Week Nine Blog – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Nine Blog

Well, a lot has changed in just nine weeks. For one, I no longer intend to major in history, thanks to my experience in Detroit. I’m hoping to apply to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Urban Technology major. Being in Detroit has really made me appreciate cities and all that they have to offer, as well as what we can do to make them better. I think I worked less with the community as I may have thought I would, but the work I did was still valuable. All the photos I digitized will be of great use to Detroiters who want to see old photos of their homes, see how downtown has changed, or see images of their relatives that we were unable to identity. I ended up getting most of this project done, with only a handful of folders left (although these folders hold probably over 100 photos).

I really enjoyed meeting everyone in the cohort and look forward to staying in contact with everyone as classes start again. While we worked within the various communities of Detroit, I think we also made a community ourselves, which I defined in my first blog post as ” a support network and place for belonging.” I wouldn’t say my perceptions of Detroit itself have changed, as I’ve always taken a skeptical approach to the suburban propaganda against bigger cities, but they have evolved. Seeing some of the work that goes into making the city run at a micro level has made me appreciate the efforts of community organizers and activists in making all cities, not just Detroit, work.

I look forward to seeing how this program continues to evolve and build new generations of Michigan alumni with the experience to make their communities better.

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