University of Michigan-Dearborn receives federal Public Allies grant to serve as operating site for metro Detroit

Public AlliesThe University of Michigan-Dearborn has received a $365,000 federal grant to become an operating site for Public Allies, a federally funded AmeriCorp service program currently operating in 21 sites nationwide, through the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Public Allies ( is a leadership development program, aimed at community members with little or no college education and designed to strengthen communities by teaching participants leadership skills that contribute to their community’s talent base. Program participants are assigned to participating local nonprofit and civic organizations.

Americorps“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with University of Michigan-Dearborn and other organizations to successfully bring the Public Allies program to Detroit,” said Donna Murray-Brown, chief executive officer, Michigan Nonprofit Association. “The timing for launching this program couldn’t be better as Detroit continues to reinvent itself with a sense of entrepreneurship, creativity and pride. Public Allies will strengthen community organizations while cultivating a diverse group of young homegrown leaders. Rooted in the belief that everyone can lead, the program brings an amazing opportunity to local young adults interested in revitalizing their community.”

UM-Dearborn’s Integrated Learning and Community Partnership Office (ILCPO) will launch Public Allies Metro Detroit (PAMD) over the next few months. ILCPO will actively recruit and partner with roughly 25 local nonprofits to host 28 young adults (Allies) for intensive 10-month leadership development and capacity-building experiences. The Allies will collectively work on contributing to a defined set of social impact goals including increasing educational attainment and economic opportunities, as well as bolstering civic infrastructure. Program participants will receive a monthly stipend averaging $1,500, health and child care assistance, and $5,550 that can be applied to student loans or future education.

“UM-Dearborn is committed to advancing the region in many ways through college education obtainment, developing future leaders and engaging with corporate and nonprofit businesses,” said Ismael Ahmed, associate provost, integrated learning and community partnerships, UM-Dearborn. “Public Allies Metro Detroit will complement the university’s Metropolitan Vision by further preparing the region’s future leaders and contributing to positive community impact.”

Public Allies Metro Detroit start-up costs of $25,000 are supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan and are being used to hire staff, purchase office supplies and cover other costs associated with launching the program. The McGregor Fund Board of Trustees recently approved a grant of $180,000, over two years, to provide offsetting funds for nonprofits to host Allies, which will allow the university to partner with a wide range of nonprofits that might not be able to pay the average host cost of $12,000 per Ally.

The program has space for up to 28 participants and nonprofit organizations. Interested nonprofits or community members should contact Uzma Anwar at UM-Dearborn ( or 313-583-6775).

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