- About Us
- Our Work
- Community Change
- Cultural Competency
- Youth Programs
- Reference Materials
- In The News
- Social Media
- Contact Us
Seeds of inclusion grow in Southwest Detroit
In 2009, Bernadine Martin had a dream. This longtime resident of the 48210 zip code in Detroit, also known as the Chadsey Condon area, had seen the decline of her neighborhood overtime and was particularly concerned by its lack of grocery stores, making it difficult for her neighbors to access fresh fruits and vegetables. Martin dreamed of a community garden that would help feed her neighbors, and provide skills training to young people by preserving and selling excess produce.
Later that year, Martin joined a project of the Michigan Roundtable seeking to build bridges between some of the diverse cultural groups in Southwest Detroit, especially African Americans, Latinos, Arab-Americans, and Native Americans. The project helped open Martin's eyes – helping her to see that while people may have come from different cultures they had similar hopes for their neighborhoods. "I learned so much from this project," said Martin.
When the Michigan Roundtable's project ended in early 2010, Martin took her original vision and expanded it into a multicultural community garden with her new awareness gained by working with the Roundtable.
That vision began to take shape on August 6th. Martin, together with about thirty other people including diverse members of the Latino community from the Boys and Girls Club,and members of the Arab community from State Representative Rashida Tlaib's Office, cleaned Bieniek Park in their neighborhood, and then began planting a garden together. Martin's husband James, who also helped clean and plant said, "We've had this dream for two years, but its finally taking shape."