Taubman College students explore multidisciplinary approaches to community engagement

Source: Taubman College

Taubman College students in class with Eric Dueweke at the U-M Detroit Center.

One of the things that Detroit planning and evaluation consultant Jane Fran Morgan enjoys most about her work is the variety. “You’re working with different organizations in different contexts and with different challenges,” says Morgan. “And you’re always thinking about new approaches, which requires a certain amount of creativity.”

As the 2019–2020 Sojourner Truth Fellow at Taubman College, Morgan wanted to bring creativity to the community engagement workshop she taught during the winter semester. Eric Dueweke, lecturer in urban and regional planning, was the co-facilitator. The Sojourner Truth Fellowship engages scholars and practitioners who can bring rigorous attention to issues of race and ethnicity as they relate to the theory and practice of urban and regional planning. Beyond that, Morgan’s objective was “to create something that was fun, engaging, and useful for students” — urban planning and architecture students alike.

The four-part weekend workshop series — Engaging Detroit: Maximizing Solutions for Impact — connected students with organizations in Detroit that are experiencing community engagement challenges and gave them an opportunity to work in teams to develop solutions to those problems. Morgan and Dueweke deliberately paired students from different programs in teams to foster an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving.

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