The bus tour was great fun and I find myself recognizing places from the tour. It’s really helpful because even at home I don’t know where everything is. The tour just kick started my Detroit journey. I loved how John the tour guide was open and honest with us—the good and the bad. There is so much history here in Detroit and so much city loyalty. There is so much Detroit insignia and a lot of people who are working collectively to get this city back up again.
I see two different types of people here for Detroit: those who have stayed or returned to their hometown and are defending their birthplace and those who have come to Detroit because they see possibility in this city. I think those are two powerful things. One woman I met on Thursday said she came back to Detroit because when she was off at school she was tired of always defending the city. She finally decided to come back home. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the suburbs, or live in a military town, or went to a medium sized private school in the south, but I didn’t really understand what a hometown was until I came here. People have their issues with the place, but they stand by their city.
I understand when I leave this city Detroit probably won’t miss me much. However, I hope I can make life a bit easier for the people of Detroit who I come in to contact with. With the project I am working on this summer, the goal is to create something that will last when I’m gone and that will empower kids who get through the internship. So maybe I won’t directly work with the kids, but I hope some effort I make leads them to figure out what makes them come alive. I hope it leads them to become bigger and better than who they started as. And I hope it leads them to become change pioneers in the Motor City, Detroit.