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Mayor Mike Duggan. Photo via Kresge.org

Almost two dozen community, economic, and civic development organizations around Metro Detroit will soon welcome the 2015-17 Detroit Revitalization Fellows into their ranks. This move will enable the organizations to address critical local and regional issues.

The 23 fellows from across the United States, including some from Detroit, were chosen from a pool of over 650 applicants. They will serve two-year appointments at a variety of public and nonprofit organizations focused on the revitalization of Detroit.

The 2015-17 fellows mark the third cohort of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows program, which started in 2011. The program is a partnership between Wayne State University and several local and national foundations.

The new fellows are:

  • Diana Flora (2013-15 Fellow at Data Driven Detroit): Director of Strategy Development, Detroit Police Department.
  • Jeanet Kulcsar (2011-13 Fellow at Invest Detroit): Director of Resident Opportunity Initiatives, Jobs and Economy Team.
  • Jerrell Harris (2013-15 Fellow at Focus: HOPE): Director of Restructuring & Transformation, Mayor’s Office.

These new fellows will lead projects in the fields of open data and technology, homelessness assistance, transit and mobility, neighborhood commercial and riverfront development, youth development, and community engagement.

“Detroit Revitalization Fellows serves as a national model for inclusive, partnership-driven urban innovation delivered by a network of collaborative leaders,” said Detroit Revitalization Fellows Director Graig Donnelly.

“Over the last four years, our Fellows have played integral roles in key projects driving progress in Detroit, from fighting blight through Motor City Mapping, to fostering pop-up retail through Revolve Detroit to literally bringing some Detroiters out of darkness at the Public Lighting Authority. We look forward to extending our network with our newest cohort of Fellows, and to helping drive collaboration and innovation across city departments through the Kresge Mayor’s Fellows initiative.”

They will start their stay in Detroit with a three-week immersion that will introduce them to several community organizations and give them a chance to engage in constructive dialogues with urban experts and neighborhood leaders.

In addition to ushering in a new cohort of fellows, the Detroit Revitalization Fellows program announced the Kresge Mayor’s Fellows initiative. This new fellows program is a partnership between the Kresge Foundation and Mayor Mike Duggan’s office.

“The Detroit Revitalization Fellows program speaks to the gravitational pull Detroit has for today’s young leaders and the pride of Wayne State University and its partners to make change here,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation. “With the Kresge Mayor’s Fellows initiative, we can further enhance our civic capacity and leverage what the Revitalization Fellows have learned about the city, its challenges and its possibilities.”

Under the Kresge Mayor’s Fellows initiative, three Detroit Revitalization Fellows alumni will serve two-year assignments, taking on cross-departmental challenges and opportunities in the mayor’s office to advance quality of life for Detroiters.

“From Motor City Mapping to the establishment of the new Public Lighting Authority and programs like REVOLVE Detroit, Detroit Revitalization Fellows has been making a real impact on Detroit,” the Mayor said. “It shows how top talent from our city, the region and around the nation want to play an active role in our city’s comeback. We look forward to our Fellows working in partnership with city staff to build capacity, foster collaboration, improve city services and continue to move Detroit forward.”