Hand Maps put focus on People in Detroit

I’m teaching the “Data, Mapping, and Research Justice” workshop again with Co.Open/ Allied Media Projects. Last Thursday we had a full class of people eager to learn about and make maps to help them better advocate and bring resources to people in Detroit.

We started off the workshop with the hand map exercise and participants were asked to “map their Detroit” and the values and experiences they have gained from Detroit. Each of the participants had a different story; different sets of experiences, yet everyone spoke about the importance of people and the need to focus efforts on getting people what they need. I could never do justice to explain the details of every person’s hand map, so I will just summarize a few key points:

  • There are pockets of development in Detroit, but they aren’t connected
  • The suburbs are segregated enclaves surrounding the city
  • The East/ West divide highlights areas of Detroit we may still not know and people we haven’t yet met.
  • St. Louis to Detroit, similarities in segregated metropolis
  • Don’t forget Highland Park and Hamtramck
  • A lot of hope for Detroit as it is growing
  • Water is a critical need for everyone
  • Pockets of investment and areas of need
  • Boundaries of and within Detroit that limit us, need to reach across

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