Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Detroit

Crossing Organizational Boundaries to Build New Partnerships

About This Series: Our research and experience shows that relatively small shifts in service provision can cause ripple effects; raising up constituent voice, fostering community cohesion and increasing engagement in advocacy efforts. This series highlights “5% shifts” - as we are calling them -...more

Detroit People’s Platform and Convention held at Marygrove College

Patrick Geans, a reporter for the Michigan Citizen, recaps the Detroit People's Platform and Convention, organized by Building Movement Detroit, which took place on June 1st.  Over 200 community residents and leaders from all seven city council districts attended the Convention, which was organized around 5 main issue platforms- government, jobs, land acquisition, food and transportation.

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Building Community from the Inside Out

This report, the first in a series about organizational "5% shifts", includes two case studies of community building efforts by nonprofit organizations in Detroit and New York City. St. Matthew’s & St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church’s hot breakfast program in Detroit offers a model of a small shift in engagement with community members seeking healthy meals in the midst of an urban food desert. Their decision to shift from using a soup line mode of serving individuals to serving groups with shared ‘family-style’ meals leveraged the power of ritual around meals, which are both nostalgic and deeply affirming, to transform dynamics between clients and volunteers. But more importantly the shared meal time became a way to model the kind of community the church envisions for Detroit—one of mutual aid, sharing and abundance. The other case—Queens Community House—provides an example of community building among staff. The organization took on the challenge of fostering relationships among staff; not to boost morale and retention, but to live its values and principles in all parts of the organization.

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Small Shifts, Big Change

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld kicks off our series of blog posts focusing on our slate of upcoming reports on the "5% shifts" in nonprofit work and social service provision that lead to organizations raising up constituent voice, fostering community cohesion and increasing engagement in advocacy efforts. In this post, Sean reflects on his own volunteer experiences growing up in Milwaukee, and how they compare to the work highlighted in Detroit.

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Call for Submissions: Uniting Detroiters People’s Atlas Project

The Uniting Detroiters Project is seeking submissions from current and former Detroit residents, activists, students, scholars, visual artists, poets, and cartographers for Detroit: A People’s Atlas. They are interested in critical essays, oral histories, timelines, neighborhood maps, poetry, photographs, and other forms of artwork that speak to social justice in Detroit, particularly in relationship to land, governance, education, food justice, housing, and transit.

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Detroit Emergency Management and What it Means for Democracy

The City of Detroit has been in the news a lot recently, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder decided to pass a controversial Emergency Manager law (a similar law was defeated by popular vote in November). The Emergency Manager law gives Michigan state officials the ability to appoint one person to take over almost all of city operations, and eliminates the powers of the publicly-elected City Council. Citing mounting debts and insufficient income, the state government says that Detroit’s dire financial straits necessitate bringing in an Emergency Manager- someone who will have unilateral authority to alter or eliminate collective bargaining agreements, cut city services, and lay off public employees. Since a similar provision went into effect in Pontiac, MI, the emergency manager there has privatized the Department of Public Works, outsourced many public services, and put every city-owned piece of property up for sale. All of this is done without any oversight from publicly elected city officials (though in some cases the mayor of cities with emergency managers remains on board in a consultant role). With so many problems facing the City, is the City Manager law the right response?

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Building Movement Detroit Video: “People’s Atlas” Convening

As part of Building Movement Detroit's Uniting Detroiters project, the BMP Detroit team is building a "People's Atlas"- an interactive set of resources that will serve as a multimedia illustration of the progressive movement in the city. On August 10th of this year, community residents and project participants came together to discuss citizens' right to the city, collective power, and new political geographies emerging in Detroit. The discussion of these ideas was framed by a series of existing and participant-created maps of the city, giving participants the opportunity to think about space and place differently. Check out this video, put together by the planning team, to see the results!more

New Resource: BuildingMovementDetroit.org!

Our partners in Detroit have recently launched an exciting new resource for the progressive movement in the city- BuildingMovementDetroit.org. this new web portal seeks not only to capture all of the great work that the BMP Detroit team is doing, but also serves as a communal landing page for other organizations and activists who are working to build a movement for social change in Detroit.more

Detroit Accountable Community Governance Event

In July, 2012 William Copeland and Rayven Roberts represented EMEAC at the Accountable Community Governance Convening held by the South by Southwest Experiment in Jackson, Mississippi. This event, to be held at The Commons on Thursday, August 30th from 6-8pm, will serve as a community report back. But furthermore will be a discussion about what does Accountable Community Governance look like in Detroit.more

Uniting Detroiters Convening

Please join the BMP Detroit team for the second Uniting Detroiters Convening on August 10, 2012, at the Solanus Casey Center (1780 Mount Elliot Street) from 10am to 3pm to discuss our right to the city, collective power, and new political geographies emerging in Detroit.more

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