Model D to launch new community building reporting and engagement series

Model D is teaming up with The Kresge Foundation for a new reporting and engagement series looking at community-building in Detroit neighborhoods. The series seeks to raise awareness about the work of 21 Community Development Organizations (CDOs), known as Detroit 21, currently receiving support from Kresge, while also amplifying the voices of residents in their respective neighborhoods.

To this end, Model D will be embarking on a year of regular reporting that will explore the efforts of neighborhood-based organizations, leaders, and residents who are focused on moving their communities forward during a time of unprecedented challenge. The coverage will be similar in spirit to Model D’s On The Ground projects in Live 6, North End, and Jefferson Chalmers — but broadened to incorporate more neighborhoods and perspectives.

Beyond that, this project will also establish a network of resident-based Community Correspondents to help share the perspectives of neighborhood residents by having them write about their own communities. For this program, we’ll be selecting six community members from among the 21 Kresge-supported neighborhoods featured in the series. They’ll be trained by a professional journalist, get access to workshops and other support and receive compensation for contributing work that will be published in Model D. Issue Media Group, Model D’s parent company, has implemented several of these Community Correspondent programs over the last few years in cities like Battle Creek, Flint, Cleveland, and Memphis. More than 30 residents have participated in these trainings, helping them learn the basics of journalism and opening up opportunities for them in the media field.

This series comes at a time when local media has furloughed employees and cut jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving fewer resources to tell the story of innovation and resilience in Detroit neighborhoods. Ultimately, our hope is to spotlight the work being done by CDOs and neighborhood residents in their communities, while encouraging the development of local journalists who can tell the story of Detroit from a firsthand perspective.

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