2017 Summit Synopsis
In late 2017, we convened our second day-long summit at the U‑M Detroit Center.
We welcomed 120 people and over 83 organizations, a 100% increase in attendance and a 30% increase in organization representation from 2016. For the second year in a row, the CDO practitioner cohort was the largest, with intermediaries and academia following close behind. Significantly, the cohort from city and state government was much larger, and the number of grassroots organizations attending more than doubled from 2016.
The summit comprised a full day of presentations, small-group discussion and debate, covering:
- National research results that validated our “Seven System Elements,” identified “Best Practice Cities” and emphasized the important role of social cohesion strategies in developing strong neighborhoods; and a report and recommendations from our 2017 team of national community development consultants that studies mature community development systems in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (Review on five “mature” community development ecosystems).
- Validation of a sample update of the CDAD D[Comm] Tool that will eventually document and map where and how all of the community development work is now taking place in Detroit.
- Consensus on a Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework including support for a partnership with the City of Detroit to measure progress on “vital neighborhood” indicators.
- Consensus on the development of community development academic and career pathways that credential this work for everyone from grass roots leaders to mid-career professionals.
- Endorsement for a Community Development Capacity Building Clearinghouse that would coordinate a systematic approach to supporting strong CDOs and Grass Roots Organizations.
- An update of our working definition of community development, CDOs and GROs in Detroit.
- Stakeholder responses to a readiness to collaborate survey.
- Why and how we need to cluster neighborhoods to more manageably measure and report on progress and tell the right stories about our communities.
- What equitable development really means and how we can achieve it in our neighborhoods.
- The importance of supporting professional development for existing practitioners, and building up the salary and benefits structure for practitioners.
- Strategies on how community development and the City of Detroit should partner together.
- Perspectives on equitable development and responses to key questions related to building a community development system.
Speakers included Janet Attarian, Deputy Director of City Planning, and Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing & Revitalization, each of whom reflected on how and why we have to work together to build the community development field in Detroit. Several CDOs informally shared their work and vision in the areas of public education, health, youth and senior empowerment, business and entrepreneurial support and green strategies.
Two young people, Tierra Modock and Christopher Griffin, from the North End Storytellers presented a documentary on the importance of telling the stories of our communities.
Stakeholders generally affirmed the 2017 work of the three BECDD planning teams, with over 140 stakeholder organizations participating. These stakeholders helped frame the direction for 2018.
We’d like to thank our event sponsors: U‑M Detroit Center, the Kresge Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation, WK Kellogg Foundation and LISC. We’re always thankful to our core partners: Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Lawrence Technological University and Michigan Nonprofit Association.