The Green Garage is home to a strong, diverse, and supportive community of professionals. We work across a wide array of industries but share a commitment to each other and to minimizing the environmental impact of what we do. We believe that people are more likely to succeed when they’re surrounded by a supportive community, and we’ve seen that proven out as our members tell us time and again that the Green Garage has changed their lives. This series, Green Garage Member Stories, explores how.
Gracie Xavier is the Director of Corporate and Economic Development Strategy for Global Detroit, a nonprofit-in-residence that works to revitalize southeast Michigan’s economy through immigrant attraction and retention. In that capacity, she leads the Global Talent Retention Initiative of Michigan, which helps companies retain their foreign-born talent.
Gracie, says that working out of the Green Garage has greatly affected her life in a positive way. She says that she has become more environmentally conscious as a result of working here. She frequently finds herself looking for a recycling bin when she has something recyclable, and if there isn’t one in sight, she asks for one. Before she worked in the Green Garage, she says she didn’t pay much attention to things like recycling, and now she goes out of her way to help, even if just a little. For example, her apartment building does not have a recycling system, so she has taken it upon herself to collect all her recyclables and take them to Recycle Here, Detroit’s neighborhood recycling facility, instead of just throwing them away.
Gracie says that she has also gained a newfound appreciation for our global interconnectedness, and thinks about how her recycling efforts in Detroit can affect her home country of Haiti. She knows that what she does here, working to help the environment, can have long term effects, not just in her life, but in many other places. Every little bit counts.
Before Green Garage, and Global Detroit, Gracie was a social worker who liked to incorporate art into the things she did, as a way of expressing herself, and helping her clients express themselves. She says she felt the need to combine her passion for the arts and her social work to impact and make change in the community.
She was initially attracted to Green Garage because of the tight-knit community. “What sealed the deal, I think, was the Friday community lunches.” The sense of community was one that she had never felt before in a coworking environment. The community is what she values the most in the Green Garage because it’s so evident and she has a great passion for it.
Seeing everything that the Green Garage does to reduce its environmental impact was amazing to her, and what initially caused her to become more conscious. And now that she has been taking steps to help the environment for so long, it has become a natural part of her life.
Green Garage Member Stories are written by Nicolas Perales, a student at Detroit Cristo Rey High School who’s working at the Green Garage this year.