The University Record, October 17, 1994

U-M, MSU and Wayne collaborate on empowerment project in Detroit

From Wayne State University

A $580,000 neighborhood empowerment plan proposed by the state’s three largest research universities—the U-M, Michigan State University and Wayne State University (WSU)—and supported by the city of Detroit has been funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The unprecedented three-university collaboration, formed at the request of Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, has created the “Detroit Community Outreach Center,” which targets an array of outreach services to Detroit, its neighborhoods and its proposed empowerment zone.

Each university will provide outreach resources to one of three neighborhood groups. Two are major coalitions of neighborhood organizations—the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative and the Michigan Neighborhood Partnership. The third is a loosely knit network of organizations in southwest Detroit.

More than 20 community-based organizations are in these coalitions, and most are in the city’s proposed empowerment zone. By mobilizing the forces of the three universities, the Detroit Community Outreach Center seeks to achieve goals identified by the three neighborhood coalitions. While there will be three outreach center sites, most services will be provided on-site in the various communities.

Sue Marx Smock, dean of WSU’s College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs, notes that the grant was made possible by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, which was authored by U.S. Sen. Donald Riegle.

“The university collaboration and support from the federal government, city and neighborhood organizations demonstrate a widespread commitment to renewing our urban areas.”