Another Mink’a Opportunity for Kellogg Fellows to Give Back
Looking for a concrete way to give back to struggling urban communities in the United States? Here’s your chance to help Kellogg Fellow Quincy Jones (CLN-01) revitalize the Osborn neighborhood in northeastern Detroit!
The executive director of the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance is inviting other Kellogg Fellows to take advantage of the Mink’a concept of reciprocity and to consider how their talent and knowledge might contribute to this Detroit community’s growth and well-being.
“Detroit is going through a major renovation effort, especially in the Downtown and Midtown,” explains Quincy. “But some neighborhoods like Osborn have been left behind. Blocks emptied out, crime increased and homes became abandoned during the great recession/mortgage crisis. We want to stabilize this neighborhood for the first time in five decades. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for Osborn’s children and families.”
Building Partnerships, Building Homes, Empowering Communities
But first, some background. Founded in 2006 as part of the Skillman Good Neighborhoods initiative, the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance (ONA) is an independent group of residents and stakeholders in Osborn. Over the years, ONA has built successful collaborations between parents, residents, community leaders, business, clergy, law enforcement and schools to rebuild Osborn.
ONA partners with residents for locally-driven solutions to achieve a shared vision of Osborn as a “community of choice” — one with thriving children and families, where citizens can work, play, shop and live.
Building on past successes, ONA now has an ambitious goal to renovate 50 new homes in five years. But they have taken an inclusive approach to rebuilding this community, and they are already showing result.
“Already, we’ve cleaned up the area, boarded up more than 1,000 doors and windows, and built a community outdoor learning center with The Greening of Detroit,” adds Quincy.
“We want to renovate 9 homes next spring with support from community groups, businesses, government organizations and other sponsors,” he explains. “In a few weeks, we’re finishing up our first home and starting on the next. Our approach is one house at a time, one block at a time.”
Fellows Providing Support to Osborn
KFLA Director of Programs Brenda Williams Sears agrees that the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance is a good Mink’a opportunity for Kellogg Fellows.
“Quincy’s home-and-community-building project with Osborn Neighborhood Alliance is a fantastic way for Fellows to volunteer their time and talents in the spirit of our Mink’a Talent Exchange,” says Brenda. “From local Fellows who help with construction or clean-up, to those with access to supplies and tools, all the way to experts in community-building methodologies and grant-writers — we’re excited to hear from Fellows who want to contribute to this project in various ways.”
There are many ways that Fellows can help rebuild Osborn. Do you have talents in fundraising, grant writing or community development? Do you know someone who can provide Osborn Neighborhood Alliance with free unskilled services like painting or demolition work? What about skilled services like plumbing, heating or electrical at a discounted rate?
“The bare minimum to renovate one of these houses is $55 thousand. To gut a house, it takes about $7 thousand. To put drywall up, that’s another $3 thousand. So, we always welcome financial contributions,” adds Quincy.
Mink’a is just one way this hardworking community development program is soliciting help. They are also working with other community groups, government agencies and foundations for support.
Your knowledge and help could play an important role in revitalizing this Michigan community for many years to come. To learn how you can get involved in rebuilding Osborn, contact Quincy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Mink’a program. See how you can benefit as a Mink’a facilitator or Mink’a recipient with cultural offerings, intellectual contributions, social networking, spiritual support or vocational gifts.