Participating in today’s public square

Mt. Elliott Makerspace, one of the nine projects receiving support from Knight in partnership with CEOs for Cities for accelerating citizen participation across the city of Detroit

When was the last time you visited your town square?

While many of us in the engagement field often wax poetically about the “public square,” and the importance of engagement in it, most of our towns actually consist of a range of smaller squares, spaces and contexts through which we engage. And in our digital age, the list of venues is endless.

This is especially true in Detroit, where citizens are participating in contemporary public life in bold ways, bringing together the best of entrepreneurship, creativity and civic action. It’s why we at Knight Foundation invest in projects that allow more people to engage, support and partner with the city’s growing movement of social entrepreneurship.

Today, along with CEOs for Cities, we’re excited to announce a range of grants to nine organizations that are accelerating citizen participation across the city in creative, modern ways.  I’m thrilled to see the kind of engagement and impact these initiatives will propel in courses and at restaurants, through contests and city maps, and on the Internet and new “makerspaces.”

Have a look, join in, and hope to see you in the space.

By Rishi Jaitly, program director/Detroit at Knight Foundation

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