The Hope Starts Here vision for young children and their families in Detroit is unfolding using a distributed leadership model where each person/organization’s contribution shapes our success. The intentionality by which we are striving to ensure equitable access to high-quality and affordable options for children, birth to eight and their families has taken our team on a deeper exploration of equity and how it deliberately translates to practice. We strive to address the effective use of research and data to instigate the creation of just institutions, policies, and practices.
I have personally been intrigued by the reframing of Hope Starts Here as a movement – a movement for justice. Justice shifts conditions that are holding inequities in place and pushes further to a state where non-dominant families and their children also have meaningful pathways that build capacity and yield personal transformation that no longer requires on-going supports. For me, this more tangibly defines the “what” or our vision that by 2027 Detroit will be a city that puts children and families first.
The “how” as stated above is utilizing a distributed leadership model for implementation where community-based organizations take the lead on each of the six imperatives of the framework by engaging and galvanizing other organizations, community, parents, and stakeholders to action. The Hope Starts Here Office since its launch in November 2019 has created a set of tools and protocols for use by imperative leads and action team members to aid in their co-creation of measurable activities that advance the change we want to see. Co-creation called co-design in other communities is “a process of partnering and decision-making that engages diverse peoples to collectively identify problems of practice and innovate solutions.’1
This is what we’ve been up to, and over the next months the Office, imperative leads and partners will engage intensely and more broadly in developing together solutions that meet the needs of this community. We invite you to take part in this transformative journey for Detroit: become a Hope Starts Here Champion, join an action team, elevate early childhood advocacy efforts, and more!
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
1 Community Design Circles: Co-designing Justice and Wellbeing in Family-Community Research Partnerships, Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 2019, 133-136.