Nine weeks in the Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program went much too fast for many of the 20 University of Michigan students who participated in the project showcase via Zoom on Wednesday.

The Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program, or DCERP, is a social justice focused summer fellowship program run through U-M’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. UROP introduces students to academic and community-engaged research as undergraduates.

The students worked full-time for nine weeks with a Detroit community organization on projects virtually this year. The program also includes sessions to learn about the history and impact of social justice in Detroit.

Students shared their experiences on projects and reflected on what it was like working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests.

Ray Wang, the Director of the DCERP Fellowship, said that in addition to working with Detroit nonprofits the students “formed an intentional community that learned about Detroit history and explored related social justice topics together.”

The switch to a remote format just before the program started was challenging, it also helped show students what community engagement could look like. 

“While our students were initially disappointed, they were an asset to the Detroit non-profits during a time of increased need, and they also still seemed to bond with each other,” Wang said.


Click HERE to read the full article by Greta Guest from Michigan News