(l to r) 360 Detroit, Inc. President & Founder George Adams, Jr. speaks to Ford School students Carly Ryan and Bernadette King-Fitzsimons. Photo credit: DeAndre' Calvert
This summer, P3E is partnering with 360 Detroit, Inc. in the Virginia Park neighborhood of Detroit to provide a short-term research assistant opportunity for two Ford School B.A. students, Carly Ryan (BA '20) and Bernadette King-Fitzsimons (BA '20). The students are supporting the organization’s effort to prepare for grassroots-driven community and economic development.
360 Detroit, Inc. was founded with a mission to “revitalize Detroit by catalyzing change, empowering people and improving life’s quality.” Since its inception, the organization has pursued that vision by hosting community engagement meetings and block parties, providing information about social and community services, and distributing needed items such as food, backpacks for children, and home safety supplies to local families.
Through a partnership with 360 Detroit, Inc., the students are researching the development of the Virginia Park neighborhood by analyzing data sets and surveys spanning from 1976 to present day in order to address the needs of residents and outline a policy plan for future development. The students travel to and from Detroit and Ann Arbor participating in weekly meetings with P3E staff, main campus information sessions, community meetings, and workdays in Detroit.
The students have gained evaluation design and data analysis knowledge from the Ford School’s Youth Policy Lab. Cindy Bank, Associate Director of P3E, is assisting with their presentation design while teaching the finer points of reporting research and data evaluation. In Detroit, the students work diligently every week in the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center, in the heart of their target community. After presenting their initial findings and hosting a question and answer session with the community, the students are working on the final deliverables for 360 Detroit, Inc. They will engage with Detroit departments, Wayne county government offices, law enforcement, and local stakeholders to develop an action-oriented policy plan for the community to accomplish short- and long-term goals.