Germans and Americans join hands with Detroit's Jewish and African American community to assist neighborhood revitalization project
For over 50 years, ARSP has conducted voluntary services which are based on dialogue, empathy, and mutuality. ARSP volunteers are encouraged to listen first before taking action, thus responding to the wishes and needs of the people they work with instead of dictating their own agendas. The ARSP Alternative Summer Break Program Growing Together Detroit builds on this tradition, trying to take it even one step further.
Project Information and Application
Continuing our work from last year, Growing Together Detroit 2016, will bring together again members from the Eden Gardens Block Club, with participants from Germany, the United States, and beyond. Joining hands, we will get active in a Northeast Detroit neighborhood hit particularly hard by the economic and municipal crisis of the past years.
Our project partner, Eden Gardens, is a unique neighborhood association which connects African-American residents with congregants of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. During joint work sessions, the fourteen participants of Growing Together Detroit 2016—seven of which will be from the U.S. and seven from Germany/EU—will assist Eden Gardens with realizing several projects.These projects will include conducting a board-up of abandoned houses in the neighborhood, extending Eden Garden's community garden, and organizing neighborhood-directed activities.
Central to these activities is that participants of Growing Together Detroit 2016 will not simply work for residents but together with them, thus getting to know each other on a more personal level. Students from Detroit Public Schools will join them for this this summer. Together, they will learn about and record their coworkers' histories, the history of the Eden Gardens neighborhood, and how its residents perceive the present.
To show how their work is connected to broader social and political issues in Detroit, Growing Together Detroit participants will meet with local actors from the field of neighborhood organizing, food justice, and urban studies as well as with Detroit educators, historians, and artists. Those include individuals from the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, or the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History. Trips to local art and social facilities will be complementing the learning experience. The conversations and activities will center around race-relations in Detroit and in which way they are connected to urban development, housing inequality, and gentrification—as well as to Eden Gardens and the participants themselves.
2016 features the second round of Growing Together Detroit and we hope to continue the program in the future. Our goal is to build sustainable ties with our partners in Detroit and beyond.
For more information about the program, please click on this link.
Read what last year's participants say about the summer camp here.
Read what Detroit Jewish News says about Growing Together Detroit.
If you wish to apply, please click here for our application form.
The Growing Together Detroit team is happy to answer any additional questions at: growing.together.detroit[at]gmail.com
We would like to thank again all our partners whose support has made the first round of Growing Together Detroit possible!
Join Our Group Of Supporters!
We seek additional partners who will support this unique transatlantic hands-on program in 2016. We would be delighted to welcome employees of corporate partners for a day of community service during the summer camp. This presents a wonderful opportunity for businesses operating in the area to engage with the community and highlight their commitment to the region as well as the transatlantic partnership.
If you are interested to support the program, please contact us at: info[at]actionreconciliation.org or call 202-492-0331.
Read what local media writes about Eden Gardens and watch the video clip: