Southfield (CW50) – There is no doubt that the people of Detroit love the city they live in, but what kind of impact does the city of Detroit make on the people who grow up here and move away to pursue careers outside of the city?

Karinda L. Washington grew up in Detroit, eventually choosing a career path in the medical field. She began as a pre-med student at Eastern Michigan University, but after her junior year, she decided that the path she had chosen wasn’t right for her. Her father pushed her to choose a path in which she’d be happy doing something for free. This led her to change her major in her final year and complete graduate school with a degree in public relations. Washington would go on to spend nearly a decade at the nonprofit Michigan Legal Services, helping people in low-income communities.

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Karinda L. Washington expressing her love of her home state of Michigan (Courtesy of Karinda L. Washington)

A job opportunity came up for her to continue her career in communication at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. This change would mean having to leave the city of Detroit, but she would not leave the city behind as she moved forward in her journey. She still gives back to the city through her management firm Dash Worthy, walks the MLK March at her high school alma mater, has opened up three pop-up libraries in the community [one of which is located at Say Play Detroit, an after-school education program].

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Washington currently serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In this role, she leads the coordination of the department’s engagement efforts with officials of state, local, and tribal governments, as well as other elected officials, law enforcement, communities of faith, and colleges. The role of the department is to ensure a unified approach to external engagement with these communities and their leaders.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Karinda L. Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Partnership and Engagement at the Department of Homeland Security

She joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect, to share her experience working as a young black woman in Washington D.C. and tells the story of what it felt like to see Vice President Kamala Harris take the Oath of Office last month.

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