The power of place


June 19, 2013 by Caroline Dobbins

I spent two days exploring ideas of bringing moments of joy to individuals in Detroit.

IMG_2325Little did I realize that during those two days I would in fact bring myself immeasurable amounts of joy along with curiosity, excitement and a feeling of renewed energy.

Here is something to think about. What can you, one individual, do in your community to start a conversation between yourself and other members of your neighborhood or community? What if the members of your community had a way to express the ideas they have for underutilized spaces?

IMG_2624While sitting and listening to the creators and doers of + Pool, The Laundromat Project and Before I die…  I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering to what can I, one individual, be doing to change the communities that I am a part of? It is clear, by the work of people like Archie,  Kemi and Candy that one person can, even if for a short moment in time, change the way communities experiences their communities.

Everyone knows that Detroit is a place full of open space, full of what some people call despair but what others choose to call opportunity.  What people might not remember is that Detroit is full of diverse individuals that have hopes, dreams, fears and most importantly stories.  Stories that are waiting to be told to anyone who might listen. How do we encourage those stories to be shared in a place that feels comfortable and safe for all individuals?


I’m continuing to digest, ideate and have conversations about how I, as an individual (possibly with the help of friends), can make Detroit, Detroit’s neighborhoods, Detroit’s streets and even just Detroit’s windows more welcoming to individuals to share their stories and allow 1 Detroiter to know another Detroiter in a way they may have not thought possible.



One thought on “The power of place

  1. Jess Tart says:

    I moved to midtown Detroit two years ago. I have no idea how to fix a city. I don’t know how to stop people from breaking into my friends cars, or busting open my apartment. I have tasted several bitter pills while living here. However, I do like this post. Maybe I’ll be robbed, maybe I buy my groceries at liquor stores, but I’m going to do it with a smile on my face, and say “Good Morning!” to my neighbors, even if they continue to shuffle past me with eyes downcast. Any idea you have, I’d like to hear and try.

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