Detroit is best known for its automotive and “Motown” music legacies, but the IHM community has a rich history in Detroit. Many IHM Sisters grew up in the city and attended Detroit parishes and schools. Over the years, IHMs have founded, sponsored and staffed more than 38 schools in the city of Detroit including; St. Joseph School, Holy Redeemer High School and Grade School, Gesu Grade School, Immaculata High School, Marygrove College, Our Lady of Guadalupe Middle School and Detroit Cristo Rey High School. Two schools in Detroit (Marygrove and Detroit Cristo Rey) are still sponsored by the IHM congregation. More than two dozen sisters and associates currently minister in the city.
Detroit’s population peaked in 1950 and has slowly declined since. Racism, “white flight” to the suburbs, the decline of the United States automotive industry in a global economy, government corruption and the 2008 global financial crisis are among the complex reasons for the decline. This has resulted in a significantly reduced tax base, depressed property values, abandoned neighborhoods, high crime rates and a pronounced demographic imbalance. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency in March 2013 and appointed an emergency manager. In July, 2013, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. The city emerged from bankruptcy nearly a year and a half later. However, there is much work that needs to be done in order to chart a sustainable course for a city rescued from financial collapse but still struggling.
This page will post thoughtful analysis of the challenges facing Detroit and highlight the efforts of some who are forging innovative solutions to these social, economic and environmental problems.