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Our Donation to Detroit

The home of Assignment Detroit, a house in the city's West Village neighborhood that served as a residence for Time Inc.'s journalists during the yearlong project, will now have a new purpose. Time Inc.'s editors plan to sell the house and use the proceeds for a $100,000 donation toward the city's future: its young people. The editors have chosen four Detroit non-profit groups that devote themselves to the education and support of the city's youth to be the recipients of $25,000 grants. The four groups represent a mixture of national organization and grassroots initiative: Teach for America-Detroit, InsideOut Literary Arts Project, City Year Detroit and Covenant House Michigan. Said Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey: "What groups like these show is that people of good will haven't given up on Detroit -- especially not on its kids."

Assignment Detroit's five-bedroom, three-story home was not only the lodging for dozens of journalists from TIME, FORTUNE, PEOPLE, MONEY and and other company magazines and sites, but also the venue for events including hundreds of guests, including Mayor Dave Bing, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally. Time Inc. bought the house in the summer of 2009 for its asking price of $99,000 and is putting it on the market at the same price.

Detroit has many crying needs and worthy charities struggling to deal with them. But nothing has more to do with the city's hoped-for resurgence than its next generation, which sorely needs a hand. Nearly half of Detroit's children live in poverty and barely 3% of its fourth-graders meet national math standards. Each of the chosen groups takes an innovative approach to helping the city's youth:

Teach for America-Detroit:  The national corps of top college graduates, who commit to teaching stints in disadvantaged schools, is returning to the city after a six-year hiatus, bringing 100 teachers to serve in Detroit-area schools. After a frustrating effort in 2002-04, the group now recognizes that the city is serious about reform. "We're excited to return to Detroit and join the innovative efforts of leaders across the city," said Wendy Kopp, the group's founder and CEO, in making the announcement in May.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project: This grassroots group, started in 1995 by poet Terry Blackhawk, offers in-school and after-school creative-writing programs taught by professional writers. One of its programs, Citywide Poets, was among those honored by the White House last year with its Coming Up Taller Award, which recognizes efforts to foster creativity among young people.

City Year Detroit: The local outpost of a national organization, which brings a corps of young people together for a year of service, estimates that it works with more than 50 community groups and provides over 80,000 hours of service. In several Detroit schools, corps members provide tutoring, classroom support, craft classes and homework-help stations. (Time magazine has been a voice in favor of national service; managing editor Richard Stengel serves on the national group's board of trustees.)

Covenant House Michigan:  This sanctuary for young people provides shelter and support programs to help overcome the impact of unemployment, poor education, violence, drugs and gangs. Every year, the Detroit chapter serves more than 6,000 homeless and at-risk youth, with a stated goal "to redirect them onto a path toward meaningful and successful adulthood."

As these intrepid groups make life-changing contributions to Detroit's youth, they're changing the city for the better as well.

Stephen Koepp, editor, Assignment Detroit

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Comments (19)
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  • 1

    How about making it a doemstic abuse shelter or a homeless shelter or even a political santuary???

    I hope the real estate market will produce an outcome that will fund these organizations.YET I do think it is appropriate to note that along with the usual private and public sector firms which have contributed to the meltdown of the city and this region for to long this same indictment can also be attached to the efforts of many non-profits in the city and region as well...

    Many of non-profits have profitted( excuse the pun) on the victims of our nation's contempt and disregard for urban venues....To many non-profilts have over paid executives and vague mission statements...Many are drive by outfits that lack notworthy outcomes and substance...

    One of the tragic truths about urban venues besides the usual doom and gloom narratives is that our urban venues have been lucrative and fertile conduits for to many non-profits and dream weavers never really intent on saving anyone ......

    Make it a santuary if the real estate market does not render a sale in excess of $100,000.

  • 2

    You mean sanctuary Thrash?

    Why not put aside some small bucks and have a party so we can all meet each other in real life and have a good time.

    Talking at a party may well produce some wonderful results.


  • 3

    I'm the time and place.

  • 4


    You are correct I meant sanctuary....My genius never included spelling...


    Napper 1,

    Party sounds great ..I am in....

    Truth is the comments on this site were as worthy as the commentaries by the journalists...I recently had a number of people tell me how they enjoyed Bill , Napper and others...

    I am not surprised I agreed with them

  • 5

    Bill & Napper I,

    BTW I did not appreciate that parting cheap shot from Karen...

    To be continued....

  • 6

    And it will show that TIME appreciated us.


  • 7

    welcome to our website === w w w ( Lttsy ) - c o m === ..The new update, a large hot ..

  • 8

    Everyone knows timing is the key to any humor... Being an activist as well as a Black man of course being on the end of "humor" and various names is not new....

    I am moving on in any event....

    • 8.1

      Awwwwwwwwwwww....I thought you might appreciate it. I meant no harm, only friendly humor!

  • 9

    Steve, and all who had something to do with Assignment Detroit....THANK YOU .
    This year, with your information on the city of Detroit, has been great. You have been to places (one this blog) that I have not been able to visit. Some of the other places, I have been to many many times.
    I am not quite sure how to feel with out this blog. It is yet another season for Detroit.
    Yes, there are sites like "m live dot com" . Your site has brought so much information together that I got spoiled. One stop information, easy access to aditional information and bloggers views.

    Karen, you have been a light into many places for me. I love your optimism for Detroit and the surrounding Metro Area.
    I grew up in the city. All over the city, because we moved all the time. Grosse Pointe was always "The other side of the tracks", for me. You have shown people today that regular people live there with all the same problems and Joys. Stay near so we can keep up on your progress.
    You have been great. Thanks so much.

    The Detroit Kid 51

  • 10

    I think that TIME is being exceptionally stupid about closing this up.

    This is a new venue where some insight and experience cannot be edited out by some venal and stupid editors of the major local press.

    Cool idea it was and has been and it should continue. It more than made up for ignorant movie reviews and the article about great teachers where a local, teaching at the Harvard Business School was preaching the "killer instinct".

    I'm sure that W had that course.

    Gawd damn!


  • 11

    It makes me very happy to read this. The idea is excellent and these are all worthy causes, although it is impossible to please everyone.

    I think Detroit is taking some amazingly courageous, innovative steps. I actually hear young people excitedly saying that it's cool to move there.

    Best of luck, Detroit! Good things are coming our way.

  • 12

    I'm just going to say that Dr. Terry Blackhawk's InsideOut project is a wonderful way to give back to the city and as a lover of words, I'm glad Time has done this.

    I would also like to note, I wish you had done more with your time literacy wise with the city and I'm just a little disappointed that you did not contribute more to the community. I mean, with "Detroit" having a low literacy rate, you'd think a magazine that has to be read would donate books and time to pro-literacy or even to youth programs where single parents are unable to buy books for children.

    BTW, I do have a cause to do this at The Essence of Motown Literary Jam and Conference where we've asked readers and writers to help us donate books to this cause. I'd love to hear from all if you'd like to donate. Just google the event or check out my profile and my website.

    Thanks again Time! Be blessed !

  • 13

    Your donations are laudable. However in my experience, Covenant House in Manhattan refused to accept lesbian, gay and transgendered youth, leaving them out on the street. A long time friend was deeply involved in establishing a shelter program for those youth Covenant House shunned. Not sure what the policies are of Covenant House in Michigan are but I would think twice and verify that their policies on lesbian & gay youth do not echo Manhattan's before donations to their organization. The Salvation Army is another organization that actively discriminates against homosexuals, refusing to donate to any orgaization that supports lesbian & gays, making a point of donating to anti-gay organizations.

  • 14

    This is great to hear. I work from home so it doesn't matter where I live and I was thinking about Detroit. It's gotta be cheaper than Seattle.

    Battery Trickle Charger

  • 15

    Congratulations to the FEDs on a Difficult Job Well Done!

    Nice to see so many black crooks going to jail, but where are the white crooks?
    Was Monica Conyers truly the Kingpin-Boss of the Detroit-Wayne County Crime Family?

    Rick Synder, Dave Bing, Robert Bobb, were wealthy men BEFORE serving in public office and very different from thieves like Mike Duggan Art Blackwell Robert Ficano and Bernard Kilpartick

    Ficano is the last UnderBoss standing, stealing every-dime every-time from Arabic Business Owners. His civic fund is larger than the fund Kwame had. Anyone who contributes more than $10, 000 to FicanoPac gets a nice fat nobid government contract

    Ficano is white. Kilpartick is black.
    Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.
    Ficano is a PIG in every sense of the word

    Lets hope the FEDs dont forget to take out of the white trash too..even the midget troll hiding at the DMC

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