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A local Detroit group is hosting a free community organizing workshop this weekend

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Jamie Simmons
/
Michigan Radio
The Muslim Center on Detroit's westside

“Come as you are. Paper and pen is always helpful, but just be present and bring your whole self. Know that we're in this together and to really build community with each other while having it be a learning space.”

A group known for its housing development and community engagement on Detroit’s West Side is now hoping to help give others tools to do the same.

This Saturday, Dream of Detroit is offering a half-day community organizing workshop.

Mark Crain is the director of the community development group. He said getting the skills to build within a community is what lays the foundation for change in the city.

“Ultimately what we're trying to do is build lasting frameworks and institutions for people to have an influence over their own neighborhoods.”

Crain said Detroit needs residents who feel like they have a say in their future.

“The only way we're going to get that is if the neighbors have the skills that it takes to build community organizations.”

The workshop starts Saturday morning at 10 a.m. inside the Muslim Center on the corner of the Davison Freeway and Woodrow Wilson Street.

Hazel Gomez is the co-organizer of the community organizing workshop. She said they will be covering the fundamentals of organizing in Detroit.

“What we would be talking about is the spectrum of social change. What does it mean to be an activist? But at the other end, what does it mean to be a community organizer?”

She said this workshop is for all stages of organizing and is open to everyone.

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Jamie Simmons comes to Michigan Radio as a new Community Engagement Reporter for the station’s Enterprise team. She is a macro social worker with a strong background in community engagement and communal dialogue.