Week 2 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 2

The community organization that I am working with is called the Downtown Detroit Partnership which is a non-profit organization that has philanthropic and community strengthening goals for the urban core of Detroit. The company works with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors on multiple programs in order to enhance the areas of Downtown Detroit, by either working with small businesses or hosting events with DEI focused organizations to create a more culturally aware and diverse perspective and community for Downtown Detroit. So far we hosted an Immigrant Heritage Month event and a Movie Night in the Campus Martius Park with an African Drum Circle that was completely free. I think the special part of how these events bring the community together is their accessibility and how the company makes sure that people from all different backgrounds and circumstances can attend these events. Another aspect of the company’s work that stood out to me was when my coworkers showed me photos of Downtown Detroit a couple years ago in the 2000s and the improvement that the infrastructure and urban planning has made is astounding. Of course, when looking at these photos the conversation of gentrification also came up and how the company worked to improve the city compared to other city improvements that result in people’s displacement. My coworkers emphasized that the main negative aspect of gentrification is the displacement it causes for people in lower income brackets and that their improvements on different spaces of Detroit have only the goal of improving in mind as long as it does not displace other communities as they look to other communities in the United States in other cities to see what worked best for them in preserving their communities and improving them without displacement. It has also been very fun to interact with other DCERP fellows, coming back from a potluck we just had I had to run to go take a math test very soon after but the time I was there I had a lot of fun getting to know what everyone else’s college experiences were like and seeing all the different food people brought. I think our group can explore together what we all have been learning within our projects and how we can take this knowledge and keep applying it even after our fellowship ends.

2 thoughts on “Week 2”

  1. Hi, Siya! I’m really glad to hear about your project and the Downtown Detroit Partnership more generally, as well. Both the mission and events that you wrote about sound very interesting and appealing. Looking forward to getting to know you and your project!

  2. Emily Castaneda-Espinoza

    Hey Siya! The events your site works on sound amazing, I look forward to reading about the different events you help plan.

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