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My Detroit

There are as many stories of Detroit as there are Detroiters to tell them. Meet Detroit residents from various walks of life and hear their stories.

Pastor Barry Randolph

Meet Pastor Barry Randolph, an Episcopalian priest who has taken a church that was on the verge of closing its doors and transformed it into a vital community enterprise that is changing lives and building futures on the lower east side of Detroit. Read more in "My Detroit: Church of the Messiah."

Sharon Dolente ’96

Sharon Dolente, Vassar class of ’96, and her family—spouse Steve Tobocman, daughter Nia, and son Adiv—live in Southwest Detroit, a couple of blocks from Clark Park, a lovely community park with sports fields, a regulation-size outdoor hockey rink, playgrounds, and a community center. Dolente, who holds an MA in Public Policy as well as a JD from the University of Michigan, talks about why she loves Detroit. Read more in "My Detroit: A Walk in the Park."

Anika Goss-Foster

Anika Goss-Foster, Executive Director of Detroit Future City (DFC), leads a team of experts in implementing the DFC Strategic Framework, a long-range plan for land-use and resource deployment in Detroit. Learn more about the complex issues facing Detroit in "Development or Displacement?"

Kim Sherobbi and Wayne Curtis

Long-time activists and members of the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, Kim Sherobbi and Wayne Curtis talk about displacement on the east side of Detroit and the community's two-year fight to prevent one of the residents on Manistique Street from losing her home through foreclosure. Read more in "Development or Displacement?"

James Stuntz ’05

Vassar grad James Stuntz, class of 2005, came to work for GM at the Renaissance Center in 2011, just as the company was getting back on its feet after the bankruptcy. An English major with a correlate in Chinese at Vassar, Stuntz earned his MBA at Columbia University and then followed his passion—cars—to Detroit. Read more about his work in, "Detroit Restarts Its Engines."

Molly Mitchell

In an itty-bitty, old-timey diner on East Jefferson in Detroit, Molly Mitchell and her cousin Lucy Carnaghi are making a living and a life doing what they love--serving up simple and delicious food at Rose's Fine Food. Read more in "My Detroit: Rose’s Fine Food."

Tawana Honeycomb Petty

Poet and activist Tawana Honeycomb Petty describes how the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership has shaped her activism and recites one of Grace Lee Boggs's favorite poems, Tawana's "Dear Detroit." Read more in "My Detroit: {R}evolution in Action."

Carol O'Cleireacain

Deputy Mayor of Detroit Carol O'Cleireacain talks about some of the challenges facing the city and her office's efforts to restore essential services to Detroiters.

Tim Burke

On Heidelberg Street in Detroit, sculptor Tim Burke has an outdoor exhibition space called the Detroit Industrial Gallery, with large signs proclaiming “This Is Not the Heidelberg Project” to differentiate his work from his neighbor’s. Burke’s sculptures are fashioned out of salvage from Detroit industrial and cultural sites—robots made with F-18 fighter jet parts, a flower made with metal from the Packard factory, burnt timbers from the Studebaker factory, terra cotta from the East Town Theater where Alice Cooper and Chuck Berry and Motown greats played. Read more from Burke in, "Before the Hipsters … Artists"

Trish Hubbell

A lifelong Detroiter, Trish Hubbell is the Community and Public Relations Director for the Greening of Detroit, a nonprofit dedicated to all things green in the city, from trees and parks to community gardens and urban farms. Originally founded to replace the hundreds of thousands of trees lost to Dutch elm disease and urbanization, the Greening of Detroit has planted over 80,000 trees since it began in 1989. In recent years, the nonprofit broadened its mission to include green space development, urban agriculture, and job training. See more in, "Feeding the "The D""

Mark Kaltz

Mark Kaltz and his brother run a 70-acre family farm, located about an hour from Detroit. Ten months out of the year, they sell plants at produce at Detroit's Eastern Market, the largest historic public market in the U.S. Read more in "Feeding 'The D'"

Cassie Haskell '12

Cassie Haskell '12 graduated from Vassar as an urban studies major and is now a candidate for a master's in urban planning at the University of Michigan. In her first year, she and two of her classmates did a study of the Red Wings hockey team’s new home stadium, currently under construction in midtown, in particular looking at the public/private partnership formed to finance the stadium and Detroiters’ perceptions of the project. Here's what she had to say about it. See more in "Sporting Chances."