Learn More About Our Work
Get news and resources to help you make a difference.

Janell O'Keefe 

Program Officer for Michigan Initiatives 


877-542-4842 ext. 23

Janell O’Keefe serves as the Program Officer for Michigan Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress. Before joining Community Progress in 2017, Janell co-founded and worked at Keep Growing Detroit (KGD), an organization dedicated to promoting a food sovereign Detroit, where the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by Detroiters are grown by residents within the city limits. At KGD, Janell led internal program evaluation efforts and provided gardeners and farmers with land acquisition and ordinance compliance technical assistance, along with supporting the organization with a variety of planning and policy related tasks. In addition to her work at KGD, Janell also worked at the University of Michigan School of Social Work Technical Assistance Center (TAC), where she piloted the successful Real Estate Essentials program, which equips residents with the basics of real estate development and empowers them to become neighborhood based real estate developers. The program is a 2017 Knight Cities Challenge Winner.


Janell received her Master in Urban Planning and Master in Social Work degrees from the University of Michigan. She also received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Psychology from U of M. Janell is a licensed residential Realtor in the State of Michigan.