During the Winter 2020 semester, the Practical Community Learning Project (PCLP) expanded its programming to allow Ford School students to create their own projects with community partners. P3E supported nine students in five projects this semester, which included three student-intiated projects. Community partners included local nonprofit organizations and a Detroit city municipal department that provided the students with opportunities to conduct relevant policy research, grant writing, and engagement with the stakeholders.
Winter 2020 set a new standard for PCLP student stakeholder engagement meetings! Students met with two state senators, a Detroit city council member, lawyers, state employees, and local business leaders.
This semester proved difficult in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to physical distancing and remote learning requirements, the students participated in online engagement meetings, office hours, and course sessions. However, through a strong commitment on behalf of both the students and community partners, the students were able to successfully deliver their final projects to all of the organizations.
Eastside Community Network
Julia Scavnicky (BA ‘21) and Rebecca Copeland (MPH/MPP ‘21) worked with the Eastside Community Network to support the development of a Climate Health Agenda for the eastside of Detroit through policy research, working with government departments at various levels, and utilization of project management skills. The Agenda identifies relevant and practical resources to provide solutions for community goals.
Eastside Community Network (ECN) looks to understand the intersections of climate change, health, and equity as they occur in each of the 11 neighborhoods in the Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP) area. The Eastside Community Network has been spearheading community development on Detroit's east side for more than 30 years working with residents and partners to drive lasting, positive change in their neighborhoods and communities.
Julia Scavnicky (BA '21) and Rebecca Copeland (MPP/MPH '21) meet virtually with Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang to discuss state-level climate and environmental policies.
Lean & Green Michigan
Leah Adelman (BA ‘21) and Sharanya Pai (MPP ‘21) worked with Lean & Green Michigan and national nonprofit PACENation on policy research and recommendations regarding a potential residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Michigan. By researching other states that offer residential PACE and interviews with market participants, including capital providers and administrators, the students were able to offer recommendations of how to structure a residential PACE program that provides appropriate oversight and consumer protection.
Lean & Green Michigan helps commercial, industrial, multifamily and nonprofit property owners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that are profitable for all parties – property owners, contractors, financial institutions and local governments. PACENation is the national nonprofit association that advocates for PACE financing. They envision a future in which PACE financing is universally available to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and building resiliency upgrades for all property owners.
Leah Adelman (BA '20) and Sharanya Pai (MPP '21) meet with Lean & Green Michigan Chief Executive Officer Bali Kumar (left) and Michigan State Senator Jeff Irwin (right) to discuss currently proposed Property Assessed Clean Energy legislation.
Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
Leah Squires (MPP ‘20) worked with community partner Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) to provide strategic planning support, including qualitative program evaluation (survey design and implementation, focus groups), agency-wide theory of change model, etc., to help streamline internal operations. During the COVID-19 outbreak, her work shifted to crisis management and program assistance.
ACCESS was created to assist the Arab immigrant population adapt to life in the United States and has served the community for more than 47 years. Today, ACCESS is the largest Arab-American community nonprofit in the United States. With 11 locations and more than 120 programs serving metro Detroit, ACCESS offers a wide range of social, economic, health and educational services to a diverse population.
City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department
Nick Najor (MPP ‘20) worked with the city of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department to document the existing pathways for locally-based renovation contractors to take advantage of economic opportunity in Detroit. His final report included a multi-step approach to consolidate information, increase awareness, build coalitions, and solicit support.
The city of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department enforces laws to ensure opportunities are fair across Detroit. They manage the city’s civil rights team, language access program, the Detroit business opportunity program, incentives team, and the construction outreach team.
Eli Gold (MPP ‘21), Wendy Hawkins (MPP ‘21), Katherine Cima (MPP/MBA ‘21) worked with Soulardarity to develop a long-term policy initiative through grant and model policy writing. Soularadity, a community-driven, energy justice non-profit in Highland Park that seeks to build a brighter future with education, organizing and people-powered clean energy.