June 6, 2016

Why we’re shining a light on local innovation

America is renewing itself from the ground up, and we want to talk about it

I never gave up on my home city.

Not when it was rated the most dangerous city in America or called the most miserable place to live. Not when it became the largest U.S. city ever to file for bankruptcy or when the industry that provides jobs for so many, including members of my own family, nearly collapsed. Not even during a humiliating 0-16 season.

No, I’ll never give up on Detroit, and I’m not alone.

Metro Detroit was hit hard by the Great Recession. By many metrics—housing prices and unemployment—it hasn’t fully recovered. But that hasn’t stopped the people who call Southeast Michigan home from rallying. It hasn’t stopped individuals, organizations, and local government leaders from rolling up their sleeves and making Detroit a safe place for its residents to live and flourish. Today, it’s not hard to find stories on the growth of small businesses in the area and how abandoned buildings—the bane of Detroit’s landscape—are getting a second life. (No word yet on whether the Lions will start producing some good news.)

Who are the innovators, the creative thinkers and problem solvers in your neighborhood?

There are a lot of Detroits in America—communities that got knocked down, only to come back stronger. The Renewal Project is committed to telling their stories of civic innovation. We want to share ideas from the creative problem solvers on the ground who are making their communities thrive. You’ll hear from organizations like Project Helping, a Denver-based nonprofit that connects volunteers to projects; and people like Gina Clayton, a Harvard-educated lawyer who has turned her career into a calling to end mass incarceration, and has empowered women in the Bay Area with loved ones in prison to join her.

Back home, there’s Global Detroit, an organization that recognizes and mobilizes the economic and cultural value of America’s immigrants. There are many more stories like this, from the Heartland to the coasts, from north to south. Along the way we’ll also be listening to the pulse of the nation, in the form of the Allstate-Atlantic Media Heartland Monitor Poll.

There’s a renewal story where you live, and we want to hear that, too. Who are the innovators, the creative thinkers and problem solvers in your neighborhood? Come talk to us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We love to engage, and we follow back!

Join us as we share these inspiring stories of renewal. Tell us your Detroit story.

Margaret Myers

Margaret Myers

The Renewal Project Editor

Margaret Myers is the editor of The Renewal Project. You can reach her at mmyers@atlanticmedia.com.