UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Patricia Bosch, Executive Director
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Nortown Community Development Corporation
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
Hello everyone, my name is Malak Kalasho and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m a rising sophomore majoring in Economics and International Studies and hope to pursue a career in economic policy.
This summer, I worked with Nortown Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that works to create community-controlled economic development in Northeast Detroit.
I researched and created a database concerning the ownership and tax status information on residential properties to be used for future development projects. I also conducted historical research for an upcoming newspaper on the endangered house of Civil Rights activist Sarah Elizabeth Ray, as well as the Tuskegee Airmen, who were America’s first African American military pilots, one of whom eventually became Detroit’s first African American Mayor, Coleman A. Young. I also got to help Nortown CDC with their affordable housing project, Nortown Homes I and II, where I conducted more property research and assisted with other matters.
Throughout the past 9 weeks, I had the opportunity to work with Nortown CDC’s Executive Director, Pat Bosch. Since my first day working with Pat, I was incredibly inspired by her commitment to community advocacy and organizing. This summer, I also learned more about city government processes, the importance of community-engagement in policy decisions, and methods of community-controlled economic development. I also witnessed countless moments in which the city government ignored the concerns and needs of their constituents. Seeing the lack of strong communication between the city and the community allowed me to truly understand the importance of community engagement, and it became an insight I will definitely take with me in a future career in economic policy.
Again, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Pat Bosch for being truly the greatest mentor this summer, as well as to Ray and the DCERP fellows who helped make this such a meaningful experience.