News from the Office of Metropolitan Impact: Engagement Day, poverty simulations and PAMD

Engagement Day

Engagement Day is fast approaching and OMI is excited about all the plans coming together for Engagement Day 2017! This year, Engagement Day will take place on Thursday, January 19. For the first time, the university will host students, faculty, staff and community partners from all three University of Michigan campuses. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about ongoing projects and ways to get engaged on their campus and in their community.

If you are interested in presenting at Engagement Day, please apply online.

Poverty simulation

OMI, in collaboration with the Community Involvement and Volunteerism Center (CIViC) has hosted numerous poverty simulation sessions. The Poverty Simulation takes students through a one-month simulation experience as a low-income citizen having to navigate such life challenges as paying bills, ensuring adequate childcare, purchasing food, obtaining transportation to work and other life responsibilities. These simulations lead students—from such diverse courses of study as sociology, political science, economics, business, and urban and regional studies—through vivid role-playing experiences as low-income citizens.


Faculty: If you are a faculty member who has an interest in having your Winter course students participate in an upcoming simulation, or if you have questions related to the Poverty Simulation experience, please complete the online interest form.


Public Allies Metro Detroit (PAMD)

The signature 10-month Apprenticeship Program was awarded seven additional slots in program year 2016-2017, meaning PAMD now is able to enroll a total of 38 individuals in the annual cohort. Staff members are currently completing the placement of Allies with their nonprofit host sites. PAMD also is providing training support to an additional three Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) serving in Detroit in a close collaboration with the national My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

PAMD was awarded 40 new part-time pre-apprenticeship slots by the Michigan Community Service Commission and will launch an initial cohort of these individuals for a 5-month experience in January 2017. Another larger cohort will begin in early Spring 2017. We are currently recruiting host sites and participants for the part-time program. Those interested in learning more should contact Markyshia Smith at

At this time, we are recruiting organizations to host Team Service Projects (TSP). Public Allies work in teams of four to six to create and implement a community-identified service project. Public Allies believes in the power of strong teams directing themselves toward achieving positive community change. TSP groups work with communities and in partnership with other community groups, leaders and organizations. For more information, contact Markyshia Smith at

The Office of Metropolitan Impact and its PAMD team hosted an evening reception and pinning ceremony to introduce the 2016-2017 Class of Public Allies Metro Detroit on Wednesday, December 7. Attendees had the opportunity to talk to the Allies and learn more about their commitment to national service in Detroit. Light refreshments will be provided. The Pinning Ceremony begins at 7:00 pm.

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