To be quite honest… if I had a partner I would move to Detroit.
I LOVE almost EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT CITY!
Please don’t be misled. There are dark sides, for sure. The teddy bears that hang from poles where someone was killed, the turf wars between two artists (this one really saddened me), and the neighborhoods where people still live in boarded up houses — these are all part of Detroit.
I say this to assure you that I am not naive to the shadows of life.
What’s kept me going over the last 35,000 miles is the increasing number of people I meet transforming communities amidst the harsh shadows of American Life. These people are our unsung heroes, for sure. I will say this again and again, “Their determination, drive and commitment is unparalleled!” What has touched me the most is the women. The women I’ve met who are revitalizing their communities are the strongest, ‘bossest’ women I’ve ever met. The intimidation that challenges many woman doesn’t seem to phase these ladies. Their badass bossness, and flair — yes, flair, seriously — humbles me.
Did you know it takes 12 – 30 years to turn a city around? Would you have that perseverance? Would you stay in a city when even the national grocery chain left, hoping that your town could recover? These women do. Many have said to me, I won’t know if it was a success until my kids grandkids are grown. (For some, they make this choice even before they have kids knowing this is how long it will take).
In Detroit, every day of every hour you will see work underway. It might be two guys cleaning tree high weeds from a neighborhood, or cranes working on churches, or the row cover of urban farms amidst crumbling buildings. The list goes on.
Thank you Detroit, for your grit, your truth, your ‘kind schooling’ and your unwillingness to crumble. You have given me such immense hope for our future!