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Wayne State Students Build Safe Pathways to Detroit Elementary School

December 1, 2016

The AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program and Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies, the WSU Dean of Students Office, Boulevard Trumbull Towing, Children’s Education Division Neighborhood Legal Services and Detroit Police Department partnered with the Division of Government and Community Affairs to coordinate the University’s participation in Make-A-Difference Day 2016.

Victor Green, Wayne State University director of community relations, Katie Abdilla, Domonique McCord and Njima Murphy volunteer during Make a Difference Day at Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School 

More than 150 WSU students and volunteers attended the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School: Detroit Safe Routes to School Initiative. This project was designed to help create safer routes to school for students attending the many Detroit public schools. The program includes blight removal and student walking routes, vacant house board up, and visible safe routes signage. This recent event secured 10 vacant properties, cleared three blocks of trash, removed a block of graffiti from a vacant property, and created visible safe routes signage in the Thurgood Marshall School vicinity. Third graders from Thurgood Marshall Elementary School also participated by painting the boards that were secured to the outside of the vacant houses. This project has directly increased safety for students walking to and from school.

Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School is located in Detroit, Michigan. The school is named in honor of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Justice Marshall became the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. The mission of the school is to provide and enhance the intellectual and physical development of their students. It accomplishes this goal by providing an educational environment that is caring, trusting, challenging, healthy and safe. Ms. Sharon Lee is the Principal of the school.

We are grateful to all of the day’s sponsors. AmeriCorps secured materials and trained volunteers, Boulevard Trumbull Towing sponsored the purchase of many of the supplies, WSU’s Dean of Students Office enlisted student volunteers, and the Detroit Police Department cleared all properties and provided support throughout the day. Children’s Education Division Neighborhood Legal Services provided lunch for the volunteers. University Television filmed the event. and we are looking forward to showcasing the day’s work during the 2017 MLK Tribute.


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284