U-M, Detroit forge closer ties through grants, partnerships

Source: Vice Provost for Engaged Learning

U-M Detroit Center

Eight new initiatives have been selected to receive funding from the 2023 Engage Detroit Workshops grant program. This is the second year of the program to promote the development of innovative projects that forge connections between U-M and the Detroit community.

The collaborative projects planned for the upcoming academic year aim to foster greater connections and partnerships among students, faculty, staff and members of the Detroit community. Through interdisciplinary discussions, participants will explore shared interests and build upon the city’s rich history of successful collaborations.

The provosts’ offices at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses have come together to provide joint support for the program. More than $110,000 will be awarded to projects that enhance partnerships with Detroit.

“The first year was so successful. We are looking forward to seeing positive impact from this year’s grant recipients and the continuation of partnerships with the Detroit community,” said Valeria Bertacco, vice provost for engaged learning.

The selected initiatives, covering a diverse array of fields and subjects, include:

By Privilege and By Force: Studying Movement and Place-keeping in the West Village

Project leads: Damani Partridge, professor of anthropology and of Afro-American and African studies, LSA; Malika Stuerznickel, graduate student research assistant and graduate student instructor, LSA; Faith Bailey, graduate student, LSA

Community partners: Ajara Alghali, Temate Institute for Black Dance and Culture

D-Boy Dads: Exploring Fatherhood in Detroit

Project leads: Richard M. Tolman, professor of social work, School of Social Work; Sonia Harb, Detroit engagement strategist, SSW; Feodies Shipp III, associate director, U-M Detroit Center

Community partners: Sam Donald, Detroit Musix; Marcus Hille, Parent Think Thank; Willie Bell, Family Assistance for Renaissance Men; John Miles, Children’s Center; Bomani Gray, Metro Detroit Father Policy Group

Detroit Land Lab

Project leads: Lisa DuRussel, associate professor of practice, School for Environment and Sustainability; Nana Temple, graduate student, SEAS

Community partners: Tanya Stephens, Vacant Land Detroit, Community Development Corp.

Detroit River Education

Project leads: David Porter, professor of English language and literature and of comparative literature, LSA; Kim Lijana, director of the Center for Educational Outreach; Ebony Thomas, co-chair of the Joint Program in English and Education and associate professor, Marsal Family School of Education

Community partners: Detroit Heritage Society, Wright Museum, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit River Project, Green Door Initiative, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Getting Investment Ready: Financial Coaching for Detroit Small Businesses

Project leads: Cathy Shakespeare, associate dean for teaching and learning, Arthur Andersen Professor of Accounting and associate professor of accounting, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Christie Baer, assistant executive director, Center on Finance, Law & Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Paul Steih, senior global client service partner, Ross School

Community partners: Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., TechTown, Jefferson East, Inc., Eastside Community Network

Taking it to the Street – Art, Agency, and Community

Project leads: Anna Muller, associate professor of history, UM-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters; Paul Draus, professor of sociology and anthropology, UM-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters; Kristin Palm, assistant director of communications, UM-Dearborn Office of Communications

Community partners: InsideOut Literary Arts, Youth Justice Fund

The Best Classroom Project

Project leads: Dara Hill, professor of education operations, UM-Dearborn College of Education, Health, and Human Services; LaShorage Shaffer, associate professor of education, UM-Dearborn CEHHS; DeLean Tolbert Smith, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, UM-Dearborn College of Engineering and Computer Science

Community partners: Best Classroom Project, Detroit Parent Network

Visualizing Migration – Translating Detroit

Project leads: Kristin Dickinson, associate professor of Germanic languages and literatures, LSA; Yopie Prins, Irene H. Butter Collegiate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, professor of English language and literature, and of comparative literature, LSA; Michael Pifer, Marie Manoogian Professor of Armenian Language and Literature and assistant professor of Middle East studies, LSA

Community partners: Arab American National Museum


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