ALLIES FOR EQUITY: FEATURING WRIGHT L. LASSITER III, TIM RYAN, JULIE SWEET, CARLA WALKER-MILLER, AND MORE
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: DETROIT-BASED EXECUTIVES USING RESOURCES TO ADVANCE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
A LOOK BACK: EXPLORING LEADERSHIP DETROITʼS RESILIENCE AMID UNCERTAIN TIMES WITH CLASS XLI
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ALLY EC SOLI MO DIGNITY ACTION ACHIEVING HUMAN CULOPPORTUNITY ECONOMIC COMMITMENT EQUITY DIVERBLACKLIVESMATTER HEALING
RTUNITY BUSINESS WORKING TOGETHER
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FOR THE GREATER GRID
RACIAL JUSTICE AND ACHIEVING ECONOMIC EQUITY
• V O L U M E 11 4 , I S S U E 3
BEYOND WORDS: ACHIEVING EQUITY REQUIRES DELIBERATE ACTION AND INVESTMENT Black corporate executives say it will require more than comforting words and high-profile philanthropy to drive meaningful change.
Publisher Tammy Carnrike, CCE Managing Editor Melissa Read
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS TCF Bank and Henry Ford Health System are leveraging their resources to advance social and economic justice.
Editor James Martinez
BEYOND THE MOMENT: LONG-TERM EMPLOYER COMMITMENT KEY TO ACHIEVING ECONOMIC EQUITY Workforce development and education leaders discuss the need to view Detroit workforce as an asset.
Art Director Bethany Saner
ALLIES FOR EQUITY: EXECUTIVES JULIE SWEET AND TIM RYAN LEADING THE CONVERSATION PwC and Accenture taking proactive roles to increase inclusion and equity in their companies and beyond.
VOICES OF DIVERSITY: STANDING UP TO BIGOTRY AND DISCRIMINATION Fay Beydoun and Frank Venegas Jr. are working to support minority businesses.
Photographers Courtesy photos Advertising Director Jim Connarn
THE POWER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT Talking race, recognition, and reparations with Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence.
HOW ORGANIZATIONS CAN BUILD A PLAN FOR RACIAL EQUITY Equity starts with an honest assessment of company culture.
NO EXCUSES: FINDING DIVERSE CANDIDATES Identifying and attracting diverse talent requires acknowledgment of bias in recruiting strategies.
AN EQUAL, EQUITABLE, AND INCLUSIVE DETROIT REGION WILL IMPROVE THE ECONOMY The Detroit Regional Chamber’s programs and initiatives to make education more equitable and empower leaders to make a difference in their community.
LEADERSHIP DETROIT LEGACY Class XLI weighs in on program takeaways, resilience, and equity during uncertain times.
S E P T. / O C T. 2 0 2 0
POINT OF VIEW State Representatives Tyrone Carter and Graham Filler address the policy of equity.
Laurie Scotese Research and Analysis Christyn Lucas Austeja Uptaite Back Issues 313.596.0391 Published by Detroit Regional Chamber Services Inc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission. Detroiter (ISSN 0011-9709) is published four times a year (April, June, Oct. and Dec.) by the Detroit Regional Chamber, One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1900, Detroit MI 48226, Phone: (313)964-4000. Periodical postage paid at Detroit MI Subscription price: members, $14: nonmembers, $18. Individual copies: $4; plus postage. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Detroiter, One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1900, Detroit MI 48226. Copyright 2007, Detroit Regional Chamber Services Inc.
Executive Summary FROM THE PRESIDENT
FALLING SHORT ON THE LONG ROAD TO RACIAL JUSTICE
We recognize that we have not always been leaders in issues of racial justice and our road to address our own shortcomings is substantial. We don’t have sufficient diversity in our executive ranks and among our board members. The issues surrounding racial disparities are not new; they have been with us since before the founding of our nation. Even as America was established under the ethos of “all men created equal” our founding documents belie those words. Ever since, our nation has strived, struggled, progressed, and fallen short in the never-ending quest to create that “more perfect union.” The Chamber was honored to have Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post as the launch speaker of our MPC20 Conversation series. Robinson, a veteran of the Mackinac Policy Conference, remarked that “this time it’s different” in the fight for racial justice. Different because the calls for racial justice have expanded beyond the voices of Blacks and persons of color; the marches of 2020 have been remarkably multicultural and multicolored. Corporate America has joined the movement for racial justice and economic equity – far outstripping government – in a very real way. Public opinion is much different than before. At the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination his public approval rating was roughly 25%. In June 2020, public support for Black Lives Matter was 61% (source: Politico/Morning Consult). While advocates for racial justice have never had more allies, the road ahead remains difficult. While we have reached a point where a vast majority find racism abhorrent and believe themselves to be sympathetic to the challenges of others, generations of policy decisions have prevented Black Americans from accumulating wealth and being full economic participants. Despite greater understanding, unconscious bias is real thing – even amongst the most well-meaning. If you doubt that, think of comedian Chris Rock’s line, “There isn’t a white person in this room who would trade places with me – and I’m rich.” Far truer than we’d like to think.
At a 2014 event attended by presidents Obama and Bush, President Bush remarked, “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while we judge ourselves by our best intentions.” Regardless if you are a fan or supporter of the messenger, we should all be able to unite behind the message. I believe this is an important ethos as we engage in the necessary conversations in this highly charged political and social environment. Productive conversation leads to learning which leads to action. This edition of the Detroiter is part of our effort to drive that dialogue in the region and in our organization, and inside you will find content focused on achieving racial justice and economic equity. The Chamber is in this process of conversation and learning leading to action. We recognize that we have not always been leaders in issues of racial justice and our road to address our own shortcomings is substantial. We don’t have sufficient diversity in our executive ranks and among our board members. Despite our “Best Places to Work” awards, we don’t fully understand the perspective of our Black and persons of color team members. We can do more “on the ground” to serve the Black-owned businesses that are the backbone of our region’s signature city. We will not travel this road alone. We have established a Board-level committee co-chaired by former chairs Dennis Archer, Jr. and Patti Poppe to not only shape our efforts – but to hold staff leadership accountable for results both internally and externally. The Chamber is in the process of signing on to the national CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, and I have signed the “I ACT ON” pledge that commits me personally to not just a set of actions, but to move beyond my comfort zone.
SANDY K. BARUAH
No doubt, we are early in this process, but we hope our experience can serve as an example to others who are now making the commitment to travel this long road. The Chamber will struggle and strive in this endeavor, but this time not fall short.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, DETROIT REGIONAL CHAMBER
ALWAYS OPEN FOR MICHIGAN BUSINESSES. To navigate through 2020, Michigan businesses had to adapt. And Michigan Economic Development Corporation was right there alongside them, helping to connect businesses to new resources, meet new partners and access the additional capital they needed from the start. If your small business needs support to reach its new potential, the MEDC is available to help in any way we can. Find customized business assistance at michiganbusiness.org/pure-partnership
WE WENT TO THE MOON, BUT CAN WE ADDRESS RACISM?
MICHAEL S. RAFFERTY P R E S I D E N T A N D C E O, N E W D E T R O I T, I N C .
Corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives must be about more than just feel-good seminars but digging deeply and exploring personal relationships to racism and bias. That process starts with self-examination. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This is one of the most famous lines ever uttered in history. Except that is not what Neil Armstrong said after Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969 and Armstrong stepped out onto its surface. Armstrong maintains that mission control did not hear him clearly, later clarifying that what he really said was, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” A man. The giant leaps that mankind takes are dependent on how a man, or woman, starts. Where a person begins. Whether a person has the will, the desire, and understanding to undergo personal change, to implement systemic change. In social justice work, we talk a lot about systemic and institutional racism; access; and equity. And those words, in recent years, have become mainstream messaging points. But without action behind the words, that is all they are: messages, not actual deeds. It is not enough to simply issue blanket statements condemning racist acts. That is the very least an organization can do. Leadership must actually lead by implementing policies that put procedures into place that improve economic equality, employment, and housing, and increase access to quality health care and education for the long-term. Leaders have access to people and opportunities that many do not. They must insert themselves into policy change by advocating at the local, state, and federal levels of governing. Leaders must put into practice, the words that they print. This starts by:
• Hiring more Black people and people of color into positions of senior leadership.
• Providing opportunities for professional development so that
Black people and people of color may grow within their careers.
• Increasing minority suppliers to diversify the economy. • Stepping down from board positions and ensuring that a Black person or person of color takes your place.
• Intentionally seeking out opportunities to mentor Black people and people of color; providing access to networks, resources, and information that they may not be privy to.
• Going beyond just saying an environment is a safe space and making it one by amplifying voices traditionally marginalized.
Corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives must be about more than just feel-good seminars but digging deeply and exploring personal relationships to racism and bias. That process starts with self-examination. It required much innovation for the United States to land a manned shuttle on the moon. It is going to warrant even greater effort for us to change the spirit of a nation divided by decades of racist institutions that continue to systemically disenfranchise and subject Black people and people of color to state-sanctioned violence. Leadership starts with a person doing the necessary work in every organization. • Michael S. Rafferty is the president and CEO of New Detroit, Inc., a non-profit coalition of leaders working to achieve racial understanding and racial equity in Metropolitan Detroit. He resides with his family in Detroit.
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THE COSTS OF
The Detroit region is one of the most innovative and diverse regions in the nation. Its 300,000 plus businesses employ 2.5 million people and drive a regional annual GDP of $279 billion, which is greater than 29 states.
There is a time
Yet it has never reached its full potential and prosperity because of systemic inequities, government policies that provided opportunities to whites but not to Blacks and others, and attitudes that held Blacks as less than whites. Â While slavery was America's original sin, the system of government decisions, business bias, and overt and unconscious racist attitudes of individuals have prevented Blacks from the opportunity to accumulate wealth and live the full American experience.
The killing of George Floyd has rightly sparked multi-ethnic protests and provided a platform to reexamine the conditions so many of our Black neighbors still contend with. The numbers do not lie. There is a system in place that discriminatorily entrenches generational poverty and inequity into our society. The same inequities hold back the entire country as it tries to reckon a 21st century identity with our 20th century prosperity. In the COVID-19 era, addressing racial justice and achieving economic equity is more than just a moral imperative. It offers a path to unrivaled innovation and significant economic benefits.
when words are not enough. This is that time. We wanted
to take action. And to be very clear that Black lives must matter inside and outside Accenture. JULIE SWEET CEO, ACCENTURE
Read more on page 18
20000 (DETROIT MSA) 0
HISPANIC AMERICAN OR INDIAN LANTINX AND ALASKA NATIVE
Executive Summary AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE
HISPANIC OR LATINX
POVERT Y RATE1 (DETROIT MSA)
HISPANIC OR LANTINX
AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE
B AC H E LO R ' S 19% BLACK
% % 2387
HISPANIC OR LATINX
AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE
OR HIGHER1 (DETROIT MSA)
I N M A T E P O P U L A T I O N 2 (MICHIGAN)
1% P R I SON 1% STAT E
1% P R IS O N 5% S TAT E
53% P RISON 15% STATE BLACK
HISPANIC OR LANTINX
>1% P R I SO N 3% STATE AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKA NATIVE
44% P R I S ON 77% S TAT E ASIAN
SOURCES: 1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2019 American Community Survey One-Year Estimates, 2. Vera Institute of Justice December, 2019 Note: Hispanic or Latino are of any race. Some racial groups are not shown due to sample sizes.
AN ILLUSTRATIVE TIMELINE OF DISCRIMINATION AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES As the U.S. ramped up the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II, an estimated 200,000 migrants came to Detroit exacerbating housing shortages and racial tensions. As America built the 20th century middle class and shook off the economic pain of the Great Depression, prosperity and wealth accumulation unfolded on a supremely unlevel playing field. Discrimination, often government sanctioned, prevented Blacks for pursuing homeownership, education, loans and good-paying jobs, much of which persisted legally well into the 1960s. As whites accumulated generational wealth and left the cities to the government-funded suburbs, Blacks were trapped in overpopulated poorly funded urban neighborhoods constrained by discriminatory policy and societal framework that prevented their social mobility and entrenched many in generational poverty.
G.I. Bill passes providing benefits such as low-interest mortgages and tuition stipends. While it extended benefits regardless of gender or race, Blacks and women struggled to receive higher education or loans like their white counterparts.5
1934 Federal Housing Administration created to boost economy and number of homeowners. FHA guidelines create redlining zones of Black and minority communities where the federal government will not guarantee loans.3 From 1934 to 1962, 98% of FHA-backed loans went to white homeowners. In total, of the $120 billion of new housing subsidized, less than 2% went to nonwhites.5
These inequities perpetuated the economic inequalities at the heart of today’s social justice movement and the racism it seeks to end.
1933 Half of the mortgages in the U.S. in foreclosure due to Great Depression. This spurred government action intended to increase homeownership. These efforts favored whites over Blacks continuing the racist policies of the real estate industry and leading to decades of disinvestment and underdevelopment in cities where Blacks lived.2
1925 Prominent African American physician and Detroiter Ossian Sweet tried and acquitted for murder after shooting into a crowd of several hundred angry white people surrounding his newly purchased home in a white neighborhood.5
1920s The Black population in Detroit swelled from 41,000 to 120,000 as new migrants from the South arrived daily to seek employment in the auto industry. The cramped near east side neighborhood of Black Bottom was one of the very few areas blacks were allowed to reside.1
1924 National Association of Real Estate Boards created a rule to revoke the license of any broker who introduced someone of “the opposite” race into a racially homogenous neighborhood.2
1947 Of 545,000 housing units available in the Detroit area, only 47,000 were available to Blacks. In fact, between 1940 and 1947, every subdivision developed specified the exclusion of Blacks.5
EQUITY IMPACT TODAY
1948 Supreme Court finds enforcement of race-specific covenants barring home sales to nonwhites illegal in Shelley v. Kraemer.5
Fair Housing Act outlaws housing discrimination and redlining. By then many African American families could no longer afford those houses as whites bought into suburbs accruing equity and wealth. Subsequent decades of local, state and federal policies continue to support de facto segregation.1
At the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, Mayor Mike Duggan highlighted the impact of the discriminatory policies which have led to poverty, home ownership, and educational attainment rates today in Detroit well below the national average with a disproportionate impact on Blacks. Such disparities better position whites to access good-paying jobs and to lean on generational wealth to weather and recover from crises such as the housing crash of 2008 and the subsequent foreclosure crisis and recession.
1964 Civil Rights Act bans use of racial discrimination in housing, but is largely ignored.5
1951 55.5% of job orders placed with the Michigan Employment Security Commission “were closed” to nonwhites by written specifications. In one month of an acute labor shortage, Michigan State Employment Service’s Detroit office reported 508 unskilled jobs, 423 semiskilled jobs and 719 skilled jobs went unfilled, despite the fact that 874 unskilled, 532 semiskilled and 148 skilled Black applicants were available for employment.5
1955 Racial preferences in advertising becomes illegal under Michigan law, but more impactful were discriminatory actions of unions, workers and hiring managers against Blacks.5
1958 By this year, the construction of seven miles of the Lodge Freeway from downtown to Wyoming Avenue displaces 2,222 buildings compounding housing shortages, especially for Blacks. Part of a larger urban renewal effort Mayor Albert Cobo referred to as the “price of progress.”5
MAYOR, CITY OF DETROIT
Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, home to some of the city’s major strips of Blackowned businesses, social institutions and entertainment centers are razed in urban renewal program and replaced with Chrysler Freeway and Lafayette Park making it easier for commuters to reach auto plants being built in the suburbs. Many residents relocated to large public housing projects.4
HOUSEHOLD MEDIAN INCOME 8
POVERTY RATE 8
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR HIGHER 8
1962 President John F. Kennedy signs executive order banning discrimination in federally financed housing, but it only applies to new housing, not existing housing.5
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE 8
SOURCES: 1. Center for American Progress; 2. VOX; 3. NPR; 4. Detroit Historical Society; 5. “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Racial Inequality in Postwar Detroit,” Thomas J. Sugrue, 2005; 6. PBS; 7. History.com 8. U.S. Census American Community Survey, 2019 One-Year Estimates.
ACHIEVING EQUITY REQUIRES DELIBERATE ACTION AND INVESTMENT By Trevor W. Coleman With a social justice sweeping the nation following the brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man from Minnesota at the hands of the Minneapolis police in May, the corporate world has stepped forward with support and a declaration of a renewed commitment to social justice, diversity, and inclusion. But Black corporate executives say it will require more than comforting words in a moment of crisis or even high profile philanthropic endeavors for meaningful change to occur. They argue it’s going to take a sustained and unambiguous commitment to achieve racial equity - not just diversity and inclusion - to make a lasting impact. Suzanne Shank, CEO, Siebert Williams Shank & Co. the largest minority-owned and majority woman-owned investment bank in the U.S. said this begins with corporate policy changes aligned with an effort at making fundamental changes to structural racial barriers which inhibit the ability to achieve racial equity in a business. For example, when the horrific tapes of the George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery killings emerged, along with the reports of the Breonna Taylor killing, Shank had to be proactive in addressing the trauma it caused her employees. “We began to notice that our employees were very troubled; we have many Black men in the firm and a very diverse firm, so we issued a statement that we understood if they needed time or needed someone to talk to, that we were there (for them),” she said. “But we also said if anyone wants to support any of these organizations whose fundamental mission is to fight racism, we will match your contribution, and we also wanted them to know we shared their frustrations.”
Her firm’s commitment, however, went far beyond words of empathy and in-kind contributions. Shank also shared Siebert Williams Shank & Co. recently announced the formation of Clear Vision Impact Fund, LLC, which is being started with a seed investment from the Microsoft Corporation of $25 million and the target is to grow it to $250 million. “The goal of the fund is to really address the fundamental problems many minority-owned businesses have experienced; a lack of capital to operate, or investment to grow,” Shank said. “So we are going to be focusing on small and medium-sized businesses with an emphasis on Black-owned and minority-owned businesses in underserved communities.” By providing such resources Shank said her firm's intent is to increase employment opportunities in underserved communities since minority-owned businesses tend to hire more diverse workforces. Carla Walker-Miller, CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services acknowledged that as a Black woman, she occupies a unique space in an overwhelmingly white male industry and has the battle scars to prove it. So the spectacle of George Floyd’s murder was a lurid reminder that despite her success, the struggle for civil rights and basic human dignity continues to define the Black experience in America. Walker-Miller admitted like many others, she too, struggled to cope with the trauma from Floyd’s death and it had sparked a journey of deeply personal and corporate self-reflection. So, she wrote a heartfelt letter to her internal team about the incident and what they needed to do at this moment. She later revised the letter and made it public as an open letter to CEOs in June.
I think the toleranceImpact for 11 words, investigative panels, Blue Ribbon Commissions and things like that are over. We’ve heard it all before with things that have happened in the past whether it's police incidents, things that happen at educational institutions, or on the job. DENNIS W. ARCHER JR. PRESIDENT AND FOUNDING PARTNER, ARCHER CORPORATE SERVICES; CEO, IGNITION MEDIA GROUP
BY 2050, MICHIGAN STANDS TO GAIN
IN ECONOMIC OUTPUT BY CLOSING THE RACIAL EQUITY GAP 1 In it, she noted among the initiatives her company has undertaken even before the Floyd killing include: instituting a $15-anhour minimum wage; adopting fair-chance hiring practices for citizens returning from incarceration; setting a goal of hiring Detroiters for 60 percent of the jobs in its Detroit headquarters; and decentralizing her company’s procurement process to spend money with diverse businesses in the communities we serve. Walker-Miller postulated that in a national crisis such as this, good corporate citizenship and basic human decency requires those in leadership positions to leverage their influence to create a fairer, thoughtful and supportive work environment for employees and all citizens. And other CEOs have a responsibility to move beyond the rhetoric and to action in helping to achieve equity in a business. “So, we must now move it from where it’s a conversation to where it is action and more than a formation of committees to study the issue,” she said. Dennis W. Archer Jr., president and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services (ACS) and CEO of Ignition Media Group (IGNITION) put it more bluntly. He said nice words and
expressions of intentions to do better in the future aren’t going to cut it anymore. “Black folks are over that. ALL Black folks are over that,” he said. “I think the tolerance for words, investigative panels, Blue Ribbon Commissions and things like that are over. We’ve heard it all before with things that have happened in the past whether it's police incidents, things that happen at educational institutions, or on the job.” However, Archer said initiatives like those revealed during a June press conference called by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit NAACP President the Rev. Wendell Anthony where CEOs of nine Detroit businesses spoke out against racism and committed themselves and their companies to invest in programs and policies to help transform disparities that exist, locally and nationally, is exactly what is needed in this moment of racial reckoning. • Trevor W. Coleman is a former Detroit Free Press editorial writer and columnist and director of communications for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
SOURCE: 1. Source: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Business Case for Racial Equity Report, Michigan, 2019
The tone is set at the top by saying, as an organization, Henry Ford is going to focus on
SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS By Trevor W. Coleman
diversity, inclusion, and racial equity... because it is the right thing to do in a community where you have a health system supporting a significant population that is comprised of people of color.”
WRIGHT L. LASSITER lll PRESIDENT AND CEO, HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM
The truism “action speaks louder than words” was evident when TCF Financial Corporation Executive Chairman Gary Torgow announced in July his bank will provide $1 billion in loan commitments to minority communities and minority- and women-owned small businesses, and $10 million in grants to assist low-to-moderate income home buyers.
victimized by prejudice and discrimination. It is both a moral and business imperative that they leverage their resources to work to level the playing field for minorities who for too long have been discriminated against and marginalized in the marketplace.
The five-year programs are among the first tangible products of his bank’s public commitment made to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan following a wave of civil unrest across the country in the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd in May.
“We work in a bank, and we recognize that banks have a unique place in this discussion,” he said. “Who better than a bank to drive homeownership? Who better than a bank to strengthen small businesses? Who better than a bank to contribute to the strength and vitality of the communities it serves?”
“We really understand that a company is only as healthy as the communities it serves,” he said. “And our community, the American community, is hurting. We at TCF have some real opportunities in the cities and towns where we serve, especially in our hometown of Detroit, to champion causes that support social justice in different ways.”
Wright L. Lassiter III, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System agreed with Torgow about the necessity for business leaders to act in meaningful and demonstrative ways to leverage their influence in the cause of social and economic justice. And for him as a Black man, the situation has brought about a renewed sense of urgency.
TCF, a Detroit-based financial holding company and the largest Michiganbased bank, has $50 billion in total assets and a top 10 deposit market share in the Midwest.
“I do feel a heightened sense of responsibility and accountability,” Lassiter said. “And so, how do I leverage my voice? My position? What I started with is you should always start with - what can you control most.”
Stressing that every citizen has a stake in the “harsh realities that is life for minorities in America,” Torgow said businesses must do more than offer words of encouragement or token gestures of support to communities historically
Among the areas he has direct control over is ensuring that the executive team is not only the best and brightest but also reflects the diversity of the community in which they serve.
“So when I think first and foremost about a team of 10 or 11 individuals and I've got three African American women and myself, I say, well, that's stronger than you see in most organizations,” he said. “Certainly when it comes to healthcare or most corporate settings with people carrying C-suite titles or senior VP and above titles, that's pretty strong.” Henry Ford Health System, also included hiring a Physician Director of Diversity and Inclusion to ensure the institution is doing a better job of broadening the diversity of physicians who are employed by Henry Ford Medical Group. In keeping with that commitment, Henry Ford Health System is striving to provide more opportunities for the community, including: •
Partnering with Streetwise to provide mentoring opportunities to the Henry Ford team members and residents from the city of Detroit. In collaboration with Detroit Regional Workforce Fund developed apprenticeship cohorts for new hires and entry-level team members for targeted healthcare positions.
Focused hiring with zip codes surrounding the city of Detroit. Several hiring events took place with 243 hires in 2019 and 50 more in the first quarter of 2020.
More than 26,000 Henry Ford team members have completed an online equity course.
Donated 4,000 facemasks to the City of Detroit for protesters to use to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The tone is set at the top by saying, as an organization, Henry Ford is going to focus on diversity, inclusion, and racial equity not as an entitlement, or simply because I am a Black man,” Lassiter said. “But because it is the right thing to do in a community where you have a health system supporting a significant population that is comprised of people of color.” • Trevor W. Coleman is a former Detroit Free Press editorial writer and columnist and director of communications for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
HOW DO WE SUCCEED IN BUILDING A TRULY INCLUSIVE SOCIETY?
HASSAN JABER PRESIDENT AND CEO, ACCESS
Racism and injustice in all forms have been an ugly and persistent part of our nation's history, but they should never be allowed to be part of our future. It is time to put an end to hate and intolerance forever. It is time to embrace justice, equity and inclusion. We cannot do this without unity and solidarity."
LA JUNE MONTGOMERY TABRON
PRESIDENT AND CEO, W.K. KELLOGG FOUNDATION
At this point in time we have a rare opportunity. But success starts with acknowledging the inequity around us and taking action. Courageous leaders work to build trust, listen openly to those often excluded and partner across sectors. The systems in place – in education, housing, health care and finance – open doors readily for some but not for all. We need to reimagine and rebuild systems with equity as the focus. Our children need us to succeed."
PRESIDENT, GARDNER WHITE FURNITURE; CHAIRWOMAN, NEW DETROIT
There are certainly no quick solutions, but each step we take against racism can help make a difference. We need to start working together and lead a march to equity for all, and be willing to have the uncomfortable conversations that are necessary to address ongoing racial inequities in our community. Let’s use our collective voices to stop racism at every level and become a truly inclusive society.” Continued on page 14
SHANNON SMITH MIDDLE MARKET BANKER, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE KRESGE FOUNDATION
In our society, we have to understand and take seriously the impact of inclusive growth. By understanding how a truly inclusive society will lead to reduced poverty, address inequality, and lead to more economic growth for us all. When excluded groups don’t gain greater access to education, employment, and business opportunities, we limit that growth. As leaders in the business community, we must ensure all within society have a sense of belonging and feel respected, valued and seen for who they are as individuals. We all bring unique qualities and experiences to any table. The most fascinating ideas come from a table of many perspectives.
We begin by understanding – honestly and painfully – the long-standing and deeply entrenched impediments to full equity, justice, and inclusion. The list is all too familiar: policies, practices, norms, and attitudes embedded in virtually every facet of our society, our economics, our politics, our lives. These insidious structures are as foundational and fundamental to the United States as the ideals of equality to which they stand in opposition. Armed with that understanding, we do the heavy lifting – piece by piece, reimagining what we seek to accomplish as a society and recalibrating the methods by which we accomplish it. And then, intensification and acceleration – creating a new societal passing gear in which we transform the power of the “moment” into a gateway for enduring change."
SHIRLEY STANCATO PRINCIPAL, SRS ADVISORY SERVICES, LLC
I like the saying, 'An inclusive organization is, by definition, diverse; not every diverse organization is inclusive.' A corporation promotes inclusiveness as an intentional, strategic vision of its leadership rather than through its human resource processes. The inclusive organization continuously uses employee feedback to monitor how staff evaluates the organization’s performance with regard to mutual respect and recognizing individual dignity. This is how the nimble, successful organization negotiates the tension between the need for all employees to assimilate into the core business culture versus the opportunity to harness the innovations that a dynamic, diverse workforce brings to the workplace."
Impact 15 down, as the rate of crime goes down and opportunity increases. That’s going to be the biggest payoff. It will offset some of the things America spends billions of dollars on trying to fix, like poverty. IF PEOPLE WANT TO BUILD A MORE EQUITABLE SOCIETY, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE? By James Martinez Rufus Bartell is high on Detroit’s continued momentum even amid COVID-19. The entrepreneur and owner of the clothing boutique Simply Casual continues to help lead the redevelopment of the Avenue of Fashion and serves as President of the Independent Business Association. He thinks Detroit can serve as the model for redeveloping Black America financially and discussed, entrepreneurship, racial justice and equity with the Detroiter. Excerpts edited for clarity and length. HOW IS THE AVENUE OF FASHION DOING?
Our white brothers and sisters have to co-lead this (achieving equity) effort and do it unapologetically. For the people who have goodwill and understand that all people are created equal, they really have to play a very robust role in leading this process. When we are talking about redeveloping Black America from a financial and economic standpoint, Detroit should lead the way. We have everything we
need in this marketplace. If Detroit has to be the example and other people need to model themselves after Detroit, then we have to do that. Also, it is one thing for a bank to say that they are lending, but the box by which lending is executed sometimes is so stringent because of the legacy costs of inequities does not allow many Black-owned businesses to even qualify. We need to create a smart mix of something that protects the institutions for repayment while at the same time making financing more flexible so it can include more people applying. If we didn’t fit in the box yesterday, and if that box hasn’t changed, what makes you say we are going to fit in that box tomorrow? •
RUFUS BARTELL OWNER, SIMPLY CASUAL
The Livernois corridor is doing much better. One of the smartest things that we have done is to install this new streetscape. As a result of this new streetscape we are starting to see a robust population in terms of vehicular travel and foot travel. But it’s still a secret citywide and regionwide. I think more people should come over here and they would be pleasantly surprised that you have a beautiful corridor emerging, surrounded by some great historic neighborhoods. WE HAD CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE AND INCLUSION IN THE PAST, IS IT DIFFERENT THIS TIME? It is different and it feels different. I think people are starting to understand it from an economic and financial standpoint. I think corporations understand that in order for America to be its greatest you have to have full participants from all its talent. When we begin to rebuild urban America and you have these businesses thriving, that’s when you see the greatest return on investment as employment goes down, as the rate of unemployment goes
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LONG-TERM EMPLOYER COMMITMENT KEY TO ACHIEVING ECONOMIC EQUITY By Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann
We have to stop talking about people as deficits. We have to stop talking about barriers and shift our mindset to see the workforce in Detroit as an asset." NICOLE SHERARD-FREEMAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, CITY OF DETROIT
In the months since protests over racial injustice began springing up in cities across the country, Wayne County Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, has seen an increase in the number and urgency of conversations with corporate partners about building a more diverse workforce. “I’ve been having a lot of meetings,” he says. “Companies are being tremendously open to collaborating. We have to push that. We have to talk about how we develop a workforce that is representative of a city that is 85 percent people of color.” Dr. Ivery suggests a first step toward that goal is acknowledging, and then challenging, long-held stereotypes. “For example, when many people think of Detroit Public Schools, they think of students who are coming out less prepared and in need of remediation, which is a misnomer,” he notes. “When we do that, we are not being fair to the process.” Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Executive Director of Workforce Development for the City of Detroit, feels similarly.
“We have to stop talking about people as deficits,” she notes. “We have to stop talking about barriers and shift our mindset to see the workforce in Detroit as an asset.” She points to the commitment that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has made to the city and its workforce in building its new plant in Detroit and bringing approximately 5,000 job opportunities to the city in the process. The city’s Detroit at Work community engagement and outreach strategy is helping connect ready and able talent in the city with FCA and is doing the same for other businesses in the city. “The Detroit at Work model uses wellestablished community partners as trusted third-party validators and leverages relationships with clergy, communitybased organizations, City Council members and everyone in the network as an ambassador for opportunity,” Sherard-Freeman explains. “This has proven to be a really good way to get Detroiters connected to opportunity,
Participants register at a job readiness outreach event with FCA at Second Ebenezer Church.
and as importantly, to get employers connected to the workforce.” Despite this positive traction, SherardFreeman cautions that racial equity doesn’t come simply through hiring from a pool of diverse candidates or hiring more people of color. “Racial equity also comes through opening up opportunities in your supply chain for businesses of color to apply,” she notes. “It’s making capital more readily available and making more transparent the decision-making process in large organizations so that small organizations have a shot.” In short, it’s a longgame approach. “We’re looking forward to commitment beyond the moment,” Sherard-Freeman continues. “We’re looking forward to working with the employer community, community groups, clergy and residents to take this moment – that has turned into a movement – and making it a sustainable way of operating.” • Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann is a Michigan-based freelance writer.
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ALLIES FOR EQUITY: EXECUTIVES JULIE SWEET AND TIM RYAN LEADING THE
Conversation By James Martinez
Achieving equity in the C-suite, requires support in the C-suite. Two of the more outspoken executives on inclusion – Accenture’s Julie Sweet and PwC’s Tim Ryan–are doubling down on their efforts and accelerating the diversity journey of their respective organizations pairing action plans with their sharp rebukes of the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others. “If corporate America is going to address its diversity and inclusion issue then it is going to need to tackle it like it would any other critical business problem, using the same kind of rigor, commitment, analysis, investment, and time,” said Tim Ryan, PwC U.S. Chair and Senior Partner. “Although this year has been challenging and this journey is long, we must accelerate our actions and improve.” Ryan co-founded the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion in response to the killing of unarmed Black men in the summer of 2016, an effort that now has the commitment of more than 1,200 CEOs of the world’s leading
companies, but is calling for more to be done. “We cannot be in the same place two years from now,” Ryan wrote to employees following Floyd’s death. “My hope is that by focusing on our efforts inside our firm while also working with other business leaders and marshalling support and resources externally, we will be able to make some meaningful change.” In September, Sweet and Accenture rolled out additional goals and steps promised in the initial condemnation of Floyd’s killing. These range from increasing diversity goals to pledging $15 million to launch a program to support Black entrepreneurs to donating social justice organizations and supporting community investments to help drive change. "We knew we needed to take bold new action in addition to reaffirming our commitment to equality and justice for all, with zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and hate of any kind," said Sweet. As part of these efforts, Accenture committed to more than doubling the number of African American and Black and Hispanic American
and Latinx managing directors. This would increase the representation of African American and Black managing directors from 2.8% to 4.4% and of Hispanic American and Latinx managing directors from 3.5% to 4.7%. “We cannot have a diverse C-suite if we do not have qualified, diverse talent in the pipeline prepared to assume the roles at the top. This means reimagining where we attract talent from,” said Ryan, noting that PwC has been focusing on building relationships with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions and community colleges. “It is also important so that racially and ethnically diverse employees and women can understand that leadership is possible for them, too.” “We have also done data-led research that helps us understand how to support employees with different diverse backgrounds at various career stages so that we can better retain and nurture careers across the board,” Ryan said. PwC also created a diversity and inclusion staff advisory council to bring together employees
Accenture recently announced the Black Founders Development Program to help Black entrepreneurs grow their technology businesses through more direct access to venture capital, corporate membership and strategic connections with an initial investment of $15 million. “Black entrepreneurs continue to innovate, but face bias and lack access to capital and opportunity in the venture capital community, receiving a disproportionately small amount of funding,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive – Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture.
WE C A N N OT HAVE A D IVER S E C - S U IT E IF WE D O N OT HAVE Q UA LI FI ED, D IVER S E TA L EN T IN T HE P IP EL IN E P REPARED TO A S S U M E T HE R O L ES AT T HE TO P. T HIS M EA N S R EIM AG IN IN G WHER E WE AT T R AC T TA L EN T F R O M .
from all levels of the organization and backgrounds to advise the CEO and leadership team on how the organization is advancing progress internally and externally. “We will be sharing our diversity plan and the progress on our goals with our people annually, so they can hold us accountable if we are not meeting expectations or not doing so fast enough,” wrote Ryan. Accenture is also putting into place new mandatory training this fall to empower its employees to identify and speak up about racism. "This training will help us call out racism for what it is and address it wherever it happens. This training is in addition to our unconscious bias training, which is already mandatory," said Sweet. • James Martinez is a freelance writer and content creation consultant in Metro Detroit.
According to a study by RateMyInvestor and VC Diversity, Black founders of companies receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding, which in the U.S. alone, totaled approximately $130 billion. Similarly, a Kauffman Foundation analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that 28% of Black entrepreneurs’ profits were limited by lack of access to capital, compared to just 10% of white entrepreneurs.
U.S. CHAIRMAN AND SENIOR PARTNER, PwC
WE HAVE A N EN O R M O U S O P P O R T U N IT Y A HEA D O F U S — TO MAKE T HE WO R L D A B ET T ER P L AC E F O R ALL . I HAVE F ELT A N IN C R EA S ED C O M M I TMENT S IN C E C OVID - 1 9 AC R O S S T HE B OA RD TO M A K E T HIS D EC A D E T R U LY A D EC A D E O F S HA R ED S U C C ES S, WHIC H IS VERY IN S P IR IN G.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a transformative effect on business organizations as they navigate the racial inequities that persist today amid a nationwide push for social justice.
Frank Venegas, Jr. expressing frustration with the level of discrimination and bigotry people of color are facing today, including people from Mexico and Central America.
As the Black Lives Matter movement helps focus attention on addressing the racism against African Americans, leaders in other minority communities are supporting Black Lives Matter while raising awareness about addressing discrimination against other minorities and women that also requires attention to achieve a more inclusive, welcoming region.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to speak up and speak out. Equitable opportunities and outcomes for all are goals we all must embrace and promote,” said Fay Beydoun, the Executive Director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
By Pamela Hilliard Owens
“I am a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, but Brown Lives Matter, too. The people who are working those low-wage jobs are just trying to make a better life, and locking children in cages away from their parents is an atrocity,” said Ideal Group CEO and founder
In addition to overseeing the largest Arab American business organization in the United States that serves more than 1,200 companies of all sizes, locally and internationally, Beydoun helped to establish the Council of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce to build a united stronger voice for common issues.
It is everyone’s responsibility to speak up and speak out. Equitable opportunities and outcomes for all are goals we all must embrace and promote." FAY BEYDOUN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Community Action “Being a woman of color and a moderate Muslim, I had to face many barriers, both within my community and in the broader Metro Detroit community. The experience also showed me that not only Arab women, but all women of color face similar challenges.”
TOTAL POPUL ATION DETROIT MSA 1
Throughout her career, Beydoun and her colleagues have called for action in three distinct areas: systems change, including advocacy for better enforcement of anti-discrimination laws; organizational change to address internal bias and bring transparency to pay scales; and individual peer support for women of color in their industries.
“Women of color often report that they were sometimes left out or ignored and sometimes hyper-visible under intense scrutiny, with both conditions creating burdens,” Beydoun said. Venegas points out that it is rare to find a minority business that is over forty years old and has also successfully integrated the children into the family business. “The only thing you should concentrate on is to be better than anyone else. And it takes time. But this is more important than anything else you've got to do,” said Venegas, whose mother, a seamstress, taught him how to be an entrepreneur. He ultimately built the Ideal Group, a Detroit-based, multi-million dollar enterprise employing over 500 people that has provided award-winning services in construction, manufacturing, indirect material management, and innovative solutions. Running a long-time successful business and improving the community around his company headquarters in Southwest Detroit while also supporting minority business enterprises’ longevity is Venegas’ way of dealing with the inequities and injustices of the people around him experience every day. Beydoun believes that when combatting racism and sexism it is very important to have a strong network and credits the leadership of American Arab Chamber of Commerce Chairman Ahmad Chebbani with helping her to gain access to, and excel in, multiple organizations within the Arab-American community. Her experiences gave her the ability to likewise mentor other Arab women such as Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and State of Michigan Director of Appointments Ghida Dagher, helping them to forge the skills and confidence needed to successfully advance their careers. • Pamela Hilliard Owens is a Detroit-based entrepreneur, small business owner, and writer.
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SOURCE: 1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2019 American Community Survey One-Year Estimates Note: Hispanic or Latino are of any race. Categories may not add up to total population. Some racial groups are not shown due to sample sizes.
By James Martinez Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence represents the 14th District, one of Michigan’s most diverse, which includes a portion of Detroit, Southfield and 16 other cities in Oakland and Wayne counties. She is second vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chairs the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. Before being elected to Congress, she was elected Mayor of Southfield in 2001 and became the first African American and woman to serve in that post. The Detroiter interviewed her on racial injustice and equity. Excerpts are edited for clarity and length.
The fact that the majority, disproportionately, of people who are incarcerated are African American, that in itself, just screams that we have a problem in America.”
HOW DO WE AS A SOCIETY CHANNEL OUR OUTRAGE TO MAKE LASTING CHANGE?
HOW DO WE BUILD A NATION THAT ADDRESSES RACIAL INJUSTICE AND MOVES TOWARD EQUITY?
I feel strongly that the first step is to acknowledge that we have a problem. We cannot fix something if we are denying it, or we turn our head. I've always questioned major corporations who publish their annual report and their board of governors. It’s better now, but there was a time where almost every corporation had white men all in the same age bracket, but you're serving and making your money off a diverse population. How is that possible that you don't recognize talent anywhere unless they're white, they're male and they're old?
Everyone gets nervous when you use the word reparations. HB 40 is the reparations bill to form a commission that will study the historic impact of racism on Black America. When you look at all the things that happened to Black America, this country has never apologized. And I'm not talking about ‘Jane’ down the street apologizing. I'm talking about this country at a government level, as they have in Germany with the Holocaust. Apologizing for it, and recognizing what they did was wrong. We passed some laws, but we have never got to that point of acknowledging that it has had an impact.
WHAT ROLE CAN THE GEORGE FLOYD JUSTICE IN POLICING ACT PLAY IN MOVING THIS COUNTRY FORWARD?
REP. BRENDA LAWRENCE D-MI 14th DISTRICT
It’s a training issue, we have seen repeatedly. This police maneuver of placing your knee or a choke hold. But here was a person who sat on the neck of a human being (George Floyd) who was crying for his life, with no weapons, who was handcuffed, and (the officer) took his life. And you have new officers looking at that. And if there was no accountability for that, then they're going to start incorporating those same types of behavior for generations to come. And the thing that was so troubling is that the officer who committed the murder deliberately had a whole history of excessive force complaints.
Black America is still having our first in so many things. I mean, everyone was crazy with excitement because of our first Black woman on a major ticket. When we look at the disparities, think about the families who have the opportunity and access to education. One of the major things that happened in Jim Crow was denying education, denying ownership of property. Think about the generational impact that has. If I was not allowed to own property, I had no property to pass down to my children. Then my children did not get the education to continue to build on that education. • James Martinez is a freelance writer and content creation consultant in Metro Detroit.
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HOW ORGANIZATIONS CAN BUILD A PLAN FOR
By Brittany Hutson
Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are no longer just fancy buzzwords or items on an HR checklist. Two pandemics – COVID-19 and racial inequality – came to a head this year, the former intensifying continued inequalities across healthcare and the economy, while the latter once again brought to the forefront the country’s long-standing history of systemic oppression and racism. In this environment, companies would be remiss to deny, deprioritize or ignore these issues, because what is happening outside of the workplace is now showing up inside of it. To work at achieving racial equity, organizations must recognize that it is an ongoing process that needs to be sustained over a long period of time. And it starts with doing an honest assessment about where the company currently stands. Conduct a Cultural Audit Lauren Hood, an AfroUrbanist working at the intersection of Black aspiration and city change, facilitates dialogues around race and equity. She describes a cultural audit as a company’s diagnostic tool that should extend beyond simply the number of people of color on staff and in leadership positions. “It should include conversations with current employees at all levels [and] conversation with former employees – people who will speak frankly about what your culture is like,” explains Hood.
You really need people that have other roles in the company who are also on your diversity and inclusion team.” LAUREN HOOD AFROURBANIST
The cultural audit doesn’t end there. It also extends to its policies and operations and assessing whether racial equity has been a business priority. “It’s the same way we make other areas business priorities,” says Sumreen Ahmad, global change management lead for Accenture. “We measure them, we track ourselves against progress, we look at where we still have to improve.” From a diversity lens, this can look at how HR is measuring microaggressions or how diversity is factored into hiring, retention, and promotions. Additionally, Ahmad says that organizations need to consider how different life experiences factor into how someone goes about doing their work, and what’s important to them by way of promotion, visibility and advancement. “If you talk about belonging, have you actually looked deep into your policies, like your paid leave or childcare assistance, to see if they are representative of the diversity of your population?”
After conducting a cultural assessment, Hood suggests developing a racial equity agenda, which she describes as a 10-point plan. To get to this, it will require lots of conversations. Build a D&I Team Companies need to move past the idea that one person is responsible for carrying out their diversity and inclusion initiatives. That person needs a team, says Hood. “I don’t think diversity and inclusion should be separate from all of your other business activities,” she says. “You really need people that have other roles in the company who are also on your diversity and inclusion team.” For example, members of the D&I team can be someone from HR or from the executive leadership group. Ultimately, the team must be integrated into the company, and not an isolated group of people.
Community Action Have Uncomfortable Conversations To achieve racial equity and make a lasting difference within the organization, having conversations that are uncomfortable is non-negotiable. Conversations about race, religion and politics are taking place at work, and true inclusion is creating spaces that are welcoming and respectful of different beliefs, says Ahmad. “It’s not about one single belief system,” she says. “It goes back to good old communication 101 training, which is, what does it mean to actively listen? These are skills that can’t be assumed anymore. They have to be taught.”
FIVE KEYS FOR FOSTERING INCLUSION
Hood also emphasizes the value of providing space for people to share their personal stories of being at the company, as opposed to always defaulting to hosting an antiracism expert and speaker. “I’ve mostly seen transformation take place in small group dialogue,” she says. •
Brittany Hutson is a freelance writer in Metro Detroit
STRATEGIC CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Show staff intent by taking purposeful steps to address systemic racism and bias and change the culture of your organization. Acknowledgement of shortcomings must happen first.
Require buy-in of leadership to model equity and provide resources and accountability, which sends the message: this is a priority.
Challenge human resources to create policies that foster an inclusive culture, promote uncomfortable conversations and teach listening skills to ensure marginalized employees are heard.
REIMAGINE CHIEF DIVERSITY ROLE
Shift focus from simple compliance to disrupting the system and provide a team to do so. Rethink candidate pipelines, qualifications and life experiences of non-whites to reverse exclusionary practices.
SET-UP COLLECTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY
Implement anti-racist policies and then educate staff while including these practices in performance reviews to ensure a long-term commitment across the organization.
Pivoting with change is the new normal.
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FINDING DIVERSE CANDIDATES By Brittany Hutson
It’s well documented that companies committed to hiring diverse talent see a positive ROI, but many still believe there is a limited pool of diverse candidates available or have difficulty creating a hiring process that attracts such candidates. Identifying and attracting diverse candidates requires a candid assessment about the underlying biases that exist within recruiting practices, as well as a dedicated and creative strategy.
able to allow the people who are doing the day to day work have conversations with our youth to tell them, ‘hey, there’s a real opportunity here.’”
For Dannis Mitchell, finding diverse candidates starts within the home. Mitchell leads clients and community engagement for Barton Malow Builders, which oversees building commercial and institutional projects and is an entity of the Barton Malow Family of Companies. Her team connects with parents through school districts so they understand the job opportunities that are available in the skilled trades. Mitchell’s team also connects with counselors and teachers. From there, Mitchell develops relationships with youth enrolled in high school. The sweet spot for identifying candidates to go into the trades are ages 18 to 24, she explains.
“LinkedIn is a great way to post jobs but are there other opportunities to post in areas that target underrepresented individuals?” Tolbert explains. “We’ve also talked about professional organizations that we can develop strategic partnerships with to increase awareness and exposure of opportunities at Barton Malow.”
Another strategy that Mitchell says helps with recruiting is having people who look like the candidates they are trying to attract at career fairs and outreach events. “We’re
OF SENIOR LEADERSHIP ROLES AT LARGE COMPANIES IN THE U.S. ARE BLACK. 2
SOURCES: 1. Deloitte 2. Coqual Report, 2019 Note: Fortune 500 analysis are based on data from 490 companies in the Fortune 500.
As Human Resources Director for Barton Malow, Lisa Tolbert says the company is doing a self-reflection about how they can improve and be more intentional about recruiting efforts.
Tolbert adds that she is also fascinated by the concept of culture contribution over culture fit. “When you hire for fit, that promotes the same,” she says. Instead, companies need to think about what the candidate has that the organization doesn’t already have and what’s unique about the candidate’s background or experience that could add value. • Brittany Hutson is a freelance writer in Metro Detroit.
FORTUNE 500 TOTAL BOARD SEATS BY RACE AND ETHNICIT Y 1
From breaking down hiring barriers to working closely with minority-owned
and women-owned suppliers, DTE puts diversity at the forefront of all decisions and initiatives. Because only by welcoming all perspectives can we strengthen our communities and our company.
28 Chamber Action
AN EQUAL, EQUITABLE, AND INCLUSIVE DETROIT REGION WILL High school students talk auto mobility at the 2019 MICHauto Summit.
The Detroit Regional Chamber conducts robust membership, economic development, and advocacy programs and initiatives that help empower the Detroit region’s 11-counties. The Chamber has led efforts through these programs and initiatives to make education more equitable for Detroiters, empower neighborhoods and entrepreneurs, advocate for fair and equal legislation and transportation options, and embrace the critical
conversations on our stages with national thought leaders and local business, government, and civic leaders. As it looks to strengthen these efforts and put more resources towards the goals of uplifting racial justice discussions and achieving economic equity in the region, the Chamber will first look within to strengthen community efforts that already have a laid foundation. Student wins a printer at the annual Detroit Promise summer social.
GUARANTEEING GREATER EQUITY IN EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES When we envision our ideal Detroit region, we envision an
GROW THE TALENT PIPELINE AND INCREASE PER CAPITA INCOME
equitable community where all
people have the opportunity, resources, and tools needed to achieve their potential and support their families. This leads to a stronger economy and greater community wellbeing overall that builds a competitive region talent wants to live and work in.”
For 31 years, the Chamber has offered a tuition-free pathway to high school students in the City of Detroit, first through the Detroit Scholarship Fund, and currently through the Detroit Promise. • 700 Detroit high school students annually. • 98% of students are low-income or Black, Latinx, or another minority. Through a study with the MDRC of student outcomes in the early stages of their college experience, the Chamber found that Detroit Promise students were facing many roadblocks in their first year that often led to the students dropping out. From struggling to find healthy and affordable meals, to transportation issues, and even in some cases homelessness – these students have life factors that pull their focus from education. "Increasing access to higher education for more students isn’t enough," said Greg
Handel, the Chamber's vice president of education and talent programs. "We have to make sure that students that haven’t traditionally fared well in college have the support they need to succeed in college." The Detroit Promise Path was quickly established to add “campus coaches” that provide intrusive advising full-time on the community college campuses. These Coaches meet with Detroit Promise students regularly, provide them a monthly stipend, and ensure they have access to resources beyond school, such as food assistance, transportation, time management, and more. In 2019, the MDRC released an updated report that found the students with Coaches were twice as likely to complete 24 or more credits their first year, which is an important marker of being on a path to graduate. This program is now extended to every Detroit Promise student that enters college using the scholarship and is improving student retention, full-time enrollment, and credit accumulation among Detroit Promise students.
Chamber Action 29 EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO INCREASE POSTSECONDARY ACCESS, SUCCESS, AND TALENT • 21% of adults who dropped out before completing their degree are Black. • 45% of adults who have remaining institutional debt (owed to the school attended) are Black. There are nearly 700,000 adults in the Detroit region with college credits, but no degree. If these adults were to complete a degree or skilled certificate program, the education attainment in the region would increase to the Chamber’s 2030 goal of 60% and reduce the racial equity gap by half. To reach these adults and help them navigate their options of returning to a degree or certificate program, the Chamber created the Detroit Reconnect advising program. The initiative helps adults returning to higher education, or those attending for the first time, to gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential.
IF THE DETROIT REGION REACHES THE 60% BY 2030 GOAL, THERE WILL BE AN ESTIMATED ROI OF
$42 BILLION. The Chamber, through its Detroit Drives Degrees collective impact initiative, has worked on various strategic and aligned efforts with regional partners in education, business, and philanthropy to create a regional master plan – the Detroit Regional Talent Compact – that serves as a roadmap to reaching the Chambers goal of 60% by 2030 goal. In 2019, the Chamber worked with three higher ed institutions to expand college debt forgiveness as a means to remove barriers to finishing a degree for this population. The partnership with Henry Ford College, Oakland University, and Wayne State University, was established to increase enrollment while helping students who may have dropped out due to not being able to pay a hold on their account. WSU is the first to offer debt forgiveness to its past student for attending any school in the state to finish their degree.
Brandy Johnson, Frank Venegas Jr., KimArie Yowell and, John Gallagher talk the present and future of Detroit's talent market at the 2019 State of Education.
Leadership Detroit Class XLI meets with high school students from Detroit.
EMPOWERING THE COMMUNITY THROUGH LEADERSHIP, RESOURCES, AND AWARENESS Over the past 41 years Leadership Detroit has provided a transformational leadership experience focused on solving the region’s biggest challenges. Every year 70 leaders are taken out of their comfort zones to challenge long-held assumptions and embrace diverse perspectives on quality of life issues. 2,000+ leaders have gone through the program that builds awareness of key regional issues and bringing about positive change, including driving prosperity and closing the equity gap. “Over the years, these leaders participating in the Leadership Detroit experience have proven that change can happen when
creativity, ingenuity and hard work collide, and these same ingredients can improve the quality of life for the whole region,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As it has since 1979, Leadership Detroit will continue its role in addressing, discussing and leading conversations important to race and diversity in the Detroit region.” Although the program is taking a temporary hiatus due to the impacts of COVID-19 and not being able to convene for the in-person experience, Leadership Detroit will pick back up improving upon this already laid foundation of work next year. •
Leadership Detroit Class XLI participates in a diversity and inclusion exercise.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT THE MIKE DUGGAN MAYOR, CITY OF DETROIT
"The way Detroit looks today is directly rooted in planning decisions that the leaders of this community made in the 1940s and 1950s. That was the last period of growth in Detroit, and those decisions reverberate today and … unfortunately, many of those decisions were rooted in racial discrimination … You want to say, 'How did all those homes in Detroit deteriorate over all those years?' " Duggan said. "There was a conscious federal policy that discarded what was left behind and subsidized the move to the suburbs. …. This is our history, and it's something we still have to overcome.”
"If you don’t have the opportunity, the chance or the shot at operationalizing your smarts, your talents or your education, then life has a concrete ceiling rather than a glass one. You lose hope, and the most dangerous person in the world is a person without hope. And so, if this is the new definition of poverty, then what is wealth? It is precisely the opposite of this. Wealth begins with confidence and belief in oneself."
"It’s important that everyone in America have a basic understanding of prejudice and privilege because they aren’t the same thing. You have to understand both and what they do to create the world we live in in order to create change… look at the problems right now in 2016—not just policing but also issues that aren’t sexy like transit? Poor folk in Detroit cannot get to work or hospitals. That is appalling. That is criminal."
XAVIER DE SOUZA BRIGGS JOHN HOPE BRYANT FOUNDER AND CEO, OPERATION HOPE
VICE PRESIDENT, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY MARKETS FOR FORD FOUNDATION
Chamber Action 31 "When you dehumanize to make your point, you are no longer arguing, you are demonizing, and that does not lead to civility but it also doesn’t lead to change. I will never take on the tropes and behavior of those who diminish me in order to lift myself or my ideas. While civility is not silence, meanness is not success."
FOUNDER AND CHAIR, FAIR FIGHT ACTION
SUPERINTENDENT, DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMMUNITY DISTRICT
"There is a racist element to what has happened. Children in Detroit have been treated like second-class citizens. When a system is allowed to be run over a decade by individuals that had no track record of education reform, no local governance structure, and year after year of low-performance … that would never happen in any white suburban school district in this country. That is a testament of race."
"The economy is expanding but the progress on productive and inclusion remains lackluster … What’s also troubling is behind these numbers is that the gap in wages between whites and people of color remain stark in nearly every market."
VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR, METROPOLITAN POLICY PROGRAM, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
MPC '17 "There are some great things going on in Detroit, no question about it. However, the real test of the viability of our city is the inclusiveness of all its citizens. You can’t build a moat around downtown or midtown. You have to build a bridge. I am in the trenches every day. I hear it from the business people. I hear it from the community."
REV. WENDELL ANTHONY PRESIDENT, NAACP-DETROIT
32 Chamber Action
MPC2 0 CONV ERSATION S:
Respond and Rebuild Join weekly livestreams with national and Michigan-based leaders in business, government, and more through November 2020.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
Mike Duggan, Mayor, City of Detroit Introduction: Jerry Norcia, President and CEO, DTE Energy Sponsor: DTE Energy
Corporate Social Responsibility: Business Roles and Actions Jerry Norcia, President and CEO, DTE Energy Andi Owen, President and CEO, Herman Miller Ray Telang, Automotive Leader and Market Managing Partner, PwC Carla Walker-Miller, Founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services Moderator: Rick Albin, Political Reporter, WOOD-TV 8
Black and Bright: Advancing Equitable Education Policies for a Greater Michigan John A. Powell, Director, Othering and Belonging Institute, University of California, Berkeley Mark Rosenbaum, Director, Public Counsel Opportunity Under Law Moderator: Tonya Allen, President and CEO, The Skillman Foundation Sponsor: The Skillman Foundation
Governor, State of Michigan
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist, The Washington Post; Political Analyst, MSNBC
Co-director, Justice, Equity, Technology Lab, and Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work DR. JONEIGH S. KHALDUN
Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
NOV. Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture 13 Sponsor: Accenture
HOW TO WRIGHT L. LASSITER lll
President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System
Watch the Livestream at 11 a.m. for each scheduled session at detroitchamber.com/mpc20-conversations
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Leadership Detroit, a signature initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, offers a once-in-alifetime opportunity for professionals to take their leadership skills to the next level. Leadership Detroit takes a unique behind-the-scenes approach to understanding the inner workings of the region for existing and emerging regional leaders. Participants tap into a diverse pool of professionals with a variety of opinions to enhance their contribution to the community. This year, the Chamber graduated its 41st cohort of Leadership Detroit which featured 69 executives from across the region, representing a cross section of the community including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services, and community organizations.
CLASS XLI: RESILIENCE AMID UNCERTAIN TIMES Leadership Detroit Class XLI’s journey is one for the history books. Following a strong start with the cohort’s annual orientation retreat and workshops on topics including education and race and diversity, the global COVID-19 crisis struck. With the program pausing in-person programming to align with health, safety, and government regulations, Class XLI shifted to virtual gatherings. Amid uncertainty and change, this group of leaders forged ahead, continuing to facilitate conversations critical to their professional development and the quality of life in their communities. This cohort’s diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills proved more important than ever as they stayed connected and explored solutions to ensure a stronger society through and beyond the pandemic. Despite not having what would be considered a traditional Leadership Detroit experience, Class XLI made it their own, exhibiting resilience and unwavering commitment to inspire and lead positive change in the region. • Class XLI members participate in orientation trustbuilding exercises at Camp Tamarack.
Great leaders create a better future for all.
Confidence comes with every card.ÂŽ
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network would like to congratulate our own Maya Cleaver, director of health care value business and project execution, and Rochelle Morton, senior project consultant, on their graduation from Leadership Detroit Class XLII. We have confidence in their expertise to help shape the future of our company and the communities we serve.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
MONIFA GRAY SENIOR ASSOCIATE, THE ALLEN L AW GROUP
MATT DEMOREST CO-FOUNDER, FIVE SHORES BREWING
The craft brewing industry has a disproportionately white male workforce, which may be why the industry’s core customer base skews that way significantly as well. Over the past year, I have made a concerted effort to engage with various industry and beer-enthusiast groups that have an eye toward diversity. A great example is our breweries hiring of a female assistant brewer and our support of Fermenta, a 501(c)(3) non-profit trade group initiated by women, committed to education, networking, diversity, and empowerment within the fermented beverage and food industries. Another example has been our engagement with a recent worldwide beer collaboration called Black is Beautiful. The beer was brewed by over 1,000 breweries in over 20 countries, with all proceeds being donated to charities local to those breweries that focus on racial and social equity and reform.”
Leadership Detroit offers the rare opportunity for meaningful interaction between influential leaders from diverse industries and perspectives, who are committed to the betterment of Detroit. It is a powerful and transformative learning experience that has changed who I am and how I look at myself as a leader. LD showed me that I am a problem solver with a talent for getting very different people together to work toward a common goal. This knowledge is key to my work in the Detroit region as the needs of all members of our community must be met to build the best Detroit.”
JASON ALLEN CATASTROPHE REGIONAL MANAGER, THE AUTO CLUB GROUP LD exposes you to such high quality, highachieving individuals who are producing great products within our region. You are exposed to the intimate workings of school systems, foundations, government, manufacturing, insurance, banking, construction, etcetera, which allows LD graduates to create a baseline of understanding and penetrating any silos within these industries. The relationships leveraged from LD are key. Previous graduates are always accessible and available to provide a helping hand. LD is a connector and we are looking forward to implementing regional projects supporting social and economic issues. “
A MICHIGAN LENDER FOR MICHIGAN GOOD FOOD BUSINESSES
Learning and leading CONGRATULATIONS to our SVP Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Margaret Anderson, for graduating from Leadership Detroit Class XLI. This 10-month program connects top leaders and inspires change. hap.org
LEADERSHIP DETROIT Class XLI DETROIT INSTITUTE FOR CHILDREN DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS & SPECIAL NEEDS SERVICES
Have questions? We’re here to help. 734.213.3999 x212 | MIGoodFoodFund.org
JACK J. ELSEY JR. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DETROIT CHILDREN’S FUND
DAVID R. SMITH PRESIDENT, LOYOL A HIGH SCHOOL DETROIT
One of the most promising paths for achieving racial equity in this region is to greatly expand access to both business leaders and job opportunities for young Black men. By so doing, we can collectively build up the educational credentials, the marketplace know-how and the network of relationships necessary for these young Black men to compete and succeed in the 21st century global marketplace. That is why at Detroit Loyola High School, we provide a college-prep curriculum in the classroom, a comprehensive workstudy program in the community, and an overarching daily mission of creating “Men for Others...Men for Detroit.”
Detroit’s ability to be a leading city has limitless potential when we focus on what binds us together. Relationships, built by conversations and shared experiences, rooted in justice, honesty, equity, and a relentless love for our city can turn small ideas into big ones, personal change into systems transformation and, a city like Detroit – once considered an afterthought – into a place of promise and prosperity for all. For nearly one year, 70 leaders from the class of XLI (the best class ever!) laid the groundwork for what Detroit can be. We engaged in debate, supported each other through personal and professional success and loss, and persisted during a pandemic. I entered LD with questions, I left with new friends and hope.”
Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President and the Detroit Branch NAACP
Congratulate Kamilia K. Landrum on completing
Leadership Detroit XLI "I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom… I want to be remembered as one who tried." - Dorothy I. Height Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP
TAKE YOUR SOLES TO THE POLLS AND VOTE! 8220 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202 | (313) 871-2087 | DETROITNAACP.org
DAWN S. MEDLEY
ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT OF ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY From day one at Leadership Detroit, I learned and that continues today. By learning more about the city, our community-based organizations, businesses, and resources, I am better able to connect folks and help elevate the voices and goals of others which I think embodies the true function of leadership. You have to understand Detroit, the history, and the city before you have enough street cred to walk alongside us as we grow our city of opportunity. Leadership Detroit fast tracks those connections, historical perspectives and those opportunities. Now I can pick up the phone and call someone with an idea and we can work to make it happen.”
to our colleague Wendye Mingo
and the Leadership Detroit Class XLI for your outstanding contributions and achievements. kresge.org
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DIANA ABOUALI DIRECTOR, AR AB AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
GINNA HOLMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MICHIGAN COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMISSION
Leadership Detroit was a fantastic experience where I learned through my incredible classmates and had challenging discussions in the pursuit of more impactful leadership. LD provides a path to increase self-awareness, gain knowledge from different perspectives, and push the boundaries of understanding. Going through the experience during the pandemic allowed us to offer support and encouragement as we faced difficult personal and professional moments. The deep level of compassion that was demonstrated by our class gives me hope. There is a shared desire to make a difference in Detroit and the state, and these strong leaders will pursue that outcome.”
It will be difficult but certainly not impossible to dismantle the layers upon layers of structural racism that exist in this nation. One of the barriers to achieving racial equality in our region is the inequal access of K-12 students to a robust and quality education. The school system has failed the children of Detroit to the point where they sued the State of Michigan for denying them not only their right to an education, but to literacy. Education is a human right, and when children are denied the right to a quality education, they are denied access to a future on their own terms. And for a child to truly benefit from a quality education, there needs to be certain conditions in place outside the classroom: access to clean water, access to healthy and nutritious foods, access to safe neighborhoods, access to healthcare – things the city or state government must ensure are available to its citizens, and especially its most vulnerable ones, among whom are children.”
DANA L. WILLIAMS
CHIEF OF STAFF AND DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT, MAYOR’S OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, CITY OF DETROIT As someone who has practiced corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion, and led community efforts that required the translation of actions and messages to reach all kinds of audiences, I absolutely appreciate the value of having a deep and diverse personal network. In these times, I plan to deepen and expand the diversity of my network with more one-on-one conversations with those I know, and seeking their recommendations for others I should connect with. all members of our community must be met to build the best Detroit.”
Dave Scott, Manager of Sales and Account Management, Delta Dental of Michigan
Congratulations, Dave Scott on your recent graduation from Leadership Detroit Class XLI.
Thank you for your commitment to building healthy, smart, vibrant— and inclusive—communities, and ensuring that Delta Dental is a force for good in southeast Michigan.
Building brighter futures...every day.
DAVE SCOTT MANAGER, SALES AND ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT, DELTA DENTAL OF MICHIGAN
JENNIFER SULAK BROWN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PEOPLE + CULTURE + BR AND, BARTON MALOW
I found the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives to be a real game-changer in engaging in unique and meaningful dialogue during my LD experience. I appreciate all different perspectives and am thankful to have a great network of peers that I can call on and connect with on a regular basis. I plan to stay in contact with my LD peers, meet for events, discuss topics, as well as reach out to for advice and support. I will regularly offer up others in my network for support and ideally, everyone’s network will become extended support and connections for all.”
Leadership Detroit uses leadership development and robust dialogue to focus a corps of high potential professionals on problem solving in our region. The challenges in Southeast Michigan were amplified for our class by COVID-19 and the national uprising over systemic racism—and we tackled them head-on in virtual meetings and offline discussions. I will carry the momentum of those conversations with me and I will commit to creating a healthy environment of civil dialogue, inclusion and collaboration in the Southeast Michigan region. Understanding one another will move us forward as a region.”
Accounting Aid Society is proud to congratulate our own Chief Operating Officer Gabrielle Thomas and her fellow Leadership Detroit Class XLI graduates. Gabrielle's leadership, talent and unwavering commitment to community showcase the promise for the future of Detroit and beyond.
CONGRATULATIONS to our colleague Monifa Gray
and the entire Leadership Detroit Class XLI
Congratulations, Terrah Opferman, on the successful completion of the Leadership Detroit program! From your colleagues at Chase and J.P. Morgan.
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Congratulations to TIFFINI D. SMITH, Director of Human Resources and graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit Program, Class XLI. Tiffini exemplifies DEGC’s unrelenting commitment to strong leadership, positive change and economic equity. She joins the many DEGC Leadership Detroit alumni that shape our vision for inclusive economic development.
The 12-savings your business receives could help pay for your MEMBERSHIP INVESTMENT THIS YEAR. REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT TODAY: NationalChamberProgram.com/SignUp
Congratulations to Michael B. Shaw and the entire Leadership Detroit Class XLI for your commitment to bringing about positive change in our community.
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Contact our Corporate Partnerships team today. We’re ready to work with you! 866.829.0027 | firstname.lastname@example.org learningcaregroup.com/employersolutions Learning Care Group and its brands are equal opportunity providers. ©2020 Learning Care Group, Inc. All rights reserved. HLCG19
Security for the environment, and a boost for the economy. Protecting Michigan’s waters is critically important. So is safely delivering the energy that fuels Michigan’s quality of life.
ensure reliable and affordable energy for decades to come, while virtually eliminating the chance of a pipeline incident in the Straits.
That’s why we’re making a $500-million private investment in Michigan to build the Great Lakes Tunnel, deep under the Straits of Mackinac, to house our Line 5 pipeline.
Line 5 has operated safely and reliably in the Straits for more than 65 years, fueling Michigan’s economy and protecting the environment. Through the Great Lakes Tunnel Project, we’re making a safe pipeline even safer—while delivering the uninterrupted energy supply that Michigan needs.
The Great Lakes Tunnel will be built by Michigan labor, and harness the knowledge and experience of industry-leading tunnel engineers. The tunnel will
Learn more at enbridge.com/line5tunnel.
NEWS AaDya Security, a Detroit-based startup founded by security executive Raffaele Mautone in March of 2019, is offering their new cybersecurity platform, Marzo4, to support Detroit small businesses. The offer includes free access to the platform for each employee for six months with the remaining six months at the special rate of $20 per user. More than 180,000 members with commercially insured individual health care plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will receive one-time credits on their health plan premiums this fall. As a result of disruptions in the health care and dental industries due to the coronavirus pandemic, Blue Cross experienced lower than expected health care claims and is able to return a portion of premiums back to members. The credits total more than $21 million. Seventy Butzel Long attorneys have been chosen by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 (copyright 2021 by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, SC). Moreover, seven firm attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America® 2021 Ones to Watch. Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) is offering free services to high school students (including the class of 2020), current college students, families/parents supporting students and adults seeking to enroll in a college or career program. Dickinson Wright PLLC recently announced that Aaron Burrell, member in the firm’s Detroit and Troy offices, has been named to Diversity MBA’s 2020 Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders list. The list honors 100 talented professionals who have made a tremendous impact on leadership in their companies and communities.
GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT METRO DETROIT
Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced in June that its Pro Bono Counsel, Heidi Naasko, was selected to receive the State Bar of Michigan’s John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award for 2020. In her role as Pro Bono Counsel, Naasko leverages Dykema’s resources to satisfy the unmet legal needs of the community. Ford Motor Company, Bosch, and Bedrock recently displayed an automated valet parking demonstration in downtown Detroit. This system is designed to allow drivers to exit a vehicle and the vehicle would park itself in the parking structure. The demonstration took place in Assembly Garage, a parking structure in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood near the Fordowned Michigan Central Station. Global architecture and engineering firm Ghafari Associates (Ghafari) announced its investment in experiential design agency Eview 360. This investment formalizes the longstanding alliance of two Michiganbased companies that are jointly committed to delivering forward-thinking, user-centric spaces and cutting-edge technology applications. Giffels Webster, a Detroit-headquartered consulting firm, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the city. The firm has provided a broad scope of civil engineering, surveying, planning, GIS and landscape architectural services. Giffels Webster is dedicated to the revitalization of the city and improving overall quality of life, as well as actively involved in community service and volunteerism. LIFT, the Detroit-based Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, announced that it is accepting registrations for its fall welding and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) courses held at the institute’s Corktown facility. LIFT’s Welding Technician program
prepares students to become entry-level welders in either Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG) or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG). Miller Canfield recently appointed Michelle Crockett to the position of Chief Diversity Officer. Crockett previously served as the firm’s Hiring Chair/Diversity and Professional Development Principal. Her achievements include leading the firm to be included in the first class of major law firms nationwide to pilot the Mansfield Rule, which requires that at least 30 percent of candidates for lateral hiring and promotion considerations be women, minority and LGBTQ candidates. Oakland Community College will offer up to 3,500 Dell laptops to students who registered for twelve or more credit hours this fall to help them be successful with the increased technology needs they will face due to a remote learning format. Oakland Community College is offering 100 qualifying high school seniors in Oakland County a financial head start on higher education next fall with a $3,500 scholarship. Graduating high school students considering OCC for the 2020-21 academic year are encouraged to apply for a Chancellor’s Scholarship which helps incoming, qualified students with $1,750 for their fall semester and $1,750 for their winter semester. Pentastar Aviation, a leader in the world of business aviation, announced today that they have received the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Safety 1st Clean standard certification. The standard, implemented within Pentastar’s Executive Terminal or Fixed Base Operation (FBO), is a cleaning guideline developed in response to infectious disease and provides guidance on facility cleaning, disinfecting and facility operations in response to a pandemic.
Twenty-five Plunkett Cooney attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021. In addition to inclusion on the list this year, David K. Otis also received the Best Lawyers™ 2021 Municipal Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” award in Lansing, Michigan and Mary Massaron was named the Best Lawyers® 2021 Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm, has been named one of Construction Executive’s (CE) Top 50 accounting firms for the second year in a row. CE developed The Top 50 Construction Accounting Firms ranking by asking hundreds of U.S. construction accounting firms to submit their 2019 revenues from construction practices, number of CPAs in construction practices, percentage of firm’s total revenues from construction practices and number of construction clients in 2019, among other data. UHY Advisors, Inc. (UHY), one of the nation’s leading accounting and professional services firms (based in Farmington Hills), announces that Matt Martina, CPA, and Todd Sutherland, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), have joined the team as tax leaders working out of UHY’s Houston Office. Matt Martina has joined as Managing Director of International Tax Services and provides international tax services to clients in Houston, as well as nationally. Walsh College, raised over $63,000 during the inaugural Walsh Giving Day, exceeding fundraising goals and benefiting critical student programs including the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, which supports students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 15, 2020, more than $129,000 has been raised exclusively for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund.
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, Partner Thomas J. Manganello has been inducted into the Hall of Fame by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. The publication’s 2020 Hall
of Fame class honors twenty Michigan attorneys for their lifelong achievements and demonstration of strong leadership both within and outside of their chosen field.
SG ENERGY SOLUTIONS
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SMS Group of Companies 7140 W. Fort St Detroit, MI 313-827-1000 www.smsgoc.com core competencies.
Benefits & Human Capital Risk Management Retirement Services DETROIT | BIRMINGHAM | GRAND RAPIDS lockton.com | © 2020 Lockton Companies. All rights reserved.
JOIN US IN WELCOMING THESE NEW MEMBERS TO THE CHAMBER. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT THEM FOR FUTURE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.
Learning Care Group Mark Bierley 21333 Haggerty Road, Suite 100 Novi, MI 48375 248.697.9000 www.learningcaregroup.com Learning Care Group, Inc. is the second-largest for-profit child care provider in North America and a leader in early education. Their programs are designed for children aged 6 weeks to 12 years. Across eight unique brands, Learnign Care Group is committed to creating state-ofthe-art facilities with the latest technology and expert-driven curricula created by their own Education team.
PREMIER MEMBERSHIP Barnes and Thornburg, LLP Kelsey Schweibert 3000 Town Center, Suite 2440 Southfield, MI 48075 947.215.1310 www.btlaw.com Barnes and Thronburg, LLF is Michigan’s national law firm, with three offices in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. They understand what keeps you up at night and work collaboratively to find practical, costeffective and creative solutions for your legal needs. With more than 700 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. Their
skilled Michigan attorneys practice in areas such as agriculture and food, aviation, construction litigation, corporate, environmental, estate planning and business succession, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, Native American law, private client services, real estate, tax, and white collar and investigations. You’ll find Barnes & Thornburg at the heart of business in Michigan.
Detroit Axle Mike Musheinesh 2000 Eight Mile Road Ferndale, MI 48220 313.583.0000 www.detroitaxle.com Detroit Axle is a leading global retailer and distributor of OE re-manufactured and new aftermarket auto parts. They are committed to providing first-class products and outstanding customer service at an incredible value. Their rapidly-expanding product line includes CV Axles, Wheel Hub & Bearings, Suspension & Chassis parts, Complete Strut Assemblies, Shock Absorbers, Drilled & Slotted Brake Rotors, Conventional Brake Rotors, Ceramic Brake Pads, Rack & Pinion Assemblies, Gearboxes, Drive Shafts, and more.
Lockton John Price 6600 Woodward Ave., Suite 1900 Detroit, MI 48226 734.645.5309 www.lockton.com Although Lockton is the world’s largest privately held, independent insurance broker, clients typically describe us as team members who care about their business. Energy, innovation, and deep expertise fuel our efforts to solve problems and achieve results. Lockton is passionate about serving clients, developing associates, and giving back to the community. They
harness global resources to do one thing: help clients make their business better. They serve clients by improving the bottom line, managing capital, attracting and retaining talent, and by protecting people, property, and reputation.
Marygrove Awnings Jessy Nehro 12700 Merriman Road Livonia, MI 48150 734.250.9069 www.marygrove.com Since 1933, Marygrove Awnings has been a resource for the finest ready-to-install awnings, facades, commercial applications.
Michigan Premier Events Ashlee Willis 124 West Allegan St., Suite 1410 Lansing, MI 48933 517.242.7434 www.MichiganPremierEvents.com Michigan Premier Events is a full-service award-winning corporate & association event management company, which has provided its clients with proven results! Working with Michigan Premier Events means tapping into a wealth of strategic executive thought leadership and strategy to help your organization and business grow through events. Services include event production, video and live stream production, speaker sourcing and program development, agenda curation and promotion, event communication and marketing management.
SG Energy Solutions Derron Sanders 17255 West 10 Mile Road Southfield, MI 48075 313.822.7496
Membership 51 SG Energy Solutions Cont. www.sg-solutionsgroup.com SG Energy Solutions specializes in the Utility & Power Industry. They provide installation resources, fleet management, IT services, project management, and logistics support for a select group of niche clients around the globe.
SMS Group of Companies Pilar Doakes 7140 West Fort St. Detroit, MI 48209 313.828.1115 www.smsgoc.com SMS Group of Companies is a minority owned staffing company servicing Detroitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surrounding areas as well as several other states in the U.S. They currently have 4 main divisions: Light and Industrial, Automotive, Hospitality and Security with plans to expand. SMS has been in business for 20 years and has grassroots in Detroit. Their headquarters is in South West Detroit inside of the old 4th Precinct. Their team is experienced and committed to developing productive relationships and open lines of communication with the businesses we serve. Based on ongoing feedback, observation, and emerging needs, thye continuously enhance and improve the services we provide, so their customers get the right services and support, every time.
Wayne Center Darcel Lawrence 100 River Place, Suite 250 Detroit, MI 48207 313.871.2337 www.waynecenter.org Wayne Center is a non-profit that has been operating for 46 years as a community service agency in Wayne County that provides support coordination services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The agency provides services to over 1,000 individuals that range in age from 10 months to 87 years old. Examples of intellectual and developmental disabilities are autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, mental retardation and severe dyslexia. Wayne Center focuses primarily on supporting individuals in community settings through programs such as childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foster care, adult foster care, and acute crisis intervention to ensure that persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the necessary support and care in a positive environment.
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP 360 Detroit, Inc www.360detroitinc.org 3d Additive Fabrication www.3daf.ca A1 Fingerprinting Inc. 519.948.0800 Avalon Village www.theavalonvillage.org Basic Tool Inc. www.basictool.com Big Green www.biggreen.org Bridging Communities, Inc. www.bridgingcommunities.org Burns & McDonnell www.burnsmcd.com Cabot Technology Solutions www.cabotsolutions.com CAMufacturing Solutions Inc. www.camufacturing.com Carrie Morris Arts Production www.carriemorris.com Chaste Janitorial, LLC 313.784.8179 Complete Dominance Athletics www.cdathletics.shop Conifer Health Solutions www.coniferhealth.com Contents Processing Centre www.cpcwindsor.com CVG Tax Solutions www.cvgtaxsolutions.com Deliverbae Inc. www.deliverbae.com Detroit College Access Network DCAN www.detroitcan.org Detroit Phoenix Center www.detroitphoenixcenter.org Detroit Theater Organ Society www.dtos.org Eden Gardens Block Club www.edengardensblockclub.com Electric Vehicle Society Windsor-Essex www.evsociety.ca Fair Lane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford
www.henryfordfairlane.org GaiaDigits Inc. www.gaiadigits.com Green City Plastics www.greencityplastics.com Harbour Technologies www.harbour-tech.com Hubbard Farms Neighborhood Association www.hubbardfarmsdetroit.org Infinite Technologies, LLC. www.infinitetechs.com Inquisita Enterprises www.inquisitaenterprises.com
iPSE-U.S. www.ipse.us iWorker Innovations www.iw-innov.com JDRF www.jdrf.org M.I.C.H.A.E.L. Organization www.tmo.com Med Supply Corporation www.med-supply.com Michigan Science Center www.mi-sci.org Motherson www.motherson-innovations.com Motown Historical Museum www.motownmuseum.org Neon Software Co. www.neonsoftware.co NeoVision Technology www.nvti.ca Northend Christian CDC www.northendcdc.org Optimotive Technologies Inc. www.optimotive.io Productive Design Services Inc. www.productivedesign.com RIZZARR Inc. www.rizzarr.com Sentry Health Kiosk www.sentryhealth.life Sequel Tool and Mold Inc. www.sequeltool.com Technotronix Global Software www.technotronix.co The Botanist www.shopbotanist.com Trane Commercial Systems Ingersoll Rand www.trane.com Troy School District www.troy.k12.mi.us Vista Solutions Inc www.vistasolutions.ca WaterRising Institute www.waterrisinginstitute.org Whim-Detroit www.wearewhim.com Xcentrick Autosports Inc www.xkautosports.com
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY Grand Valley State University Kerr, Russell and Weber, P.L.C. Meritor, Inc. Michigan Technological University Motherson Soave Enterprises LLC
POINT OF VIEW GRAHAM FILLER REPRESENTATIVE (R- DEWIT T) INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION VS. INCARCERATION? ARE WE INVESTING IN THE WRONG PRIORITIES?
THE POLICY OF EQUITY
I am part of a conservative caucus that has shown remarkable support for reforms to the criminal justice system. These changes have led to more individual freedoms, more opportunities for Michiganders who have been through the justice system, and a more proportionate, balanced set of laws. Take a look at the Richard Handlon Correctional Facility and its vocational village, a skilled trades program inside a prison that has statistically led to (much) lower recidivism and individuals being hired right out of prison with important trade skills. That program is a good investment and has been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. IN TERMS OF DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE, HOW DO WE LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD AND CREATE MORE ACCESS FOR ALL PEOPLE? Take a look at the package of expungement bills that passed the House and soon will pass the Senate. When one individual cleans up their record, which leads to an educational or job opportunity, which leads to them being invested in their community, which leads to safer neighborhoods, which leads to this individual paying taxes…You get the point. That’s a powerful commitment from state legislators creating access to jobs and education and just overall bettering Michigan. URBAN POLICY AND POVERTY. SHOULD WE BE DOING MORE TO SUPPORT OUR CITIES AND URBAN CORE AND COMBAT POVERTY? When I met with Mayor Mike Duggan, he stated the expungement package would impact 100,000 Wayne County citizens and many African-American households. I will never forget that meeting; it inspired me as I worked the legislation through the House. Take a look at our civil asset forfeiture reforms, House Bills 4001-4002. One of the defining reasons for reforming civil asset forfeiture was to protect the low-income folks. The drug dealers and mules, let’s focus on defeating them, not the little guy who is pressured to cut a deal and watch their car/property be forfeited, keeping them poor. This was another policy steeped in proportionality and equity. Graham Filler is a Republican representing Michigan’s 93rd District.
TYRONE CARTER REPRESENTATIVE (D - DETROIT) INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION VS. INCARCERATION? ARE WE INVESTING IN THE WRONG PRIORITIES?
It is often said that if you want to know how many prisons to build, just look at the number of third-graders who can’t read. Education, or lack thereof, is deeply tied to rates of incarceration, especially in the Black community. If our real goal is to lower the populations of our overcrowded prisons, we must invest in education. A quality education gives everyone the opportunity to support themselves and positively contribute to their community. Continuing to build more prison cells is treating the symptom, not the problem. When you look at the numbers of per pupil funding and per prisoner spending there is no question that we are investing in the wrong places. IN TERMS OF DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE, HOW DO WE LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD AND CREATE MORE ACCESS FOR ALL PEOPLE? Everyone benefits from a diverse and inclusive work environment, where employees can bring their broad perspectives and innovative problem-solving skills. The most important step we can take as individuals is to recognize inequality and have open discussions about these uncomfortable topics. We need to encourage companies to engage with diverse job boards when hiring and offer internships to minority groups that could transfer into full-time employment. Inherent bias training could also help promote a more equitable workplace that is accessible to everyone. URBAN POLICY AND POVERTY. SHOULD WE BE DOING MORE TO SUPPORT OUR CITIES AND URBAN CORE AND COMBAT POVERTY? In short – absolutely. We are still living with the result of decades of social segregation and redlining, which have concentrated much of our poorest population in urban areas. The quality of schools, levels of pollution, and countless other factors are often much worse in these areas because those in power felt free to further disenfranchise an already marginalized population. This creates additional barriers to those looking to improve their situation, undermining the American Dream and the very principles we hold dear. It’s past time we work to make this right. • Tyrone Carter is a Democrat representing Michigan’s 6th District.
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