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Reclaiming Detroit:
Restoring Community & Cultivating Hope

We Comes Together.

"Reclaiming Detroit" is a compelling feature-length documentary that delves into the profound impact of Detroit's revitalization on its forgotten communities. The film centers around the work of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS), a non-profit organization committed to addressing mass incarceration by transforming urban landscapes and tackling the root causes of social inequality.


The story begins with the Love Building, a historic brick warehouse located at the intersection of Grand River Ave and 15th Street in Detroit's Core City neighborhood. Purchased by Detroit-based non-profit Allied Media Projects (AMP), the building became the focal point of a collaborative effort involving DJDS and four of AMP's partners: Detroit Justice Center, Detroit Community Technology Project, Detroit Narrative Agency, and Detroit Disability Power. 

six people outside standing in circle in middle of interview with camera student filming

Through the lens of
Designing Justice
+ Designing Spaces (DJDS),

Reclaiming Detroit" is a thought-provoking and heartfelt feature-length documentary that explores the human cost of the city's revitalization efforts. Through the lens of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS), a non-profit organization committed to addressing the root causes of mass incarceration through innovative architecture and real estate development, the film delves into the stories of resilient individuals who have been overlooked or displaced in the wake of Detroit's economic transformation. As DJDS spearheads the Grand River @ 14th project, a community-driven development aimed at creating a social justice campus, the documentary reveals the power of collaboration, restoration, and the voices of those who have persevered against all odds.


The documentary underscores the importance of community engagement through DJDS's collaboration with various organizations and individuals on the Community Activators Board (CAB). Notably, the film showcases the involvement of Developing Despite Distance (3D), a program that offers youth mentoring and letter writing support to young men from Detroit with incarcerated parents. Their unique perspective brings depth and urgency to the project, ensuring that the voices of those affected by mass incarceration are amplified.

Guided by DJDS's expertise and vision, Teddy Dorsette III, a Deaf filmmaker, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate from Detroit, takes on the task of documenting and producing a short video piece that explores the process of designing and building public furniture. Two talented male student filmmakers from the Detroit School of the Arts join the project, contributing their creativity to the collaboration.


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