Focus: Youth Development, Housing, Community and Economic Development
Church of the Messiah arrived at its current location in 1900, and has been an anchoring institution in the Islandview neighborhood ever since. The church has invested heavily in the youth of the surrounding neighborhood and in empowering them as the future of Detroit. This tour will explore some of these programs, including a ginger tea business run at the church to encourage students to learn business and employment skills, a bicycle shop aimed as a learning opportunity for students, and a church-based marching band. Attendees will also explore other neighborhood-oriented initiatives run by Church of the Messiah, including a community garden, sports programs, and computer access programs aimed at allowing local residents to access the internet and to learn valuable computer skills. The tour will explore the Islandview neighborhood and its unique housing stock, and attendees will gain a greater understanding of its contrast with neighboring parts of Detroit.
Focus: Economic Development, Housing, Neighboring, Neighborhood Revitalization
Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, founded in 1917 and settling in its current location in 1977, has played an active role in the history of civil and equal rights in the City of Detroit. As the first African-American congregation on Detroit’s west side, the church was active in fighting housing segregation in the Sojourner Truth housing projects, forming the Ford Motor Company UAW union and supporting the 1986 Dearborn economic boycott. Today, the church continues its active role in the northwest Detroit community through various neighborhood development initiatives. Northwest Detroit has been heavily affected by the industrial decline of Detroit, and development in this part of the city has slowed to a crawl. However, this part of the city retains an incredibly diverse mix of neighborhoods and organizations seeking to heal wounds and to bring neighbors together.This tour will dive into the history of Hartford Memorial and how the church anchors and relates to its surrounding neighborhood, explore the character of the northwest side of Detroit, and visit senior housing and economic development projects that the congregation is leading in the neighborhood.
Focus: Neighborhood revitalization, housing, art and culture, economic development
Southwest Detroit has been deeply shaped and influenced by immigrant communities, making this part of Detroit feel like a city of its own. The Springwells Village neighborhood is no different; in fact, the neighborhood was a city of its own until it was incorporated into Detroit at the turn-of-the-century. Founded in 1997, UNI has been using a strategy of balancing human and community development to transform the physical and cultural character of Springwells. This tour will visit the Lawndale Center, a community center being constructed at one of Southwest Detroit’s most prominent historic structures. The tour also will go through Springwells, and will demonstrate the creativity invested in many of the homes in the area, and how home ownership is shaping the neighborhood’s future. The tour will also expose attendees to The Alley Project, local art projects, and economic development efforts such as the Southwest Rides bike shop.
Focus: Youth development, housing, education, workforce development
When one reads about Flint, Michigan, the topics covered in the media come to mind: a water crisis that exposed the problem of leaded water across the country, the burden of urban poverty in the city, or the stripping of municipal services and facilities throughout the city. These reports often don’t include the stories of reconciliation and revitalization in the neighborhoods and hearts of neighbors across Flint. Urban Renaissance Center plays a central role in this story of hope by empowering the children, youth, and families of Flint. This tour will visit the Urban Renaissance Center in Flint, and will explore URC initiatives, including Rebounding Force, Water Pilot, and other programs.This tour will help attendees better understand Flint. Participants will hear from local leaders on rides to and from Flint, to better understand the communities of Flint and Detroit and to learn about community development partnerships across Southeast Michigan.
Note: Due to the longer driving distance, plan an extra hour for this tour and a fee of $20 which covers extra transportation expense and a $5 contribution to URC.