Shoutout to Joe Marra and Brooke Harris for guessing last week’s mystery spot! Follow their example and read to the end to see this week’s spot and prove you know your Detroit stuff.
On the way, you’ll get a strike update — plus some tips if you’re looking to support striking autoworkers — and the 411 on a Gen Z conundrum, eastside air quality, a Dem defection on abortion and more. Plus, get to know a local comedian with plenty of TikToks you’ll want to send to your group chat, and get a feel for the significance of Detroit Month of Design from an international perspective.
Just need something to do this weekend or a podcast to listen to? You know we’ve got you covered. <3 Team Detour
P.S. Outlier Media’s Open Newsroom event has been postponed, previously scheduled for today, for folks who don’t plan to vote in the next election. But if that’s you, we’d still love to talk. Stay tuned for the rescheduled event or get in touch with Alex Washington, our audience and engagement manager: email@example.com.
Detroit in Five
A very presidential picket line: In what’s being called a first in modern history, President Joe Biden stood alongside striking United Auto Workers (UAW) this week and former president (and 2024 presidential hopeful) Donald Trump sorta followed suit. Biden told strikers that they deserve the pay raise that union leaders are pushing for after the sacrifices workers made to support automakers during the 2008 financial crisis. Strike pay has begun for workers, coming out to $500 a week from the UAW strike fund. As the strike caps its second week, tensions are mounting. About five picketers were injured at a General Motors site in Flint when someone drove through a group of strikers, and auto execs are doling out plenty of strongly worded statements. In negotiation talks, some progress has been made with Ford, which might be why the company was spared from the strike’s expansion Friday to 38 sites across the nation. UAW President Shawn Fain’s most recent update on negotiations left out some key demands, including the four-day work week and pensions, leaving some experts wondering whether these have been settled or taken off the table entirely. (Michigan Radio, HuffPost, Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, MLive, CNBC, Fox 2 Detroit)
➡️ Helping workers: Looking to support striking workers? Here’s how to donate food and supplies to the picket lines.
Tests in the mail: The U.S. government is again mailing out free COVID-19 tests — you just have to fill out a form. Free tests are no longer widely available, so jump on it while supplies last. Meanwhile, an updated vaccine is also free with or without insurance, and significantly more likely to prevent a dangerous illness. Most Michiganders just haven’t gotten it yet. (Bridge Michigan, U.S. Postal Service, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Michigan Radio)
Hello, fellow kids: In an effort to boost enrollment numbers, 10 Michigan universities will be accepting any in-state students with at least a 3.0 GPA for fall 2024, with some hopes that it could encourage young people to stay in the state after high school. A recent survey reports one in four young adults in Michigan are expected to leave the state within the next decade. Current college students and those with college degrees are more likely to move out, as were Black survey respondents, who were more likely to leave than white respondents. (Detroit Free Press, Bridge Michigan, Glengariff Group)
(Not so) fresh air: Families in Detroit’s East Canfield neighborhood may be fighting to breathe, but they aren’t leaving. After Stellantis expanded its footprint there in 2019, the state has issued eight air quality violations to the automaker, which said “there was never a problem with the air.” Neighbors like Jimmie Perry — whose family just celebrated seven decades in East Canfield — say the plant and its pollution need to go. (Capital B, BridgeDetroit)
➡️ Check your air: Do you live in an area with poor air quality? Now there’s a way to know who might be responsible. Planet Detroit recently launched a map of industrial polluters who’ve been issued air quality violations by the state. Use the Michigan Air Permit Violation Dashboard to see violations and associated data since 2018 plotted on a state map. (Planet Detroit)
A Dem defection: The Health Policy Committee in the state House approved an 11-bill package to repeal abortion restrictions last week, but its future is uncertain. State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) surprised abortion rights supporters with her vote against the bill package in the committee hearing, fueling concerns that it won’t pass the House in a full vote. Known as the Reproductive Health Act, it would allow state Medicaid funding to be used for abortions and allow universities to refer students to abortion providers. It would also repeal the state’s Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and other abortion restrictions. Whitsett said she opposes using state funds through Medicaid for abortion and has concerns about repealing the informed consent law, which requires a 24-hour waiting period for abortion procedures. The bills were sent to the House floor — which is closely divided — and 56 votes are needed to pass. Reproductive rights are high on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fall agenda, but there’s no concrete timeline for a vote. (Michigan Radio, Bridge Michigan, Michigan Legislature)
In on the joke: A Detroit social worker-turned-comedian is blowing up online with TikToks and Instagram Reels featuring electrifying play-by-play commentary on shenanigans filmed in her hometown. “I never met a dog that go with a cow that ride a man,” she says in one video, and yeah, now you have to click. We were less surprised than T Barb to learn that her grandparents were a comedy duo who recorded what might be the raunchiest song of 1927. Find T Barb’s stand-up performance schedule on her website. (Detroit Metro Times, T Barb, Grammercy Records)
Best of rest:
- Detroit police raided a “psychedelic church” to seize narcotics and business records, but didn’t say why…
- More license plate readers coming to intersections around town in $5 million surveillance tech expansion…
- Muslim advocacy group files lawsuit in federal court to end George W. Bush-era terrorist watchlist…
- Enrollment declined in Detroit public schools for the third straight year, district looks to increase numbers through marketing and more pre-K classes…
- Michigan Dems set to introduce statewide water affordability legislation…
- The Wright snags about $1.8 million for renovation and maintenance…
- Affordable housing developer facing demolition order, lawsuit over stalled Eastern Market project…
(Metro Times, Freep, WDET, BridgeDetroit, Michigan Radio, Outlier)
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Culture & Community
By SaMya Overall
When Nishi Bajaj was studying for her bachelor’s degree in textile design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, events for designers were more like exhibits. Artists, usually working in the same medium, sent in their work for others to interpret, typically without the artist being present to talk about the work.
Bajaj, 27, earned her first master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad. And not long after that, the possibility of meeting artists from different worlds drew her to pursue a second master’s degree — this time, in Detroit — at College for Creative Studies (CCS) starting this fall. She kicked off the semester with a whirlwind tour of the city’s design community while attending Detroit Month of Design for the first time.
At design events in Detroit, “you can just go and speak to someone,” Bajaj said with a laugh. “You can (connect) online, you can talk about design, you can have a discussion.”
This week, we chatted with Bajaj to get a sense of what it’s like to be in Detroit as an emerging designer, and we learned that our city has powerful design recognition that crosses continents. Read the story.
What else is new:
Eastern Market Brewing Co. will take over the former Founders Brewing Co. taproom in the Cass Corridor, and we’re looking forward to new Mexican and Liberian restaurants. The climate-resilient A.B. Ford Park Community Center is almost ready to open. Plus, a podcast we love, graffiti artists grapple with Detroit’s changes and more — click that button to get your weekly culture fix.
Know this Detroit spot?
Test your mural knowledge — what building is this on? Email SaMya at firstname.lastname@example.org for bragging rights and a mention in next week’s Detour.
🌕 Celebrate Thursday’s full harvest moon (the last supermoon of the year) on the hill at Milliken State Park with the Outdoor Adventure Center. Learn about the science of the moon and the impact of the lunar phases on the water. Stay for a relaxing sonic meditation led by Afro Moone Wellness. Free.
🎨 Now headquartered at Spot Lite, this year’s Murals in the Market moves from Eastern Market to Islandview. Stop through Murals in Islandview this weekend to catch live mural painting, art and record sales, artist talks and parties, Thursday through Saturday night. Free.
👨🎤 MOCAD opens its fall shows on Friday, with work from Mark Thomas Gibson, Kesswa and Kevin Bernard Moultrie Daye (under the moniker Spirituals) on view through Feb. 4. Satire, digital recreations of Black Bottom homes, Black femme freedom in virtual reality — it’s going to be a good one. The opening party includes artist talks and performances. $10 suggested donation.
🎭 This is the last weekend to catch director Krista Pennington’s production of “Lysistrata” at Planet Ant’s black box theater. With performances from Thursday through Saturday, the play depicts Aristophanes’ classic Greek tale of a woman’s quest to end the Peloponnesian War with a sex strike (and contains adult themes and language). $22+.
🖼️ Get a last dose of Detroit Month of Design on Saturday during the closing reception of Mike Han’s exhibition, “United by Design.” The show at Playground Detroit introduces House of Han, the artist’s sustainable fashion and furniture line, with a virtual reality experience on top. Free.
📖 Continue the North End bookworm fun Saturday evening at Moore Park as the Illuminate Showcase unveils new literary works. Donations welcome.
🥁 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — aka Orange Shirt Day — is on Saturday. The holiday honors the survivors of Canadian residential schools for Native children, and Vibes With The Tribes is hosting a drum welcoming and community feast in Woodbridge. Free.
🧙♀️ If the Sanderson Sisters were from Detroit, they’d gather at the Boston Tea Room in Ferndale for Saturday’s Witches Market. Local vendors will be selling autumnal and macabre items with a DJ and food trucks in the mix. Free.
It’s Marble Bar’s anniversary, and it’s celebrating the big eight in a very big way. On Saturday, the NW Goldberg club hosts a 12-hour anniversary party that doesn’t end until Sunday morning. Tickets start at $21.70.
💻 Monday through next Friday, Connect 313 hosts Digital Inclusion Week at different sites around town. Detroiters can dive into STEM activities, panels and programming with events the entire family can enjoy. Free.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Miriam, Noah, SaMya and Kate, who is headed out to the West Coast for a week. Detour will still be here, but I’ll see you in October!
“A big fluffy boy,” or Detroit-style pizza goes British, toe-mah-toe sauce and all