Semester in Detroit’s 26th Program welcomes fifteen students from UM-Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint and Grand Valley State University - our largest fall cohort since 2016. SiD’s urban studies curriculum is unique at U-M - the only academic program where students from all three U-M campuses can learn from one another in the same classrooms!

As these photos show, SiD classes are held all around Detroit’s 143 square miles. Stephen Ward, SiD Faculty Director and Associate Professor (DAAS/RC), holds the newest SiD elective - RCSSCI 360/AAS 358 - Theory and Practice of Visionary Organizing - every Monday afternoon in the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. There, SiD students are introduced to this critically important movement space and engage with committed community activists like the recent visitors from Chicago’s Sweetwater Foundation and Detroit’s own Feedom Freedom Growers. Earlier this week, students visited one of SiD’s long-time community partners, The James and Grace Lee Boggs School, and benefited from the wisdom of founding principal, Julia Putnam.

Baba Jamon Jordan, Detroit’s first official historian and SiD Faculty Lecturer, teaches through his unique blend of lectures, special guests (including the likes of Ken Coleman, Marsha Battle Philpot, Peter Hammer) and Detroit community history tours. Recently, Jordan gave a public lecture at Gordon Park, the site of the 1967 rebellion, commemorating his first year of service as Detroit’s Chief Historian. SiD Faculty Lecturers, Darcy Brandel and Craig Regester, also bring students around the city to engage with community activists. Brandel’s class recently visited North End’s American Riad Project, a collaboration with the Oakland Avenue Artist Coalition, Ghana ThinkTank, North End Woodward Community Organization, and the Detroit Justice Center. Students in Regester’s internship reflection seminar volunteered at D-Town Farm in late September, and will visit Soulardarity in Highland Park next week.

SiD’s Internship Program continues to build reciprocal relationships with long-time and new community partners. Our newest community partners include the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (where two SiD alumni currently work!), Soulardarity, and the Office of City Councilwoman, Gabriela Santiago-Romero. Long-time community partners include the Detroit Justice Center, Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition, D-Town Farm, 482Forward, Allied Media Project, the Office of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, and Detroit is Different. And we are thrilled to once again have students intern with WDET-FM, Matrix Theater Company, Racquet Up Detroit, and American Indian Health and Family Services.

Thanks to the continued support from long-time SiD donor, Ron Siegel, students have been able to experience Detroit’s vast social, cultural and recreational opportunities. In addition to the requisite trip to the ballpark (Tigers won!), students recently saw Mud Row, the debut theatrical production in the newly reopened Detroit Public Theatre by the internationally renowned Detroit playwright, Dominique Morriseau. Our students joined Ron and greatly enjoyed the play and dinner beforehand; one student remarked that this was the first time she had ever experienced live theater! 

If any of this sounds interesting to you (or someone you know), then consider applying to SiD’s 2023 Programs. We look forward to hearing from you!