Office of Metropolitan Impact

OMI promotes the University's Mission by forging mutually beneficial partnerships.

We advance the Metropolitan Vision of the University of Michigan-Dearborn by investing in faculty resources, providing seed grants, serving as a leader in engaged learning, and focusing campus impact locally.

Seed Grants

Our review panel is now evaluating the seed grant applications received.  This year's seed grant awardees will be announced in the coming weeks!

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OMI supports and increases the local impact of the UM-Dearborn campus in the Metro Detroit area by investing in collaborative projects and initiatives between community and university.

Our work lifts up faculty, supports student success and increases the positive impact of community and university relationships.  Just a few of our many projects are listed below.

  • Alternatives to Violent Force Program: supports continuing education for the public safety and law enforcement community, while also providing opportunity to strengthen relationships with community members.

    Associate Professor Julie Roddy, program director for the Alternatives to Violent Force Program, writes:

    The Justice Reform Project housed within the Office of Metropolitan impact at the University of Michigan – Dearborn has implemented a state of the art police education program titled Alternatives to Violent Force (AVF).  The AVF is a pilot education program for law enforcement personnel regarding the use of force, threat de-escalation, racial diversity, and profiling. The substance of the training draws heavily from the recent research by the Police Executive Research Forum suggesting “Re-engineering Use of Force” and new “Use of Force Guiding Principles”. The program focuses on local police officers and is conducted in the professional education model outside regular University course offerings. An initial cohort of 20 Dearborn Police officers are currently enrolled.  A donation to this program would directly support and protect community police.

  • Community-Based Seed Grants: are provided to support faculty and student work within community which can also demonstrate a clear benefit to and collaboration with community.

    OMI has two seed grant programs currently available- Community-Based Research and Community-Based Projects. While all projects must demonstrate a commitment to student success, Community-Based Projects Seed Grants are designed to cover projects that do not fit in a typical research or classroom setting.

  • Justice Reform and Restorative Justice: focusing on repairing harm done to victims and their communities while also addressing recidivism rates.

  • Metro Detroit Nature Network: connects all of Metro Detroit’s urban areas to nature and young people to related career paths.

    The recently formed Metro Detroit Nature Network is a collaboration of nonprofits, businesses, government organizations, and universities working to achieve more collectively than the individuals could alone. The Network seeks to bring people in closer contact with nature, seeking to nurture the next generation of conservationists. They hope to connect this love of nature and desire to protect and connect to it with a career pipeline, especially for opportunity youth.

  • Opportunity Youth Programming: provides underrepresented youth with resources to be successful in higher education and family-sustaining careers.

    As a part of the Youth Initiatives, OMI has worked to help implement the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. This initiative focuses on connecting opportunity youth and young men of color to employment, education, and community involvement opportunities.

  • Public Allies Metro Detroit: focuses on increasing the quality of educational opportunities, increasing economic empowerment and lifting up the voices of young leaders in Metro Detroit as they serve in nonprofits as apprentices for 5 month and 10 month assignments.