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Michigan Chronicle

Vol. 84 – No. 24 | February 17-23, 2021

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Wayne County Community College District’s Accredited Status Continued For Another Decade Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Panel Notes District’s Fiscal Responsibility During Difficult Year The Wayne County Community College District’s accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has been continued for another 10 years; the result of a comprehensive evaluation by HLC peer reviewers performed last Spring. The peer reviewers particularly commended the District’s fiscal responsibility and commitment to the communities it serves during Dr. Curtis L. Ivery the pandemic. “We are complimented and proud to again receive this affirmation of the world-class quality of our college District from the Higher Learning Commission,” said WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery. “Our mission has always been to provide pathways to better lives through higher education. The HLC’s rigorous evaluation of our District validated that our programs, faculty, facilities, and methods are pursuing that mission with excellence.” The HLC’s peer review process is intended to provide colleges and universities critical evaluation of their purposes, and how effective they have been in serving those purposes. The HLC is also seeking to ensure that quality benchmarks are being met and that the college is engaged in continuous improvement processes, including professional development. “The programs, facilities, and systems that the HLC reviewed were the result of years of planning and working as a team to build structures that would allow us to move our mission forward,” said Johnesa Hodge, District Vice Chancellor Institutional Effectiveness. “That work never stops, and we are gratified that the HLC validated that we are on the right track.” WCCCD received a successful reaffirmation of its accreditation from the HLC meeting all required criteria with no findings. “We congratulate WCCCD, the Chancellor, his team, the faculty , students, and staff on the reaffirmation of what we know to be true,” said WCCCD Board of Trustees Chairperson Mary Ellen Stempfle, “that WCCCD is where learning leads to a better life.” About WCCCD: WCCCD, the largest urban community college in Michigan, is a multi-campus district with six campus locations and specialty campuses, including the Mary Ellen Stempfle University Center, the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center, the Michigan Institute for Public

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It’s Not So Black and White: Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine May Depend On Your Race By Sherri Kolade With COVID-19 still raging in America, according to nationwide case reports there are over 27 million positive cases and nearly 470,000 deaths, numbers that we never thought to reach. And with new strains popping up locally, many Black residents might be wondering when they can roll up their sleeves and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. That is if they even want it or can readily receive it when it is their turn. Nationwide reports are stating that Black Americans are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at a lower rate than their white counterparts. It’s an issue that is not so black and white. This is partly due to a lack of access to the vaccine and also due to not wanting to receive it because of the historical mistrust between Black communities and the medical field. A CNN analysis reports from 14 states advised that vaccine coverage is twice as high among whites on average than it is among Blacks and Latinos. On average, more than 4 percent of the white population has received a COVID19 vaccine, about 2.3 times higher than the Black population. To note, Blacks and Latinos are dying of COVID-19 at three times the rate of whites succumbing to the virus. These groups are also being hospitalized at a rate four times higher, according to the U.S. Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention. Michigan health officials are trying to bridge that gap through education and information. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), recently testified before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee about Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, federal needs and the state’s work to expedite the administration of vaccines without “compromising equity.” “Since the emergence of COVID-19 just over a year ago, the world has eagerly awaited a vaccine that could help to end this unprecedented pandemic,” Khaldun said in a press release. “Now, with two safe and effective vaccines and additional vaccines on the horizon, Michigan is working to distribute the vaccine quickly, efficiently and equitably to residents across the state. Like many other states, Michigan’s single biggest challenge with the vaccine rollout has been the limited supply of vaccine available week to week and the lack of a national federal strategy until now. Despite this, Michigan has made significant strides in implementing our vaccination strategy.” Khaldun outlined the comprehensive vaccination strategy Michigan launched, with goals including having:

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• 90 percent of received vaccines be administered within seven days. • 95 percent of people get their second dose of vaccine within the expected time frame. • No disparity exist in vaccination rates across racial and ethnic groups or by social vulnerability index. • No one drive more than 20 minutes to reach a vaccination site. Khaldun testified alongside physicians and public health nationwide as part of a hearing entitled, “No Time to Lose: Solutions to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations in the States.” She said that while these vaccines were developed in less than a year, “they were built upon decades of scientific research” with rigorous testing. “I am proud of the work of our state and local health departments and health care systems who have worked tirelessly to deliver vaccines while also fighting to bring down the curve,” she said. A copy of Khaldun’s full testimony is available on the MDHHS website. On February 10, Khaldun was also tapped as a member of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

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Michigan Chronicle Endorses Bishop J. Drew Sheard for Re-election to COGIC’S General Board By Donald James Special to the Chronicle

For more than three decades, Bishop J. Drew Sheard has served as senior pastor of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ (COGIC), located on Detroit’s west side. Bishop Sheard has been lauded for his leadership in facilitating a “ministry of excellence.” The church is now recognized as one of the largest and most progressive COGIC congregations in Michigan. Bishop Sheard’s indelible fingerprints can also be found on other spiritual and kingdom building endeavors, broader empowerment of communities, and numerous humanitarian missions across America and on foreign soil. In his quest to further advance the Church of God in Christ on multiple levels, Bishop Sheard is seeking re-election to COGIC’s General Board.

UpNext:

• 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and older get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Church of God in Christ – with 6.5 million members in approximately 100 countries - will hold its Quadrennial Election to fill numerous positions. In addition to the General Board, other positions on the ballot are for Financial Secretary, General Secretary, Treasurer, Trustee Board, and Judiciary Board (General Assembly). According to the Church of God in Christ’s official website, the role of the General Board,

comprised of 12 bishops, is to establish and execute policies for the COGIC membership, as well as sustain and perpetuate spiritual order within the Church. Bishop Sheard brings much experience to the General Board. He was first elected in 2012 and again in 2016, both times serving four-year terms. “Every assignment that I’ve been given as a General Board member, I have always left the assignment better off than I found it,” said Bishop Sheard. “As a General Board member, I will continue to serve with integrity, humility and dedication to ministry.” The Bishop’s accomplishments as a two-term member of the General Board have been rooted in his commitment to God, dedication to Church, a commitment to elevate women to leadership positions in the church, and the commitment to reach and maintain fiscal and financial responsibilities. As chairman of COGIC’S Auxiliaries in Ministry (AIM) Convention, the Bishop helped boost attendance, and demonstrated fiscal and financial responsibilities by sending an unpreceded

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Bishop Sheard From page A-1

amount of money back to the National Church. He facilitated the same level of fiscal and financial acumen as president of COGIC’s International Youth Department’s Music and Youth Convention.

While Bishop Sheard is a strong candidate for a third term on the General Board, he has expressed a great interest in the position of Presiding Bishop. The next Presiding Bishop, said Bishop Sheard, will be elected from members of the next General Board. “If I’m blessed to be re-elected to the General Board, with support, I will submit my name for Presiding Bishop,” he said. “I know in my heart and spirit that I can provide the leadership that the Church must have to move forward in bold ways.” “Real Times Media and our historic Black newspapers - the Michigan Chronicle, Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier, and Atlanta Daily World - fully endorse Bishop J. Drew Sheard for re-election to COGIC’s General Board,” said Hiram E. Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media. “Bishop Sheard has proven himself to be a true man of God and a cross-generational thinker and leader in the Church of God in Christ locally, nationally, and internationally. And if Bishop Sheard chooses to pursue the position of Presiding Bishop, our emphatic endorsement will follow his pathway through the entire process.” Bishop Sheard’s vision, if elected Presiding Bishop, would mirror the leadership, commitment and dedication he has shown as pastor of Greater Emmanuel in Detroit, and the contributions demonstrated over the last eight years as a member of the General Board. His focus of leadership is on COGIC reclaiming its spirituality and spiritual heritage, financial restructuring and economic empowerment, shepherding the growth and infrastructure of the church, and strengthening marriages and families. “I strongly believe that the family is the cornerstone of the church, and there must be a restored focus on marriage,” said Bishop Sheard, who with his wife, Karen Clark Sheard of The Clark Sisters, are the parents of two adult children and have two grandchildren. “My plan is to facilitate a renewed commitment to marriage and families, by establishing ministry leadership to strengthen marriages based on biblical principles, while refocusing on training and educating our children. However, as we work to empower families, we must also ensure that the church is a refuge for the fatherless and offers healing for broken families.” Bishop Sheard is also a major proponent of education. “As a former schoolteacher, it is important that the Church of God in Christ has educational components that are competitive,” said Bishop Sheard, who holds both a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in mathematics from Wayne State University. “We want to make our learning institutions stronger. I want our students who attend COGIC learning institutions to be right at the top and not be subserviate to

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Bishop J. Drew Sheard with his wife, Karen Clark Sheard

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any other educational system.” Often called a difference maker, Bishop Sheard’s relief efforts has been greatly received by communities in crisis in Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, and internationally. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bishop’s STRETCH Ministry has secured funds to render technical support to pastors and their respective churches surrounding the issues of presenting virtual church services and other events. As the Feb. 23 Quadrennial Election draws closer, Bishop Sheard continues to work steadfastly in leading his own church, but first being obedient to God’s call. The Bishop knows, however, this is a pivotal election of great magnitude for COGIC and people of all dominations around the globe. “I feel that Bishop Sheard is the best candidate for re-election to the General Board of the Church of God in Christ because his leadership has been proven and trusted,” said Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole, Elect Lady, COGIC’s Department of Evangelism. “My vote is secure with him because I trust the God in him, his vision and his ability to teach and lead our people in this hour.” “Just to be able to say that I know a man like Bishop J. Drew Sheard is a blessing,” said Nicole Black of the Michigan Chronicle. “Being a young woman in the faith-based community, I can truly say that Bishop Sheard is a true man of faith, who I have great admiration and respect for. He has served his family, his church and the community with class, poise and dignity and has proven that he is what the world needs as a global leader.” As the Bishop prepares for the Election, he prays that he will be re-elected to the General Board, with the strong possibility of submitting his name for COGIC’s Presiding Bishop. Bishop Sheard knows whatever happens, his spiritual mantra remains the same - “It’s Still a God Thing!” For more information on Bishop J. Drew Sheard’s candidacy, log on to www.sheard2021.com.

WCCCD From page A-1

Safety Education (MIPSE), the Curtis L. Ivery Health and Wellness Education Center, and the Outdoor Careers Training Center. The District serves nearly 70,000 students annually across 36 cities and townships, and more than 500 square miles. WCCCD is committed to the continued development of new programs, workforce transformation, hosting community-based training sessions, and improv-

ing student facilities and services. www.wcccd.edu. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes 19 states. For more information, please visit https://www.ncahlc. org/ or call 800-621-7440.

Detroit Women Take a Stand Against their No. 1 Killer: Heart Disease The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon goes virtual and empowers women to be in control of their heart health at every age. The 2021 Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon Digital Experience to support the fight to end heart disease and stroke will be held on February 26, 2021 and for the first time, it is free and open to the public. This year the theme is ‘Faces of Heart,’ and we will shine a light on women across Metro Detroit from diverse backgrounds and communities who have been impacted by heart disease and stroke. “This year’s event has particular significance as its theme, ‘Faces of Heart,’ brings awareness to the social determinates of health that disproportionately impact women. Women’s health is an equity issue. COVID-19 has been an unfortunate reminder of the impact social factors and racial inequality can have on the health of BIPOC communities, this year we will celebrate women, we will share stories from survivors, and we will embrace the incredible diversity of all the many faces of heart,” said Kristian Hurley, Detroit Executive Director American Heart Association. The Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon is co-chaired by Tricia Keith, EVP, President, of Emerging Markets for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Betsy Meter, former Michigan Managing Partner, for KPMG LLP. This premier virtual experience will be emceed

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“I’m a bridgebuilder between the generations,” said Bishop Sheard. “We need to demonstrate that our seniors are not to be forgotten, and at the same time we must make room for the next tier of leaders because they are critical to the future of our church.”

In looking to COGIC’S future, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., senior pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, announced last year that he would not seek-re-election as a member of the General Board or Presiding Bishop. His decision means that the Feb. 23 Quadrennial Election will vote-in a new Presiding Bishop.

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Bishop Sheard is known among his peers as someone who respects the past, can lead in the present, and has great vision for preparing for the future.

“I am grateful for the chance to publicly affirm my support and commit my vote to the candidacy of Bishop J. Drew Sheard’s re-election bid to the General Board of the Church of God in Christ,” said Pastor Marcus R. Ways, Sr., Elected Vice Chairman of the General Counsel of Pastors and Elders. “We grew up together as teenage preachers. I have observed Bishop Sheard’s leadership develop and continue into his adult years. I believe Bishop Sheard is a leader that will take our great church to the next level of its existence.”

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by award-winning reporter and host Lila Lazarus and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the State of Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, as well as inspiring survivor stories, a silent and live auction and more. “It is my distinct honor to serve as this year’s Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon co-chair,” said Keith. “The American Heart Association has long served as a key resource for women navigating their own cardiovascular challenges – among those COVID-19 – and those who have survived the worst of it. This year’s program, ‘Faces of Heart,’ will showcase the disparities women confront and advocate for more equitable health outcomes for everyone in Southeast Michigan.” “The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women mission and purpose to fight heart disease and stroke has really resonated with me as cardiac events are on the rise in young women,” said

Betsy Meter, retired Michigan Managing Partner, KPMG LLP. “I am proud to serve as co-chair for the 2021 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon as we need to bring greater awareness to women of all ages as heart disease is the number one cause of death.” The Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon is sponsored nationally by CVS Health and locally by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, KPMG, Toyota, ITC Holdings Corporation, and Huntington Bank. Here in Detroit Go Red for Women empowers women to take charge of their heart health and advocates for more to be done from public health organizations, government, health care professionals and community organizations. We urge them to join forces and provide solutions to improve awareness, especially among young women and Black and Hispanic women. For more information visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/

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COVID-19 Vaccine From page A-1

which will help address pandemic-related inequities. The 12-member task force ranges in diversity on all levels and will issue recommendations to help inform the COVID-19 response and recovery. This includes recommendations on the equitable allocation of COVID-19 resources and relief funds, according to a press release. The state’s own Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. created per Executive Order 2020-55, also acts in an advisory role but reports to Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The task force studies the causes of racial disparities and recommends actions to address the historical and systemic inequities. Lynn Sutfin, public information officer of MDHHS, told The Michigan Chronicle that to prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and improve the system overall, race and ethnicity information was added as a data field to data feeds flowing into the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). It then collects immunization information from various providers into an immunization record allowing providers to view up-to-date patient immunization history. “An MDHHS development team is currently making modifications to support hand entry of race and ethnicity data in MCIR, as well as linking additional data sets to MCIR data, to improve the data we have,” Sutfin said. Sutfin added that initial reports indicate Michigan’s data will be similar to states across the nation. “Both the city of Detroit and the county of Genesee have vaccination rates per 100,000 population that are below the state rate,” she said. “Making use of federal guidelines, the first vaccination phase in Michigan targeted paid and unpaid health care workers, which, given the disparities in the healthcare worker field, will disadvantage areas with higher African American residents.” Sutfin added that the data is not yet published on which ethnic groups have the vaccine. “This is why the state is using an equity lens in allocation strategy, including providing additional doses outside the allocation strategy to enable areas at disadvantage to catch up in vaccination. We plan to begin reporting this information in the near future,” she said. Also, Mobile Strike Teams will be deployed to assist with vaccinations

of those populations that might not be easily able to go to a vaccination site. In its vaccination strategy, MDHHS also launched a statewide paid media campaign to inform Michiganders about the COVID-19 vaccine in response to research about attitudes toward the vaccine and to address vaccine hesitancy among Michigan residents. The Protect Michigan Commission, composed of a diverse group of leaders from across the state, is also working to ensure that every Michigan resident has information on the COVID-19 vaccine. Whitmer announced appointments to the commission in late January and the group hosted their first meeting then, highlighting the state’s vaccine strategy. Established by Executive Order 2020-193, the commission serves as an advisory group to Whitmer and the MDHHS. “The work of the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission will help Michigan reach its goal of 50,000 shots in arms per day and help ensure all Michiganders have a plan to get their vaccine once it is their turn,” said Whitmer. The bi-partisan commission plans to create an outreach strategy and submit a final report to Whitmer by Dec. 31, 2021, the release added. More information about the commission is available by finding MDHHS - Protect Michigan Commission online. Dr. James Grant, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) told The Michigan Chronicle that some communities across the nation are seeing a disparity in terms of access to the vaccine. “Here in Michigan, we are seeing focused efforts from the state of Michigan as well as within local communities like the City of Detroit to ensure that there is equity in access to the vaccine,” he said. He added that while he’s not sure society will ever truly get back to preCOVID times, he sees a glimmer of hope when enough people are vaccinated. “This will help decrease transmission of the disease, decrease the severity of cases that are created, and will help to relieve the burden on the health care system caused by excessive numbers of COVID cases,” he said. Find more information at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/ COVIDVaccine.


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Antionette Frost (left) and Patricia McCann (right) pose with Detroit Lions mascot, Roary, as the team prepares to drop off care kits to community members. Photo credit: Detroit Lions

Comerica Bank partners with Detroit Lions and United Way to Give Back to Detroit Public School Community Students

Hundreds of Detroit Public Schools students in need received welcome packages of personal care items in January thanks, in large part, to Comerica Bank’s participation in this year’s Detroit Lions Hometown Huddle.

In keeping with Comerica’s longtime commitment to supporting the communities it services, the company huddled up with the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Lions to create more than 600 kits packed with things like towels, deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss and body wash.

Way folks led an exercise on how to better understand how those with limited resources must make tough choices.

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“The Hometown Huddle is a perfect example of organizations in our community using their leverage, using their platforms, to be a force for good in the community,” said Dr. Darienne Hudson, President & CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Each year’s Hometown Huddle takes on a different form, supporting a variety of causes. For instance, last year, Comerica volunteers packaged thousands of emergency food boxes that were placed in local grocery stores that shoppers could buy for $5 apiece, which were then sent to food banks and food pantries. “It was a huge project that was all about access to emergency food,” said McCann.

Comerica Bank’s continued support for Hometown Huddle really supports the company’s core values, stating “promises of raising expectations of what a bank can be.”

In all, over 60 Comerica bank volunteers bought items with funds provided by the Detroit Lions and packed 10 kits apiece. Some even went beyond the shopping lists given to them and added extra items, according to Antoinette Frost, Comerica first level loan closing officer and Southeast Michigan volunteer coordinator.

The Hometown Huddle project was started by the National Football League (NFL) more than 20 years ago, according to Patricia McCann, Comerica vice president and senior diversity consultant over social impact practices. It was through Comerica’s existing partnerships with the Detroit Lions and United Way the company became involved with the project – what she termed “an annual day of service.”

The kits were delivered by volunteers on Jan. 25th to a central Detroit Public Schools location.

The previous year’s Hometown Huddle efforts supported military veterans through The Mission Continues, an organization that provided service opportunities for returning members of the armed services, “so they could continue their mission of continued service,” McCann explained.

“Comerica Bank and Detroit Lions really embody that spirit of giving and volunteerism. This year to be able to pack personal care kits for our children who are vicariously housed, that they don’t have a permanent night time residence has never been more essential. I love the fact that this is something that our community counts on every year that we are able to bring such good will.”

“Some even added a little postcard with messages like ‘you got this,’ ‘you’re awesome,’ ‘you can do it!’” said Frost. She further explained the urgency to distribute these kits to students in need saying, “when they go home, they don’t have they everyday essentials we may take for granted and may not have the means to purchase these items.”

“It’s eye opening and helps us to understand the work United Way does and how our support for United Way helps others,” said McCann.

The company came through despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, said McCann. “Through technology and commitment of our colleagues, we still find a way to make a positive social impact in the community,” said McCann. “The world came to a standstill, but the needs did not.”

Care packages prepared by Comerica Bank and United Way volunteers, ready to be dropped off to members of the community. Photo credit: Detroit Lions This year, the Comerica team met with Detroit Lions reps at the company’s Livonia office, where a distribution process was created, and 60plus volunteers picked up their kits, which included bags and a shopping list provided by the Lions. “The Detroit Lions would not be able to have the impact in the community without partners like United Way and Comerica Bank,” said Jen McCollum, Senior Director of Community Relations

& Detroit Lions Charities. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, volunteers and their families went shopping for the listed supplies, and on Jan. 22, a virtual packing party was held via Zoom. Former Lions players Lomas Brown and T.J. Lang led the event with Brown serving as emcee, and Lang taking the remote participants through some stretch exercises, said McCann. She explained, Comerica’s involvement and the United

This enabled the Lions and Comerica to offer volunteers an easy and safe way to positively impact children and families across Detroit. For Antoinette Frost, who leads southeast Michigan’s volunteer efforts for Comerica, as someone born, raised and educated in Detroit, it’s a matter of hometown pride and corporate responsibility. “It’s the right thing to do,” said Frost. “I was brought up knowing it takes a village. Well, sometimes the village needs help, and Comerica is always willing to help.”

Lions mascot, Roary, lends his helping paws to deliver personal care kits for DPS Items included in care packages, including soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, hand sanitizers and more. students and families. Photo credit: Detroit Lions


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Khali Sweeney, Downtown Boxing Gym

Kenyatta Sweeney, Black Family Development, Inc.

By Josh Berenter (@DetroitRedWings), DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – In honor of Black History Month, the Detroit Red Wings and Comerica Bank are proud to introduce Game Changers, a celebratory series throughout February to recognize Black individuals making a positive impact in the lives of young Detroiters. The Game Changers series honors one community member per week throughout Black History Month who is establishing a profound influence in the areas of youth education, youth wellness or hockey participation. Each honoree’s story will be celebrated during the Red Wings’ home game on February 25 where they will be presented with a personalized jersey and a Game Changers plaque. Honorees will also receive a $1,000 grant dedicated to the charity of their choice. Finally, all four honorees will be invited to participate in a virtual panel discussion during an episode of The Word on Woodward focused on the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion. “To the Red Wings, a game changer is someone who makes an immense impact in the lives of young Detroiters,” said Kevin Brown, the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers director of community impact. “We’re excited to work in partnership with Comerica Bank to deliver resources and shine a light on community members making a difference for thousands of children across Detroit. That’s what the Red Wings Game Changers series is all about -- elevating the work and celebrating success.”

Kenyatta Stephens honored for nearly 25 years of service in metro Detroit

The Red Wings’ first Game Changers honoree is Kenyatta Stephens, chief executive officer of Black Family Development, Inc., which is a Detroit-headquartered non-profit organization whose mission is to build partnerships that strengthen and enhance youth, families and communities in eastern Wayne County. Black Family Development, Inc. is a 43-year-old family preservation agency that employs 20-plus treatment and prevention programs. The programs use science-based approaches to keep families together, strong and resilient through life’s crises. Stephens has represented Black Family Development, Inc. since July 1997 when she started as a program supervisor. Stephens became chief operating officer in 1999 and was named CEO this past July. As CEO, Stephens is responsible for overall business and program operations, including board collaboration, stakeholder relationships, vision setting and strategic planning. Stephens said the aspect she most enjoys about her position is seeing youth, family and neighborhood transformation as they achieve goals to enrich lives. “I love seeing families overcome obstacles and achieve their goals in partnership with the staff that they entrust to help them achieve those goals,” said Stephens, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 1993 and earned her Master’s in Psychiatric Mental Health/Child & Family in 1994 from The University of Pennsylvania. “I love the science-based approach that our expert staff uses, and the passion and compassion in which they execute their service on behalf of families.” Brown said Stephens is the perfect candidate to be the first Game Changers honoree because of her long-standing dedication and steadfast devotion to improving family life in the community. “Kenyatta is the true embodiment of a Game Changer,” Brown said. “After reviewing the achieved outcomes of BFDI’s comprehensive continuum of care, it’s clear to see Kenyatta is a proven leader in shaping and improving the futures of children and families living in metro Detroit.” Stephens said she’s pleased to see the social justice movement gaining momentum in metro Detroit and throughout the country and said she’s hopeful that momentum can continue with increased awareness and systemic change. “I think we need to continue the work towards equity and look at system-level change and policy-level change so that the initiatives that have started through this social justice movement penetrate down to the family and child level,” Stephens said.“If that happens, children of this generation can experience the policy and systemic changes that don’t allow the inequities

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Red Wings honor Game Changers as part of Black History Month celebration

Kenyatta Stephens that past generations have experienced to perpetuate into the future.” Stephens said being named as a Game Changers honoree will shine a greater light on the important work that Black Family Development, Inc. does on a daily basis. “It’s an opportunity to say thank you for recognizing the work that our champion staff have been doing in the community,” she said. “We are committed to partnering with families to make sustainable change and improvements in others’ lives. We’re honored for this opportunity to elevate the work of our staff and our community partners who help make this work happen. “We appreciate the Red Wings for taking this opportunity to elevate great examples of commitment to ongoing equality within the Detroit community.” Stephens emphasized that Black Family Development, Inc. welcomes children and families of every color, creed and background, and her organization is committed to helping families get through the coronavirus pandemic together. “BFDI’s doors are open to all persons,” she said emphatically. “Our real passion, particularly during the pandemic, is that anyone who feels as though a little bit of extra support could be helpful due to the losses that this pandemic created, or if anyone is feeling isolated, we are available to give support.” For more information on the tremendous work of Black Family Development, Inc., visit BlackFamilyDevelopment.org or call 313-758-0150.

Khali Sweeney to his. Sweeney quit a successful job in construction and went to work to find a safe place for kids to receive tutoring, mentorship and discipline through the art of boxing. “I made it out, but I asked myself, how many kids don’t even have a chance to make it? Construction work wasn’t really fulfilling for me,” Sweeney said about his decision to alter his life to start the program. “I was at work one day and just decided to do something more productive with my life, something that can benefit the whole community. “I quit my job that day and decided to dedicate my life to what I’m passionate about and what I really wanted to be doing.” But the transition wasn’t smooth for Sweeney in the beginning. While attempting to build an organizational infrastructure and secure funding, facilities, qualified tutors and coaches, Sweeney lost everything. He put all his resources into the program and in doing so, he became homeless and hungry, living out of his car and losing more than 60 pounds of muscle. Sweeney slowly began growing the program by offering boxing lessons to adults for free. The only caveat was his clients had to agree to tutor children in the community and mentor them after school. While he was struggling, Sweeney

met a woman named Jessica Hauser, who was looking for a personal trainer. Hauser had a business acumen, with a degree from Oakland University, and began helping Sweeney develop a business infrastructure. Together, Sweeney and Hauser built the Downtown Boxing Gym from the ground up into the thriving nonprofit organization it is today. Hauser now serves as the gym’s executive director--a role she has held since 2010. And what began as a one-man grassroots movement in a former car wash in 2007 has transformed into a beautiful 27,000-square-foot facility with more than 150 participants, a fulltime staff of instructors and mentors and more than 1,300 children on the waiting list. The program has also graduated 100 percent of its students from high school since 2007, and 98 percent of its students have gone onto college. “As you learn about his journey and the sacrifices he made to build a better future for children in Detroit, it’s clear that Khali is a perfect example of a Game Changer,” said Red Wings and Tigers director of community impact Kevin Brown. “Khali’s story shows that when you set a goal and passionately chase it, anything is possible.” In recognition of his success, Sweeney was a 2017 finalist for CNN’s Hero of the Year award, he was honored by national publications like People Mag-

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azine and ESPN.com and this past October, the Downtown Boxing Gym was featured on NBC’s The Today Show for its incredible effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, Sweeney and his team quickly jumped into action, outfitting their vans with personal protection equipment and boxed meals for program participants. Sweeney’s team also made sure the kids’ families were fed and he partnered with other community organizations to ensure families’ needs were met. Instead of decreasing his staff during the pandemic as several other organizations were forced to do, Sweeney hired additional staff members to keep up with increased demand by employing online tutors and creating virtual workouts. “We’re giving everybody the tools they need to be successful,” Sweeney said. “There’s no reason for a kid to be falling behind because they don’t have access to the internet. A lot of these kids are doing online schooling, and the only computer in the house is on somebody’s phone. We make sure they have internet access and we make sure they have tutors. “We make sure we have the resources for the kids to succeed. We do job shadowing, financial literacy, mock trials at the federal courthouse, exposure to a lot of different things.” True to his character, Sweeney said he’s thrilled about being a Red Wing Game Changers honoree, not for his own accolades, but because it can shine a light on all the tremendous work of others in the metro Detroit community and inspire people to do more. “I think it’s excellent because a lot of people work tirelessly, and if you work for the community, you know there’s very little time for celebration because there’s always more work to be done,” Sweeney said. “And when someone recognizes you in any way, it boosts you up and puts another spark in you to push a little bit harder. Because most of the time, you’re just working and you don’t take time for yourself. “And for somebody to take time out to honor you, it just makes you feel good. It gives you that added push to get up in the morning and keep doing what you’re doing. I think it’s going to inspire a lot of people; it’s going to keep people going and it might be that little boost, that little pat on the back to keep moving forward.” And while the Downtown Boxing Gym is thriving amid a global pandemic, Sweeney said he’s eager to put the pandemic in the past so he can continue growing his program and help even more kids. “We’re currently trying to add 100 kids to our program, we’re starting an apprentice program right now and I’d love to get some of those 1,300 kids off the waiting list,” Sweeney said. “I hope to see us continue growing and continue serving our community and beyond.” For more information on Sweeney and the fantastic work of the Downtown Boxing Gym, visit DBGDetroit.org.

Khali Sweeney selected for tireless work with Detroit youth

The second Game Changers honoree, who will be celebrated during the Red Wings’ home game on February 25 and presented with a personalized jersey and a Game Changers plaque, is Khali Sweeney, the founder and CEO of southeast Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym. The Downtown Boxing Gym is a nonprofit after-school academic and athletic program that provides Detroit students aged 8-18 with a path to success through tutoring, mentorship, enrichment programs, college and career prep, social-skill building, basic needs support, transportation and much more. Sweeney founded the education-focused safe haven--whose motto is ‘books before boxing’--in 2007 in an attempt to provide the resources and role models students need to succeed in school and in life. “I saw a need for it in the community,” the 51-year-old Sweeney said. “There was an absence of any type of positive activity for the kids in the community and I saw this everywhere I went. It was the same cycle being repeated over and over again.” After enduring a tough childhood of his own, where Sweeney struggled to read and write, was involved in gangs and was raised by foster parents, the lifelong Detroit resident felt compelled to help kids with backgrounds similar

Comerica means Community. At Comerica Bank, the well-being of our customers, employees and communities is our priority. For over 170 years, we’ve been helping customers weather every economic climate. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an unprecedented impact on the businesses and the people in our communities, we stand ready to help. Let us Raise Your Expectations® of what a bank can be in times like these.

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Money.

michiganchronicle.com

Commentary

It’s Critical to Support Small and BIPOC-owned Businesses By Pamela Dover While the pandemic’s ripple effect has impacted many businesses, a National Bureau of Economic Research study from June 2020 revealed Black, Indigenous and People of Color-owned (BIPOC) organizations have taken a bigger hit. Nationally, the number of Black business owners plummeted from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April — a 41% loss in a couple of months — while the number of Latinx business owners dropped from 2.1 million to 1.4 million (32%) from February to March 2020. COVID-19 is not the only challenge impacting small and BIPOC-owned businesses, of course. They also face old and new difficulties due to systemic social and economic injustices, civil Pamela Dover and social unrest, and environmental events — and these ongoing inequities have been further highlighted during the pandemic, including in our community. An Aug. 2020 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed businesses in Wayne County did not have appropriate access to coronavirus-relief federal loans. The report noted Black-owned businesses across the country saw “huge disparities in access to federal relief funds and a higher rate of business closures.” Additionally, the Detroit Free Press found only 11.6% of Black-owned firms in Wayne County had received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program through June 2020. For their small businesses to survive over the next few years, BIPOC business owners will need to employ all of their skills, creativity, resources and capacities to stay viable and thrive — but the onus should not be entirely on them. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. When they don’t make it, the entire country pays the price: skyrocketing unemployment rates, reduced consumer spending and less optimistic long-term forecasts for all businesses, among other effects. But when they succeed, we all succeed. That’s why companies with more resources should play a role in supporting small and minority-owned businesses — and why Comcast created a new initiative, Comcast RISE, in October 2020 to help these businesses address their challenges and succeed over the long term. The first wave of RISE — which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment” — granted marketing, creative, media and technology services to small businesses owned by underrepresented

An illustration of the $9.7 million housing and retail development coming to Northwest Detroit. Photo provided by Rodney Hardamon

Affordable Housing For Detroit:

Multi-million Dollar Housing, Retail Project Slated for McNichols-Wyoming-Livernois Area By Sherri Kolade

tentionally invest in neighborhoods slightly off the beaten path,” he said, adding that it is about finding great opportunity and allow the next generation of Black boys and girls to “see someone who looks like them.”

A $9.7 million development is in the works for Six Mile Road near Livernois in northwest Detroit, developer Roderick Hardamon, CEO of URGE Development Group, confirmed with The Michigan Chronicle recently. Located at 7303 W. McNichols the project would bring online 38 apartments and stores in 2022.

The Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF), a city and philanthropic partnership that is filling financial gaps on projects that support Detroit neighborhoods, is also in the mix along with Invest Detroit, which is the fiduciary for the fund overseeing the commercial corridor component, which Hardamon’s project is a part of in the Livernois-McNichols neighborhood, according to an official.

Hardamon said that Detroit developers overseeing the project are George N’Namdi, of the N’Namdi Gallery in Midtown and Richard Hosey, a Downtown Development Authority member who has led redevelopments in Midtown and downtown. The goal is to have a summer groundbreaking. The project will look to have a little over $1 million of its costs offset by a brownfield tax incen- Roderick Hardamon tive, Deadline Detroit reported. including concerns about an influx Also, all of the units are slated to qual- of parking, a lot of construction, and ify as affordable housing, Hardamon more. Hardamon and the team held a confirmed. The brownfield incentive number of community meetings and application requires that the units be addressed these concerns, including designated as 60 percent and 80 per- letting residents know that there is a cent of the federally designated Area municipal parking lot about a block Median Income. away. Hardamon said the retail mix-use Hardamon said that he used to have space is creative and innovative. “There a cushy job on Wall Street with little has to be some wow factor,” he said, risk and a lot of gains. He switched adding that there’s been some com- careers and is dedicated to his work munity excitement while also wanting here to push “collective progress in to ensure the prices are good for resi- our communities.” That is what he is dents. “I think they are always looking passionate about in his projects. for affordable housing options. I think “I am making sure we are included that resonates well.” in our community and the way AfriHe added that there are also natu- can Americans need to push forward ral questions and resident feedback is to have a seat at the table and in-

“Two big components of SNF are its commitment to working with developers of color as well as a commitment to community engagement in these projects, which Rod is in the middle of now,” Randy Hyde, senior vice president, external relations, Invest Detroit, said. Keona Cowan, executive vice president of Lending for Invest Detroit said that Invest Detroit is strategic about working with developers of color, which is “resonating with the community.” She added that all the moving financial parts help bring projects like Hardamon’s and others together. “The combination of capital finances, new market tax credit, sweat equity -- these are developers that not only bring cash to the project but their expertise,” she said. “They know how to develop and construct a project … that is critical in bringing this all to fruition.”

See SUPPORT page A6

UpNext:

The right resources are available in the form of business servant organizations. For one business that could mean introducing them to TechTown, DEGC’s Motor City Match team may be a better fit for another. According to DEGC vice president of marketing and communications, Charlotte Fisher, the Detroit Means Business call center has fielded more than 4,600 calls, delivered 11,500 PPE kits, and their website, detroitmeansbusiness.org, has had over 35,000 visits.

Kai Bowman: Helping Detroit Small Businesses Make a Big Impact By Alan Hunt II UpNext is an editorial series highlighting eight burgeoning business and real estate developers who are impacting the economic mobility of Detroit. Presented by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the series highlights Detroit professionals who are leaders, innovators, and influencers in their industry and community. This week’s UpNext profile is Kai Bowman. Bowman is vice president of Detroit Mean Business, a subsidiary of the Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) formed in May 2020 as a coalition of government, business, nonprofit and philanthropic partners to assist in providing emergency assistance to Detroit’s small business owners in the face of COVID-19. Bowman was previously the executive director of development for Mayor

Duggan, where he negotiated over $35 million in community benefits as part of the $2.5 billion FCA plant expansion deal generating 5,000 new jobs. Additionally, he co-chaired the mayor’s equity council entrepreneurship committee and worked on mitigation strategies for Detroit small businesses in response to COVID-19. “I took a lot of interest in making sure that the projects I was working on were equity-driven,” said Bowman. “Myself and my colleagues got the mayor to put his focus around equity issues before it was trendy. From my work, specifically in the entrepreneurship subcommittee, that led me into the small business space.” As VP of Detroit Means Business, Bowman aims to tackle issues like access to capital, legislation, inclusion, and training – that can limit growth for

Kai Bowman Detroit’s entrepreneurs. “The difference between us and what other [business] organizations are doing is that this is meant to be additive,” says Bowman. “This [DMB] is meant to be a platform that basically on-ramps business owners. This is the first place a business owner should come, and then as we gather their information and what they need, we connect them to the right resource.”

“We are filling a space where the small business ecosystem has kind of been fractured. You have a lot of different resources, and people don’t really know how to navigate. This makes it easier,” said Bowman. “I tell people my boss right now is the 50,000 plus business owners in the city of Detroit. Half of the people who work in the city of Detroit work for some sort of small business.” According to Bowman, we are living in an unprecedented era that presents an incredible opportunity for business owners. “This probably will be one of the only

See KAI

BOWMAN page A6


Page A-6 • michiganchronicle.com • February 17-23, 2021

Millennial Guide to Renting By Jordan Woods Your credit report will be one of the first things that a landlord will evaluate. Once per year, you can access your credit report from each of the three major bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) for free at annualcreditreport. com. Get yours and bring it with you when you meet with landlords.

lease-purchase contracts, might require that you buy the home once the lease is up. Lease-option agreements do not require this. Because rent-to-own agreements are a little more complicated, it’s important to find a real estate attorney who can help you sort through your rights and obligations in a given contract. The Tenant-Landlord Relationship

Your Options and Future Plans

Your Lease

Renting a home gives you the flexibility to downsize or upsize more easily, offers the security of a fixed monthly rent, eliminates maintenance or repair bills, and gets rid of the burden of having to pay real estate taxes.

Ensure you clearly understand every provision in your lease, as it will become legally binding once you sign it. On the same token, it’s okay to negotiate! Negotiating the monthly rent, the policy on pets, and anything else in the lease is perfectly acceptable, be sure to do so fairly and respectfully. 

For many of these reasons, renting a home is often the first step on the journey to owning one. When you own a home, you have a viable asset in your financial portfolio that increases in value by 3-4% per year, on average. To this end, there are things you can do while renting to prepare to buy. First, it’s important to know how much money you’ll need for a downpayment on a new home. You can open a savings account to save towards the downpayment you’ve calculated. For those who aren’t ready to own a home, pursuing a rent-to-own-home is an alternative. In rent-to own-homes, the renter typically pays a one-time fee upfront, called option, that gives them the opportunity of buying by some agreed upon date before the rental lease runs out. In some cases, your monthly rent is applied towards your future purchase price. If you decide to purchase the home, you will still need to secure a mortgage or other financing. Be wary of the type of rent-to-own agreement enter into, as some contracts, such as

Kia Bowman From page A-5

times in history that you have affordable capital that provided you spend the funds in the right manner that money will, in essence, convert to a grant. There aren’t many other opportunities to get free money for small businesses, but we have to educate our small business owners. There was $650 million worth of PPP loans made available in the city of Detroit. Why can’t that number

Support From page A-5

groups. More than 700 Black-owned small businesses received marketing and technology services, including 20 based right here in Detroit. The second wave of the program just kicked off this month, giving eligible BIPOC-owned small businesses located in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck (as well as in four other cities across the country severely impacted by COVID-19) the chance to apply for direct grants of $10,000. One hundred recipients will be selected locally for a total of $1 million dollars awarded. Here’s what you need to know if you’re one of these small business owners. If your BIPOC-owned business is eligible — that is, at least 51% BIPOC owned, independently owned and operated, registered as a business in the U.S., in operation for more than three years, with one to 25 employees, and located within Comcast’s Detroit coverage area, which includes the City of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park— simply fill out the form on www. comcastrise.com/apply/ between March 1 and 14, 2021. Many BIPOC-owned businesses have suffered from lack of access to capital. This is an opportunity to leverage a program that will provide capital without many of the challenging criteria, because Comcast aimed to make the application process for these grants as easy as possible. We want businesses to gain the much-needed financial support that can help them stay viable. Their success is paramount to our economy and to the success of our country as a whole. We at Comcast are hoping Detroit-area BIPOC businesses will take advantage of the opportunity to potentially obtain one of these grants. We know the past year was difficult, traumatic and tragic for so many

Your Rights You have the right to live in a viable, livable house. Running water, proper electrical wiring, a sound structural foundation, these are all things that you have the right to as a tenant. If these conditions are not maintained, talk with your landlord before considering further actions, such as withholding rent or deducting the cost of repairs from your next rent payment.

with your landlord. For example, if your landlord sent you an email agreeing to fix a leaky faucet, be sure to save and bookmark that email. Additional questions you should ask and have documented include:

selors. Learn more here:  https://www. greenpath.com/renters/

• How much notice the landlord must give you before entering the home

GreenPath has a handy guide that offers six steps to take for those experiencing financial hardships related to rental payments. Check it out here: https:// www.greenpath.com/6-steps-rentersguide/

• How quickly you will get your security deposit back after the lease ends • Under what grounds is eviction legal • What you’re allowed to change in or on the house Resources for Renters

On top of maintenance concerns, local laws might require your landlord to provide things like deadbolt locks or other measures to ensure safety, so be sure to look into this as well.

Many federal and local programs aim to assist people with finding affordable housing to keeping up with their utility bills. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a great place to start when looking into these programs.

Maintaining Proper Communication

Financial Counseling

Whatever terms you do agree on, even after the lease has been signed, make sure you document and keep everything writing. This is the best way to avoid future arguments or misunderstandings

be a billion? We need to continue to educate our folks.” To properly educate, Bowman said Motown’s digital divide must be addressed.

man is excited about where Detroit Means Business is going and wants his work to be the best reflection of his identity.

Looking forward, Bow-

“Delivering affordable capital, creating new jobs, creating new high growth businesses, removing barriers to do business in the city…I think if we’re able to do that, then that’s my legacy. For me, it’s about service to Detroiters and how I can ensure opportunities are presented to them in an equitable manner.”

people and businesses within our community, and 2021 will bring its own share of challenges. And we know Comcast, alone, can’t remedy complex, systemic issues. But we are deeply committed to helping to drive change and begin the long process of correcting social and economic injustices. Through Comcast RISE, we hope to create sustainable impact and meaningfully support the small businesses which

are shaping our communities. It’s not just about the economy. It’s about ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion, and it’s the right thing to do. For more information or to apply for the program, visit www.comcastrise.com/apply. Pamela Dover is Senior Director of Business Development for Comcast Business. corporate.comcast.com, Pamela_dover@cable. comcast.com

“You have 30-40 percent of Detroiters who don’t have access to the internet or don’t own a computer. If you don’t have the internet, then how do you get that information? What we’re working on is trying to close that digital divide.”

Setting up a monthly budget to balance rent against other expenses can be helpful. The key is to team with a trusted resource who has your best interest at heart.  A national nonprofit such as GreenPath Financial Wellness provides direct access to certified housing coun-

Challenges Keeping Up with Rent? Resources to Help Manage Through Hardships

Last But Not Least… Get Renter’s Insurance   Your landlord’s insurance does not cover any loss or theft that you might experience, if anyone sues you for injuries suffered in the house rent. For less than $30 per month (typically), you can give yourself further protection from unforeseen circumstances.  Renting a house is a great way to prepare for homeownership or to keep your options open when it comes to future living arrangements. By preparing to be approved for a home rental and having a well-informed plan to deal with all that comes with it, you are set up to enjoy all of the freedoms that come with renting a home.

Dr. James S. Jackson Seminar on Health Equity and Alzheimer's Disease Wednesday, March 3 | 5-6:30 p.m. Join some of the nation's leading scientists and experts at this free virtual event as they discuss: Alzheimer’s Disease and COVID-19: The Vicious Cycle of Inequality Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support How Health Inequality Contributes to Cognitive Impairment, Dementia Chronic Stress and Blood Pressure Self-Care to Prevent Cognitive Decline in African Americans

Register at alz.org/jackson-seminar or call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 today!


February 17-23, 2020 • michiganchronicle.com • Page A-7

In honor of Black History Month, we celebrate the brave heroes who paved the way for a new wave of dreamers, the generations of inspiring, thought-provoking free thinkers, and Disney Dreamers Academy’s young kings and queens of the past 13 years trailblazing their paths to becoming leaders. We celebrate those who dare to dream.

DEVON S. CLASS OF 2019 ©Disney WDWAA_21_1725152


Page A-8 • michiganchronicle.com • February 17-23, 2021

COMERICA IN THE

COMMUNITY

Comerica Spotlight on Success:

LaShawn Jimenez LaShawn Jimenez, trust advisor and vice president-metro Detroit, wealth management at Comerica Bank’s Grosse Pointe Woods Office and the new Michigan chair for the African American initiative, laughs stating, “I never in a million years thought I’d be working at a bank,” as she recalls her years as a pastor’s assistant at Triumph Church almost 14 years ago. That thought changed when a friend and member of Triumph, who was employed at Comerica, told Jimenez she liked how she worked, and if she was looking for a change, she would love for her to work at the bank. A position for an account opening specialist was available, and she applied then landed the job. She credits her experience at Triumph Church for having confidence to move on, explaining, “it gave me the foundation I have now.” In her current position for the past eight years, LaShawn Jimenez manages client relationships with $1 million or more in investable assets. It’s a role she loves, because “I’m a people person. I love relationship building and the interaction you get from clients and other people you work with at the bank.” She also enjoys helping people reach their financial goals.

“The Ypsilanti students that participated in our pitch competition were all sixth graders, and they were fantastic. They presented a recycled clothing business and were on point and did an outstanding job,” said Ernest Ruffin, YES founder and Rutgers University award winning adjunct professor.

Young Entrepreneurs in Ypsilanti and Detroit Pitch Business Ideas

Comerica Bank has teamed up with Young Entrepreneurz Solutions (YES) to equip youth with financial education skills needed to pursue a career in entrepreneurship.

Comerica, led by Southeast Michigan External Affairs Manager Linda Nosegbe, coordinated a pitch competition through YES with students at Ypsilanti Community Middle School and Hope Academy in Detroit that encouraged the young kids to learn and develop business skills. The school’s winners were awarded with prize money and an invitation to the national competition this year in the U.S Virgin Islands. “It is important that we introduce basic financial principles to children and teach them how to manage their money at an early age,” Comerica Bank Chief Community Officer Irvin Ashford, Jr. said. “Research shows that there is a direct correlation between students who have access to financial education resources and their future success. At Comerica, we

partner with organizations like YES because of our common goal to empower youth and adults from underserved communities. “

Additional community and business partners supporting the sessions included: Frank Norton, co-founder and CEO of uniteSTEM, Inc (Variis Institute, Inc); Latonya Garth, The IMAGINE Mentoring Program of Michigan; Kevin Butts, K&S Education Solutions; Stanford Wilkinson, Determined Exceptional Fearless Youth Program (DEFY); and Turquoise Neal and Dr. Carlos Lopez, Ypsilanti Public Schools. YES has been teaching youth in 13 urban and low- and moderate (LMI) communities including the US Virgin Islands entrepreneurship and economic development since 2014. In 2020, Comerica contributed $100,000 to provide startup funding for students across Comerica’s five-state (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas) geographical footprint. In addition, Comerica bankers will serve as judges for the YES Business Plan Competitions and

implement “Ask A Banker” sessions over the next year. “We have a 1 million for $ 1 million goal encouraging a million people to donate a dollar to grow and sustain our program,” said Earnest Ruffin, YES founder and Rutgers University award winning adjunct professor. “Not only did Comerica Bank step up and cover 10 percent of this goal, they added the ‘Ask a Banker’ sessions that connects the students with bankers to provide them with the opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of financial subjects as checking, savings, loans and business statements. We are grateful for their support and contributions, and this partnership will significantly impact the young entrepreneurs we are reaching and developing.”

Comerica employees assist Triumph Church COVID-19 relief food distribution. Simone Ragland (left), Linda Nosegbe (middle) and LaShawn Jimenez (right).

The YES 1M for $1M fundraiser campaign underway raises money to fund their students businesses, with an overall mission is to help students create 10,000 Black and Brown owned thriving businesses.

Comerica Bank and Detroit Lions Support Eight Community Partners through First Down Program Comerica Bank and the Detroit Lions teamed up during the 2020 NFL season to support eight community partners through the collaborative First Down Program that resulted in over $17,000 impacting philanthropic outreach in southeast Michigan.

Jimenez (left), Tarence Wheeler (middle) and Anu Prakash (right) at Tarence Wheeler Foundation 2020 All-Star Turkey Drive.

In the four-year community-focused partnership, Comerica’s contributions have totaled over $70,000 distributed to 11 different philanthropic organizations. Among the Comerica Bank Lions First Down Program recipients, include: Capuchin Soup Kitchen; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; LA SED (Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development); The Detroit Public Schools Foundation; Alternatives for Girls; Ruth Ellis Center; HAVEN; Focus: HOPE. Comerica and the Lions ensured first downs at Ford Field this season stretched further than 10 yards. Each Lions first down gained this season at Ford Field translated to $100 that aided one of eight selected community partners through the Comerica Bank Lions First Down

partnership.

the team’s social media channels.

As the Lions garnered first downs on the field, the team also helped to highlight and promote the participating community partners and their mission via Detroitlions.com and through

For the previous three seasons, Comerica and the Lions through the First Down program benefited Winning Futures (2019), Beyond Basics (2018) and The Children’s Center (2017).

Hometown

Huddle

LaShawn Jimenez’s success is a remarkable story, considering obstacles she faced as a young adult and becoming a mother early on in life. But Jimenez always had her eyes set on advancing, leading a good life and eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Davenport University College. She began her studies while working at Triumph Church and completed her degree after beginning her employment at Comerica, pointing out, “I knew I needed that degree to advance.” Last October, LaShawn was faced with a tragic challenge when COVID-19 took her father’s life. She said his death was unexpected, which made dealing with it much more difficult for her and her younger brother. Her mother died eight years ago. “It changed our lives, that’s for sure,” explained Jimenez. “We’re doing what our dad would want us to do – live life. Our dad was full of life.” Indeed, living her life includes volunteering through the Comerica Cares network and independently volunteering with organizations such as the Tarence Wheeler Foundation, Triumph Church and Michigan Women Forward, an organization Comerica Bank has supported in past years and throughout the pandemic. Jimenez points to her volunteer work of food distribution and providing vital resources to families amid the pandemic as especially satisfying, explaining, “when you know you’re making a difference, that’s the reward in itself.” For those seeking to improve themselves at work and in life, Jimenez offers simple, but profound advice: “Keep God first, never be selfish. Always be selfless. Just stay focused and you can accomplish anything.” Hobbies: LaShawn loves to volunteer, ballroom dance, and cook soul food, especially for other people. “Cooking and fellowship just heals the soul for people,” said Jimenez. Goals: Jimenez says she’d like to advance into either management or work in diversity or inclusion. Having just been named chair of the African American Initiatives group in January, Jimenez would like to push for changes to eliminate racial injustice by changing the conversation and bridging the gap between corporate America and the communities.

For more information on how Comerica colleagues are giving back to our community, visit

www.facebook.com/Comerica.


City ity.. Life ife.. Style. B1 | February 17-23, 2021

Where City Meets Life and Life Meets Style

michiganchronicle.com

I

’m Nik Renee’ Cole. Lifetime Detroiter. Black woman chef and an anomaly in the food industry. There aren’t many chefs that look like me and certainly not enough that get the recognition that they deserve. Not even in a city that has a 78 percent Black resident population. But we exist. We are hardworking, experienced and uber passionate. We make major contributions not just to the local food scene but to the food industry across the world. Like many others, I’ve been carving out my own space in the industry. For about a decade and a half I’ve worked to create spaces where we celebrate stories and culture and food in the most organic ways that I know how. This is how we celebrate good food, good talent and good ethics. Detroit is so rich in culture but more often than not people limit themselves on what they eat. Specifically, when it comes to Black food, people tend to eat hyper locally, disengaging from the idea that Black food has been influenced by geography and time. A whole conversation around Black food usually only refers to soul food. While soul food should be held in high regard, Black food has been influenced on a foundational level by our descendants. Black food industry workers are being creative in making sure we know where we come from by filling the scene with historical importance and with very futurist ideas. We should embrace that. Black food isn’t just the food we see every day. Historically it spans over many countries and because of its influence here in the States, here in Detroit, it should be celebrated as part of American history. Even the parts that are unfamiliar. We shouldn’t be shy about trying new things. As for me, I’m eating everything! I’m especially eating all the things in my city, but if I have to go far and beyond to get what I want or try something new; I’m going. My mantra is, I deserve all the fine things in life but my personality is very much homegirl-ish. A little bourgeois terre à terre, if you will. I actually think we all deserve that

See WHAT NIK ATE Page B-2

Danielle D. Hughes, Kiera Henderson and Dr. Danielle Penson

The Pose Experience: Selfie Museum Opens In Southfield

By Megan Kirk

exclusive for the community,” Hughes says.

Grab your friends and get ready to pose. Three local women are introducing a unique photo experience designed to produce the perfect selfie. The Pose Experience is metro Detroit’s interactive event space. Located in Southfield, the unique selfie museum is helping visitors set the stage for a series of social media posts bold enough to break the internet. Co-founded by Danielle D. Hughes, Kiera Henderson and Dr. Danielle Penson, The Pose Experience is like nothing the city has seen. The women, all a part of The Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019, met while being honored and forged a sisterhood. Steaming from a lighthearted conversation, The Pose Experience took just under two months from idea to execution. Wanting to give Detroiters a fun way to pass time during the pandemic, the trio used their collective skills to create the multi-functional space. “We really just wanted to make sure that we could bring something different and enjoyable to the community. 2020 was so hard for a lot of us. We all suffered loss in some way, and we wanted to make sure we could bring some joy and something different and

Henderson, also owner of Pareik Gallery in Southfield, used her event planning skills, and combined with Dr. Penson’s administrative savvy and Hughes’ marketing skills merged into one curated moment. The selfie museum has 10 interactive and immersive exhibits, including a Bali-themed lounge, 3D donut wall and a life-sized magazine. “This selfie museum is community-based. We’re doing this specifically for the community to give them that moment outside of a moment. To make another moment. To have a time where they can get dressed up because we know everything has its limitations,” Dr. Penson, a licensed clinical therapist, says. The group plans to frequently change the theme of the exhibits to keep selfies fresh and new. With some seasonal themes, guests will have more than enough stations to show off their selfie game. “Our stations that we have right now have been curated and designed, [but] we’re going to switch them out quarterly. So, you get this experience, but every three to four months, there will be a different experience,” Dr. Penson says.

See THE POSE EXPERIENCE Page B-2

BET+ Series “American Gangster: Trap Queens” Highlights Detroit Women in Crime

By Megan Kirk BET+ is back with a new season of its hit show “American Gangster: Trap Queens.” The second season follows the stories of three local Detroit women who made their mark in the crime world. With charges ranging from grand larceny and fraud to drug trafficking, BET+ is giving viewers an inside look at some of America’s most notorious crime lords. Narrated by Kimberly Jones, better know as rapper Lil Kim, the stories and crimes of Brandi Davis, Dwen Curry and Tiffani Rose Peak are detailed and are presented through their reminiscences as well as first-person accounts from law enforcement, friends and family. “After the success of the first season of ‘American Gangster: Trap Queens,’ we are excited to bring another iteration of captivating stories to the screen,” says Frank Sinton, president of A. Smith & Co.’s Dox division and executive producer for the series. “While ad-

dressing social issues such as systematic racial and gender disparities, the stories this season vary from thrilling to shocking and everything in between.” Of the queens featured, Dwen Curry, the show’s first transgender woman, is breaking barriers and sharing her story of her rise and fall in the crime world. Noted as the “original gay gangster” and queen of wire fraud and identity theft, she grew up in Detroit and was exposed to bullying because of her sexuality which in turn lead on a road to addiction. At 23 years old, Curry moved to California and stopped using drugs, but was soon drawn into a much different game. “I guess I had so much clarity that I turned around and established some type of rule of thumb committing fraud, which is something that pretty much fell in my lap,” Curry says. “I wasn’t looking for this type of thing. It came to me being nosey and being incredulously intuitive.” Rising in the game, Curry lived

a double life working as a stylist to the stars while also committing identity theft and fraud. With clients like songstress Mariah Carey and rappers Eve and Missy Elliot and actress LisaRay McCoy, Curry’s fast life would soon come to a screeching halt. In 2016, Curry was arrested in California on charges of felony identity theft and attempted grand theft. Serving over three years in jail and faced with the harsh realities of life behind bars, the notorious queen served her time and learned what lies behind jail walls. “I was held in a men’s facility and so now I understand what the meaning of a predator is like. No one wants to be preyed upon,” Curry says. Now, clean and no longer committing crimes of fraud, Curry is telling her story to help inspire someone else to change their life. “One thing about it, when it

See TRAP QUEENS Page B-2


Page B-2 • michiganchronicle.com • February 17-23, 2021

What Nik Ate From page B-1

balance and I’m here to introduce just that. Right now, I’m obsessing over Fried Chicken and Caviar. It’s a pop up created by myself and Chi Walker of Wild Flower Hospitality and Black Bottom Supper Club. This meal is full of texture. We are serving the crispiest, most beautiful butter-fried chicken that traditionally celebrates Black food, alongside the most delicate, smooth, creamy and salty caviar. We are accompanying the two with duck roasted potatoes that are crispy on the outside and like a mashed potato on the inside which creates THE perfect bite, and marinated bok choy that will stand up right beside the chicken and make you love it! Because we’re into the finer things in life, we’ve made the most luxurious chocolate chip cookies with gold flakes. GOLD FLAKES!!! Depending on how classy you are, you can wash it down with a 40 oz Miller High Life or Golden Champale or wine. Fried Chicken and Caviar isn’t just a meal. In fact, at the first pop-up, we didn’t even serve fried chicken. Fried Chicken and Caviar is a mood and a way of thinking. Fried Chicken and Caviar represents something very comforting and then something associated with luxury. Fried chicken makes you feel comforted. It reminds you of being a child. It reminds you of someone special who made it. If you smell it cooking, you’re immediately transferred to a happy place and the anticipation of the taste is enough to have you walking circles about the kitchen. When we think about “Black food” we think about fried chicken. Caviar is a delicacy a lot of people of color usually associate with wealth or luxury and have never tried because it hasn’t been accessible. Black people don’t typically have caviar on their dinner table. So, the name Fried Chicken and Caviar is very much a statement for people of color to get out and get all the things that they desire. We celebrate Black food by acknowledging deep enslavement and racial influences but also by being progressive. Being progressive in what we eat and how we access food by no means means we are disrespecting the past. In fact, the idea that we explore food, culture, influence and accessibility honors the Black experience across the United States and globally. We celebrate our ancestors by paying homage to the past, the present and the future. To find out more about Fried Chicken and Caviar visit www.Friedchickenandcaviar.com. NIK RENEE’ COLE is the creator and Chef of What Nik Ate, Co-Founder of Fried Chicken and Caviar, Founder of The Speak Easy Detroit and current Head Chef at The Kitchen by Cooking with Que.

Black Couple’s App Pushes Black-Owned Restaurants to The Forefront five years. Together, the duo is working to address the digital divide and help bring exposure, a key reason in the failure of Black restaurants.

By Megan Kirk In the push to support local businesses, Blackowned restaurants are being especially highlighted. In a COVID era, businesses have pivoted their plan to create and generate revenue or close its doors all together. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report claiming during the pandemic, Black-owned businesses are twice as likely to fail than that of other businesses. EatOkra is working to solve that. Launched in 2016, EatOkra highlights Black-owned and operated restaurants across the country. Thinking of food as a common denominator that reaches across gender, race and religion, married founders Anthony and Janique Edwards launched the app as way to log and track Black eateries in Brooklyn, New York, their home. Now reaching users everywhere with a curated list of food options per city, foodies can sample the goods at every restaurant near and far. Equipped with a background in development, Anthony was able to use his wit in building the foundation of the app. “We wanted to support some Black-owned restaurants in Brooklyn, but there was no easy way to do that at the time,” Anthony says. “So, thought it was a great opportunity for us to build an app. Going live in 2017, the convenient app tracks and keeps favorite restaurants a click away. With the founders’ families coming from southern roots, EatOkra’s name showcases a Black southern classic, fried okra while also celebrating its

original African roots. “The okra seed is a seed that was brought over from West Africa to the Americas during the slave trade. So, really it is our way of acknowledging that history and paying homage to that history as well,” Janique says. Despite launching a few years before an invisible threat would impact everyday life, the importance of supporting this budding niche industry was near and dear to the Edwards. With a laser focus on Black restaurants during the pandemic, the couple is helping to keep the perishing industry alive. “Restaurants have been a big part, during COVID, of giving food to frontline emergency workers, hospitals, firefighters, police officers, they’re giving food to kids who didn’t have the school lunch program anymore. They were there stepping in. They’re that driving force that helps solidify the community,” Anthony says. Aside from the pandemic, America was in another fight: social justice and racism. Through the support of social media, the owners saw a significant spike in downloads during a time when the country was in a tailspin. Growing by some 100,000 downloads in from June to July of 2020, the app is now sitting at 300,000 downloads.

Trap Queens From page B-1 comes to BET+, they are extremely adamant and very assertive and very matter-of-fact in how they tell your story so they can be able to have the best content to not display you in a negative light,” Curry says. “None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for BET.” Curry’s unapologetic narrative has laid the foundation for other members of the LGBTQ+ community to live out loud and in their truth. “Stand in your truth and be you. Don’t be scared of the different metamorphosis you go through,” Curry says. With a larger-than-life personality, Curry represents a small demographic

From page B-1

“People have this notion that women can’t get along and that women can’t be productive together; it’s such a negative stigma around that,” Dr. Penson says. “So, we want to be able to have partnerships and collaborations with other individuals as well.”

In celebration of Black History Month, EatOkra is collaborating with tech giant Apple to bring introduce Apple Map Guides. The list, exclusive to Apple users, helps move the founders further in their goal of highlighting Black restaurants, owners and chefs on a larger stage. “Really, Apple works with publishers to curate these guides for their users in the Apple Maps app. So, places to eat, places to shop, things to do locally and nationally. If you’re a user you, go in there and pull up all these different experiences you can have,” Janique says. “We thought it would be a cool way to open this collaboration up with other people like chefs and writers and influencers to share why these are the businesses they would recommend to people. EatOkra recently announced the app will also partner with Pepsi for their Dig In campaign. The partnership will launch in February in reverence to Black History Month but will extent for

in the crime world, but is not focused on the past. Moving towards the future and a guarantee to steer the course, she plans to keep the entrance open for others to have the opportunity to come out refreshed. “We’ve never heard of a gay gangster and I’m not the only one that hustles like this,” Curry says. “I love the fact that I’m the first one to open up the door, but since the door is open, I will not be the last one.” The unscripted show can be streamed on BET+ with the first 5 episodes following additional queens Perrion Roberts and Shauntay Henderson, the series is produced by Detroit native, activist and Daytime Emmy award-winner Judge Greg Mathis. To watch, sign up for a free trial of the streaming app.

The Pose Experience More than launching a new business, the women wanted to show Black female partnerships in a positive light. Discussing plans of working with other women and organizations in the future, the selfie queens wanted to quiet the myth that women are not able to work together.

“COVID-19 paired with the passing of George Floyd really caused the country to pause,” Anthony says. “News cycles paused and then the focus became supporting local businesses and then it became supporting Black-owned businesses and that’s when we started to trend really heavy on social media.”

Bigger than just photos, the co-founders plan on working with youth to give back to the community. Emphasizing the importance of community ties to the selfie shop, the owners have their sights set on Detroit’s high schools to help create something memorable. “We want to be able to do something with our youth that are transiting from high school to adulthood. So, at some point we want to get with a high school that has an art program so that they can come in and design and curate one of our stations,” Dr. Penson says. The ladies already have plans for expansion. With their Southfield

location newly open, the group is looking to bring the experience to the inner city. “We are looking to expand to Detroit pretty quickly. So, that is definitely on our list for expansion,” Hughes says. The space, perfect for a girl’s night out, birthday celebration or private event, offers general admission tickets for $28. Guests are permitted to remove their masks when taking photos. The event space will be available for rent for groups of 25 or less. Strict COVID guidelines will be followed with mask mandates and temperature checks. Guests are required to make an appointment for the experience. Ten people will be allowed in the space at a time.

“Restaurants need digital visibility to thrive and it’s become a ‘make or break’ situation over the past year. We’re honored to work alongside visionary leaders who saw the consumer and business opportunity to help Blackowned restaurants grow

five years ago,” says Scott Finlow, PepsiCo Global Foodservice Chief Marketing Officer. “Together we want to multiply EatOkra’s power as the go-to source for discovering delicious menus at Black-owned restaurants across the country.” The app currently houses over 6,500 Blackowned food hot spots and is available for download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play.

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and Life Meets STYLE In Print & Online

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STATE OF MICHIGAN BEFORE THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION **** NOTICE OF HEARING FOR THE GAS CUSTOMERS OF DTE GAS COMPANY CASE NO. U-20966 • DTE Gas Company requests Michigan Public Service Commission’s approval of the reconciliation of its Revenue Decoupling Mechanism (RDM) for the Period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. • The information below describes how a person may participate in this case. • You may call or write DTE Gas Company, One Energy Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226, (800) 477-4747 for a free copy of its application. Any person may review the documents at the offices of DTE Gas Company. • A pre-hearing will be held:

DATE/TIME:

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM

BEFORE:

Administrative Law Judge Kandra Robbins

LOCATION:

Video/Teleconferencing

PARTICIPATION: Any interested person may participate. Persons needing any assistance to participate should contact the Commission’s Executive Secretary at (517) 2848090, or by email at mpscedockets@michigan.gov in advance of the hearing. The Michigan Public Service Commission (Commission) will hold a pre-hearing to consider DTE Gas Company’s (DTE Gas) January 29, 2021 application requesting the Commission to: 1) authorize DTE Gas to reconcile the Revenue Decoupling Mechanism (RDM) for the period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020; 2) authorize DTE Gas to adjust its existing retail gas rates to refund a net amount of $4.09 million, plus interest; 3) authorize DTE Gas to include any residual balance resulting from an over- or under-collection, or over- or under-refund in subsequent RDM reconciliation filings; and 4) grant DTE Gas such other and further relief. All documents filed in this case shall be submitted electronically through the Commission’s E-Dockets website at: michigan.gov/mpscedockets. Requirements and instructions for filing can be found in the User Manual on the E-Dockets help page. Documents may also be submitted, in Word or PDF format, as an attachment to an email sent to: mpscedockets@ michigan.gov. If you require assistance prior to e-filing, contact Commission staff at (517) 284-8090 or by email at: mpscedockets@ michigan.gov. Any person wishing to intervene and become a party to the case shall electronically file a petition to intervene with this Commission by March 3, 2021. (Interested persons may elect to file using the traditional paper format.) The proof of service shall indicate service upon DTE Gas Company’s attorney, David S. Maquera, One Energy Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226. The prehearing is scheduled to be held remotely by video conference or teleconference. Persons filing a petition to intervene will be advised of the process to participate in the hearing. Any person wishing to participate without intervention under Mich Admin Code, R 792.10413 (Rule 413), or file a public comment, may do so by filing a written statement in this docket. The written statement may be mailed or emailed and should reference Case No. U-20966. Statements may be emailed to: mpscedockets@michigan.gov. Statements may be mailed to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 West Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. All information submitted to the Commission in this matter becomes public information, thus available on the Michigan Public Service Commission’s website, and subject to disclosure. Please do not include information you wish to remain private. For more information on how to participate in a case, you may contact the Commission at the above address or by telephone at (517) 284-8090. Requests for adjournment must be made pursuant to Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules R 792.10422 and R 792.10432. Requests for further information on adjournment should be directed to (517) 284-8130. A copy of DTE Gas Company’s application may be reviewed on the Commission’s website at: michigan.gov/mpscedockets, and at the office of DTE Gas Company. For more information on how to participate in a case, you may contact the Commission at the above address or by telephone at (517) 284-8090. Jurisdiction is pursuant to 1909 PA 300, as amended, MCL 462.2 et seq.; 1919 PA 419, as amended, MCL 460.54 et seq.; 1939 PA 3, as amended, MCL 460.1 et seq.; 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq.; and Parts 1 & 4 of the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, Mich. Admin Code, R 792.10106 and R 792.10401 through R 792.10448.

DTE1468 | 2021 Print Ad Customization/NOHs/NOH U-20966


February 17-23, 2021 • michiganchronicle.com •

Throughout Throughout Black History Month Black History Month andand beyond, we celebrate beyond, we celebrate Black Black Joy.Joy.

Nate Winn

Daphne Ntiri

Barbara L. Jones

Desiree Kelly

William H. Iverson Jr.

My Brothers’ Keeper: The Journey of My Brothers’ Keeper: The Journey of Generations ThreeThree Generations Featuring Ambassador Andrew Featuring formerformer Ambassador Andrew Michigan Lt.Garlin Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Young,Young, Michigan Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, student Will Bishop and Dr. Jean collegecollege student Will Bishop and Dr. Jean of AARP. AcciusAccius of AARP. 2-3:15CST p.m. CST February 25 p.m. February 25 2-3:15

At Wayne State, we don’t just celebrate Black history — we make it. Learn more about these Warriors at wayne.edu.

Learnatmore at aarp.org/mi Learn more aarp.org/mi

Michigan, let’s face flu season together. Get a flu vaccine. Hit this virus head-on. As we continue to face COVID-19, we’re now facing flu season. Now more than ever, getting your flu vaccine is essential. The vaccine is proven to protect millions of people every year from flu. Protect yourself and your community today. To learn more, including where to find a flu vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/Flu.

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Page B-4 • michiganchronicle.com • February 17-23, 2021


Classifieds

February 17-23, 2021 • michiganchronicle.com • Page B-5 HELP WANTED

ANNOUNCEMENTS

CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK

2021 March Board of Review Current Year Appeals, Poverty Exemptions & Mistakes

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Board Members Organizational Meeting 9 a.m. (Pursuant of Michigan Open Meeting act, Public Act No. 267 of 1976 as amended)

Monday, March 8, 2021 Tuesday, March 9, 2021 Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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BID ANNOUNCEMENT The Downtown Development ­Authority of the City of Detroit is soliciting competitive unit price general contract bids for the Fort Street Crossing Construction Project. The deadline for this Request for ­Proposal will be Friday, March 5, 2021 at 3PM EST. Responses must be submitted via email to orobertson@degc.org. Request for Qualification packages will be available on or after Tuesday, ­ February 16, 2021 via the DEGC website at www.degc.org and https://www.bidnetdirect.com/mitn/ detroiteconomicgrowthcorporation. A Pre-bid conference will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 10AM via Zoom Conference: https://zoom.us/j/94896115409. All Bidders shall comply with the prevailing Equal Opportunity and Labor Standard Provisions of the City of D ­ etroit, as described in the Bid Package. Each Bidder must demonstrate its ability to obtain Human Rights Clearance from the City of Detroit as a condition of award ability. OPEN ENROLLMENT Grades PK-6 –

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HELP WANTED

Department: Community and Economic Development (CED) Location: Ferndale City Hall Salary Range: $47,377 to $59,167 FLSA: Exempt / Non-union Employment Type: Full-time

The City of Ferndale is seeking a Zero Waste Program Coordinator to join the City’s CED team. This position will be a key member of our sustainability team, will develop and enforce maintenance protocols, monitor waste management programs, and plan and implement the public waste management infrastructure. A Bachelor’s degree in sustainability, environmental studies, or an affiliated public administration field is required. One plus years working with a municipality in a sustainability role or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Salary Range is $47,377 to $59,167 commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits and culture. Visit https://www.ferndalemi.gov/jobs for more information and to apply.

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The City of Ferndale is seeking a Retirement and HR Specialist to join the City’s HR team. This position will work directly with retirees and the Pension Board, performing clerical and paraprofessional duties associated with the City’s retirement system. This position will assist with general HR administration. An Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, HR, or a related field is required. Two years of experience working with financial data and spreadsheets are strongly preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience considered. Salary Range is $47,377 to $59,167 commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits and culture. Visit https://www.ferndalemi.gov/jobs for more information and to apply.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/ DETROIT OUTREACH The Administrative Assistant provides direct assistance to the Executive Director for Detroit Outreach and other office staff. Required: Associate’s degree or equivalent combination of experience and education. Four years of progressively responsible experience of a qualifying nature. For a complete list of requirements and to apply on-line, please visit www.jobs.cmich.edu. “CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities.”

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• michiganchronicle.com • February 17-23, 2021

Profile for Real Times Media

MC Digital Edition 2.17.2021  

MC Digital Edition 2.17.2021