Neighborhood notes from the field
I recently had the pleasure of attending a special event celebrating “Heroes of the Neighborhood.” This event recognized some ordinary individuals and employers who had performed in some extraordinary ways to help others and to make their neighborhood a better place to live and work. It reminded me of some of the most important lessons I had ever learned in this work: take the time to recognize others, to lift up good work and to give flowers for the living.
The event was held by Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI), which is located in Southwest Detroit and led by Dennis Nordmoe. Dedicated to a community of Southwest Detroit called Springwells Village, UNI has been working hard with the residents and stakeholders to revitalize their area and to connect it to the larger area of greater Southwest Detroit.
On this evening, UNI and Dennis took the time to recognize several organizations and individuals who have helped to make Springwells Village a much better place to live over the last five years. These “Heroes of the Neighborhood” included:
|Lydia Gutierrez||Owner and civic leader, Hacienda Mexican Foods|
|The Greening of Detroit||Nonprofit dedicated to reforesting and greening boulevards and parks in the city|
|New City Friends||A dedicated outside group of volunteers|
|Phil Riggio||CEO/ Aunt Mid’s Produce Company, a neighborhood –based employer|
|State Rep. Rashida Tlaib & The Springdale-Woodmere Block Club||Residents and leaders who are committed to the hard work of raising the quality of life where they live and for all|
They also recognized a volunteer of the year, Kim Huston; youth program graduates Alejandra Gomez, Edgar Gomez and Katie Tenan; and supporter of the year, Kris Kalen.
Congratulations to all of these HEROES and to UNI for its brilliant work to recognize them. Thank you also for the lesson that we must do more to lift up the great work of others. Every neighborhood, particularly every good neighborhood, should celebrate its Heroes of the Neighborhood.
-- Ed Egnatios is the Foundation's Program Director for Neighborhoods