Seeds of discontent; Episode 23 of 26
This is the 23rd in a series of programs entitled seeds of discontent presenting a program tonight is hard for some of the junior assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University Professor Smith. Thus far our programs in the series of broadcast have dealt with and focused on the many shades of attitudes feelings and causes of discontent among urban dwellers. You've heard the concern and plight of juvenile delinquents. The hippies the urban poor the American Negro teachers and students and the student activist on the college campus and the resulting dialogue one could see many of the pitfalls inadequacies and stress forces which has led to a level of discontent which at times resembles massive rebellion and even revolution. Arriving at a greater understanding of the reality of the problem from the point of view of those involved in today's public issues and problems and developing deeper insight into the actors involved in the
social problem our point of conflict has been a major emphasis thus far. On tonight's program we began the task of looking at what is being done by established agencies and organizations to alleviate the problems raised by our interviews with those who are disenchanted angry and alienated. More specifically we will focus on what is their response to the discontented person. What is their attitude towards this person and what new programs and methods are being used to discover new and meaningful avenues towards the creation and development of better conditions. All available research and the fires rebellion and crime and the current level of discontent suggest very strongly that traditional social service agencies and the methods utilized by traditional agencies have been largely adequate in the face of the complex problems of urban life.
It is for this reason that we will be looking for new imaginative ideas and programmes that 0 and on some of the major problems of urban life such as housing housing conditions and racism. Research also indicates that established agencies must also try harder to reach out to the urban dweller and to seek his participation in decisions that affect his social condition and his destiny. It seems clear that if this is not done social problems and a greater sense of alienation and division within the society will result on tonight's program our spotlight will be on the United Community Services or metropolitan Detroit which plans budgets and allocate United Foundation towards drive funds for over 100 voluntary health welfare and community service agencies. Funds for 967 were in the excess of 20 million dollars. Our participants will be Mr.
Richard managing director of the United Community Services and Miss Conny Fredrickson president of the community and social agency employees local 16 40 American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Miss Frederickson is also an assistant professor at the Wayne State University School of Social Work. We interviewed Mr. Huguely and Miss Frederickson individual at different times and at two separate locations earlier this week. They were asked basically the same questions. And the dialogue that follows. We're going to run the separate interviews together without intervening remarks in order to better understand the inner workings of the United Community Services and to bring the underlying issues into sharper focus. Just to hear me. Would you describe briefly the structure and role of the united community service and Metropolitan to try. Well our organization was over 50 years old. It was
established basically with three goals in mind three purposes in mind. One was to. Bring together in some type of order the public and private or voluntary health and welfare services in an attempt to plan with them and coordinate their activities. Secondly we attempt to. Interpret these services to the community. Our third responsibility in the family of agencies is the allocation of dollars among local agencies raised by the United Foundation torch drive. This involves over 100 agencies and the allocation of those dollars for the kinds of services which people want not only in Detroit but in the tri county area. We carry this out with a small staff with a.
Board of Directors and through a series of committees on which we attempt to have a broad community representation. Some groups have complained then your board of directors is in fact not representative of community at Ally and in particularly those areas where there's a great need for service. I think this is there's some truth in this I suppose you're referring to those who believe that we should have consumers of service on every agency board and helping to determine policy. I certainly don't quarrel with that I think this is a legitimate goal and I would suppose that our organisation like every other organisation has to examine how do we get people involved from these areas onto the actual into the actual policy making
machinery of our organisation. Our board you must remember has to represent three counties has to represent various facets of the community religious interests labor interests business interests geographic interests. It has to include. The broad spectrum of the interests of people in this community and to the extent that it can or does have representation from the what might be called poverty areas this element too should be added as Fredrickson. I'd like to. Look again at the structure and the role of the united community services and providing services to citizens in
metropolitan areas. You tried I said You represented. Many of the employees. In one area are now there regarding certain problems. You must have gotten to know the structure of the operation fairly well. You have a board of directors I believe. You tell us a little bit about. The composition of that board. Are any what you might call crass people involved that at this level. Particularly people living in the areas where the service is to be rendered none to my knowledge. If you look at the list of the U.S.'s board of directors you'll see that most of them come from Gross Point have names that you see in the society pages. People who are varied from inner city and its problems.
In 1965 the Greenlee report was somewhat critical of your agencies. You. May be quite. A while away from serving those in the greatest areas of need and moving more towards the middle class clientele. The report concluded that it was your feeling on the basis of all of your investigations that your primary function should still be in areas of servicing the poor. What is your response to that report. What steps have any been taken to ensure that. Any recommendations where we accept the charges as being having a good deal of validity. We would point out unfortunately that the charges made that this is
a the problem of the voluntary community. Looking at the report of if people would take the time to read it they would see that most of the charges about three fourths of the charges are made against the public agencies and not so much not as much against the voluntary community. The fact that the charges are made at all of course doesn't excuse either the public sector or the voluntary sector. Let me elaborate a little bit on our position in this regard. Voluntary agencies were set up to serve problems they were not set up to serve economic groups at the point where a youngster has cerebral palsy. A mother who faces this problem on a 24 hour a day seven day a week basis faces a problem which is the same
whether she comes from a poor community or whether she lives in a middle class community. She has the problem of seeking a cure for assistance with cerebral palsy. When our services were set up then to serve the cerebral palsy we also instigated a fee policy and said Those who could afford to pay should pay for the service and those who cannot would not have to pay for the fee which would be charged. This is good business we were not attempting to provide services free to those who could afford to pay. But I would point out to you that most services in this town. And in every town are set up in the health welfare field at least are set up around specific problems. I think the charge made in the Greenlee report that the poor were not using the services is perfectly true.
It's difficult enough for someone to find their way through the welter of services in a community who has some background in them who has some education who has the motivation to go out and find them for someone who has been rebuffed for racial reasons or for whatever the reason or who has been shunted aside or who has been shunted from agency to agency which does happen. It's pretty obvious they're not going to turn to the agencies and as a result they have not used the agencies to the extent that they might have. The agencies have existed. I would estimate people have not used it because they have not known they were there. There's been really the major reason why I make no defense for it. I think we've got a lot to do to try and make an adjustment in that regard. What have you provided them in the way of more reaching how
you share you with the fact that. A large number of the core went on and we know how to find their way through the maze of services have you made any adjustments and since 1965 report that the information. On the service could be made more readily available. You might want to be made to carry it to their doorstep. Yeah there have been a couple of things which we've taken on an overall basis first of all we've adopted a policy which says that dollars available to us for budgeting will be directed first and foremost at the problems related to the problems of the poor not just in Detroit but in Oakland County in McComb County in the area from which we solicit funds.
There are those who disagree with this concept and it's unfortunate. People give money to charities for charitable purposes to serve the poor. There are those however who give money almost TOO. Torch drive or for other charities almost as an insurance policy in order to get something back. And this has entered into it. If you wish we could touch on that at all a little later. Basically however we have said that we would give the primary emphasis for dollars. The new thrust of service in the inner city for the poor. How much would you say offhand and the fact that you fail to say. What percentage is being allocated in those in the areas which you just got in the new arrangement. We did a well and in reference to you've got to remember that we
budget less than half of the dollars spent by all of the spent by all of the agencies where we make any allocation. Many of them have other resources fees and other types of sources so we budget less than half of that amount. I would suppose that about a third to a fourth of the dough a third of the money is going to what we would call the inner city of the poor. This is identifiable money when you're giving money for research in the area of hard the area of cancer and the area of leukemia. How do you identify how much of that is going for service to the poor and a good share of the U.S. money is being spent for services in research medical research. Nineteen sixty seven. Late 1967 September. That Mr.
Richards trick cards. Oh my the mayor and chairman of the mayor's development committee which was set up after the riots stated pretty much the same thing. You mentioned some of the same kinds of the facts in his way of thanking the green I report mentions. How would you explain this and I believe this secure to have a meeting where. Several of your directory agency hands are in the oval confines got occurred at our own 50th anniversary seminar. We invited Mr. Stricker to be one of our principal speakers in the afternoon of that summer. Mistress trick cards. Repeated the charges made in the Greenlee report. I'm not certain how much he did not check with our office I mind say as to whether any change had taken place for one number to
it. I would expect following the riots of 1067 that we could devote all of the money which might be raised through torch drive to the problems of the inner city and we would not be able to. Find solutions to the problems of the poor and I would think that Mr Strich cards could make his statement. In 1967 he could make it in 68 and he could make it in one thousand eighty. And we still will not have solved all of the problems that were enumerated in that particular study. I think this is something that we have to work at. I would suggest that. The city of Detroit has not resolved its own problems as a city in terms of the public Department. I'm as concerned about this as I am about any voluntary agency efforts. It seems to me that we as a community have a collective responsibility to
keep working at these problems voluntary agencies were never set up to meet the problem of economic poverty. This since 1932 has been the responsibility of government. It has lead the dollars available through voluntary contributions could never meet. Look we've built 20 million dollars worth of poverty programs in the city of Detroit and it's just a drop in the bucket. And these are governmental programs will most of them are excellent programs and we're still trying to figure out and to assess the impact that they've made and this is a big program. And it's big programs throughout the country. So to say that voluntary dollars are going to solve the problem of poverty frankly they were never set up to do this. And I think the community has a wrong understanding that I think that the charitable dollar can do this. I think we can supplement the basic responsibility for poverty
lies with governmental programs and sure that by now you had a chance to examine the two rather serious indictments that remain in the past three years against the United Community Services operation. The first was in green the report and the second one was by Mr. Card was at that time made official and mayors programs for inner city people. What do you feel about this. Do you feel that the charges that were directed at UCSF were basically fair that they that they were really. Aimed in the right direction. Yes absolutely. The question of course is
the disparity between receiving the information and implementing change along the lines that are consistent with the information that these people are receiving and the criticisms that they are hearing. I seriously question that United Community Services in its present structure can respond to these criticisms. I honestly believe that they are not close enough to the problem they are willing to hear opinions. I suppose you could call this. Tension reduction or a social workers would call it catharsis meaning that once people who are angry with how the present system is operating and they can express it they all go home and behave
themselves. I think what is necessary is that people who have the information about these problems who are in positions to see the effect on human life on communities of these problems that have been around for many many years. These people must get in positions to determine policy and program. And I think this means that you see as a board of directors must change that are wealthy people from the suburbs must resign and go back to the suburbs they have work to do there and they have serious work to do with a community. That in circles or small communities that encircle the inner city the attitudes of patronising the poor giving the
poor enough so that they will not bother them is not the answer. These people have a role to play in their community of defining. If they understand what is occurring in the inner city influencing the power people who live next door to them to understand and act accordingly. And that within the inner city when we are talking about inner city problems inner city people should be determining the policy the programs and the allocation of funds. Some of the key areas of pressure with that historical period among inner city residents relates to housing conditions self-determination community residents to organize to have Florencia plans over development policies in their neighborhood.
I wonder what kind of support was given to me. Grassroots organization enjoy working in these areas in areas which have to do with the conditions of policy especially those dealing with the health condition. This is where residential trying to pull themselves together to make the neighborhood a little better for them. What kinds are you giving these new emerging kind. Well you go through a variety of support in terms you mean dollar support. I mean. Frankly we aren't giving any dollars and cents technical assistance we've set up a Department of Urban Affairs here in our own structure. We have through a variety of agencies such as Protestant community services neighborhood service organization the YMCA Urban League
provided assistance to these groups and helping them get started many of them of course as self-determining groups have not looked to this resource in the community for dollars they have proved preferred to look within themselves in their own element for such support financial support that for many years we used to have and a federation of community councils. Back a number of years ago which represented some of the original grassroots movements in the community. This was dropped back 10 12 years ago. Perhaps unfortunately mind has provided a structure through which some of the voices of the inner city mind have been heard a little more clearly. Hindsight is always much better than when you're going through the
question of what what do you going to do or what aren't you going to do about particular services. So that we've worked with groups we have not set out to finance any specific groups. We are setting up some special services as a result of the riots within the inner city where we would hope that many of these groups would find an opportunity to indicate and we are seeking out from them would they would find an opportunity to indicate what it is they expect from the voluntary community. I mean recently. We've heard from. Columns how the Association of Black Social Workers and a newsletter which they publish they indicate that they try a number of weeks to get in touch with the board of directors with the morning facial. Past me to hear
them I'll hear some suggestions that they felt might be meaningful to the bi community. I believe they finally did succeed in getting a meeting with someone here and they left quite angry. Can you tell us a little bit about what that conflict was about. It wasn't any disagreement on unwillingness to meet with them it was an unwillingness to use a large group when we felt a smaller group would be more meaningful misread Rickson speaking in your official capacity as a president of the Union. How would you classify the attitudes of the United Community Services organization towards a union its concerns and efforts and the concerns of other employees. So I think their response to the Union's efforts is symptomatic of their response to
community efforts. Community needs community symptoms. Again I repeat you have been listening to two separate interviews conducted at different times and places during the week. Our guests have been Mr. Richard F. managing director of the United Community Services of metropolitan Detroit and Ms Conny Fredrickson president of the community and social agency employees local 16 40 American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Miss Frederickson is also an assistant professor at the Wayne State University School of Social Work. It is impossible as an outside observer and analyzed to understand all of the ramifications of problems now confronting the United Community Services. However this much is clear. People from depressed in disadvantaged areas are not reflected in the decision making apparatus. And one wonders how great a participation meaningful dialogue and a sense of
self-determination on the part of large numbers of inner city residents will be enhanced by this state of affairs. There is no real coordinated and centralized plan of action in the area of housing and housing conditions. There is no concerted effort on the part of the United Community Services to fund sponsor and stimulated development of cooperatives and self-help organizations. Indeed the 968 U.S.'s budget reflects the fact that the vast majority of funds are still going into traditional service oriented organizations and structures and looking at their 968 budget appropriations also. It seems apparent as some citizens from the black community have been saying that agency serving predominantly depressed communities black communities receive far less in the way of allocations and corresponding agencies and predominantly middle class communities with a majority of white citizens.
- Seeds of discontent
- Episode Number
- Episode 23 of 26
- Producing Organization
- Wayne State University
- WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- For series info, see Items3313-14. This prog.: An assessment of the attitudes and reactions of established agencies and institutions as reflected by their programs in response to urban society's unrest and discontent. United Community Services of Detroit.
- Social Issues
- Media type
Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-15-23 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 23 of 26,” 1968-08-12, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 22, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740078.
- MLA: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 23 of 26.” 1968-08-12. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 22, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740078>.
- APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 23 of 26. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740078