Blog: Austin Black

Are you house hunting or looking for the lofty life? Urban redevelopment devotee and realtor Austin Black, a Cornell grad, has a plate of opportunities to share with young professionals who want to live and work in Detroit.

Austin Black - Post 2: "Getting Involved and Making a Difference"

After graduating and choosing to move back to Michigan, I was determined to make a difference in Detroit.

Non-profit organizations like Detroit Synergy introduced me to a diverse group of people that had a common goal of creating positive change in the community. Detroit Synergy is a community-driven organization that allows individuals to initiate projects in collaboration with community partners. Finding organizations with similar goals has helped me build a stronger connection to the community and introduced me to other opportunities.

In 2004, myself and four other young professionals came together to plan an event to showcase residential options in the city of Detroit. With the help of Matt Cullen and General Motors, we hosted a housing fair at the GM Wintergarden. As a result of this partnership, we formed City Living Detroit, an organization that promotes Detroit as a vibrant urban center by providing resources that encourage people to move into the city.

Over the last four years, City Living Detroit has produced four housing fairs, three magazines, and several bus tours of residential developments throughout the city. Many people that attend its events are surprised at the amount of development happening throughout the city. The organization would not have been started without the support of corporate, individual and non-profit sponsors.

For people that want to make a difference, there are endless opportunities to get involved with a strong support system that allows people to do things here that would not be possible in other major cities.