Metropolitan Detroit is widely recognized as one of the most polarized metropolitan areas in the country. In 2002, a Detroit News study confirmed that most students in metropolitan Detroit attend schools where nearly 90% of the students belong to the same racial group. Generation of Promise recognized that, within the homogenized zones that are their home, school and worship environments, metropolitan youth have little understanding of the area's diversity.
In response to these areas of concern, Generation of Promise began in 1987 to provide an opportunity for Detroit-area high school students to participate in cross-cultural communication as a strategy for addressing the disturbing effects of our region's racial polarization.
To create this multicultural learning environment, Generation of Promise works with seventeen member high schools whose diversity represents the various communities present in metropolitan Detroit. Among these member schools are Cesar Chavez, Detroit Cass Technical, Dearborn Fordson, Grosse Pointe South and the University of Detroit Jesuit, to name a few. Each year, several juniors from each member school are selected to participate based on academic merit, leadership potential and interest in community betterment. Students meet for the first time at an orientation event in August and then monthly during the school year for facilitated field trip days, each session studying a different theme (cultural diversity, critical issues, community service, etc.).
Experienced facilitators from educational institutions guide the students through each of these experiential learning sessions. During these sessions, students might tour the African-American Museum, ride the People Mover, dine at a local Thai restaurant, volunteer at Focus: HOPE delivering food to homebound seniors, visit the nation's largest Mosque in Dearborn, or even ride a city bus to share the experience of a student who relies on public transportation.
The Generation of Promise is financed entirely by private foundations and various corporate and individual donors. In the past 16 years, the program has graduated more than 1000 students. Many student alumni have stayed active in similar programs and return for sessions as volunteers. Throughout its history, The Generation of Promise has seen the participation over twenty-five metropolitan high schools.
Copyright 2012 Generation of Promise. All rights reserved. A certified Section 501(c)(3) organization.