Inside Southwest Detroit (iSWD) uses digital media and education to promote a more connected, informed, and engaged community across southwest Detroit. This work is done through the website and its social media channels as well as a variety of digital tools and offline activities such as mentoring, photography, and workshops.
We aim to inspire community residents to move beyond being consumers of media to being curators (who select and share) and producers (who create) of media. This supports the development of community-driven narratives that empower its members to tell stories about their own communities.
Resident-created media is an essential commodity for local communities. The media that is created forms a broad community narrative as it is collected and activated through its organization and distribution. It is important as a key to local wisdom about communities. Residents who participate in the creation and distribution of digital media are more likely to move from collecting and sharing information to engaging in real world community actions.
About Young Nation
iSWD an initiative of Young Nation, a grass-roots non-profit organization located in southwest Detroit that supports youth and community development through cultural and educational initiatives.
As an initiative of Young Nation, iSWD is committed to connecting the people and places of southwest Detroit to each other and to the people and places of other communities (geographic and otherwise).
Inside Southwest Detroit began as a labor of love. The short story is a notebook of articles was created to help with a touch of homesickness while studying in Los Angeles and shortly after to showcase the community to others in an attempt to fuel passion in others to want to come to the community.
In detail, ISD started as a small collection of articles from various media publications and was an opportunity to share with residents the community that has raised so many of us and also to promote understanding of the community and culture that is foreign to those not from here. An understanding professor and a combination of passion for southwest Detroit, interests in photography, writing, and multi-media expression eventually helped the original notebook evolve, making the first ISD possible in 1999. The site was to be built as an independent study for Sociology credit. As time went on and traffic increased, the support and suggestions of visitors contributed greatly to the vision and direction of the site.
In 2002 Art Crimes (http://www.artcrimes.com) added a link on their site under 'Detroit' and traffic to Murals of SW Detroit, a section of ISD, really picked up. At that point what the website was doing changed a little. Now not only were we documenting the aerosol art in the neighborhood-we were also sharing our community with the world. With entries from Germany, Finland, LA, Chicago, NY and more in the guestbook we learned that we had quite an audience. With the input and support from site visitors, locally and abroad, we were encouraged to promote the site and continue and expand our presentation of our community.
The site has seen many changes in concept, scope, design and more since 1999 when it was created. But the central theme remains the presentation of Southwest Detroit. This includes the good and the bad, the things we are proud of and the the things we are plagued by, our progress and our struggles.
We are ALWAYS looking for feedback and suggestions for Inside Southwest Detroit. Please direct any questions or comments to: