W/CDC As Collaborator
In its 25-year history, W/CDC has played an important role in several community collaboratives.
Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC)
W/CDC is one of the founding partners of this consortium of over 20 Eastside community development organizations and institutions, created in 1992. W/CDC is the host for the DECC Offices. DECC plays an important role of helping the many organizations serving Detroit’s Eastside to stay in touch with each other, develop necessary collaborations, and share information.
The Conner Creek Greenway Project http://www.greenwaycollab.com
W/CDC hosts the office of the Conner Creek Greenway, and W/CDC’s CEO leads the Conner Creek Greenway Committee, which is DECC’s premiere project. The Conner Creek Greenway is a 9 mile long shared use path that stretches along Conner from Eight Mile to the Detroit River with the trail head at “Milbank” and the terminus at Mahares Park. Three of nine sections have been built and three more sections are scheduled for construction during 2010 and 2011, which funding support from the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, the Kresge Foundation, the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Transportation. Other funding and implementation partners include Coleman A Young Municipal Airport, Creekside, Detroit Recreation Departments and Public Works Department, Greening of Detroit, PVS Chemicals, DTE Energy, Comerica Bank and Charter One Bank.
Youth Art Rocks
W/CDC facilitated this collaboration which is now led by Youth On The Edge…of Greatness, Inc., with partners College for Creative Studies, Butzel Family Center, Pewabic Pottery, Think Detroit PAL, Southeastern Village, Child Care Coordinating Council. Located at Butzel Family Center and funded by the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan and Detroit LISC, this project provides important after school youth development support, with supportive artistic and recreational classes in drawing, textiles, ceramics, dance, sports and music.
Project GROW/East Warren Avenue Farmers Market
Project G.R.O.W. nurtures community farming and development of food related businesses on the Eastside of Detroit in partnership with Greening of Detroit and Michigan State University’s Cooperative Extension Center. Participants in G.R.O.W. receive technical assistance and are required to participate in education classes designed to support the development of their food business. During 2006-7-08, Project G.R.O.W. provided Entrepreneur Mini-Grants, an opportunity to receive supplies valued at up to $200 to pursue a food related business venture. These supplies must be used for entrepreneurial projects such as participating in a farmer’s market, developing a food product, or increasing a garden’s yield or crop diversity for sale. Individuals must complete and submit the mini-grant application for consideration.
In 2008 G.R.O.W. opened the East Warren Avenue Farmers Market (EWAFM) which continues today at E. Warren & Bishop. Boasting 2,000 shoppers each growing season, 2010 will mark the 3rd year of the Farmers’ Market.
Chandler Park Promise Coalition
Several organizations came together in 2009 to find ways to bring a state-of-the-art community/ performing arts center to 30 acres set aside at Chandler Park, after the Salvation Army decided to withdraw a $50 million commitment for the project. Four separate meetings were held with the Salvation Army, one sponsored by then-Mayor Cockrel, one by the Black McDonald’s owners. On June 30, 2009 SOKC Coalition organized approximately 150 people- mostly youth—in a bus caravan that traveled to the Chicago Headquarters of the Salvation Army to make a plea to reverse their decision.
In 2010, the group refocused as the “Chandler Park Promise Coalition”, and is now working on a new plan and new fundraising scenario. WCDC hosts the meetings and provides staff coordination. Collaborators include the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, Communities In Schools, Save A Lot Grocery Store, Detroit Housing Commission, DECC, Samaritan Center, Think Detroit PAL, Black McDonalds Owners Association, Offices of Councilman Ken Cockrel and Senator Hansen Clarke, PVS Chemicals, More Good Schools, Inc., St. John Providence Health System, Eagle Sports, Hamilton Anderson and Blaze Construction.
In mid-2009 the W/CDC Board acknowledged that the lower eastside community we served had experienced massive population, housing and business loss, and decided to tackle the problem head on from a community perspective. First, we formed a “vacant land reuse planning steering committee” with seven other community development organizations serving the lower eastside from Alter Road to Mt. Elliott, from E. Warren down to the Detroit River. Together we formed a commitment that we would create a plan – with short-term projects and long-term directions – for turning all the resulting vacant land and property into productive use, recognizing that we would probably not see a “repopulation” for the foreseeable future. Now called “LEAP” – Lower Eastside Action Plan – the project has been funded by the Erb Family Foundation. Find out how to Get Involved.
Eastside Walking Clubs
In July of 2010, W/CDC became the host site for the Eastside Walking Clubs, in partnership with the University of Michigan-affiliated “Healthy Environments Partnership.” Visit hepdetroit.org to learn more about this program!
W/CDC As Community Educator
From its inception W/CDC has held the philosophy that “information is power.” W/CDC has utilized a number of community education strategies ranging from community forums to community study groups. W/CDC is known for its newspaper “The Pipeline”, and in 2009 W/CDC added the Eastside Technology Hub to its community education programming, recognizing the importance of technology access.
The first issue of the free newspaper, “The Pipeline,” appeared in Fall of 1984. Conceived and designed by a group of local residents who were founders of WCDC, “The Pipeline” has a mission to: educate, provoke, inform and entertain its readers – primarily residents of Detroit’s Eastside – as well as all WCDC paid members. Articles and features appearing in the Pipeline focus on issues pertinent to the Eastside, in ways that the major media ignores or is unaware of. “The Pipeline” always publishes the WCDC Board of Directors editorial perspective on various issues; and equally important, “The Online Pipeline” also serves as a vehicle for guest commentary, subject to editor’s review.
Originally sponsored by the University of Michigan, Kellogg Foundation, IBM Corporation the WCDC Eastside Technology Hub is a 24-station state-of-the-art computer and video conferencing center, intended to build local capacity by providing technology access and information to local residents, organizations and businesses. The WCDC Eastside Technology Hub is located at WCDC’s headquarters at 11148 Harper near Conner.
The WCDC Eastside Tech Hub is one of three Technology Hubs in Detroit – the other two being located at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation headquarters at 1211 Trumbull St. Detroit, MI 48216; and at ACCESS at 2651 Saulino Ct. Dearborn, MI 48120.
As the result of a partnership among the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG), Warren/Conner Development Coalition and Dominican Literacy Center, the Detroit Eastside Learning Lab was born. The Learning Lab is one of ten Labs around the City of Detroit sponsored by the State of Michigan.
The Learning Lab is housed at 11148 Harper in the Warren/Conner Development Coalition complex.
The goal of the EastsideLearning Lab is to provide individual, computer-assisted instruction to under-educated, unemployed, and under-employed adults who wish to improve their reading, writing, math, keyboarding, and overall work skills, so they may become successfully employed in good paying jobs.