About Public Allies

The University of Michigan-Dearborn and the Office of Metropolitan Impact is pleased to announce that it has received a federal grant award in the amount of $345,800 to become an annual operating site for Public Allies, a federally funded AmeriCorp service program currently in 23 sites nationwide through the Corporation for National and Community Service (www.publicallies.org).

Public Allies Metro Detroit is part of national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone leads. We believe that an individual’s ability to create change in his or her community is not defined by degrees earned or job experience. We practice Asset Based Community Development, collaborating with community resources and talents to change community from within. We place 28 Allies in nonprofits across the region for 10 months of service.

Our inaugural cohort is a group of 28 local leaders, diverse in background, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, experience, and neighborhood. We are: 89% Allies of color, 68% female, 32% male, 60% non-degreed, and 58% unemployed in the last 6 months.


Where we serve:

Access Southwest Solutions

Community Bridges Management Health Care

Excellent Schools

Detroit Focus: HOPE

North Rosedale Park Civic Association



The Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan

Wayne County Libraries and Karmanos Cancer Institute

Youth Development Commission

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

The Harriet Tubman Center

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Self Help Addiction Rehab Inc

Arab American National Museum

The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development

Wayne County Health Department 


Our impact : During the 2013-14 year of service, Detroit Allies have….

  • Coordinated a commemorative breakfast for MLK Day honoring local and national leaders in social justice with The Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan
  • _____
  • Designed and planned a youth service day engaging over 100 youth in Metro Detroit with Southwest Solutions
  • _____
  • Established a Cultural Exchange Network connecting individuals and organizations in the region for the purpose of cultural appreciation with The Arab American National Museum
  • _____
  • Trained over 50 volunteer community reviewers to conduct community led assessments in Detroit Public Schools with Excellent Schools Detroit
  • _____
  • Launched a Community Cancer Action Council to increase cancer screening and care among medically underserved communities in the Detroit region with Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne County Libraries



Public Allie Staff

Caitlin F. Manzano – Site Director/Public Allies Metro Detroit

• Ms. Manzano leads the Public Allies Metro Detroit Team.

Direct: #313-583-6775 Email: cbfigurs@umich.edu


Paquenia “PQ” Suggs – Program Manager/Public Allies Metro Detroit

• Ms. Suggs oversees ½ of the Ally cohort.

Direct: #313-583-6775 Email: psuggs@umich.edu


Markysha Smith - Program Manager/Public Allies Metro Detroit

• Ms. Smith oversees ½ of the Ally cohort.

Direct: #313-583-6775 Email: markyshi@umich.edu


Uzma Anwar - Program Coordinator/ Public Allies Metro Detroit

• Ms. Anwar coordinates Public Allies logistical and budgetary activities.

Direct: #313-583--6775 Email: uanwar@umich.edu