Motown, Motor City, The D, my hometown. Detroit. Us Detroiters affectionately call you many names, but what we won’t stand for is anyone belittling you, because we've survived plenty of hardships in order for everyone to put some respect on your name. We firmly believe the motto "Detroit Vs. Everybody," because we have stood in those sentiments throughout the decades. I love you for many reasons, Detroit, but here are only a few.
First, I love you because your city streets raised me. I’ve lived abroad as an English teacher for over a decade, traversing the globe from South Korea to Oman, but I will tell anyone in a heartbeat that if I can survive Detroit, I can survive anywhere, because my city not only taught me street smarts, but how to navigate boldly from the East side to the West side, to across the world.
Second, I love you because you didn’t back down in the 2020 election cycle. Detroit was and still is an urban oasis and you stood your ground fighting tooth and nail to get those ballots counted in an election that we desperately needed to win to uphold Democracy in this great nation. Yeah, you did that Detroit. To the rest of the country, you’re welcome.
Third, I love you because of your urban renewal and revitalization. I remember graduating from the University of Michigan and learning about the population of Detroit falling to around 700,000. It was heartbreaking. But to look at you now and see the strides that you have made as a city with massive growth in small businesses, through programs like the Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF), makes me beam with pride.
So thank you once again Detroit for showing me your resilience and in turn teaching me how to go after my dreams. You are the gift that keeps on giving to myself and the world.