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November 03, 2011 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-11-03

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Revitalization Fellows before tour-
ing the Eastern Market, Heidelberg
Project, Midtown and Corktown.
Discussions included topics of
race relations and other challenges
the city faces as well as the city/
suburb dynamic, entrepreneurship
and ways the expat community can
make a difference.
That Saturday evening, par-
ticipants attended a Live Detroit
Launch Party at the 6th Street
Lofts in Detroit to celebrate the
success of the Live Detroit Fund.
Administered by Federation's
CommunityNEXT, the $100,000
fund will provide partial rent sub-
sidies to 25 young people to live
in Detroit. In exchange, each will
commit to planning one substantial
community event a month.
The party, also hosted by After
5 Detroit and the Live To Give
Foundation, drew 300 people.
One way Detroit Nation plans to
make a difference is "through cul-
tural events and fundraisers, cen-
tered around Detroit themes and/or
current events affecting communi-
ties in Detroit': Fenster said. "There
is a movement in Detroit happen-
ing, being shaped by its arts and
community groups, and we look to
tap into that with the events we put
on in chapter cities.
"The other way we're able
to carry out our mission is
through online social streams. We
use social media and other forms
of interactive programming as an
essential part of our practice for
community engagement and out-
reach to our members."
In the future, Fenster says,
Detroit Nation plans to lead mis-
sions to meet with small business
owners, nonprofit leaders and com-
munity organizers in Detroit.
"One of our key foci moving
forward is responding to the needs
we hear from community leaders
around capacity building for both
startups and nonprofits': said Rachel
Jacobs. "In 2012, we will be launch-
ing a volunteer program that creates
a fun, social network-based way for
our members to provide pro-bono
assistance to Detroit's social entre-
Fenster said, "Of course, we need
to stay realistic about the problems
in the city, which are very appar-
ent. Also apparent is the hope, opti-
mism and opportunity that shines
in Detroit despite the troubles.
Detroit expats have shown the
same resilience their city has, and
have a vested interest in its current
state and future."



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