TCS: A Very Long Journey – Remaking Detroit

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


Talent is evenly distributed around the world,
but opportunity is not.

Bittersweet Monthly


Because of all the divisiveness over the revelation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s blatantly racist college yearbook page, I went looking for a positive story about people coming together, but found instead a story that lays bare all the reasons why this is so difficult in the U.S., a story about people who are struggling to overcome generations of betrayal, distrust, and neglect, about a place where well-meant philanthropy can hit a wall of suspicion and hostility.

Stephen Smith photo

A liberal white guy has a vision of helping black Detroit neighborhoods revitalize themselves, but comes up against some hard realities that he never expected, and has to face the real possibility of failure.

This is a pretty long article, but it covers so much that isn’t there in the “feel-good” stories about programs which have already proven successful that it’s well worth the read. The photographs tell some of the story if you’re pressed for time, and need to save the text for later.

Stephen Smith photo


A Tale of Two Cities

“At its heart, Life Remodeled is about more than remodeling a building or cleaning up a neighborhood – it is about social transformation. The truly unique work happening in the Durfee neighborhood is something far more messy than construction or clean-up, but with great potential for healing and meaningful change. What happens when people with resources and other gifts [become] willing to relinquish their hold on the reins? When long-time residents like Garland are given a voice, bridge-builders like Dwan are given leadership, and the local community is given power? Life Remodeled is trying to find out.”

Amanda Lahr, Editor of Bittersweet Monthly


Video intro:

Story text:



About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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