Here at Detour, we do our best to pound the pavement and trawl the vast stretches of the internet to bring you the news that matters — from across the region and from a range of viewpoints. We’re also telling the story of Detroit’s present and future by valuing the voice of the people who know it best: Detroiters.
That’s why we started the Neighborhood Ambassadors program, which taps into the incredible talent on offer in the city to bring you wide-ranging perspectives, highlight often-overlooked local stories and make Detour a stronger, more diverse local news organization.
We’re excited to introduce the four dynamic journalist fellows in our first cohort. In the next few months, they’ll bring you dispatches from their neighborhoods and lend their expertise at upcoming editorial meetings, where our members can come pick their brains in person. And if you want to see more neighborhoods represented in the future, we hope you’ll consider joining Detour — your membership will help us sustain and expand the fellowship program.
Meet the first cohort of fellows!
Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez
Neighborhood: Moved to Virginia Park this year, and has done work in Southwest Detroit since 1999.
One thing he loves about his neighborhood: “Both Virginia Park and Southwest Detroit retain historical and social aspects that have not been displaced by the ‘comeback’ of the city.”
What he plans to cover: “Race, identity, and social constructs that are overlooked.”
A favorite neighborhood spot: “New favorite rib place in North End, Parks Old Style Bar-B-Q.”
Trivia: “I have a man-crush on Malcolm Gladwell.”
Follow him: Instagram
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Bailey Sisoy Isgro
Neighborhood: Has lived in Highland Park for five years.
One thing she loves about her neighborhood: “We are a private city within the city of Detroit, completely surround on all sides. ‘The hole in the Detroit Donut.’”
What she plans to cover: “The economy of Highland Park, what business is moving in, who’s moving out and the history of our huge economic highs and lows.”
A favorite neighborhood spot: “Red Hots Coney Island. Seriously the best.”
Trivia: “I’m a history and story junkie, I seriously want to talk to every reader’s great grandma!”
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Neighborhood: Warrendale on Detroit’s far west side.
One thing he loves about his neighborhood: “I love the fact that Warrendale is home to so much pure oddity.”
What he plans to cover: “Warrendale was the epicenter of the mortgage crisis in metro Detroit. Foreclosures hit this neighborhood hard and fast in 2007. Since Detroit has emerged from bankruptcy, however, more and more of these vacant homes are either being demolished or rehabbed.”
A favorite neighborhood spot: “From the historic cannon in Rouge Park to Edgar Allan Poe’s grave along West Warren Avenue, the Warrendale neighborhood is filled with curiosities. The Edgar Allan Poe — the one who wrote “The Pit and the Pendulum” among other classic horror stories — isn’t buried in Warrendale. Instead, it appears to be another man who lived at about the the same time and had the same name. That is, unless you want to believe one of the wild conspiracy theories…”
Trivia: “Besides my boring corporate job in the insurance world and introducing people to Warrendale, I’ve also written a science fiction novel entitled The Roswell Chronicles.”
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Neighborhood: Has lived in Northwest Detroit her whole life.
One thing she loves about her neighborhood: “I love the fact that I know and have grown with all of my neighbors. They are an extension of my family and always look out for each other.”
What she plans to cover: “Some things I’m interested in following are auto insurance reform (my zip code is the highest in the country) and the rising HIV rate in the city.”
A favorite neighborhood spot: “Janco Distributors (aka Leddy’s). It’s a retail/wholesale candy store that carries everything from Frooties and Jawbreakers to Wax Lips and Gobstoppers.”
Trivia: “I’m #TeamAmericanConeyIsland and I can’t be convinced to switch to Lafayette.”