Detroit, when mentioned, rarely conjures a positive image in a person’s mind. When people think Detroit, they think poor. They think mismanaged. They think dangerous. But as musician Joe Hertler said in his concert last night, “There’s a lotta people talking crap, but the thing is, a lot of them aren’t even from Michigan.”
Here at MIPA, the majority of students are from Michigan. There are staffs from Novi, Rochester, Grosse Pointe South, Eisenhower, Waterford Kettering, Romeo, among others, all from Southeast Detroit (for more information see Meg Darrow’s MIPA By the Numbers), many of whom are saddened by seeing their home carry such an abominable reputation. “It has such a bad rap…all of our parents work in downtown Detroit, and it’s a part of us, and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the city of Detroit as a community,” says Jane Hess, (12 Grosse Pointe South).
Shaw Hall staff member Kelsey Crane shares Jane’s dissatisfaction, and believes that things could be better if people just showed a little compassion. “My favorite place is the old station. It’s a really rundown building, but it has so much history and it’s so cool, but its been abandoned for years, and the city’s not doing anything with it,” Crane says.
Student Director Kirk Weber longs for a Detroit that’s more like a modern Chicago, stating, “I’d like to see Detroit become a good Midwestern city, something that’s fun to go to, something that people go to to shop, or whatever they want to do, and something that attracts people in for entertainment and business.”
And Detroit’s striving to get there. It may be drowned out by the relentless talk of corruption and poor management that has dominated Detroit for decades, but progress is being made. The senior staff at The Tower, Grosse Pointe’s Newspaper are working on a story to promote Detroit’s art movement. According to their website, Wayne State University had the highest bar exam passage rate in the entire state. The Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series last year, and are poised to have a shot at the championship this year. The Red Wings have made 22 straight Stanley cup playoffs and counting, a major league sports record. And the Lions try really, really hard-sometimes. Anthony Ianni, Community Relations Advocate for the Autism Alliance of Michigan, mentioned his top secret initiative yesterday, and that’s going to be dedicated to Detroit. And the examples just keep going.
As Anthony Ianni said, “There’s hope and inspiration everywhere.”
“No matter what.”