Christian group picks ‘resilient’ Detroit for national development convention

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    A Christian community development group is hosting its resilience-themed national convention in Detroit this week.

    The Chicago-based Christian Community Development Association said on its website that the 2017 conference at the Renaissance Center Marriott follows the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots, which it described as the “Detroit uprising.”

    According to the association’s website, its mission is to rebuild poor neighborhoodsand to accomplish its goals through the “three R’s” of community development: relocation, or living among the poor, redistribution of resources and reconciliation.

    “Detroit’s journey has been one that puts a premium on resilience,” according to a post on the convention page. “Experiencing wave after wave of struggles like urban unrest, economic disinvestment, housing market collapse, and bankruptcy, has brought the city to its knees.”

    Despite the city’s hardships, Detroiters have remained resilient, a quality essential to being “effective and sustainable over long periods of time in the work of Christian Community Development,” according to the convention page.

    Attendees will get the opportunity to participate in workshops on topics such as incarcerated women, education inequality, and the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a theological justification described as being behind the Indian removal, the ethnic cleansing of Manifest Destiny,  slavery and Jim Crow laws.

    In addition to workshops and speakers from around the country, there are also two planned site visits on Thursday and Friday, in which participants can explore Detroit and its surrounding communities to learn from “local practitioners” and experience the “history and unique characteristics of Detroit.”

    The visits include tours of the Church of the Messiah Ministry, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Urban Neighborhood Initiative, Urban Renaissance Center in Flint, Angel House Interfaith/Ministry, Central Detroit Christian CDC, Hope Ministry, and MACC Development Ministry.

    The conference began on Wednesday and runs through Saturday. General admission is sold out, but the conference can be live streamed, at a cost of $69, or $49 for members.

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