Aug 18

Community Organizing in Detroit: Flip the Script Program for Young Men

Community Organizers and the community organizations they grow and develop have been the foundation of American society since before 1776. The Republican Party in 2008 has chosen to denounce, reject, and denigrate the important work of these leaders and groups.

St. Paul MN – Sep 7, 2008 – I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.- Sarah Palin, 2008

At their recent Convention, several Republican speakers, most notably, Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, attempted to belittle Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama of Illinois by implying that community organizers really didn’t have “any responsibilities”. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, those negative comments caused a firestorm of protests from community organizers, community organizations, and the American public at large which realizes the true value of “in the trenches” community leaders. One blogging network, Afrospear, put out a call for all African-American bloggers to do a post about community organizers on Monday, September 8 2008. This special Day of Blogging for Justice: Community Organizers is meant to “highlight the crucial community-building efforts of people online and in our own communities.

I am excited and proud to spotlight a wonderful community program here in Detroit: Flip the Script.

Flip the Script, one of the employment and training programs of Goodwill Industries, began in 2003 to serve minority males in the City of Detroit and Wayne County Michigan. This 16-week program works with minority young men aged 18 – 30 years old, training them for non-traditional occupations. What makes “Flip the Script” different from other job-training programs is the holistic approach they use for, as they call it, the “other 16 hours” of the day; realizing that becoming a successful head-of-household is as important as finding a job.

According to the development director of Flip the Script who recently answered a questionnaire, the impact on the several hundred participants so far has been to help these young underprivileged minority men learn they are worthwhile and have an innate purpose no matter what lies in their past.

Keith Bennett is the Manager of the Flip the Script Program. He can be reached at (313) 557-8671 or

Flip the Script just graduated its 17th class in September 2008.
Shameless Plug: Please read my husband’s blog The “D” Spot

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