Community Engagement

  1. Partner Profile: Church of the Messiah Housing Corp. provides affordable housing and fosters economic development

    “The U-M survey also helped CMHC see additional unmet needs of program participants due to inadequate workforce systems, as well as economic or racial inequalities in Detroit.”

    ~ Richard Cannon, executive director of the Church of the Messiah Housing Corp.

  2. Student Tepfirah “Tee” Rushdan grows the farming movement in Detroit

    Tee Rushdan arranged private meetings with the mayor and his staff to craft an exemption for farmers, as well as addressing questions about water and land access. “I said, ‘A lot of cities – Philly, New York – have installed directors of urban agriculture,” Rushdan explains. “’Let’s get somebody in the city that’s focused on that.’ I didn’t know it was going to be me.”

  3. Automated shuttle planned for Detroit starts safety testing at Mcity

    Testing of a new automated shuttle is underway at the University of Michigan’s Mcity Test Facility to ensure the technology is ready to safely serve older adults and people with disabilities in the city of Detroit. Earlier this month, U-M researchers kicked off several months of testing with an automated vehicle provided by May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of AV technology. 

  4. Brightmoor Maker Space expands community presence and innovative partnership

    From the beginning, the Brightmoor Maker Space’s vision has been centered around community ownership. While U-M played an initial role as a partner, the goal has always been for the youth to manage and operate the space, shifting away from university control. Students run the day-to-day activities while oversight comes from the founder of Detroit Community Schools Bart Eddy.  

  5. Faculty Q&A: Dana Thompson teaches law students to make a hands-on difference

    For Michigan Law faculty member Dana Thompson, the law isn’t just a profession. It’s a way to bring about economic change and further social justice. Thompson was born in Detroit and is a true Motowner – her father worked for Motown Records as a writer, arranger, and lyricist. She leads the Detroit-based Community Enterprise Clinic that connects law students with clients in the city.

  6. Detroit youth share vision for $5.7M grant to address homelessness, housing instability

    Between 11-16% of Detroit K-12 students faced homelessness or housing instability in 2021-22, according to a new study from Wayne State University College of Education’s Detroit Partnership for Education Equity & Research in partnership with University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions.

  7. Meet the future: transforming vacant land in Detroit

    The trust she has built has allowed Lisa DuRussel to integrate her deep connections into the projects she designs for her students. She says that these projects tend to attract SEAS students who are interested in both community engagement and the questions surrounding the future of vacant land in Detroit.

  8. U-M’s Poverty Solutions takes an evidence-based approach to improving life in Detroit and beyond

    “We’ve done a great deal with housing and revitalization. We’ve worked a great deal with workforce development and with public health. So a lot of how we live out our mission happens in the city of Detroit.”
    ~ Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions

  9. Live Coal: Bringing the spark for artists and neighborhoods

    Yvette Rock’s empathetic approach has had that effect on scores of people in the community through her many initiatives connected to art. “I started thinking about what it would mean for Yvette Rock to be a ‘live coal,'” she said. “What would it mean for me to be someone in the city of Detroit who helps set these things in motion, this artistic venture in motion, you know, like being a spark in the city, causing others to be excited about art?”