Bayan Founas is an educator. The Writing 4 Freedom Teen Summer Camp is a vision independently funded and started by Bayan and community support. The Camp takes place at Nandi’s Knowledge Café every Thursday from July 4 pm – 7 pm and is free for all participants. Bayan’s commitment to creativity and camp is her connection to enjoying Summers in the mosque sharing camps with friends and family. This interview explores her interest, passion, and works in social justice and poetry. She shares how being a teacher in Harper Woods was the gateway to her creative voice in spoken word poetry. This is an interview that delves into history deep as well.
Dr. Ikaje Ajamu is a Father, Farmer, and Community resource for Black people. Ikaje is the gardener helping develop the land in Detroit is Different to start the garden on Clements. Activating land and turning land into food from the Earth is one of Ikaje’s passions. In this interview, he goes in-depth about his tense encounters with Police, White neighbors, and American society against his journey in farming and more. Ikaje shares perspective on Black independence and strength. He discusses how he has enacted his vision for Liberated Farms nationwide while honoring the lessons of Baba Malik Yakini and others from D Town Farms. Click Here to Watch the Detroit is Different feature on Ikaje Ajamu
Jonathan Quarles comes back to Detroit is Different to discuss the chaos in American society balancing equity for Black people. Jonathan opens up about ways to hold political figures accountable now. Reviewing the relationship between Federal, State, and Local government and the role all play in sparking the Black economy and responsibility government has to the Black economy in a majority Black city. Jonathan gives his perspective on Black banking, and responsibility businesses have now to engage Black people. This is a practical and resourceful discussion on what we can do to empower our community.
Jonathon Quarles is the CEO of Sol Air Water INC and Flint born current Detroit resident and proud former key staff member of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Dr. Ken Harris is one of the foremost thinkers in the economic steps to be taken to strengthen the Black community economically. Leading the National Business League he carries the banner of the organization founded by Booker T Washington in utilizing practical solutions to empower the Black community. Traveling the nation and engaging Black people across the diaspora Ken has been having conversations into ways to galvanize and access resources internally to address the socio-economic challenges presented by White Supremacy. We speak to Dr. Claud Anderson, Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hammer, and more in this interview. Dr. Harris also presents perspective in ways Detroit must create a Black agenda for all political leadership Black, White, resident, and otherwise.
Ken Blanks Harrell is an investor. Working independently in the financial market and offering advice, solutions, and strategy to plan financially to grow families is Harrell’s skill and talent. As a man who engages and watches markets his understandings of the ways corporations have responded to the protests and uprisings in our nations is insightful. Harrell explores financial opportunities and ideas to empower the Black family using the systems of financial markets. Harrell speaks to ways to evaluate and hold corporations accountable in the financial market, securing savings, and financial planning. The asset of working the financial market to empower our community is explored while alleviating the institutions which perpetuate debt through predatory practices is explored here. We talk about banking, business, investment, and more for the Black community.
The Fight for Justice Black Men on Empowerment in the Black Community Series continues on Detroit is Different from Kofi Kenyatta and Chad King of the Black Bottom Gun Club. The Black Bottom Gun Club is the Metro Detroit chapter of the National African American Gun Association. Its goals are to promote and train for safe and responsible gun ownership, self-defense, and sportsmanship. The Black Bottom Gun Club recognizes the history and legacy of gun ownership among Black Americans and the sacrifices made to ensure that we have the inalienable right to self-defense so that those lessons can be applied today if applicable.
The goal of the National African American Gun Association is to establish a 2nd Amendment Organization that educates and trains our community on the rich legacy of gun ownership of African Americans, offering education, training, support, safety standards, and cultural inspiration.
Corey Williams is a business owner that develops property, sells homes, and leads a Black Father’s organization. Corey’s work runs deep throughout Westside Detroit neighborhoods. Families, friends, and colleagues all rely on the work of Corey to offer perspective and advice. In this Detroit is Different interview we explore more on the relationship between Police and the Black Community in America. Corey’s original Detroit is Different interview (June 18, 2018) Corey shares the stories of him facing Police Brutality as young as 13 years old and more over time.
This is an in-depth heart to heart discussion as I (Khary Frazier) share perspective as well.
The Fight is for Justice
Community Development in Detroit Discussion II featuring Raul Echevarria, Khary Frazier, and Yusef Bunch Shakur Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the University of Detroit School of Architecture in the Peter Peirce Room.
Presented by Community Movement Builders, Detroit is Different, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and the University of Detroit
In this discussion, I (Khary Frazier) framed information and questions to focus on the business (money) of community development.
My premise was many corporations are using the distressed status (perpetually marketed by media of Detroit) to leverage subsidies, tax relief, unchecked lending, and neglectful investment. In this talk defining these practices with Yusef & Raul was important.
CDFI’s (Community Development Financial Institutions) of Detroit have received over 182 Million dollars connected to the CDFI program that was established to assist housing, businesses, and non-profit organizations in community development. The CDFI program was started from the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 (here is a link to the act that establishes CDFI’s surprisingly very thorough https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/8000-5400.html). In 1996 the first Detroit CDFI monies from the US Treasury were sent to Shorebank receiving 3.75 million dollars. Here is an article by NYTimes as a brief overview of why Shore Bank failed (according to many financial analysts) https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/business/23cncshorebank.html, many felt that the risks with homeowners were too much for Shorebank.
Currently, CDFI’s have no needed oversight but there is a third party ranking system developed by Aeris that many use to audit their effectiveness. Here is a link to the Aeris website: https://www.aerisinsight.com/ . CDFI’s can also receive funding from banks (like Bank of America) and foundations (like Kresge) in the form of investment and/or grants. Many banks pay for and submit the Aeris audit request to verify the livelihood and financial legitimacy of the CDFI (which I think is problematic because traditional lending has been so racist, here is a great book about the practice released last year: https://www.amazon.com/Color-Money-Black-Racial-Wealth-ebook/dp/B076526LW5).