UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Ruth Johnson, Public Policy Director
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Community Development Advocates of Detroit,
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
Hello everyone! Thank you for joining us today. My name is Yasmine Elkharssa and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m a rising sophomore and while I am undeclared, I hope to major in Public Policy.
This summer, I worked as a policy fellow with the Community Development Advocates of Detroit, or CDAD. CDAD is a membership organization that is based on the fundamental values of equity, integrity, respect, and diversity. CDAD focuses on community development, neighborhood improvement groups, enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of its members and Detroit residents through advocacy and much much more.
My project was a cumulation of multiple policy-based projects based in Detroit. Over the course of the summer, I worked with the Detroit Right to Counsel coalition in planning and developing a Right to Counsel summit that educated on resources for eviction and advocated for a RTC in Detroit. I also did work regarding the American Rescue Plan by creating education resources about the ARP and presenting updates to CDAD’s policy committee. Writing one pagers and short educational resources on these issues were some of my many projects.
Because of my placement as a Policy fellow, I have been shown a small taste of what it takes to step into a world where your voice must be intentional and influence matters, not just to yourself, but to the people you represent. Politics is interpersonal. But it is also calculated and deeply corrupted. However, it’s important to highlight that it is also a vital part of being an engaged and active citizen, and the policy and advocate work isn’t complete (or even started) without community input. I have deeply enjoyed the mentorship and many “firsts” that I have had the privilege of seizing during my time with CDAD, and I am forever thankful. Thank you.