Photos by OHventures
The following post was written for publication on the website "The Akronist." The Akronist is a source for compelling stories about greater Akron. It has local videos, photos, podcasts, articles, and blogs produced by the community. I wrote this piece as a recap of a recent trip taken with a group of fellow Akronites in the young leadership group known as Torchbearers.
This was the question a group of 35 Torchbearers from Akron were set out to answer on a recent road trip to the Motor City. In a whirlwind 36 hours touring different neighborhoods and visiting various organizations, the tenacity of the city became clear. The architecture was captivating, the nightlife was enticing and the positive attitude of service and commitment to the people of Detroit was inspiring.
The goal of this road trip to Detroit was for participants to take these “a-ha moments” from Detroit, and transform them into achievable ideas for projects, programs and development in Akron.
In early 2015, Torchbearers received its largest single grant, $65,000, from the John S. and James L Knight Foundation. From this grant, SPARC (Small Projects Achieving Real Change) was conceived by Torchbearers leadership. The goal of SPARC is fast, dynamic outward-facing interactions and projects with a focus on talent attraction and retention within Akron. In addition to SPARC, this grant sponsored two trips, the first being to Detroit on May 31.
To kick things off, the first item on the agenda was a bus tour with the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF). The purpose of DXF is to “create experiences that are enlightening, entertaining, and led by Detroiters who know Detroit in order to demonstrate that it is an exceptional place to live, work and play.”