Several years ago, a colleague at Michigan State University, Bob Brown, asked us to question: could Strategic at doing help us reduce the teenage homicide rate in Flint?
Since that time, we have worked closely with Bob and his growing network of civic leaders who are rebuilding the devastated neighborhoods of Flint. Their work is inspiring. When the Flint water crisis hit, our Strategic Doing network moved into action to organize food trucks. Flint is a food desert, with no easy access to grocery stores. Our team learned that by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to families, they could mitigate the impact of lead poisoning.
This morning, Bob sent along this note about the relentless work of reclaiming neighborhoods from violence.
This Saturday is our 16th annual unity march and resource expo. Marching into neighborhoods of high crime (about 300 people with music), we will engage people, hand out information/resource bags, invite folks back to the march starting point where there will be 40 or more resource tables for community agencies and groups, live jazz, hot dogs and hamburgers, bounce houses, free haircuts for kids, mental health screening, bounce houses, face painting, and more. Hopefully about 800 people will attend the resource expo after the March.
We have used the core team in Flint to learn more about core team dynamics. For several years, we traveled to the Edward Lowe Foundation to explore how this core team was working to expand its impact across the neighborhoods of Flint.