Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Some more thoughts on Detroit...

It is the fourth day of our catalyst trip and I must day that there is so much to reflect on, but so little time to do it. I'm going to do my best to sum up what has been on my mind the last two days in addition to providing an update to you, the readers. Yesterday, we had experiences with three community organizations, the first Neighbors Building Brightmoor, the second Motor City Blight Busters and the third LGBT Detroit. On this trip I have been taking every experience that we have as a way to reflect what Community Development is and how these orgs are impacting the community. In our experience at Neighbors Building Brightmoor we saw numerous

aspects in their organization where they were considerate of taking the community's needs in consideration. For example, in their new community center that we worked in, they are planning to develop cooking classes so members in the community can utilize the vegetables that are being grown in urban farms in the area. This is just one of the numerous ways that Brightmoor connects with the community, but served as a shining example of what I believe to be an organization contributing to community development.
Something else that has been on my mind is the experience I had at Motor City Blight Busters (MCBB) yesterday. I caught myself doing what I never hope to do in regards to judging a book by it's cover, or in this case a person by their appearence. MCBB has a tea house connected to their organization and our group was waiting there before service, that was when a member of their org came in, whose name whas Dom, and he was wearing all camo, and obviously a veteran of the military. Recently, I have started to organize in the peace moment and what this man triggered in my mind was army, imperialism, the U.S's military conquests. Before I have even engaged in a conversation with this man, I made a pressumption and stigmitized him holding negative connotations to him. Little did I know that he was a veteran who has been working in disaster relief since his last tour in the military. I need to remind myself every day to identify when I do this, because if I continue to do this I will push myself into a hole of judgement and rejection of random people that I don't even know. Well, this is what has been on my mind for the moment, moree thoughts to come, Austin Jensen signing off...
-Austin Jensen

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