Week 1 + Week 2 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1 + Week 2

Hi everyone, my name is Om and I’m working with the City of Detroit’s Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity. I’m from Troy, MI which is about half an hour outside of Detroit. While I’ve visited the city plenty of times, I feel like I have a superficial understanding of it, and I hope to improve that this summer.

One strength that I have is policy research. After projects for classes and clubs, I’m confident in my ability to create a comprehensive policy proposal. Coming into DCERP, I knew that I wanted to build on this skill by following through on my research. Often times, after I initially propose something, I seem to forget about it, and move on without ensuring that action is taken on what I worked on. Essentially, I wanted to work somewhere where I would be in a position to not just propose policies, but actually work with those in power to enact the policies. I hope that after this summer, I can point to a specific city practice that I have directly helped to improve.

After working at the city’s Office of Disability Affairs for 2 weeks, I’ve come to love my job. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive at first, as I’ve never worked a full-time desk job. The first day or two, while still positive experiences, almost confirmed this. Because of all the onboarding procedures, I thought that the entire summer would be monotonous and exhausting.

Once I started working on my first actual project, however, things quickly changed. Instead of filling out paperwork, I was able to conduct research on best practices for interactions between emergency response teams and residents with autism. Soon, I expect to be able to propose changes to the Detroit Police Department’s training. These are real things that impact real people, meaning the work I’m doing is far from boring.

As for my DCERP experience, it’s been absolutely phenomenal. Though we all have a common interest, I’ve gotten to meet so many new people in the cohort, all from different backgrounds. After looking at some events in Detroit this summer, I’m excited to explore the city and hopefully make some new friends along the way.

– Om

*Sorry for posting late, but I missed a few meetings after testing positive for Covid

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