Community Development Practitioner Spotlight! See the career and education trajectory of Phyllis Edwards, Executive Director of Bridging Communities

I have always had a vested interest in improving communities. It began with assisting individuals and families as a social worker but I quickly realized the impact and role the (physical) environments contribute to the overall well-being of ones’ quality of life. So I decided to become an Urban Planner. Using both social work and urban planning skills, I left the State of Michigan Department of Human Services and assumed my current position as executive director for Bridging Communities. The organization has an extensive community development history as the developer of senior independent living facilities in southwest Detroit, 24 town homes geared towards grandparents raising grandchildren, as well as buying abandoned and foreclosed homes for rehabilitation. I continue the legacy I assumed and I am currently working with community partners to develop 560 new housing units over the next 5 years. I am in my early 60s and I retired from the state after 33 years of service. It will be 7 years on August 15 that I've been at Bridging Communities. I have a Bachelor of Social Work from Marygrove College, Master of Social Work from Wayne State University and I am two courses from completing my Master of Urban Planning from University of Michigan Ann Arbor.