University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

October 21, 2017

Event to highlight university-Detroit partnership in research and learning

April 20, 2017

Event to highlight university-Detroit partnership in research and learning

President Mark Schlissel, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press editorial page editor, will join U-M and community leaders for a daylong exploration and presentation of research and learning practices taking place in and with Detroit.

The event called um3detroit recognizes the partnerships of all three U-M campuses with the city. It will feature numerous opportunities to hear and share stories about Detroit-oriented research, teaching and learning, and discuss additional opportunities to build a community of scholarship, research and education. Participants will enjoy regional food and music.

The "3" in the name references not only the involvement of the three campuses, but U-M's Third Century Initiative, a program that invested $25 million to encourage faculty and staff to transform learning for the university's next century, and some of whose projects provide engaged learning in Detroit.

"This event comes at a time when we are both celebrating the bicentennial of a university born in Detroit and looking to the future of our relationships with and positive impact on Michigan's largest city," Schlissel said.

"Through um3detroit, we are bringing together students, faculty and staff involved in a broad array of projects and partnerships that exist between our three campuses and Detroit communities and organizations to demonstrate the scope of our collaborative work and encourage increasingly synergistic forms of interaction and engagement."

The gathering will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3 in the Robertson Auditorium and Lobby at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Faculty, staff, students and community members are encouraged to attend the free, public event. Registration is requested.

From programs that promote health equity and environmental justice, to those that help young people experience the arts and see their futures as university students, U-M and Detroit have a long history of working together to share knowledge and enrich lives, leaders say.

The university defines engaged learning as opportunities that allow students to "practice in unscripted, authentic settings, where stakeholders (including the students themselves) are invested in the outcome."

Programs and courses in the city offer U-M students the opportunity to learn while they partner with schools, community organizations, businesses and governmental offices.

"Detroit is the birthplace of the University of Michigan, and our faculty, students and staff continue to learn and grow as scholars and as citizens through our engagements with partners all across the city. There is hardly a neighborhood in the city in which mutual learning does not occur," said James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs.

In addition to the increased emphasis on learning, the event will showcase the robust range of research taking place in the city. Air quality, design, health inequity, human rights, migration, urban development, sonic archaeology and sustainability are among the topics faculty, students, community-based organizations, and health and human service agencies are tackling together.

"Detroit is among the most culturally complex cities in the country, and the University of Michigan is fortunate to be able to share some of the questions and insights we are working on collectively," said Nick Tobier, professor of art and design and Edward R. Ginsberg Senior Counsel on Civic Engagement to the Provost.

"Over the past 20 years, the Detroit Urban Research Center and affiliated partnerships have established equitable community-academic partnerships that have had a major impact on advancing the science of the social and physical environmental determinants of health inequities, improving neighborhood conditions, and enhancing health status of city residents, said Barbara Israel, professor of health behavior and health education, School of Public Health.

The speaker roster for the event includes faculty, staff and students from U-M and several of their community partners.

Henderson, a U-M alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winner from the Free Press and WDET, will share his story. Henderson bought his childhood home, a boarded-up house at 7124 Tuxedo, and it is being renovated and turned into a writer's residence and literary center. He has become a crusader for transforming the city's abandoned homes.

Carleton Gholz of the Detroit Sound Conservancy will share music that pays homage to the anniversary of the 1967 rebellion in the city.

"I encourage people to come by, drop in, look, listen and eat," said Sue Alcock, special counsel for institutional outreach and engagement. "This is an event not only for those who are already engaged with the remarkable city of Detroit, but for everyone who wants to learn more."