Few cities in the United States have been as battered by the legacy of racism as Detroit. The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion is diving deep into that history and creating a blueprint for a more equitable future –and they want to hear from Grandmont Rosedale residents.

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation is partnering with the Michigan Roundtable for two if its three “Healing Stories” events; one this Saturday, January 25 about criminal justice and one March 1 around housing. They are looking for Grandmont-Rosedale residents to attend and to share their own stories around those two topics.

“There is a lot of myth between city and suburb about why (certain things) happened,” says Stacey Stevens, community organizer for the Race2Equity Project of the Michigan Roundtable. The project is managed by Freda G. Sampson.  “We’re saying we need to also begin to heal from these untruths. We’re looking at healing the community and healing our system. The name relates to the power of being able to share your story in a space where there is an acknowledgement that it is truth.”

That healing, Stevens says, will enable people and systems to make way for more equitable policies that benefit everyone.

Information gathered through the Healing Stories sessions will be used at a final gathering in April where people will be invited to give their input on policy changes that can bring about more equity around the three key issues of transit, criminal justice and housing.  The Healing Stories session on transit took place in December.

The upcoming sessions will allow a set number of people to give their testimony about their experiences with criminal justice or housing, depending on the session, and then allow for personal reflections and small group activities. At the end, people will be able to do some brainstorming about policy changes ahead of the April meeting.

Speakers will be paired with a coach who can help their hone their message within the specified 3 to 5 minute time frame.

“We’re not looking for a desired outcome so much as a desired process,” says Stevens. The idea is to be collaborative and have a collective sense of working together, not to tease out any specific bits of information, she says.

The hearing on criminal justice runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation, 1525 Howard Street in Detroit. The hearing on housing is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 1 at Marygrove College. A light lunch will be served. To RSVP, call Becki Kenderes at 313-387-4732, ext. 101, email bkenderes@grandmontrosedale.com or register online here!