My mentor, Ruth Johnson, has always been very welcome and supportive of the things I want to accomplish and is overall very sweet. The people there are so politically involved and passionate about so many projects in their life. It really changed my perspective of my future and the things that I can do. I have always felt limited by the scope of the area I study and the field I chose, but hearing from others reassured me that I do not have to be boxed in. 

My time at DCERP has also been very enjoyable and I am so glad that we are able to experience this summer in person. It has been nice getting to know everyone and talking to the other fellows and I look forward to getting to know everyone more and exploring the city more. 

4 thoughts on “Week 2: Working with CDAD”

  1. Hi Zainab!
    The work that CDAD is doing is so important and substantial and I can’t wait to hear about the progress on your project this summer! I also related heavily to how the passion and care of my supervisors really made me feel optimistic about the work that we are doing and the work that is being done. I wish you all the best in your project!

  2. Hi Zainab, as someone who’s dealt with some degree of housing insecurity, it sounds like CDAD is doing important work. Your emphasis on the right to counsel is spot-on, especially in the fallout of the end of the eviction moratorium. I look forward to getting to know you and your project.

  3. Edisa Niyifasha

    Hey Zainab,

    I loved that you guys are working more on the housing things because after reading the book “How to Kill A City”, I was left with sadness that these communities are being destroyed by gentrifiers and I don’t think it is fair what gentrifiers are doing to these communities. I would love to know the policies involving housing and other things that relate to housing (like businesses). I’m glad you have been enjoying your summer so far 🙂

    -Edisa <3

  4. Hi Zainab,

    The work that your nonprofit does sounds very important. I’m not from Detroit, but I am from a neighborhood that has been gentrified. As the years went by, more and more of my friends have been kicked out of our neighborhood so I was able to witness a lot of how that has affected them. I like that this nonprofit exists to protect community members.

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