By: Dorthea Thomas
Location: Detroit, MI
After gaining support from various local businesses in Northeast Detroit to provide trash pick-up, our team organized another community clean-up event on E. 7 mile. After 4 hours of hard labor, our team filled up about 30 biodegradable plastic bags of wood, paper, and other trash in the community. Continue reading
The Community Strategic Framework Planning Sessions of NE Detroit lays down foundation for the future.
Reflections by Dortheã E. Thomas
As a lifetime resident of Northeast Detroit, I personally believe that it’s important for our community to start bridging together for the benefit of our future.
Actually, for the first time in history residents, associations, and Nonprofits like Hope for GREEN DETROIT came together as a community with faith leaders, neighborhood groups, and local businesses to help create the first strategic framework plan to envision what we want the future of Northeast Detroit to reflect.
For every project, it started off as a vision with a plan.
As the youngest form of involvement Hope for GREEN Detroit knows it’s important that we have more young adults and youth representation at the table to help with the decision-making. With innovative ideas such as solar energy, wind farms, and green sustainable practices Detroit will surely rise again into a new economy.
The entire community should have their own active input on what our community should look like 10 to 20 years from now; this includes the young. Without the voice of the youth, there is no future.
The future of Northeast Detroit is bright.
Northeast Detroit is an area stricken with environmental degradation, illegal dumping, and an unreliable trash management system. Because of this, months of trash and debri starts to pile up in our communities leaving the health and safety of our residents at risk.
However the team of HOPE4GREEN Detroit is pushing to restore Northeast Detroit with community clean-ups, urban gardening, and boarding up abandoned homes that are open and dangerous.
Greetings fellow Solutionaries and loyal readers,
Bad news first. The house we worked on throughout January, which we were planning to convert into a residence and community resource for sustainable home upgrades, is slated for demolition. There is much commotion with the city right now, other folks are trying to take ownership of the project and move it forward. It isn’t in the ground yet, but its future is definitively uncertain.
All’s going well with Soulardarity. We’re in the midst of a planning stage. After the first light went in, we’ve been revisiting our long-term planning and business model. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time driving around Highland Park, meeting neighbors, and planning community meetings to facilitate active involvement in the planning and implementation of this project. We’ll be developing our master plan, partnerships with the city and neighborhood association, and a design for the streetlights we hope to build right in Highland Park. I don’t want to give away too much detail right now, but the plan right now is to launch a Capital Campaign in the next few months with the goal of raising $1.5 million to install 200 solar streetlights all in one fell swoop.
I’ve also been working with Detroit SOUP to get the Highland Park neighborhood SOUP underway. Detroit SOUP is a crowd-funding event that’s been running for three years. Every month, they hold a community dinner. It costs $5 at the door, which gets you soup, salad, bread, and a vote. Four people propose creative projects that benefit the Detroit community, give short presentations and take questions. Afterwards, everyone eats and talks and votes and, by 8:30, someone walks away with the door money (currently between $1000 and $1500). With support from one of their grants, we’ve held two Highlanf Park SOUP’s at St. Benedict Hall, and are excited for the first SOUP to occur at Nandi’s Knowledge Café, which is a little easier to find. Continue reading
In the mist of some of the biggest civil rights movements of our Generation in Motown, the diverse group of international leaders in HOPE4GREEN Detroit plans to gather young people to push for more involvement in the urban planning process by educating and empowering our communities through grass-root organizing and energy and environment networking. The planning process is in effect! We are preparing to start door knocking, attending community forums, and getting the word about our initiatives for the city of Detroit. HOPE4GREEN Detroit has some pretty BIG goals for our community. But we’re ready, willing, and fired up! Stay tuned to hear more about the change we’re making in our Detroit by cleaning and maintaining one of 50 public parks Mayor Dave Bing has shut down in Detroit, volunteering in a community garden, and potentially working on Street Lights on the Northeastern District. It’s time to be the change we wish to see for our future. The world needs us!
Think Global, and ACT Local!
Down in the basement of the St. Benedict’s Auditorium, a change has taken place. Two new cubicles went up, a huge amount of drop ceiling has been removed and the ceiling repaired with screws, drywall, mesh, and joint compound. The lights are suspended from chains, the twisted old wire has been scrapped. The kitchen has been cleaned and organized. Recycling has been taken away. A tremendous amount of chairs, heaters, and furniture belonging to Northpointe Academy have been organized away into closets, and the makings of a computer lab are growing in their place. Continue reading
In a booth at Red Hot’s, I think about the mechanics of a non-profit solar provider and eat what’s becoming my regular breakfast: eggs, bacon, home fries, coffee, and wheat toast. Jut once, I tried to order breakfast past 11am and have never lived it down. Red Hot’s is a family-owned restaurant; Carol takes your order, Rich works the grill, and while you eat they bicker, gossip, discuss their city, and catch up with their customers. This is why my breach of conduct, my post 10:59 breakfast order, will live in a small circle of infamy for the foreseeable future. The world of Highland Park is full of uncertainty, scarcity, and emergency financial managers, but Red Hot’s is somehow separate – a stable port in a storm.
Having Only Positive Expectations for GREEN in NE Detroit
Starting in Mid- December, a new youth-led green movement will began in Northeast Detroit. This grass root organization Commission is fired up and ready to make a difference in the lives of those affected by environmental justice, pollution, and degradation in the community.
The mission of the HOPE for GREEN Movement is to foster an environment for growth, leadership development, and advocacy for environmental and climate justice for young people and communities of color with a special emphasis on the progression of women. Our purpose is to help develop policies and protocols to help make Detroit a more healthy and sustainable society by developing principles on waste reduction, energy efficiency and conservation, while also educating the community about the effects of climate change and environmental injustice. Our focus is to build awareness and provide leadership development in a community learning setting in Detroit, MI while working on women’s concerns for gender equity in a green economy.