On Friday, December 11th, the “Core Four” - this Fall cohort’s name - held a small virtual student showcase for SiD’s faculty, staff, and community partner supervisors. As always, the showcase was an opportunity for students to reflect on their semester, demonstrate what they learned, and share how they grew throughout their time in the program. Of course, there was nothing much “usual” about this semester - from continuing to survive through a global pandemic, to experiencing how the reality of American racism has (and has not) been brought to mainstream consciousness, to going through an anxiety-ridden election and bearing witness to GEO’s strike for fair working conditions - it’s clear that the students faced incredible hurdles in participating in classes and internships. The showcase made clear how the Core Four rose to meet these challenges with honesty, vulnerability, and perseverance. Here are just a few examples from the showcase that show the hard work the Core Four put in this semester.

Grace Bergeron's collage


  • Toussaint shared two powerful spoken-word poems with us, one of which used the 1967 Rebellion as a jumping off point to reflect on Detroit’s history, racism, and unity. Read Toussaint’s poem here. 
  • Grace led us in an activity called “Resistance Bingo”, which allowed us all the opportunity to think about the actions we’ve taken to advance justice and consider what else we could be doing. She also shared her final project for Darcy Brandel’s Detroit Artist as Activist course, a collage that “symbolizes some of the adaptations we are all going through right now.” 
  • Having spent time in our internship reflection seminar discussing theories of change, Jaylah spoke about the ways her theory of change shifted during the SiD program, including the addition of environmental justice (a testament to the impact of Diana Seales’ Grassroots Community Organizing for Environmental Justice class on our students).
  • Ali emceed the whole event and told us about highlights from her internship at the United Community Housing Coalition, where she aided in the HPTAP program to help occupants purchase the homes they are living in.

We’d like to thank the Core Four for their dedication throughout the semester. While we lament never having been able to meet in person, we are grateful for the unique bonds we all formed in experiencing such a trying time together. And though we hope we don’t have to have another semester entirely online, we were encouraged by how the showcase this Fall showed the strength of the SiD experience to continue to have an impact on students, even from afar. 

Finally, thank you to our community partners who hosted students this semester - the Detroit Justice Center, 482Forward, and the United Community Housing Coalition. You all play key roles in helping our students to learn and grow, and we appreciate your adaptivity and willingness to take our students under your wings, especially in trying times. Thank you!