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Mar. 18, 2011

Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Detroit–Wayne State University has launched the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program, which the university says aims to build the capacity of public, for-profit, nonprofit and other organizations to facilitate the redevelopment of Detroit. The program will have initial support from the Kresge Foundation and the Hudson-Webber Foundation.

“Fellows will be placed in a variety of jobs that deal with economic development, planning, urban, community and neighborhood development,” Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach at Wayne State University, tells MHN. “Housing is certainly in the mix.”

The program will combine two years of full-time employment with an executive development education component. Also, fellows will have the opportunity to participate in a custom curriculum that blends aspects of urban planning, community and economic development, residential and commercial real estate development, leadership training and national site visits.

During its first phase, the program will seek as many as 25 mid-career professionals to work with a variety of local organizations, such as the University Cultural Center Association, NextEnergy, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Invest Detroit, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and the Woodward Corridor Initiative, all of which have agreed to employ fellows. Applications are currently being accepted for the first cohort of fellows, who will begin the program this August.

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program is modeled after the Rockefeller Foundation Redevelopment Fellowships, which were launched in 2007 in New Orleans. That program, administered by the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania, enabled redevelopment organizations in New Orleans to recruit qualified professionals from across the country to work on the rebuilding there.

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