Network of Hope
In 2007 the Boggs Center and 32 endorsing organizations organized two events, one in April to commemorate Martin Luther King’s call for a Radical Revolution of Values in his 1967 anti-war speech and one in July centering around transforming despair to hope on the 40th anniversary of the Detroit rebellion. Many inspiring stories of grassroots activities and programs that Detroiters were creating or planned to create surfaced during these gatherings.
Participants wanting to continue to identify, encourage and promote these community initiatives and work towards creating a new infrastructure for our city from the ground up formed the Detroit City of Hope campaign. Examples of innovative grassroots activities range from urban agriculture to small business models, reinventing work and education to focus on community building and restorative justice initiatives, such as creating peace zones. Detroit City of Hope meetings happen every other Wednesday at the Boggs Center and provide an opportunity for face to face sharing of participant’s individual social change work as well as a forum for an ongoing community discussion.
Detroit City of Hope now launches an online space, that we hope will continue to document the community-building process in Detroit, making current initiatives more visible and facilitating further connection and cross-fertilization on the ground. In these times, we are feeing a tremendous groundswell of grassroots energy, it becomes our challenge as community builders to channel that energy into projects that capture people’s imagination, produce tangible results and leave us in awe of our collective potential.