Impact Detroit Blight Bootcamp

Last weekend, I witnessed first hand the good that is in Detroit. I was hired as the photographer for the Impact Detroit Blight Bootcamp event at Detroit Central High School and was extremely blessed and encouraged by the experience. If you aren’t familiar with Impact Detroit, they are a local organization created by Detroit Future City aimed at helping guide neighborhood initiatives by connecting local projects with the resources needed for impactful change in Detroit neighborhoods. This particular Saturday was filled with activities, discussions and workshops centered around how everyday people can create safer, thriving communities for today and tomorrow.

The day’s events discussed:

  • Lead safety 
  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Harnessing community power
  • Community safety
  • Youth and social transformation
  • Saving homes and creating community hubs
  • Impact of school closures
  • Detroit Future City Strategic Framework

The last part of the day was spent learning how 3 local and national organizations are working together to improve children literacy skills which contributes to their future success. Libraries without Borders has launched the Wash & Learn pilot literacy project along with Brilliant Detroit to provide 8 weeks of fun-filled activities that will help build reading skills for our children. Taking place every Tuesday from 6-8pm and Saturday from 12-2pm at the Fit & Fold Laundromat near the New Center area, this initiative promotes the importance of education at a time when only 14% of Detroit children read at grade level by third grade. The Fit & Fold laundromat also provides workout equipment so adults can engage in healthy activities while doing their laundry and a learning center for kids that offers educational tools for reading success.

I was honored to be a part of this day. I enjoyed watching community members, people from different walks of life and parents and kids interact and work towards an effort that benefits Detroit's citizens and neighborhoods. What I appreciated most about it was how everyday citizens felt a responsibility to tackle the issues that need changing in their own communities. They demonstrated the commitment to being the change they wish to see in their own city. No matter how big or small, there is always some way you can contribute to Detroit’s future success. What will you do?