“The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Gandhi
The story begins with a group of restless high school friends simply looking for something to do. At that point, driving endlessly around the suburbs of Metro Detroit hoping and looking for things to do became a monotonous routine that just was not cutting it anymore. We wanted something more than what the dull and stale suburbs could offer. We needed more excitement and thrill. We were young, spontaneous, and eager to expand our horizons. But, just like most teens who grew up in the Metro Detroit area, we felt like those horizons were limited only to the confines of the suburbs. Downtown Detroit was not a place that most suburban parents would allow their high school teens to explore and venture into on their own, especially when the news and media constantly portrayed the City as a decrepit wasteland full of crime and extensive poverty. In a sense, Detroit was a “forbidden” territory for most suburbanites. Not for us. We wanted to experience the City firsthand so we could generate and spread our own personal opinions about it. And exploring Detroit would offer us the thrill and excitement we were seeking, not only because we would be rebelling against our parents, but also because it was particularly uncommon at the time for a group of 16 year old teenagers from the suburbs to be seen walking around the City without any parental supervision.
After our first trip to Detroit, we found ourselves always wanting to return. Every time we visited the City, we would discover and learn something new about it. We did not let the widespread decay and poverty discourage us. In fact, they served as the basis for our unyielding determination to contribute to the City’s redevelopment efforts. Although we all attended various universities throughout Michigan, we remained committed to Detroit’s revitalization. While most of our college peers searched for employment opportunities in other states, we directed our attention to Detroit; we did not want to add to the state’s chronic brain drain. In fact, personally witnessing Michigan’s brain drain after graduation motivated us even more to get involved in the City. We understood that the exodus of the state’s young educated adults was directly related to the city’s perceived image. Most young adults fled the state after college for prospering cities, such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, where they could live the urban lifestyles they desired—a type of lifestyle many viewed to be impractical in Detroit. We knew this trend needed to be reversed if the City was ever going to redefine itself. The Motor City Ragers emerged as an entity to combat this growing, yet destructive trend.
We are a pride formed to bring positive attention and creative energy to the City of Detroit in unconventional ways. We want to show the state’s young professionals that Detroit is like a blank canvas where people can not only paint their own futures and legacies, but can also help paint a more vivid and optimistic future for their historic city. We are committed to this cause, and to this City. We are here to stay. At MCR, we Make Change Real.
Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus” (“We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes”)