MSU-Detroit Impact Team

Sonya Gunnings-Moton

"The MSU–Detroit Impact Team is focused on creating a strategic synergy among all university stakeholders engaged in Detroit efforts. Through comprehensive and collective efforts with our Detroit partners, we strive to build upon what we have done for the past 100 years...We work side by side to realize the tremendous possibilities that exist both in the City of Detroit and on the campus of Michigan State University."

Sonya Gunnings-Moton
Senior Advisor to the Provost
Associate Dean, Support Services and Engagement
College of Education

  • Sonya Gunnings-Moton
  • Senior Advisor to the Provost
  • Associate Dean, Support Services and Engagement
  • College of Education

The MSU–Detroit Impact Team is a university-wide, cross-unit representative group that serves in an advisory capacity to the Office of the Provost. Led by Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Senior Advisor to the Provost, the Team has the following objectives, specifically related to University activity, partnerships, resource investments, and engagement in the City of Detroit:

  • Promote cross-university dialogue and awareness of Detroit engagement.
  • Identify opportunities for effective utilization and coordination of resources.
  • Facilitate broad scale impact of efforts.
  • Establish coordination of multiple university activities and initiatives.
  • Determine future university strategic efforts that meet identified needs and shared agenda.

Seeking to learn more about the full range of work being undertaken by MSU faculty, staff, and students in Detroit, the Team conducted a survey in early 2017. That November, the Team convened a round-table discussion called "MSU–Detroit Dialogue" to share its survey findings and provide a space for robust campus-based conversation around questions, such as: How do we connect in Detroit? How do we tell the value of our Detroit-based projects? How can we share tools and resources to build up areas of common interest in Detroit? In January, 2019, the Team brought together over 100 Detroit and MSU thought leaders for a community-based conversation at the historic Detroit Athletic Club to elicit input on what opportunities and challenges the City and University might collaborate to address.

The Team seeks to create a network of faculty and staff whose work has impact in the City of Detroit. They invite projects to be added to their network—via the MSU-Detroit Impact Team website—in the following areas:

  • Educational access and equity
  • Arts and culture
  • Health and wellness
  • Community/public affairs and economic development
  • Environmental quality
  • Family and youth development
  • Science, energy, and technology
  • Urban food distribution

More information

  • Photograph courtesy of University Communications

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