Urban Neighborhood Initiatives works with communities in urban neighborhoods to build safe and thriving environments where people want to live, work, and play.

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 2015 Events

Unless otherwise noted please contact UNI at 313.451.8380 for more information. 


Congratulations to our DNR Youth Apprentices who took First Place at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr - Youth Leadership Social Justice Competition conducted at Michigan State University. We are incredibly proud of their performance at this public speaking competition featuring students from across Michigan. Way to go!!!


DTE  Energy  commissioned the Southwest Urban Mural Arts Project for a large mural installation at the Zenon Substation located at 6500 Desmond.  We are honored by the confidence and recognition placed in our community's youth by one of the largest members of  Detroit's  corporate community. 


We said goodbye to a hard winter with a flurry of Spring cleaning. Springwells community residents came out in force to begin putting into place beautification plans made in the depths of winter. We also hosted dedicated student volunteers from the University of Michigan and  the University of Missouri. Thank you all for your  commitment and hard work!!!


We were deeply honored to be named by the Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) as the co-winner of its Community Economic Development Leader of the Year Award. Our work is only possible with the commitment and partnership we have shared with the Springwells community for nearly 20 years.  Thank you!


May saw the inauguration of a new community tradition, with the 1st Annual Commitment Day. Sponsored by the Southwest Detroit College Access Network (SDCAN) , for which UNI is the lead implementing agency, Commitment Day honored southwest Detroit High School Graduates and their families. Our deep thanks go out to all SDCAN partners, supporting area agencies and high schools, public officials in attendance and sponsoring colleges and universities who made this an incredible day for the graduates. Education is the key to the future of our young people and this community.  Our kids know they matter.


COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE:  Join us at SOUTHWEST RIDES  located at 1824 Springwells on Wednesday, June 24th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Meet staff, catch up on our current work, hear our plans for the future and how you can get involved. You may see also see a new set of wheels for the summer. Bring a friend. Bring two. Enjoy  refreshments and great conversation.

STUDENT ART GALLERY SHOW!!  The Talented artists of our SW Urban Arts Mural Project will be exhibiting their designs at a gallery show located at 7752 W. Vernor (SDBA Atrium) on Thursday, June 25th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.  Free admission. You have seen their amazing murals throughout the Springwells community. Come and checkout their new designs and plans for their biggest installation to date. Lets support our community's young people and their contributions to their neighborhood.  Enjoy  refreshments and great art. For more information call 313.841-4447.

KEEP OUR PARKS BEAUTIFUL!  -  Our community parks see a lot of activity during the summer months. Its fantastic for the community but it means the parks need a lot of TLC. Join us at Springdale Green Park located at the corner of Longworth and Mullane on  Friday, June 26th from 10 am - 3 pm  to make sure the park  is looking its best. Contact Lisa Marie Rodriguez for more information.  See you there !!

Pop Up Food Series at Revolution Lounge, 1601 Springwells  - This popular series continues every Sunday in June from 5 pm to 9 pm. Join the food Revolution on the Patio featuring guest chefs from Full Sun FoodsEsto's Garage and Chef Garza from El Asador. Expect great food, great people and great music. Spread the word and get your summer off to a delicious start while supporting our local businesses!!!  For more information please call 313.757.7755.


ELCA Youth Service Days - July 16-18


ARISE DETROIT Neighborhoods Day - August 15


UNI Building Neighborhoods Event - Date to be announced. 

Angels Night Safety Events - October 29-30.

UNI Annual Community Halloween Party - Date to be announced. 


UNI Annual Community Christmas Party - Date to be announced. 

UNI at a glance

2014 In Review

Executive Director Dennis Nordmoe's  look-back on UNI in 2014 can be  found here.


Lights, Camera, Action!!!

Click below to view our most recent video, produced by Detroit based multimedia firm, The Right Brothers.

Click below to view a WXYZ TV-Channel 7 feature on Southwest Rides, southwest Detroit's only full service bike shop and a UNI affiliate.

Southwest Urban Arts Mural Project

Since 2007, our Southwest Urban Arts Mural Project  (SUAMP) has been a creative conduit for youth, under professional mentors, to create one of Detroit’s densest collections of public murals. The art work is largely commissioned by area residents and business owners. Participants work with trained professional artists from the College for Creative Studies - Community Arts Partnerships and are at the forefront of their community’s place-making and neighborhood development efforts. Take a look HERE to see how Culture Source, one of southeast Michigan's leading arts advocacy groups highlighted SUAMP to demonstrate the ties between creative expression and neighborhood empowerment. 


Our Passion

To make urban neighborhoods vital, healthy environments that strengthen individuals and support families.

Our Vision

We are inspired by a vision of community where people have hope, education is valued, families are strong, and opportunities abound.

Our Strategy

We target critical neighborhood needs often in collaboration with other area agencies making significant community investments, block clubs and educational and youth serving groups targeting the Springwells Village area. Accordingly, UNI addresses programmatic gaps to support a sustainable, vital community. Within the Springwells Village community, UNI has the following programmatic goals:

  • Economic development through the creation of public assets, workforce development and enhancing the visibility of the community. 
  • Beautification through public art, green projects and community clean up. 
  • Fostering a culture which promotes education from early childhood through adulthood.
  • Enhancing housing through home upgrades and blight elimination.
  • Improving long term community safety.
  • Facilitating the growth of strong community based leadership among adults and youth. 
  • Improving health and well being through lifestyle services and community dialog.