What if you could tell the world that Detroit matters? What it meant to you?
After all, Detroit’s transformation is about the people who are on the ground making it happen. We (with your help!) showcase it every year. This year marks the third annual Transformation Detroit Media Briefing, kicking off September 12 and 13. While our first briefing held a region-wide scope, and the second focused in on downtown… this year we think it’s important to take a deeper look at the neighborhoods of Detroit, and we’re taking you along with us.
Our mission at the Detroit Regional News Hub and DetroitUnspun is to bring to surface those overlooked, under-the-radar stories that shape the transformation of our region. Although the entire mosaic of Detroit is rich in transformative action, we feel for this year’s briefing the neighborhoods of Detroit, particularly Southwest, Old Redford, Grandmont-Rosedale and Brightmoor, have compelling stories to tell. We’re offering media of all sorts from traditional newspapers to online publications to all in between from across the country, the opportunity to see just what residents, government officials, non-profits and businesses are doing to turn their neighborhoods around.
There are a few unique aspects to what Transformation Detroit is. For one thing, it’s not a tour. We go to areas and ensure subject matter experts are available but attendees go and find their own stories such as those that appeared last year in the New York Times and Forbes. The second is that there is a major component where you, the person interested in Detroit, are right with us because we will be live-tweeting and sharing information on Facebook the entire time. We even, when we can, will ask questions that you the online audience what to know.
We’re kicking off our media briefing with a panel of food system entrepreneurs. More than just urban gardening, these folks will focus on the entire food production and distribution structure, and what it means for a city with as much vacant land as Detroit.
Day two kicks off with a special event at the M@dison building that will feature updates on the Detroit Works project and plans for Downtown before we head into the neighborhoods. There’s a ton of entrepreneurial activity in the city, and we thought that it was important to show to the world the leaders behind this center of innovation.
Moving out into the neighborhoods, Southwest is a hotbed of activity and center of the Hispanic community in Detroit (the only demographic to increase in population citywide in the last census), journalists will meet a diverse array of people from backgrounds in art to business to food and survey the progress this area has made in creating a more walkable community.
Old Redford and Grandmont/Rosedale are some of Detroit’s most active neighborhoods from a community perspective. We’ll be touring a home of a recent move-in, as well as talking to people who have been in the area for years and what Detroit means to them. We’ll pass by recently-opened retail spaces like Ray-Ann’s Wardrobe alongside neighborhood staples like the Motor City Java House in the Old Redford Artists Village– which serves as a neighborhood forum, meeting space, and gallery for locals. There will also be an update on the Detroit Police Department’s pilot project in Grandmont/Rosedale, which utilizes the Broken Windows Theory. Grandmont/ Rosedale was selected to pilot this effort because of the strong community organizations in the area that already work closely with the Detroit Police Department.
Brightmoor is a corner of the city that is sometimes overlooked and often maligned. They’re making things happen in a very green way. From the Brightmoor Farmway to the Youth Garden and projects in between this area of the city is a world away from the oft-reported Midtown and Downtown but finding their own path to meet the challenges of today.
We invite you to follow our coverage of Transformation Detroit in real time by following @DetroitUnspun and our hashtag #TransformD on twitter and finding us on Facebook. We’ll be tweeting, posting pictures and letting you know exactly what’s happening as the event unfolds. Feel free to participate – ask questions, retweet, and share the rest of the Detroit story.