Community Engagement

Service to the community has been a part of Merrill Palmer since its creation in 1920. Today MPSI's programs and faculty strengthen that tradition by offering training for parents and teachers, supporting the directors of nearby early childhood centers to strengthen preschool education in Detroit, and showing divers teens how to find and celebrate their similiarities.  Faculty members serve our community with research designed to improve family well-being and board memberships on child and family organizations, and state and national professional organizations.

Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium -- The Consortium was created in 2011 as a collaboration among the directors of early childhood centers in the Midtown, Downtown, and North End Detroit and includes several engaged community partners who share the goal of enhancing the quality of early education.

  • Early Childhood Consortium Playbook -- A step-by-step guide to creating a neighborhood-based consortium of early childhood centers and community partners. The Playbook is informed by the experiences and lessons learned during the creation of the Woodward Corridor Consortium.  Complete with sample evaluation forms, session agendas, coaching report, brochures and website. Early Childhood Consortium website 

Giant Step Teen Conference

The Giant Step Teen Conference brings teenagers together from diverse backgrounds to discover the important issues they have in common. Held each fall, this free conference has run for more than 30 years. It strives to improve attitudes, open minds and create tolerance, acceptance and harmony.  Public, private, charter, parochial, and home schools from across southeast Michigan send students to Giant Step. Students from a broad range of neighborhoods, cultures, ethnicities, religions and incomes may enter as strangers, but they leave as friends.

Healthier Urban Families 

Parent Trainings -- Healthier Urban Families offers high-quality training for parents, keeping the needs of the community at the forefront. We have created tailored trainings to meet the needs of community agencies, places of worship, Head Start, Early Head Start, the Department of Human Services, and more. Expert speakers can be provided at times and locations convenient to your organization. Recent trainings include:

  • Stress Management for Parents
  • Positive Discipline for Preschoolers
  • School Readiness: You Can't Teach Them if You Can't Reach Them

To schedule a training at low- or no-cost, contact Beverly Weathington at