Speaking Up: What 5 Southwest Detroit Teens Think About Bankruptcy And Their Neighborhoods (Video)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

By Terry Parris Jr.

On Wednesday, June 25, WDET and Next Chapter Detroit held a community meeting at Springdale Green Park in District 6 in Southwest Detroit.

This was the first of two meetings that we'll hold in District 6. Through the fall, we'll hold a total of 12 meetings in the community to discuss bankruptcy, where Detroit is heading and other community issues.

While it's important for community leaders and organizers, members of the administration and those reporting on the issue to get together and talk about the future of Detroit, what about the actual future of Detroit? What about the kids that are living and growing in Detroit right now? They will, in someway, inherit this city. What do they think about Detroit's direction, bankruptcy and the state of their community?

The five youth in this video range from 15 to 18 and are part of the youth development programs developed and coordinated by Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, also located in District 6 in Southwest Detroit.

We asked each kid about their neighborhoods, what they think bankruptcy means and the future of their city.

Common themes included abandoned lots, blight and violence. The kids said that if violence in the community didn't subside or if blight wasn't improved, they would move out. They also were quick to remind people that even though there is litter and blight, not everyone in the neighborhoods treat their property and their city that way.

Find more coverage of Detroit's bankruptcy and its impact on people and neighborhoods on WDET's Next Chapter Detroit blog.

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