Capturing the culture that makes Detroit what it is.

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Developing the Character of the Child is Jasmine Noble’s Passion

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East Pole Town to many Detroit residents is Chene, over there by the old Packard Plant, or Tyree Guyton’s artistic footprint. For the families that live in the community, it is a place with rooted traditions. Jasmine Noble taught at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and had the plan to connect the school to the community. Jasmine was in love with the Boggs approach of collective learning, leadership, and community. ComeUnity was founded in 2009 and served the Romulus community. In 2013 when Jasmine joined Boggs. She was inspired to find a school that cared about the community as she was. As she began working in the community where Boggs started, the non-profit partnered with the school. I envisioned the headquarters being in that community and as time continued, joined with others who were doing aligned work, Freedom Dreams. 

Courage and Confidence are keys TeShayla Coates offers in Communications

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Wisdom is the application of lived experience. TeShayla Coates has walked many paths in life, providing an in-depth relationship in understanding how to connect with people. Coates Communications gives clients assets to share their messaging locally and internationally. TeShayla’s path to building the business was from playing a role in retail services, paying for school out of pocket, and raising a child at a young age. Confidence and courage empowered TeShayla to bet on herself and venture on her own to start Coates Communications. Learn more about her journey and story.

Detroit needs Guaranteed Basic Income -NOW!

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Arlyssa Heard struggles with crushing debt from student loans and a high-interest car payment. The single mom was excited to get a promotion at her job, but did not want a huge raise.

“The extra $150 extra take-home in my paycheck meant losing benefits worth far more,” she said.

Detroit residents like Heard hear over and over again they’re to blame for their financial situations and the state of their neighborhoods. They’re told they can pull themselves up by the bootstraps if only they try hard enough. Yet the system that’s supposed to help Arlyssa keeps her from getting ahead.

Our current economic system is not working to improve the lives of people in this city.  Every day, Detroiters are struggling to make ends meet while enduring exploitative, poverty-wage jobs and punitive, deficit-based social support programs. For decades now, Detroit has been ranked among the cities with the highest rates of poverty. As a native Detroiter, this sobering reality hits home. Detroiters deserve better…Detroiters demand better!

Guaranteed income is a powerful tool.

More than 100 community groups and faith leaders, residents and businesses have signed a letter to elected officials demanding that Detroit join the growing number of municipalities with a guaranteed income pilot. The goal is to push for a federally-funded guaranteed income by demonstrating the benefits. By setting aside at least  $1.5 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) dollars – to be matched by a philanthropic partner – we can invest in our Detroit neighbors immediately and lay the groundwork for much-needed changes to our social support systems.

Here’s how it works: Participants get recurring cash payments that they can use however they want, without any restrictions or preconditions. (Guaranteed income is different from Universal Basic Income, which distributes cash transfers to an entire population. Rather, guaranteed income distributes cash to a specific group of individuals who experience systemic challenges inadequately addressed by current programs.)

Direct cash is a proven tool that works. Data from multiple guaranteed income pilots across the country—as well as the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit in 2021—have shown that direct cash payments are one of the most efficient and effective ways to lift people out of poverty. Participants experience drastic improvements to job prospects, food and housing security, financial stability, and their overall well-being and mental health.
We have to let go of harmful stereotypes that people experience poverty due to their own failings. We need to embrace a policy shift that recognizes that Detroit residents are experts in their own lives. People need investment in their goals and full control over their choices. They deserve the dignity to choose their pathways to economic mobility.

“We’ve made plenty of gains and we keep on climbing, but we aren’t at the level where we should be,” said Heard, who signed the letter calling for a guaranteed income. “We need this because when we benefit, everyone else benefits.”

What we’ve been doing to reduce poverty in this city isn’t working. Poverty is a policy choice, and as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure, the guaranteed income.” In this upcoming budget cycle, Detroit has an opportunity to take a step in this direction by making an investment in its greatest asset, the people.

Kofi Kenyatta is the Senior Policy and Practice Director at UpTogether.

All Behind the Scenes of Events, Production, and Entertainment with Nina Payne

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Entertainment, cultural events, and live productions add to the essence of Detroit Summers and make Detroit Winters enjoyable. Nina Payne and Foundation Management have been a key part of high-level productions for years. Now she will welcome a collection of her friends, colleagues, and contacts in the production world to share on the All Behind the Scenes podcast. Nina shares what’s kept her working in the field, her love for events, and why she is starting her podcast. Check out the Detroit is Different feature Nina Payne. 

Content Creation is Journalism when you apply skill, talent, and creativity for Chanel Stitt

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Ypsilanti is a city between Detroit and Ann Arbor that mixes a bit of both culture. Chanel Stitt grew up in Ypsilanti with interest in Detroit. Detroit captured her heart at a young age. U of M Dearborn was Chanel’s gateway to activism, culture, entertainment, restaurants, and small business throughout Detroit. Chanel joined many student organizations and eventually interned with the Detroit Free Press. Today she covers many small businesses and local businesses throughout the city. We discuss Generation Z take on the quality of life through COVID-19, Detroit business, and social media.

Bigger pictures are filled with details for success, and Regina Ann Campbell proves this

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The legendary Maryann Mahaffey took a chance on working with a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Regina Ann Campbell while serving office. Today leading Build Institute Regina applies that same selfless understanding of the people to advocate for them to systems bigger than their present state. Business development, training, and opportunity are ideas that occupy Regina’s mind. Leading Build Institute, she’s facilitating relationships between the business system and Detroit’s Small Business owners to heighten the quality of life for Detroiters. Regina’s journey is an unexpected path that is rich in community, family, academics, and prosperous relationships. Check out the Detroit is Different feature of Regina Ann Campbell. 

Helping Families get the house to make their Home is what Tansley Stearns Loves to do

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Buying a home is a benchmark of success and a sign of stability for economists and people in finance. For a family owning a home creates a place to develop culture, ethics, and find comfort. Tansley Stearns has assisted Michiganders in this journey leading Community Financial Credit Union. Tansley’s travel in career began in the world of marketing and communications. Early on in her career, she had the opportunity to work with a credit union in what has become a lifelong passion. In this interview, we discuss the Path to Homeownership, the value of diversity, and the relationship between the workplace & Generation Z. This dynamic interview explores Tansley’s drive to build relationships and bonds. Check out the Detroit is Different feature of Tansley Stearns.

Came to Detroit for the Soul the East Coast did not have, Mahogany Jones

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If Erykah Badu and Jill Scott rhymed over something with essence was the sound Mahogany Jones was searching for. An emcee battle led her to discover Detroit as the place with that for her. Mahogany is a world-traveling emcee that mixes energy, spirit, and joy to deliver live performances that win over the most hardcore hip-hop fan and the elder that hates rap music. Mahogany opens up about her music and Detroit’s role in developing her sound. We explore the role of women emcees in hip-hop, popular culture, and hip-hop culture. Check out the vibe of Mahogany Jones in her Detroit is Different feature. 

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