Capturing the culture that makes Detroit what it is.

Monthly archive

December 2022

Black Leaders Detroit is a lifelong mission for Dwan Dandridge

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Self Determination and collective responsibility are pillars in the principles of Kwanzaa, but also ethics of life. Dwan Dandridge’s work with Black Leaders Detroit challenges Black people to delve deeper into our resources to resource our organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Dwan’s story of arriving in this space is a mix of commitment to community, development of a business, and passion for supporting Black people. Dwan’s dynamic journey to founding and leading Black Leaders Detroit began from his testimony in learning best practices to build infrastructures that can empower others and support families. We talk about George Washington, San Antonio, School to Prison Pipeline, and even Detroit is Different’s original guest Malik Yakini. Dive deep into the mind of an authentic and collaborative thinker in Dwan Dandridges’ Detroit is Different feature. 

Hope Village Revitalization’s Native Son takes the helm of Leadership, Congratulations Jeff Jones

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Community leadership in Detroit looks in many ways. Jeff Jones is stepping into an uncommon community leadership position a community resident leading a community development corporation. Hope Village Revitalization is the community development corporation Jeff Jones now leads as President/CEO. He has spent his whole life walking around, talking with, and enjoying the residents of the HVR community. Formerly the organization’s board president, he now proudly assumes the role of President and CEO. Jeff’s passion for the community and what can be done is abundant. Witnessing the changes that have impacted the quality of life for HVR residents and the welcoming of more renters into a traditional home ownership area are concepts Jeff understands and intimately knows. Jeff shares what to expect from HVR in the future with personality, honesty, and enthusiasm.

Dr. Carl Taylor and Yusef Bunchy Shakur talk about Legacy Detroit and Black Detroit Today

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Ph.D. studies are immersive. Dr. Carl Taylor stands as a native Detroiter that’s traveled the world as a professor, writer, and researcher. To many across Detroit, he is an ally to brothers like Yusef Bunchy Shakur. As Yusef is moving closer to completing his Ph.D., his relationship and bond with Dr. Taylor have strengthened. This Detroit is Different was a special feature welcoming you as a guest to a conversation shared about the ways the community has changed. The concept of the Third City and the Third Hood are highlighted. This discussion is a preview of the State of Black Detroit Address hosted on Friday, December 30, 2022, at the Mama Akua Community House.

The owner of the Green House is Marvin Elliot, this is his Story

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Marvin Elliot is the owner of the Green House, where the Means Logistical Park is being built around his residency. Marvin shares his story of how a development imposed upon his neighborhood has ruined his quality of life. This was a powerful one-on-one discussion of how corporations violently engage communities like Highland Park and Detroit.

Khursheed Ash-Shafii from resident, to activist to public service

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Khursheed made his way to Highland Park, MI, from Chicago’s Northside. He came to HP looking for a home for his family that supported his Islamic faith and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2010 he learned from a home-buying program in Highland Park that HP needs much more love. Since a deal in bad faith to buy a home, Khursheed has been driven to provide justice to HP residents that have been wronged. Today he is a city council elect candidate and is fighting more valiantly for citizens. This is an informative and spirited discussion about rights, wrongs, and the will of the people.

Justice for Legacy Detroiters moves in all ways for Sarida Scott

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From the Eastside to Renaissance High School Sarida Scott is deeply rooted in Legacy Detroit. She joins Detroit is Different to open up about her story and her family story. Learn the relationship between education, family and love that built her vision. Sarida tells her story in activism and empowering activists. We also discuss the way development is imposed on communities using resources allocated for people that rarely access them. This was an insightful interview.

Sued Last Summer: Community vs. the Development of Means Logistics Park

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The renaissance and revitalization of Metro-Detroit is a story being told by corporate media. The story of how a city rose from the ashes of bankruptcy under the visionary leadership of Mayor Mike Duggan and business leader Dan Gilbert is a story that reaches media outlets worldwide. The media has exhaustive stories of how risk-taking visionaries like John Hantz and Chris Lambert utilize the barren and blighted space of Detroit to build. The other side of this story involves the story of how these projects involve, engage, and include the residents that reside in these Detroit communities.

Detroit is Different is located in a community labeled as impoverished, blighted and a resource desert. Currently, a development project is impacting Detroit is Different and our neighbors. The Means Logistical Park is a warehouse development that the project that now enters our community.

This is an introductory presentation of how the Means Logistical Park impacts our community. The core of this presentation is a filmed community meeting. Exerts of interviews with Highland Park City Council Elect Khursheed Ash-Shafii and Highland Park homeowner Marvin Elliot are also included.

If you have any questions and/or comments on this matter, please email

Story of the Building of the Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara

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Alkebu-lan Village began the task of building the world’s largest Kinara in December 2022. Detroit City Councilmember Scott Benson was moved from attending a Kwanzaa Celebration at Alkebu-lan Village. He was inspired to explore why Detroit does not have a Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara. Detroit’s Downtown Partnership hosts a Christmas Tree and Menorah annually for Detroit. Kwanzaa is one of the few celebrations for Black people in America. The celebration honors the seven principles of life to build family and community. The Kinara is the candle holder honoring the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Councilmember Benson contacted Marvis Coefield to challenge and task Alkebu-lan Village to build the Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara. This is the Story of how Greg McKenzie and others came together and made this happen.

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