University of Michigan

The Crafting Democratic Futures project at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor will focus on three geographic areas in southeast Michigan: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Flint. The U-M team will work with Community Fellows in each of these areas to present unique case studies which will identify historical harms and inform potential solutions in each location.. The Community Fellow for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Alize Asberry-Payne, is leading a county-wide exploratory committee that will consider the possibility of social and economic reparations for residents in Washtenaw County. The Community Fellow in Detroit, Lauren Hood, currently serves as Chair of the Detroit City Planning Commission and is working in that capacity to help organize the city’s reparations taskforce. For CDF, she is developing a project that will consider the historical impact of the construction of I-375 on residents in the historic Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods and the contemporary impact of the city’s overtaxation of Detroit homeowners from 2010-2016 on home foreclosure rates in the city. Using these two case studies, she will then identify potential forms of repair that center the voices of those most impacted by these policies. The Community Fellow in Flint, Asa Zuccaro, is developing a project that considers the social determinants of health—childhood experiences, housing, education, social support, family income, employment, communities, and access to healthcare—for those communities harmed by policies and practices implemented during the following time periods: chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Earl Lewis

Director and Founder of the Center for Social Solutions, Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor

Community Fellows

Alize Asberry Payne
Racial Equity Officer, Washtenaw County

Focus Area: Washtenaw County Exploratory Committee on Reparations

Lauren Hood
Director, Institute for AfroUrbanism

Focus Area: I-375, displacement, over taxation of homes, Detroit Reparations Task Force

Asa Zuccaro
Executive Director, Latinx Technology and Community Center

Focus Area: I-475 and displacement,
Social Determinants of Health

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