Capturing the culture that makes Detroit what it is.

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.

Renegotiating Power between the DIA and the Community

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Halima Afi joined Detroit is Different to share information about an upcoming public meeting on December 19, 2022, for the Wayne County Arts Institute Authority.

The DIA currently receives $25-$30 Million dollars per year in public funding through the Tri-county millage. Over the next ten years, the DIA will receive an estimated $330M!

In the current service contract, only $1.3M/yr of this funding is assigned to specific activities; the remainder is spent entirely at the DIA’s discretion, i.e. with no public oversight.

In 2022, the Service Agreements that define the relationship between the DIA and the Tri-counties are up for renewal. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to renegotiate the relationship between the DIA and the community.

Right now is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to negotiate a better deal for the residents of Wayne County, as they are set to sign the new Service Agreement on December 19, 2022!

Please tell the Wayne County Arts Institute Authority DO NOT SIGN the new Service Agreement with the DIA until:

There are Checks and Balances in place!

There is 100% transparency and reporting on ALL public (millage) money!

There is a process for public input and participatory budgeting!

There is a commitment of public dollars going towards the local arts ecosystem!

$15/hr min. for all workers at the DIA!           

Devon O’Reilly talks NeighborHUB Grant and more

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Devon grew up a basketball junkie in Dearborn, MI. His love for sports led to a passion for Sports Marketing. Today he works with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce to empower small businesses. The NeighborHUB Grant was awarded to Detroit is Different to support our 2022 a Lot of Studio project. The grant helps businesses and non-profits in Detroit fulfill projects and programs in underserved communities. Devon opens up his ideas of Detroit business culture, engaging community, and more. Devon, as a podcaster, asks me questions too. This was a rich discussion about Detroit, business, community, and what empowerment looks like moving forward. 

Greg McKenzie gives the how-to guide on building the World’s Largest Kwanzaa Kinara

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Greg McKenzie celebrates Kwanzaa by living and honoring the Nguzo Saba daily. 2022 tasked Greg with the mission of building the World’s Largest Kwanzaa Kinara for Detroit. In this interview, he shares the project management of what it took and how he made it happen. I also provide more context to Kwanzaa and its role in the Black community. Detroit’s annual celebration will be honored at King Solomon Baptist Church this year. Learn about the steel, wood, engineering, and work needed to make this idea come to life.

Moving UpTogether in Community with Kofi Kenyatta

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‘Free Game’ is what we call valuable information that can be applied to life. Kofi Kenyatta joined me to share ideas and ‘Free Game’ from the lens of UpTogether. UpTogether is a national organization with hundreds of thousands of members that focuses on empowering the community. UpTogether is an organization that listens to the community and follows the lead of the grassroots leaders in our neighborhoods. This interview speaks to reparations, electoral politics, capitalism, and community leadership. We also introduce the brand new podcast ‘Moving UpTogether,’ which explores the dynamics of these subjects and much more.

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