Is Detroit’s $400 Million Investment in Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Accessible for Black Detroiters?
Comerica Celebrates New Generation O of M Black E R Tennis I C A Stars 35 Years of Supporting
the Nation’s Largest City.Life.Style. B1 UNCF Walk for HONORING ALL WHO SERVED Education Scholarship Roots. A3 Fundraiser
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Vol.87 87––No. No.11 2 || September Vol. November 13-19, 15-21,2023 2023
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“Operation UAW Home Welcome ATriple NightStrike ofIts Elegance and Excellence at the 10th Annual Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Closes Doors: Against Detroit A Missed Opportunity to Automakers Support Homeless Veterans”
By Ebony JJ Curry By Lynzee Mychael SENIOR REPORTER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Late Thursday night, Sept. 14, In a historic moment unfolded a heart-wrenching turn of events, inOperation AmericanWelcome labor relations as Home, a Detroit nonprofthe United Auto Workers refuge (UAW)and assistance it dedicated to providing union initiated a strike to homeless veterans, hasagainst been forced to shut Ford, andfunding from downGeneral due to Motors the loss(GM), of grant Stellantis. ForAffairs the first time, This closure the Veterans department. the union took marks the end of ansimultaneous era for a vital organization action against allathree majorrole De- in rehabilitatthat has played significant troit-based automakers. The action ing and supporting homeless veterans in their involves approximately 13,000 journey back to self-sufficiency. UAWThe members assembly plants closureinof Operation Welcome Home across Michigan, Ohio, and Misnot only leaves the veterans who lived in the souri, who their jobsbut also raises troiters. The symbolism of Black beekeepers revitalizing niably commendable. home in a walked state of off uncertainty By Ebony JJ Curry after existing labor contracts ex- the loss of their city is a powerful testament to the resilience and questions about the reasons behind Amidst the glitz and glamour, the event also showSENIOR REPORTER pired at 11:59 p.m. Dukes, the clinical direcingenuity of our community. funding. Jacqueline cased the diversity of talent within our community. From Shortly before Welcome midnight on ofexpressed tor for Home, As the night unfolded, we had the privilege of hon- Paris T. Prichard, a forensic scientist pushing the boundn a Operation breathtaking celebration talent, determinaSept. GM released a statement her 14, bewilderment about the situation, as theexcellence, oring other outstanding individuals, each carving their aries of her field, to math wizards like Donna Laster, who tion, and the unyielding spirit of Black expressing disappointment with VA cited that the nonprofit did not meet the Michigan Chronicle marked its cer10th Annual own path to success. Clement “Fame” Brown, the crethe strike action, despite offering tain VA standards. She further emphasizes 40 Under 40 event Thursday evening. This year’s ative mind behind Three Thirteen Detroit’s Brand Name, See 40 UNDER 40 page A2 what termed anin“unprecedented whyitit’s important fortheme the VA“All to explain why soirée, drenched the Black Everything with received the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. economic package” that included Gold Accents,” transcended expectations and essential- Brown’s commitment to empowering the city through historic wage increases. Stellantis ly illuminated the golden gems within the true essence fashion and entrepreneurship has left an indelible mark. of Black excellence. Hosted by the charismatic duo of “Entrepreneur of the year – that’s a big deal,” said Andre Ash and Lynzee Mychael from Michigan Chroni- Brown. “It’s always an honor to be honored and it’s cle’s Finally Friday, the night was a triumph for the city always a blessing to be in a room full of so many talentof Detroit and its vibrant community of young Black pro- ed, accomplished, and popular people that look like me. fessionals. I’m geeked. I started making and selling clothes as a kid The evening sparkled with a golden promise as we and I always knew that I would have a business, but I celebrated remarkable individuals from various walks never knew it would be Detroit’s brand name business, DPD Chief James White Says Increased of life. Among the honorees were the brilliant and vi- so I take a lot of pride in the fact that our business repPolice Presence Culled Violence sionary co-founders of Detroit Hives, Nicole Lindsey and resents our city’s pride.” Timothy Paul Jackson. Their work has not only changed Taking home the Corporate Excellence Award was By Andre Ash the landscape of beekeeping and urban farming in De- Dannis Mitchell, Director of Community Engagement at DIGITAL ness district that had been the lifeblood ofANCHOR towards mending the wounds inflicted on troit expressed but also disappointment exemplified thein transformative impact By Ebony JJ CurryBarton Malow. also Black Detroiters andsits, restoring a sense of bethe community. Black professionals can have on their communities. “It is so important to recognize that there are young ditional layers, influenced by both visRaeford Lawson a figure of resilSENIOR REPORTER a statement, saying the company By Ebony JJ Curry A string of shootings in longing that was so callously torn away It’s aible history marred byin pain, injus-The ience weathered by the storms of life.in “Togetherwent we have created a social, environmental, leaders across the country, many that areinvisible born here and societal factors. immediately into contingenSENIOR REPORTER Greektown in past. mid-April left For many Detroiters, Interstate 375, or tice, and economic devastation. More than the and financial impact through bees,” said Jackson. LindDetroit. I represent our city nationally and I tell people, clinical aspects of PTSD are well-doc“You can’t outfight shadows,” he says, cy mode to protect its operations. both visitors and residents of I-375, has long been‘Yea just stretch of from The I-375 Boulevard Projectwith is about sey followed that sentiment with, “It is through our local 130,000 residents,of primarily were I’m D-girl I’m the west-side Detroit,’”Black, hyperarousal, re-experiencthe air around him heavy the more unThe gaze another of aRaeford Lawson, a umented: The UAW has branded the inthis bustling downtown des- historical injustices; it’s urban highway, a concrete artery connectthan just correcting partnerships and collaborative efforts that we exist in Mitchell expressed. “But more importantly, I’ve been able ing, avoidance, negative cognition, and spoken realities of PTSD. “I came back forcibly displaced. Families were uprooted, they didn’t get the grant this time around. “The 77-year-old veteran and proud Detroidustrial action as the “Stand-Up tination inabout awe. One of these ing different parts oftothe city. To some, it’s redefining theit future. It willleft connect over 28 plus locations managing the health of 4.5 ter, milhave experiences within an that not many of theseand mood.wealth However, beneath clinical from ‘Nam, but never really me. was obliterated, a problem is we formally often lingers on the past, butgenerational hisindustry Strike,” focusing on specificrequested plants the scores shootings downtown tragically Detroit claimedto surrounding neighbora mere convenience; to others, it’s an unrelion honeybees – humbly speaking ourwrong movementthoughts has us,ofspecifically women of color, have the opportunity to terms lie personal narratives of resilIt’s like a silent echo that follows you.” thriving community was torn asunder. The because we wanted to know what went yesteryear aren’t ones of within each automaker. UAW the life of a popular and the bemarkable part their daily commute. Howbridging that was upon inspired others locally, nationally, even internationengage and I’ve been thewounds youngest person in the room, and struggle. Lawson’s sister,gapnow his placed caregiver, inflicted by I-375 run deep, tran- hoods, and we still don’t have them. I was and online, and a of nostalgic oldin man reminiscing his ience President Shawn Fain stated, “This loved security guard followever, there’s youth. a deeper, far more troubling thewatches city decades ago. ally tothe take on similar missions.” the only Black person in the room, and the only Sistah in over him with a mix of reverscending the physical barrier of a freeway to Lawson’s skepticism about therapy I see grant has come up again for next year. Instead, this retired soldier’s strategy will keep the companies ing a dispute with a patron. story beneathflashbacks the of this seemingly theshow room, and had to articulate thesoul importance ence and Sheofrepresents the penetrate very of Black Detroiters. Today, theconcern. resurgence Paradise Valley Detroit a pioneering by surface is the etched deeply into the furrows of suspect But if youItHives, don’t what you organization did wrong howfounded signs ofI areally man who has guessing. will know give our nationThe male allegedly ordinary freeway—a story of pain, displaceof showing up, giving chances when others won’t, and silent strength of many in their commustands as a testament to the indomitable Lindsey and Jackson, harnesses the power of urban beehis brow. “In our time, you dealt with you fix it? We feel stuck. I know we need witnessed a lot a lot of anguish. This painful legacy can be traced alcan negotiators maximum leverage shotback the guard before fleeing ment, and theCity. lastingbeing impactpersistent.” on Black DetroiAs a trailblazing Black woman thrivnity, providing care where the enduring system Black Detroiters and the keeping revitalize neighborhoods inI’m thenot Motor your demons on your own;program you scene, didn’tspirit help, buttowe don’t know where to start. to the nation’s interstate highway and flexibility in bargaining. And “Vietnam was a different beast,” the whileofhis female ters. issues like ing in a predominantly male-dominated industry, herto to has ofoften failed to acknowledge Black excellence. This historicthe disTheir initiative not only critical pay program someone to listen them,” he ex-legacy awe fundraiser. I am administrator.” of 1956—a that aimed connect if need to go allanout, weaddresses will. Lawson says with a gravelly timbre companion is accused of conunwavering commitment to fortifying the connections need. The tale begins in what is now Lafayette trict, once a vibrant hub for Black businessenvironmental conservation but also provides valuable plains, with a note of distrust lingering theofcountry but often did so at the expense Everything is on the table.” Union receiving nuDukes expressed that despite tone that resonates with the weight cealing the weapon in her bra. DPD Chief James White businesses and Detroit’s communities is undeknown Black Bottom—a es andThe culture, experiencing a renaissance education andalso employment opportunities toonce Black De- as between beneath his words. HisIn perspective data is paints a stark picture, but marginalized communities. the case ofmir-incidents leaders indicated that meroushave inquiries about how to assist,Park, very memories, “but nothing neighpreparedofme These unfolded during an days. unseasonably borhood African-American thatnumbers harkens back to a generational narrative prevalent often failitstoglory capture theThe fulldeadditional plantssupport could be I-375, meant carving a path through the little tangible hastargetmaterialized. This rooted for inthe war I returned culture to at home. I itrors warm spring, leadingof to increased pedestrian have traffictorn and and history. fought Namedalongside after itswhite dark,boys fertile the older Black community, wherestruction spectrum Black of theBottom veteranmay experience. edshortfall in future waves if negotiations has left the center deeply concerned who called heart ofinBlack Detroit, reinforcing segregaheightenedapart tensions in the densely populated downtown soil, Black Bottom flourished during the mida thriving community, but the resolute the admission of needing help is often Behind statistics are individuals with remain stalled. about the level of community backing they can me ‘brother’ in the jungles, only to come tion, and perpetuating inequality. area. 1900s, nurturing of aand newfamilies. generation entreseen as a sign of weakness. “We weredetermination names, stories, Theyofcarry count duringthe these challenging backthe to dreams Detroit and and aspirations be reminded that, Fain on clarified union’s strat- times. Dukes For one to aptly recognize the harm Theafter surge in crime and the influx ofreclaiming visitors tothat of prominentto Detroiters likelife Coleman Young, preneurs and visionaries isin supposed to be strong, especially their service not only the form ofDemaintains a positive outlook, yet the process some, my mattered less.” Lawegy: “I want to give a major shoutcaused by such projects, it is vital to note that troit’s downtown core garnered theinattention ofvisible the DeJoe Louis, and numerous other Detroit leglost legacy. fighting for our country,” Lawson adds, memories but also the less of relocating veteransofwho had a strong desire son’s words cut through the decades, a of the planners and politicians behind out to the thousands members troit Police (DPD), catching them somewhat ends. But in poignant the namereminder of urbanthat renewal in thesome as his voice trails off with evidence of Department psychological imprints that can last a In the heart of Paradise Valley, Blackto remain facility hasright been emotionally for him, bat- projects who are on at thethe picket lines those built themofdirectly through off guard. the 1950s, this vibrant neighborhood was deeper thoughts deeper, unspoken lifetime. When discussing Black veterowned businesses are not just flourishing taxing. tlegrounds of 1968 never fully receded Housing Resource Helpline in now fighting for all of us. The By Andre Ash the heart of vibrant, populated communisystematically dismantled, from the response James White, Chief ofoffering Police the Detroit Police Debattles his mind. and PTSD, thefor conversation extends butans thriving, diverse services, prodinto the annals erased of history. to the on challenges Stand-Up Strike that is a new approach OneANCHOR aspect deeply affected her was theand replaced ties—oftentimes to reinforcethat segregation and said: DIGITAL map, by a lifeless stretch of as- residents partment, “We were caughtthat somewhat flat-footed beyond the individual. It encompasses ucts, and experiences pay homage to the Black veterans return from service face in navigating the tocontrasting striking. Instead striking all received in urgencyofand assistance The narrative of veterans’ post-sersometimes as part of a direct effort toright replace phalt. out isthe gate. Bypaving designspaces we way went the spring communal where vetpastthe while the forinto a these prosperous to a Black country where sertheir skin color complex of neighborhoods. housing plants at once, locals will be relocating the select female residents when compared vice life is often a silent epidemic, a system or eliminate Homelessness continues to deployment, which is less than the mid-summer deployerans seek solace and understanding. While the residential areas bore the brunt future. From jazz clubs to soul food restaua uniform they never remove. This pervices. The helpline provides a called to stand upfaced and walk out to theonurban challenges while bringing in vetstory etched in the shadows of their explague communities, with But now, after decades ofshape enduring ment,the and rants, saw we an uptick violence that first of this demolition, the heart Black Bottom, thesay Black Press, in and art galleries to sistent identity their interThese conversations, however, must of contact forcan people on strike. This is our generation’s erans and securing funding for the women. periences. It’s aoftale that unfolds single inscars thepoint families and individuals grappling ofactions I-375, there is a world, glimmer of hope warm weekend.” its thriving business center, remained largely fashion boutiques, this revival is breathing with the including the start within our community, within our seeking housing assistance and answer to the movement that built While some of the women were receptive to quiet moments far removed from the with the challenges of making on the horizon. Plans have The been unveiledcompeto White untouched. Restaurants, theaters, clubs, and connects attributes violence in Greektown healthcare system. lifeneighborhoods. into the verythe essence of what once made The delicate balance of to with the resourcesculturalChief our the sit-down strikes ofhesitancy theunion move, expressed their and fanfare of parades and the solemnity of them ends meet –inothers today’s economic clitransform this once-divisive freeway into a thismental bars—the very places that brought Detroit’s a combination of weather conditions a surge in poptence of mental health care providers neighborhood a vibrant cultural epicenhealth can be and easily unsettled 1937. We told the Big 3 that Sept. they need. unease in transitioning to independent living memorials. Mental health issues among mate. Whether it’s struggling to vision that seeks wrongs of the ter.byIt’sthe Black together—were concen- PTSD, is not justtoa right bulletthe point on aulation. checklist; a resurgence thatuncertainties extends beyond fundamental of 14 was the deadline and we meant and assuming the financial responsibilities as- community these individuals, particularly Support for the helpline comes meet monthly mortgage payments past while heralding a new era of inclusivity trated around Hastings Street, the epicenter it is vital to effectively reach veterans brick mortar; it and represents thethat resurlife:and shelter, food, job security. Forwe He explained, “ We saw numbers downtown it. We gave the companies our ecosociated with their new homes. emerge as a recurring theme in these from the Gilbert Family Foundaor coping with soaring rental costs and community revitalization. of African-American in theveterans city. who might otherwise feel have misundermany, strain ofrefuses grappling with these gence of athe spirit that to be subdued. not seen, ever. People are emerging from COVID nomic demands eight marked weeks ago stories, culture with Black scripting emphasized that prematurely relocattion, which has pledged $10 milin aDukes housing market by basic needs can exacerbate underlying stood by a system thatmillion doesn’t always Fueled by more than $100 from Then, in a cruel twist of fate, Hastings and there’s a feeling that we’re in a post-COVID era… and it took more than a month to Detroit City Councilman Fred Durhal their own unique chapters. ing the women in stress, interruplion over three years to fund the shockingly high could prices,result a variety mental health District issues, often becoming reflect theirInvestment reality. the Infrastructure and Jobs Act Street, too, was obliterated a few years later, and with the venues downtown and the reasons to come get to the table.” III, representing 7, where Eastern in their ongoing Mental health does not discriminate; program. Wayne Metro Commuoftions factors contribute to treatments, the grow- and general point inare an already precarand other In partners, thiscorners ambitious project making way itfor construction down withMarket allthe thetipping activities that going on, we saw the quiet sister’s resides, told the Michigan Chronicle, The union is pushing forthe a comdiscomfort, underlining need Meagan for careful is athe battlefront whereofallI-375. veterans Dunn Julie Schneider nitycan Action Agency manages the of his ing issue of people becoming unaims to create jobs, remove barriers to ecoThis marked the final blow, sealing the fate hundreds of more people and, in particularly, living room, where the dust dances in “It’s still very early in the process, MDOT is prehensive list of demands. This find themselves fighting. Yet, thehelpline, expe- making it accessible to See INVISIBLE WOUNDS young housed. See HOMELESS VETERANS page A2 Bottom nomic growth, and reconnect the neighborof Black andof signaling the beginning folks, teenagers that we hadn’t seen.” the slants of light that pierce the blinds, riences Black veterans often carry adPage A-2Page A-2 all Detroit residents. This initiative simplifies access to the See INVESTMENT Historically, shelterspage have provided a temporary respite of the end for Paradise Valley, the Black busi- hood with the rest of Detroit. It is a Responding step See UAW STRIKE A2 swiftly to the surge in violence, DPD for those in need, often serving as the first or second option City’s various housing services, ensuring that residents in adjusted its deployment plans. Rather than waiting for after exhausting alternatives like staying with friends or need can easily find assistance. mid-summer, they deployed officers in the spring itself family. Shelters offer a place to rest one’s head and a warm “The city and its partners offer a lot of great services to address the situation. meal, albeit sometimes for extended periods. For others, to help Detroiters with their housing needs, but they don’t The rise in visitors to the Greektown area is evident being unhoused means living in cars or makeshift outdoor mean much if people don’t know how to access them,” said and aresources are sometimes limBy Sean Copeland in data from Placer.ai, location analytics company settings. Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the efforts of our partners ited. Finding employment, housbecauseand of discrimination, but they specializing in visit trends demographic insights CONTRIBUTING WRITER Mychael The causes of homelessness By areLynzee as diverse and complex and the generous support of the Gilbert Family Foundation, ing, care, and more can be weremedical alsomobile coming because Black through geolocation-enabled devices. From MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST we now have a simple process to guide residents to the right as the individuals experiencing it. In response, the City of apeople difficult process at times for our was doing some stuff. When May 1-Aug. 27, 2022, there were 1.3 million visits and Each year on Veteran’s Day, Detroit has adopted a holistic approach to combat this issue. housing resource and a growing number of programs to returning Additionally, for did Black heroes. people start things 655,000 visitors to Greektown, according todoing Placer.ai. Americans in them.” From thecollectively days of the pause Greathelp MiBlack these necessities “Providing services and high-quality housing to on persons inyear, the veterans city?numbers They started doing In the same period this these increased to gratitude to reflect the of sacrificgration when thousands Black be in even harder As we at risk of or who are experiencing homelessness is aforces key things this area to in find. the 1800’s. 1.4 million visits andmay 670,000 visitors. es those in the armed makeThe Gilbert Family Foundation’s broader commitment families flocked to Detroit in search pledging $500 million to support projects across observe another Veteran’s Day, that we priority of the City of Detroit, said Julieand Schneider, In the 1800’s the major thing to our safetyDirector andtofreedom. of ensure jobs a better life, theinvolves pivAs Detroit’s downtown area continues to attract both must ask ourselves these important Detroit over the next ten years, with housing initiatives of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department. were doing in Detroit is they For veterans, there is a city’s dual otalBlack role they played in the residents and visitors,they the police department has implequestions: What inare we doing to being a significant part of their contribution. were the leaders fight against “This means focusing on building pipeline of for supresponsibility: fighting the freeculturaltheand musical heritage, mented various enforcement measures to the manage the inimprove the of our heroes? Do slavery. metal Thelives Underground Railroad C Ohousing M E R and I C coordinating A Notably, Detroit has witnessed a consistent decrease in portive with thecountry Continuum of doms ofDetroiters our whileleft alsoan servBlack have increased population. Notably, detectors have been we show enough for their is the root in thegratitude city to of deter Detroit recent years, with the number of unhoused residents steadiCare What on the a delivery of critical ing resources suchon as emergency a country that doesn’t always delible mark the city. However, strategically placed throughout Greektown theto Federal sacrifices? all of this Black innovation that you ly declining. In 2019, approximately 7,847 people were unshelter, rapid rehousing, and diversion and prevention proservice the needs ofDetroit our community. in recent years, has expeillegal carrying of firearms. Government Shutdown An Welcome Home see Unfriendly coming later.” housed and entered the City’s community response system. grams. It also means preserving and expanding affordable rienced significant gentrification, Comerica Honors Historically, we’ve seen these “We have strategically placed them at key points, “ In 2021, about 5,687 people experienced homelessness. housing options for Detroiters of all incomes and improving Could Mean In Detroit there are several veterwhich has raised concerns about like Aretha things to be true, and sadly these Chief White explains. It Musical has been alegends deterrent for some, Veterans housing stabilitywith though comprehensive service offerings ans who have given their service the displacement of long-standing Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and According to the City of Detroit, since the start of the facts still exist throughout our soand some have tested it. If you are legally carrying the ato for Detroiters? available through the Detroit ciety. Housing Resource HelpLine freedoms. Larry Smith, BlackUniquely, residents. Similar to a setting Motown sound emerged Defiscal Black veterans deal year 2019 to 2021, Detroit saw a 28% decrease in the weapon and carryingensure a CPL, our have a great day. Iffrom you’re Collectible and Detroit Housing Services Division within HRD.” 65, is aproviding Detroiterawho began serving sun, there’s a rising spirit, and troit, soundtrack for the with fighting two sources of Black freeSee COMBAT HOMELESSNESS page A2 Challenge See POLICEin PRESENCE therights army movement inPage 1977 A-2 and staDetroiters are reclaiming their place civil andwas inspirdom: national andthe physical. Due to In May 2023,Coins the City of Detroit launched Detroit in Augusta, GA. HisRecords, initial in the city,ofdespite challenges ing generations. Motown According to the U.S. News and of veterans identify as more than tioned the history slavery,the Black Amerwas because he posedhave by gentrification. foundedfor byjoining Berry Gordy Jr., was not icans dealt with the constant World Report, there are about 16.5 one race. Nearly half of all veterans reason and west sides.inOver time, these are long65after our current phase of gen- wanted to go to college. just a record label but a symbol of veterans the U.S., making or older. memory beingGreat treatedMigration, unfairly million Duringof the neighborhoods centers of trification. excellence empowerment. 6.4 percentbecame of the population. due to theirof skin color, later facing “I thought theand only way I could thousands Black families from about After serving in the armed Black alsoculture states and thatentrepreneurship. the population forces, “Black people were coming to De- go However, segregation andto Detroit discrimination. was to join army,” Smith the South came in search ItBlack as the Detroit faced ecomany veterans are hopeful overwhelmingly white to According to Historian Jamon troit because Black churches were said. Today, still face remains After serving four months, of jobs Black in the Americans booming automobile nomic decline andfor population loss return to the pleasures of living male. Black veteransinmake up ahere, Jordon Black resilience the city blacklife. schools were adjusting here, and in the late 20th century, many systemic many areas of and industry. racism Despitein facing discriminanormal However, See VETERANS SERVICES 12the percent offar thebefore veteran hasScan roots that extend the Up its normal was Black businesses said life and segregation, the militarythey is nobuilt differQR Code to Sign for the Digital Newsletter tion– and vi- around to life can beDaily a here,” challenge $1.00 population while around 7 percent Great Migration and will persist Jordon. “They were coming of course page A2 ent. brant communities on the city’s east See LEGACY page A2 $1.00
Greektown Had 1.4 Million Visits This Summer and No Shootings
Can Reparative Investment Finally The Quiet Battle Against Invisible Wounds Heal the Wounds by I-375? in America’sLeft Veterans
All Hands On Deck to Combat Homelessness A Holistic Approach to Providing Shelter and Support for Detroit’s Unhoused People
WHAT’S INSIDE WHAT’S INSIDE
Black Veterans Need Improved Services for Their Sacrifices
Black Resilience Amidst Gentrification: Reclaiming Detroit’s Legacy
HOMEFRONT Money. A5
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what the Supreme Court be adversely impacted by will rule in the upcoming the decision to overturn days. Despite the deciElected officials are Roe v. Wade. 1 sion, advocates on both also working to keep “What we are really sides of the argument are From page A-1 women Roe v. Wade intact thus concerned about is the willing to continue their ious struggle. It’s a fragile ecosystem where the lack of one holding off Michigan’s impact on our patients. pursuits. can disrupt the entire cycle of wellbeing. Recognizn pre- element trigger ban. organizations Gover- Access to forabortion is aling1931 this intricate interplay, like MiSide, “Overturning Roe v. oment merly THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE PUBLISHING COMPANY norknown Gretchen Whitmer ready of areach for far Wade would be a terrible as Southwest Solutions, stand up toout provide 1452 Randolph • Detroit, MI 48226 • Phone: (313) 963-8100 of the safety net. Servingathe communities County released statementwithin tooWayne many Michiganders, break with nearly 50 years Publication No.: USPS 344-820 final. andsaying, extendingintheir reach to Macomb County, MiSide offers part: especially Black people of judicial precedent and OFFICE HOURS: 1452 Randolph • Detroit, MI 48226 • Phone: (313) 963-8100 job placement a law- a comprehensive suite of resources. From and needs, people of color who – more importantly – a “Theassistance words to‘Roe over-housing Mon.-Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Closed Sat. and Sun. addressing transPublication No.: USPS 344-820 31 law and rental face counseling additional barriers blow against individual The Michigan Chronicle is published every Wednesday. turned’providing are sustenance, no longer and offering OFFICE HOURS: effect, portation, Periodical Postage, paid at Detroit, MI. PriceADVERTISING $1.00 and otherDEADLINE post office. to care ashelps a result of sys- freedom. It is my hope services, MiSide’s support a critical lifeline that theoretical. I wantis every Mon.-Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ed the prevent MEMBER OF AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATION Classified: 3 p.m Friday the camel’s back from breaking, fostering resilience Michigander to know— temic inequalities and in- that the majority of jusCopy, corrections and cancellations, Closed Sat. and Sun. m that in the face of life’s pressing challenges. stitutional racism. Losing preceding the Wednesday publication. matter what happens ADVERTISING DEADLINE tices will reject the findnstitu- no “It’s embarrassing to know that they’re so manyto turkey The Michigan Chronicle is access legal abortion ings of this draft. If that is Classified: 3 p.m Friday in D.C., I’m going to fight Display: 12 p.m. Friday ontain giveaways but if a person does not have will properimpact and an ad-those compublished every Wednesday. Copy, corrections and cancellations, preceding the the Wed nesday publication. preceding Wednesday publication. like hell to protect access not the case, we need to equate home, how are they going to prepare the turkey?” Periodical Postage, n. Our ForFriday all news and calendar items: Display: 12 p.m. munities most, forcing to safe, legaltheabortion in you know’ barrier through ‘if you know, paid at Detroit,preceding MI. stand with Senate MajorDeadline is two weeks prior to event. anned Breaking the Wednesday publication. people to become parents ity Leader Schumer and isn’t just about awareness, it’s about connection,” explains Michigan…” Price $1.00 and other post office. For all news and calendar items: Deadline is two weeksthat priorcontain to event. Weeks ates of Derick Toliver. With nearly a decade dedicated or expand their families Gov. Whitmer in support to supportMEMBER Weeks OF thatAUDIT containBUREAU holidays, deadlineholidays, is Thursdaydead prior line to publication date. prior is Thursday Morehis than legal impliunding ing veterans, current role as a veteran against specialist involves OF CIRCULATION their will. Being of their efforts to preserve to publication date. cations, Roeit’s about bridging the alition more than justoverturning providing services; able to decide and con- the right to reproducsilentwould understanding often isolates veterans impactthat sevroduc- gapv.ofWade trol if, when and how to tive freedom,” said Chair the rest of society. “As a veteran eral systems across the myself, I always try All, a from become a parent is cen- Alisha Bell, on behalf of to encourage my fellow being able to help them in spectrum. Withveterans, the poaffirm their tral to feeling building and living time of need is overwhelming but it’s a good to ingness POSTMASTER to listen the to theWayne unique experiences Black veterCounty of Comtential to drive foster POSTMASTER — Sendchanges address changes on and provide Send address to: to: resources. In aboth time of need when is facinghappy a anyone healthy, life,” ans. Their stories reveal the contours of a landscape that is mission. MICHIGAN CHRONICLE • 1452 Randolph • DETROIT, MIMI 48226 adoption numbers MICHIGAN CHRONICLE | 1452 Randolph • DETROIT, 48226 om in theand lack of life’s basic necessities, this all leadsVasquez to mental Giroux. said often rugged and inhospitable, yet sometimes unexpectedly upward, a ban abor- be genuinely excited supportive. These narratives are not just a litany of chalFor example, howon can someone ution,” health. Beyond the lenges; scopetheyofare also testaments to the strength and adaptgetting offeredleave a position and they don’t even know tions could many Giroux. about where they’re going to take a shower to get ready for work? pro-choice versus prowomen to choose a less ability of the human spirit. s that That’s why I feel compelled to work in housing assistance life, the fight for reprosafe route restoring ‘back Despite the weight of his experiences, Lawson carries a ing in and employment, to help with every part of life.” wavering commitment to From page A-1 ductive choice is one of kind of resilience that is bone-deep, born from survival in alley’ and illegal aborabor- The societal narrative around PTSD and veterans typicalhelping veterans, even in face of relentless adversity. “You learn to carry your consideration and support the face of adversity. “We freedom. As the Michigan tion toward practices, higan, ly leans resilienceincluding and recovery. For Black veterans, ghosts and your grief like badges,” he declares, a steely edge during the transition. officials ensure will still be here helping in Moreover, narrative is interwoven with the threads of racialwork iden- to makes thisself-abortions. The closure of Operation of defiance in his voice. “I’ve seen the worst of what this the ways that we can. Witheach woman who finds tity, societal inequality, and historical context. The question we will African American women world can do, felt the sting of inequality tear at my soul. Welcome Home has resulted out funding it will be hard is not just how PTSD manifests clinically but how the culherself in the position to in the eviction of six veterBut I’m still here.” His hands, though weathered by time, e can and women of color, who but there is no way we can tural backdrop of a veteran’s life influences their has path access to remain to care steady—a testament to a life of courage both in the ans, forcing them to find al- just leave the people who already have a long-sto- choose atients healing. jungles of Vietnam and the eastside of Detroit. “I survived ternative accommodations. need us. This fight is not the threat of legal history with access without e they ried It is essential to consider how the perception of strength overwonder there, and I survive here every day. That’s the truth of This decision is particularly just for the women who are action, many andtheinclusion in might medi-impact the willingness being a Black veteran in this country,” Lawson states, his poignant as it leaves these within Black community
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of these veterans to seek help. There is often a cultural story a powerful testament to an era and its long shadow. stigma attached to vulnerability, particularly men. committee The among health islature adopts it. As society seeks to understand and support veterans “Veterans of color sometimes are too prideful to speak up with PTSD, it’s imperative to consider the distinct experirecommends reviewing Increase school fundand say they aren’t following the language of resource ap- ences of Black veterans. Their journey with PTSD is not just to ing: Statutory changes to stateoflicensure plications, let alone having the conversation therapy,” policies a clinical case study; it reflects broader societal dynamics 1 address the barriers that said Toliver. How does this affect Black veterans who are increase the School Aid that shape their everyday lives. mentalby health what extent does o have grappling psychologists face Fund with revenue at issues? least ToBlack Ultimately, the narrative of Black veterans and PTSD is “strong Black person” trope contribute toobtaining underreport-licensure senta- the$3.6 in in with complexity and deserving of a deeper billion andofestablish a mosaic, rich PTSD among Black veterans? egisla- ingaor under-treatment Michigan. understanding. It’s a chapter in the broader story of veteran permanent weighted New data from the Department of Veterans Affairs re- affairs that beckons not for applause, but for a more profunding formula based on equitable disveals a disparity in the allocation of health Ensure benefits, with found comprehension and genuine engagement. student community n and Black veteransand receiving assistance at atribution lower rate of thanstate health never really get over war,” Lawson confesses, the veterans. the fiscalpreyear 2023, the data shows all“You needs andDuring universal al jus- white funds: Ensure Michiweight of half a century pressing down on him. But one 84.8% of Black veterans who sought physical or mental recom- school (0-3). gan communities with a benefits were granted to them, whereas 89.4% of thing he knows for sure; his sister’s presence is a safe haven, ection health her care a testament to unspoken love and duty. “She’s been significant Black popuReject applying censorship white veterans for similarin benefits were approved. my saving grace,” Lawson admits, allowing a rare vulneraanaly- This lation receive adequate trend, as recorded by the VA, has been consistent since history instruction: Enbility to surface. th the at least fiscal year Gov. 2017, highlighting the funds gap to inaddress mental “I may not know much about therapy, but couraging Whitmer a persistent I know enough to understand that her keeping me comparate between Black and white veterans. Attor- grant to ensure the goal for health issues. ny, making sure I eat, making sure I’m alright, that’s her The integration of cultural understanding into PTSD way of fighting this battle with me.” chigan Michigan schools should Protecting treatment is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a will-Black voting Law
heroes without the support system they so desperately need. It is a reminder that the battle to end veteran homelessness is far from over, and the closure of a lifeline like Operation Welcome Home is a step backward in the fight to provide adequate care and support to those who served their country. “Almost 50% of the armed services are females, but yet you can’t go to the VA and have a baby or have an ultrasound. There’s a whole lot of things that aren’t happening for women and we’ve been trying to help close that gap. We would like to continue to serve the women in this community, the veterans in this community, and we would like to be able to serve everyone in this community if they need our help,” said Dukes. Through recent reports and statistics, it is an increasing highlight to the immense support that women veterans returning home need. The duty of the government and society is to ensure that women veterans receive the support and care they deserve. Together the community needs to work closely with local organizations and other to develop effective policies and programs that uplift and empower women veterans. Even though Detroit is working hard to develop programs there is still a overwhelming 33,000 veterans in need of safe housing options especially those with children and health concerns. The ripple effect of this unfortunate situation extends beyond the immediate beneficiaries, impacting even more veterans and their loved ones. Despite the closure of its doors, the determination to veterans remains strong within the hearts of Operation Welcome Home’s staff. Jacque Dukes reiterates their un-
directly affected here. This is to hopefully change the system for the better. We deserve better. One thing I have learned from working so closely to the women here is about resilience. We will remain resilient through this.” Operation Welcome Home sharing their story is a call to action, reminding us all of our duty to empower women veterans through comprehensive support systems, accessible healthcare, educational opportunities, and career resources. By addressing these areas, we can ensure that women veterans not only successfully transition into civilian life but also continue to thrive and make valuable contributions to our society. It is indeed time to honor their sacrifice by providing the care, resources, and opportunities they deserve. Michigan Chronicle reached out to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for answers regarding the loss of funding. While the reasons behind the closure may remain unclear, it is hoped that the awareness raised by this unfortunate event will prompt a reevaluation of the importance of organizations like Operation Welcome Home and the need for consistent support to address veteran homelessness. The closure of Operation Welcome Home serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing challenges facing homeless veterans and the crucial need for sustained support. It is a call to action for both government agencies and the community to ensure that the dedicated efforts of organizations like Operation Welcome Home are not in vain, and that the individuals who served their country are never left without the shelter and assistance they deserve.
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be history instruction ndards that is presented by prociation fessionals with the subcutors ject matter expertise, olders pedagogical skills, and From page A-1 ct and he judgment necessary to injured his back and had to return gically. home present complex before being sent to inforYukon, However, didn’t always mation to Smith students that war- Alaska. it easy when returning and are grounded in home, provHouse have he says that he went until 2010 before able facts and add to the ations receiving any help for his service. understanding hear- Over time, he has foundof the modservices America. d other in ern-day the Detroit area to be good overall received help from health VA Medild ban and has Increase mental Center and Volunteers of America of no- calsupports for the Black Veterans Housing Program. He knock Detroit community: Recommendwas able to find an apartment through ng the VAing Michigan setwhere a goal Homeless Programs, they o pass payofmost of his rent the each number month. He increasing m and alsoofreceives medical care from Blackhismental health Medical Center and gets Social Semer to VAservice providers by 20% and Medicare benefits. While he leg- curity each over five years. Smith hasyear been satisfied in these areas
rights: Urge state officials to remain vigilant in the fight against schemes to disenfranchise Michiganmust fight for respect and equality in ders of color. the industry and often feel invisible in members ofhave the“BLAC media representation veterans. Sexual harassment canidentify be a disturbworked hard to ing issue manyoffemale the needs the veterans Black face as they’re often tokenized because of community and we feel gender. these recommendations Seeking to combat these issues, will provide Quinchella Jonesa solid started first Veterans step towards breaking Lives Matter, an organization in Detroit that offers various transitional down barriers in educaservicescommunity to female veterans. Jones is an tion, safety, SPC and served in the US Army in Gerhealth and business,” many. However, she experienced some said Co-Chair traumaBLAC as her entire battalion Dr. received Donna L. Bell. death threats. As a result, she began to take care of the families of deployed BLAC will hold a virsoldiers. Her tour was unique in that tual hall during meeting Desert town Storm started her duty. to discuss itsJones policy While stationed, servedrecin multiple locations: Washington D.C., Maryommendations on Thursland, May Kentucky, day, 12 at Pennsylvania, 4 p.m. Join and Virginia. BLAC and a virtual audiWhen she returned home, Jones felt ence in atdiscussing theto be the support VA Medical Center recommendations to supterrible, as they didn’t meet her needs. port Black communi“I wasthe treated by my outside physicians, using medical insurance from ty. my job. I have started to use them BLAC is housed the she more, but only for certainin issues,” Michigan Department of says. Labor and Economic Op-feels As for Detroit services, she that there’s room for improvement. portunity. Members repJones is many satisfiedprofessional with her personal resent team of doctors at the Women’s Clinic backgrounds, including and Whole Health Department. But as economics, law,there public for other experiences, are a few reservations about the carewellthat she’s safety, health and observed. ness, arts and culture and “I’ve They witnessed veterans media. leverage theirbeing treated badly and had to step in to experiences and expertise advocate for them, especially seniors. to recommendaA lot make of veterans just don’t know and tions to the governor onto exinstead of them taking the time plain the situation, rude,” she critical issues they’re affecting says.Black She says that veterans, especialthe community. ly Black women veterans, are largely To and learn judged aren’tmore helped about as much as they should Jonesupcoming shared a horror BLAC andbe.this story of how her Veterans Lives Matter event, visit www.michitried to help a veteran by sending them gan.gov/BLAC.
overall, he still says there are others that need much improvement. As for the care at the VA hospital, he doesn’t trust the care that he received when people that they 1 being treated believe there. need to for themselves races. “I suffered a stroke and felt that I andreceive others live diagnosis better didn’t an to accurate ansfor- forlives.” my aftereffects,” Smith said. As p as a for the“Chancellor financial aspect Ivery of returning is difficulties are unfortunately h that home, a true transformational for many veterans. Smith change inevitable leader and an said that “veterans have outstandto fight to get e sys- money ing overall.” CEO, As who is veteran, more a Black stanc- Smith feels that he hasn’t full than worthy of thereceived CEO of erating disability benefits because his color. the Year Award heofjust reIvory ceived, Today, Smith several “ saidvolunteers Prof. James at Brilliant Detroit Littlemation- days C.a week Mays, who teaches on the city’s west side. Brilliant t just field entrepreneurship and Detroit provides after school programo cer- ming supply chain manageand support to children in the s them surrounding neighborhood. Smith ment at WCCCD’s Corpoa cookCollege. there and “In enjoys helping iew of is rate his 27 while at making a difference in his nd ex- outyears WCCCD, Dr. Ivery According to his manage that community. elevated WCCCD to er has Charlotte Blackwell, Smith enjoys ecause many become nationally recoghobbies like cooking, collecting what horse nized for excellence and figurines, and has recently dean interest in trying standup create veloped innovation and preparing every- comedy. our students professionMinority entire Being allya Double and personally to do Traditionally, veterans are usually ecause great things in the world.” older and male, but they come in many different forms. Recently, women have become increasingly more active in the armed forces than they were in decades prior. Women have taken on many roles in the service including combat roles, spy work, and piloting, along with roles traditionally filled by men. Despite the many strides that women have made in the military, there is a prevalent amount of sexism that permeates throughout. Women
to VA Medical Center. “One female veteran was told to pawn her wedding ring and use the money to help her find shelter; she’d just lost her husband. She was so hurt, and I can’t tell you how livid I was. They’ve recently gotten new upper management at Detroit VA, so I hope things will get better,” she said. As a Black female veteran, Jones recounts experiences of sexual harassment, job favoritism, and more, but she was determined to prevail despite
those setbacks. “These few things stagnated my career, caused me trauma and ailments that I didn’t have before. I was an excellent soldier, I didn’t deserve the treatment I received, but I remained ‘Army Strong’ and I survived,” Jones shares. Today, her organization that seeks to help female veterans with assistance, support, and resources when they return home. Malani Jones, 35, has a story that proves that veterans can be younger too. Jones’ story is unique in that she served in Alaska and had to get familiar with the harsh climate. “We would put up tents in negative-25-degree weather starting at 7 a.m. We would do cold weather training such as learning how to build a fire and how to stay warm with little amounts of clothes on.” When she returned home, she says she didn’t really find the help she needed until reaching out to Quinchella Jones of Veterans Lives Matter. Before that, she experienced trauma from the military and didn’t find the help she received to be beneficial. “And even then, the help I did receive I feel isn’t what I needed because all the doctors wanted to do was give me medicine without finding the root of the issue.” Malani Jones says she can’t elaborate too much on Detroit services but says that she wasn’t too happy with what she received. She uses private doctors for treatments and goes outside of Detroit for her care. As for her personal challenges as a Black female veteran, Malani Jones says she is still trying to find her purpose. She says she struggles with finding value in a career and wants “something that makes me feel valued and not being used because of my military career.” As for now, she continues to utilize Veterans Lives Matter. For many people, Veteran’s Day has become a day of leisure if you’re afforded the day off work. For others who are working, it often becomes just another day of punching the clock. It will take time for society to change its appreciation of Black veterans. Medical and psychiatric services need to be improved, jobs need to be made more available, and housing needs to be more affordable. This November 11, take a few moments to honor those who have served and have fought for our freedoms. While doing so, take a few extra moments to honor the Black veterans who have given their service in such a unique way. After all, a few moments pales in comparison to their service, and we owe them gratitude on Veteran’s Day and every day.
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A3 | November 15-21, 2023
Comerica colleagues unite to annually support American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
HOMEFRONT Comerica Helps American Cancer Society
For many years, Comerica Bank has been a corporate partner of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Detroit—giving colleagues the opportunity to raise money for much-needed research, celebrate survivors, and honor those whom they have lost to the disease.
Regional Retail Directors Larry Bryant (left) and Debra Van Hevele (right) show the fighting spirit to raise awareness and funds in the ongoing battle against breast cancer. Van Hevele serves as Comerica Bank’s executive champion.
This fall, Comerica colleagues were back it to make more strides in an ongoing effort to defeat the deadly disease. This year, Comerica ranked among the top corporate contributes, and team combined to raise nearly $42,000. In the past 10 years, Comerica colleagues have fundraised $275,000 towards Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
event took place Sat., October 7 at Hart Plaza and dozens of Comericans showed up dressed in pink and raised funds for breast cancer research. Strides envisions a future where children no longer live with the threat of breast cancer and where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive this disease.
It is a future that is near and dear to the Comerica Bank Event Leadership Team. This year’s Executive Sponsor was Senior Vice President and Regional Retail Director Debra Van Hevele. Coordinating Comerica’s partnership Va-
This year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Comerica colleagues decked out in pink to support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Pictured (l-r): Biljana Cvetkovski, Yolanda Serra, Sarah Glasker, and Anida Sabonovic.
Comerica’s Women in Technology employee resource group contributed to this year’s Making Strides fundraising initiative. WIT Superheroes raised over $9,500 to fight breast cancer, ranking eighth among top fundraising teams. Pictured team leader Victoria Jackson.
See MAKING STRIDES page A-4
Comerica Bank Macomb, led by Felisha Marecki, formed one team to help fundraise and contribute to Comerica’s overall contribution to MSABC.
Comerica Honors Veterans with Collectible Challenge Coins
Comerica Bank’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, celebrated the bank’s honorable veteran colleagues leading up to Veterans Day, the national holiday designated to pay honor and salute those who served in the U.S. armed forces.
emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when asked and to enhance morale. They are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel.
Nate Bennett, Chief DEI Officer and Comerica’s DEI office organized a special Veterans Day event to honor the spirit, bravery, and service that these dedicated men and women have bestowed upon the nation.
Challenge coins carry great meaning to veterans, and are traditionally awarded to recognize service, acts of valor, public service, special missions, or to identify service in a specific military branch or unit.
During this gathering, the veterans were presented with a challenge coin as a symbol of Comerica’s deep appreciation and respect.
Davis shares that, “For Comerica, we hope that these special challenge coins presented today, represents what you mean to us.”
He adds, “We are Michigan Market Presi- Special Comerica Bank humbly honored to recogdent Steve Davis made note challenge coin was pre- nize your courage and sacthat the coin, is “emblemat- sented to colleagues who rifices made defending this country. And we also hope ic of your courage and ded- served in the military. this token demonstrates ication,” adding, that it “is a testament to the sacrifices you’ve made for how you make Comerica a better contributor to our customers, communities, and colour country.” Davis said, “Your service echoes the leagues.” values we hold dear at Comerica, and your experiences continually enrich and inspire our community.”
A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or
Davis explained that In January 2020, Comerica Bank was honored as a Michigan
See HONORING VETERANS page A-4
Comerica Bank recognized colleagues who served in the US armed forces with special challenge coins in honor of Veterans Day. US Army Veteran Gerret Peters, who also serves as Talent Development Services Manager for Comerica, talks about his path from the military to the corporate world as well has his family’s service history that dates back to World War I.
Page A-4 • michiganchronicle.com • Noverber 15-21, 2023
Honoring Veterans From page A-3
Comerica Bank Vice President and Senior Banking Center Manager Michael Cheatham (left), presents a donation of $10,000 to the Shipley Family Foundation. Pictured with Cheatham includes foundation board members (l-r) Shecara Vardiman, Steven Elam and Cornelia Shipley Bearyman.
Shipley Family Foundation Partners with Comerica for Comprehensive Financial Education Program at Chandler Park Academy
The Shipley Family Foundation, in partnership with Comerica Bank, announced the launch of a new Financial Empowerment Program for Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods. Beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year, this comprehensive financial education program will serve the entire school community including students, faculty, staff and parents.
The Financial Empowerment Program aims to improve financial capabilities and money management skills through interactive lessons and activities. Students will learn the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, investing and more to help prepare them for financial responsibility after graduation. Teachers and staff will receive professional development opportunities to integrate financial concepts across subject areas and in their personal lives. Parents will also have access to financial workshops and coaching. The announcement was made at the
25th Anniversary Celebration for Chandler Park Academy on Oct. 19, 2023. “We are thrilled to equip students with the financial knowledge and skills to help them achieve economic mobility and success,” said Cornelia Shipley Bearyman, the Daughter of Chandler Park Academy Founder the late Dr. Anthony Shipley and Member of the Shipley Family Foundation Board. “By starting early and providing comprehensive support, our goal is to build a financially savvy community at Chandler Park.”
with the financial tools they need.
“Comerica is committed to advancing financial education in all of our markets, and we are proud to support this important new initiative at Chandler Park Academy,” said Steve Davis, Comerica Bank Michigan Market President. “We believe that everyone deserves access to resources and programs that empower them to make informed money decisions, and we are excited to surround those who support students
Chandler Park Academy first opened its doors in 1998 and has since become a pillar in the community, offering a rigorous college preparatory curriculum to nearly 2,500 students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Located in Harper Woods, the school aims to provide students with the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and beyond.
From page A-3
nessa Alexa, who serves as Vice President and Senior Strategy and Transformation Project Manager for the bank. The MSABC support team featured Felisha Marecki, Patricia McCann, Jennifer Wasielewski and Crystal Zurek.
1 in 8 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime--meaning that many Comericans have been affected whether it was themselves or someone they love. “I believe our current number is 53% of executives and leadership is female at Co-
“We are incredibly excited to bring this financial education initiative to life at Chandler Park Academy,” said Diane Fisher, CEO Education Enrichment Services and Education Service Provider for Chandler Park Academy. “Providing students with real-world money management skills and financial knowledge will empower them to achieve their dreams and give back to the community.”
merica and, and it really does go to speak to the changes that have happened even in the last 10 years. I’ve been with the bank for 14 years,” says Marecki. “I love Comerica, my husband jokingly says, you know, there’s other companies you can work for…but I really stay for the values.” Alexa adds that Comerica’s values were key to her treat-
Veterans Affairs Association Gold-Level Veteran Friendly Employer. MVAA recognizes employers that commit to military veteran recruitment, training and retention practices. Comerica was the first bank certified as a MVAA Gold-Level Veteran Friendly Employer. The bank is the 11th overall company to achieve Gold-Level status. Among 27 recognized to date, Comerica still remains the only bank certified as a Gold-Level Veteran Friendly Employer by MVAA. Comerica also has a Veterans Employee Resource Group and Veterans Business Resource Group in its ongoing DEI efforts. These two groups are instrumental in supporting veteran colleagues,
veteran-owned businesses, and veteran-focused community initiatives. “Your service and sacrifice does not go unnoticed by us, and were are proud that you now are a valuable contributor to our mission as we strive to help our customers, communities and fellow colleagues succeed,” Davis said.
ment, “And it also goes to show you know, Felisha, obviously you were at Comerica, when you went through your journey as was I in 2018,” says Vanessa, “I went through my journey and if the values weren’t there, I don’t think the experience of going through the diagnosis and treatment and all of that while working here would have been the same.”
Alexa and Marecki discussed the importance of Making Strides and why, as survivors, they feel it necessary to participate in events like this as a continued part of their journeys. Marecki shared her message of hope and why working with the American Cancer Society is so important. “In 2012 I started supporting the American Cancer Society through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. In 2018, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and attended my first walk as a survivor with another Comerican also going through treatment. During my 2 years of treatment, I worked with many clients and colleagues that helped me survive my treatments.” She adds, “I utilized services through the American Cancer Society such as seeking out Clinical Trial research, Attending the Look Good, Feel Good event and worked them to help get discounts on medication costs. I know they have been around since 1913 and they have a long history of supporting the community. ACS is a great organization and truly always a pleasure to partner with.” “So the first year that I attended the walk, as a breast cancer survivor, I went to the survivor tent, and it just felt so special,” said Marecki. “I was diagnosed in 2018. I was actually going through treatment at the time and, and I had a friend there, we did the walk together, she also works for Comerica Bank. So I just remember how special everyone at that time made me feel. And so I kind of brought that to our table this year. And then what I really loved was we had donations at the table. And so we could actually take donations, I have a basket of things that we’re going to deliver to a local cancer center.” This year at the walk, Comericans hosted a photobooth with a balloon backdrop and banners. There were photo props and a team of volunteers to take photos on the walker’s camera. Comericans also created a Six Chains of Hope with messages written to cancer patients from walkers. The team also received day of donations to patients that were delivered with the Chains of Hope as well as Comerica Bank Branded Giveaways to give out to walkers. The walk brought out men and women across the c ompany.
Every street is a road to opportunity. At Comerica Bank, we believe when everyone in our community succeeds, we all succeed. That’s why we’ve invested over $20 million in affordable housing, financial education and workforce development for lower-income communities, and donated more than 60,000 hours of volunteer time.
Raise Your Expectations MEMBER FDIC. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY LENDER.
A5 | November 15-21, 2023
Small Businesses Impacting Growth of Detroit Economy By Andre Ash DIGITAL ANCHOR
According to a February 2023 report by the City of Detroit’s University Economic Analysis Partnership, “Detroit’s resilience in recovering from the pandemic...translate into continued growth even amid a challenging national economy.” “The past year featured primarily, but not uniformly, encouraging developments in Detroit’s economy. We estimate that employment at establishments located within the city had recovered roughly 86 percent of the initial pandemic losses by the first quarter of 2022,” the report reads. In a time where small businesses are developing jobs, there is an entity playing an important role in providing the tools and technical assistance small businesses need in order to succeed. “We go out and facilitate growth and development by doing business attraction and retention,” said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO, Detroit Economic Development Corporation, the private, nonprofit organization serving as Detroit’s economic development agency. “We focus on small business develop-
ment as well as marketing and branding the city both domestically and internationally to try to bring more job opportunities to the city.” Johnson leads an agency that is also working with the City of Detroit to develop and redevelop properties, putting them back into productive use, work that he believes has seen a measure of success for over 40 years since DEGC was first stood up during the administration of late Mayor Coleman A. Young. Small businesses play a vital role in the stability of Detroit’s economy and neighborhoods. It’s an important element and focus of the DEGC, as it has partnered with entrepreneurs seeking brick-and-mortar opportunities through its Motor City Match program. “We’re talking about businesses in neighborhoods, which is vitally important,” Johnson says, as he explained the role DEGC has on facilitating the opening of physical storefronts. “Downtown plays an integral part in Detroit’s revitalization, but if the neighborhoods aren’t participating in that by developing entrepreneurial opportunities, we’re doing the city a disservice.” The Motor City Match program has fa-
College Does Not Have to be a Debt Sentence By Aya Waller-Bey CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
Last winter, I gave a college admissions workshop at a popular local charter school. After a series of questions asking about students’ motivations for attending college, I administered a quiz to check their knowledge about the college application process. One of the final prompts was a true-or-false question that asked students whether student loans were unavoidable to attend college. The responses were a mixed bag. Some students enthusiastically proclaimed that loans were a part of the college-funding process, and others believed full-ride scholarships were bountiful. With the Nov. 1 early action and early decision application deadlines behind us, parents, college counselors, and students alike look toward the financial aid process and the upcoming Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application opening in December this year. Questions swarm about affordability and the return on investment for a four-year college Aya Waller-Bey degree. After having participated in hundreds of conversations about college admissions, I’ve learned that many people mistakenly believe that pursuing a college degree undoubtedly means they will be saddled with six-figure college debt. College does not have to be a debt sentence. Take me, for example. When I applied to college some 13 years ago, I prioritized one key school feature: colleges that met 100 percent of demonstrated financial need. Colleges and universities that make this promise will offer financial aid to admitted students that covers the difference between the institution’s price tag and the family’s ability to pay. This especially was important since FAFSA determined that my estimated family contribution was $0. When I received college decision letters
from Georgetown, Wesleyan, Northwestern, and a few other highly selective institutions, I reviewed admissions letters, looking for the best financial aid packages, which included no student loans, deposit waivers, and little-to-no student contribution. My two top choices, Georgetown and Northwestern, met the task. In four short years, I graduated debt free from Georgetown University, one of the nation’s top colleges. For those who intend to stay in the state, 10 public universities in Michigan offer guaranteed acceptance for students who earn a 3.0 or higher. Particularly, Michigan State University provides the Spartan Tuition Advantage, which is a program that covers the cost of full tuition for Michigan high school graduates who have a family income of $65,000 or less and qualify for federal Pell Grants. The University of Michigan has a similar policy with its Go Blue Guarantee. There’s also the last dollar scholarship, Detroit Promise, aimed to ensure Detroit residents have tuition-free post-secondary education. Together, these programs work to make a four-year degree more affordable and to reduce debt burdens. It may surprise you that one-third of student debt holders have balances under $10,000, and another 20 percent owe between $10,000-$20,000. In fact, just seven percent of borrowers owe six figures, according to data published by The Washington Post. However, I would be remiss if I did not address racial disparities and the debt gap between Black and white borrowers. According to the Brookings Institute, Black graduates, on average, owe six percent more than they have borrowed, while white graduates owe 10 percent less than they have borrowed. One of the reasons for this is that propor-
See COLLEGE DEBT Page A-6
cilitated the opening of 163 new brick-andmortar businesses since the program began in 2015. The program has so far distributed up to $18 million which has fostered nearly $87 million in neighborhood investment. Currently, the agency is on a pace to distribute $1 million a quarter and recently conducted it 24th round of awards to entrepreneurs who are often witnessing “their dreams come to life.” “There are goods and services that, without these programs and activations of storefronts, then those dollars tend to escape our city and they don’t come back, they don’t circulate. The mark of a good city is the circulation of its dollars.” April Anderson, co-founder of Good Cakes and Bakes, understands first-hand the importance for the circulation of local dollars and how small businesses and bake shops like hers benefit the local ecosystem. “Most of the time, the people who work there (small business) live in that community, so when they get paid, they are spending money in the community,” Anderson says. She’s also utilizing other local businesses for her bakery’s printing needs and custom boxes, being personally intentional that all aspects of her business needs help other Detroit companies and entrepreneurs. Anderson understands the importance of supporting local businesses just as she has received the same favor. Her Good Cakes and Bakes shop on Livernois has received support from numerous avenues, including DEGC, support from community and resource agencies which she finds is critical to her bakery thriving and growing. Over the summer, she expanded her business to a second location in downtown Detroit. “We’ve worked with the City of Detroit to hire returning citizens, it’s one of our big missions for our returning citizens to earn a living wage, as well learn a hard skill, and have medical time off.” Efforts to secure financial support to fund the wages of returning citizens by 50 percent was a program by City of Detroit that greatly assisted Anderson initially. She
says increased demands are unfortunately outgrowing worker retention and staff hiring. They are pains that businesses will encounter over time and some pro-business experts believe it’s going to take on-going support and sustained resources for small businesses to thrive. “We create programs and advocate for policies that advocate for Black-owned businesses,” said Charity Dean, President and CEO, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA). “We are very engaged in programs that are designed to help business owners get technical assistance such as marketing, legal, accounting and programs designed around capital. Our Capital Connect program connects funders directly with Black businesses.” Founded in 2021, it’s organizations like MDBBA that are playing an important role to help stabilize operations of small Black businesses in Detroit. “If I was a manufacturing company, I can use state resources to offset the cost of building my manufacturing facility, I can go to city government to get workforce development, …if I’m a small business owner, I don’t have any of that,” Dean says. “The way in which government creates incentives for industries that they choose is not equal to what we need for small businesses.” Dean touts other services her agency provides such as its Black Business Resource Center which offers free co-working space with internet connectivity as it works to close the digital divide. The organization is also connecting businesses to interns who will learn entrepreneurship and participate in pitch competitions. Despite its efforts to aid small Black businesses, Dean advocates for being informed about government policy which can help and sometimes harm business. “The city is changing the way it does pro-
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Shattering Glass Ceilings: Sati Smith Becomes DMCU’s First African American Woman CEO By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Sati Smith’s journey is one that defies the odds. As a Black woman in the financial industry, she has shattered glass ceilings while simultaneously shouldering the responsibilities of single motherhood, full-time studies, and a demanding full-time job. Her story is one of unwavering strength, unyielding perseverance, and, above all, boundless faith. Now, as the newly appointed CEO of Diversified Members Credit Union (DMCU), she makes history as the first Black woman to hold this prestigious position. Sati Smith stands as living proof that Black women not only belong in the C-Suite but also possess the resilience, determination, and expertise to excel in this role. “I’m going to be really transparent. It is a heavy load being the first Black woman in this position, but some people are meant to take on that that heavy load,” said Smith with excitement in her voice. “I definitely feel like it’s an assignment that was given to me and I can carry the load. I am just excited. I’m really passionate about our members and people in general, and to have the opportunity to have an impact on the community and the members that we serve makes me proud. I’m just ecstatic and I’m just anx-
Sati Smith ious to do great things to help our members in the organization.” Sati Smith’s appointment to the position of CEO is not just a personal achievement but a significant step forward for her community and a powerful symbol of breaking glass ceilings. She becomes one of the few
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African American women in the United States to hold this high-level position in a financial institution. With nearly three decades of dedicated service, Smith’s journey from a teller to the C-suite is a testament to her unwavering commitment, relentless work ethic, and a passionate drive to help others. DMCU, which serves nearly 30,000 members and manages $500 million in assets, operates branches in Detroit, Clawson, and Novi, offering a wide range of financial products and services, as well as a robust financial coaching program designed to cater to the diverse needs of its members. “Supporting small businesses along with pushing financial literacy and coaching is important to me. It’s relevant to everyone, everyone could benefit from it no matter what their financial status is. So that’s a big initiative that we’re going to continue with and move forward.” Smith continues, “Also teaching financial literacy to our youth is a huge initiative we want to introduce. Another big initiative is to focus on the small businesses and that’s why it’s important to understand our members. Meeting the members where they are, giving them what
College Debt From page A-5 tionately Black students are enrolling in graduate programs higher than their white counterparts, and debt from graduate programs accounts for nearly half of the debt gap between Black and white borrowers, according to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. There are ways to mitigate student loan debt. For starters, the Biden-Harris administration should cancel student loan debt, and public universities and community colleges should be free. But, while we wait for those fantastical acts, families should explore institutions that meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need. There are also a handful of (primarily selective) colleges and universities with no loan policies. I also encourage families with college-bound students to, by grade 10, have a college list of 10-12 schools and the GPA and/or test scores required to be eligible for merit-based aid (grants and scholarships awarded by institutions because of academic performance) and institutional scholarships. These considerations are particularly helpful for low-income families and first-generation college students where saving for college isn’t always feasible. Miseducation about college admissions, financial aid, and student loan debt has the potential to discourage talented young people from seeking out degrees and credentials that positively impact their life out-
they need and making sure that we can offer the services that are beneficial and relevant to them. Outside of support for our members we want to pour into our employees. Continuing to coach them up and paving their career paths is vital to our organization. I have a lot of things that I want to do and we’re beginning to be strategic and getting all of that on paper starting with our objectives and that makes me eager for the future.” As the CEO, Sati Smith will take the reins of leadership and provide the strategic vision for DMCU. She will work closely with the Board of Directors to ensure the institution’s community-based approach to financial services is upheld. Her responsibilities include overseeing DMCU’s operations, maintaining the highest standards of service, and ensuring the effective implementation of member-supported policies and procedures. In addition, Smith will play a vital role in shaping the future goals of DMCU, focusing on supporting its diverse membership and strengthening its commitment to the community. “The foundation of DMCU is the many wonderful people that we serve,” Smith emphasizes. “We see our members as individuals with their own stories, struggles, and triumphs. This approach has kept DMCU going strong for nearly a century and will continue to set us apart in the increasingly comes. Student loan debt is real, but so are opportunities to limit it. Aya Waller-Bey completed her B.A. in Sociology with a Social Justice concentration and minor in African American studies at Georgetown and earned her MPhil in Education at the University of Cambridge in England. She also completed an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, where she’s currently a Ph. D. candidate studying trauma narrative in college essays. She has presented her research at local and national talks and symposiums, conducted storytelling workshops, and written op-eds for international publications.
competitive financial landscape.” Sati Smith’s vision for DMCU reflects her profound understanding of the institution’s core principles. She sees each member as an individual with their unique stories, struggles, and triumphs, and it’s this personalized approach that has sustained DMCU for nearly a century, setting it apart in the competitive financial landscape. Smith’s journey to the top is a remarkable story. Over the past 25 years, she has climbed the ladder, starting as a teller with Kemba Financial Credit Union in 1998 and ascending to roles such as a data processing clerk, IT manager, branch manager, operations manager, and Chief Operating Officer at DMCU. Her life story, including her experiences as a single mother on welfare without a high school diploma when she began her career, is an inspirational narrative of determination and resilience. While ascending through the ranks and raising her daughter, Smith pursued her education, obtaining her GED and putting herself through college. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts from Ashland Theological Seminary. What’s more, her daughter, now 31, works at DMCU as a loan processor, a testament to the family’s dedication to the institution. “You just do,” Smith said filled with emotion. “I never really focused on what kind of impact it was actually going to have on her. I just knew that I had to be an example. You don’t know if your children are going to follow in the footsteps that you’ve laid or if they want to go in another direction. All you can do is plant the seeds. To actually see that she’s reaping the benefits of the seeds by moving on in the financial industry is beautiful. I didn’t realize how much of the impact that I was having on until she told me I was her hero. As a parent and even a single mother, you know, you make a lot of mistakes. You don’t get a booklet telling you how to parent and oftentimes, you feel you can do better. For her to actually say that to me meant so much to me.”
Sati Smith’s promotion to the role of CEO marks the beginning of a new chapter for both her and DMCU. Her predecessor, Kathie Trembath, her longtime mentor, retires after more than 40 years in the credit union industry and nearly two decades with DCMU but will remain as a consultant for the institution in the coming months. David H. Brooks III, Diversified Members Credit Union Board Chair, expresses the board’s pride in Sati’s accomplishments, calling her a remarkable mentor and role model. The board eagerly anticipates her innovative initiatives and her leadership as DMCU continues its mission to support and serve its diverse membership. In addition to Sati Smith’s historic appointment, DMCU is pleased to welcome Mark Evenson as its new Chief Financial Officer. A Michigan native, Evenson brings more than 18 years of experience and a track record of building and motivating dynamic teams to the institution. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in management and corporate finance from Eastern Michigan University and Walsh College of Accountancy, respectively, Mark previously served as Chief Financial Officer for Cornerstone Community Financial in Auburn Hills. His appointment strengthens DMCU’s leadership team, further solidifying its commitment to providing exceptional financial services to its members. Sati Smith’s journey from a teller to becoming the first African American woman CEO in DMCU’s history is a remarkable story of perseverance and determination. Her appointment is not only a testament to her own dedication but also a source of inspiration for countless individuals, especially women and minorities, who aspire to break through barriers and achieve their dreams. As Diversified Members Credit Union continues to evolve, it will do so under the capable leadership of a CEO who embodies the values of community, service, and empowerment. Sati Smith’s tenure promises to be an exciting and transformative chapter in DMCU’s storied history, ensuring its legacy for future generations.
Detroit Economy Michigan Chronicle From page A-5 curement,” Dean says. “If someone wouldn’t have called me about this ordinance, it would’ve passed, (as she explained her attendance of a recent City Council meeting). “It’s fundamentally going to change the opportunity for small Detroit contractors.” Despite DEGC efforts that work closely with City of Detroit, Dean believes city government needs an office of small business affairs so there are proactive efforts to deal with policies that impact small businesses. And that’s what could lead to a more longterm approach to sustaining local businesses in a city where downtown often outpaces the growth of businesses within the community.
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Detroit City Council Weighs $25 Million Investment in VR Training and Police Equipment By Ebony JJ Curry SENIOR REPORTER
The Detroit City Council is poised to deliberate on a significant $25 million funding allocation, sourced from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), dedicated to upgrading the Detroit Police Department’s operational equipment and training methodologies. The proposal under consideration includes advanced Virtual Reality (VR) training simulators and an array of supplementary gear, such as tasers. The Public Health and Safety Standing Committee, comprising councilmembers Santiago-Romero (Chair), Benson, and Calloway, is scheduled to engage in a comprehensive review of this initiative, where the intricacies of the resolution will be dissected. This review session is a precursor to the potential approval by the City Council, which would lead to the implementation of a contract tied to MiDeal Contract No. 071B4300067. Axon Enterprise, Inc., based in Scottsdale, AZ, has been identified as the supplier of the equipment. The contract outlines a supply of tasers and related accessories over a 10-year period extending to Dec. 31, 2033, at a total cost of $23,176,198.54, or approximately $2.32 million annually. Additionally, the contract includes VR training simulator equipment and software, which is valued at $1,870,387.45 and is set to extend through June 30, 2026. The intent behind this substantial investment is to fortify the police force with modern technology that could revolutionize training regimens. VR training, in particular, is anticipated to be a game-changer for the city’s police, offering immersive simulations that could potentially mitigate the frequency of physical altercations in the field and sharpen officers’ decision-making skills
in high-pressure scenarios. The decision by the Detroit City Council to potentially allocate $25 million in ARPA funds for new police training and equipment raises several thought-provoking questions. What exactly will the Virtual Reality training involve, and how will it differ from traditional methods? According to Sergeant Jordan Hall from the Detroit Police Department’s Media Relations, “Virtual Reality training, which encompasses eyewear (goggles), places the user in a three-dimensional training environment.” He mentioned that it could potentially revolutionize their preparation for real-world scenarios. Moreover, how might this cutting-edge training technology benefit the public? Sgt. Hall suggests that by moving beyond the static training environments of the past, officers can now leverage the most current technology to enhance their readiness for the complexities of actual on-the-ground situations. “Officers have trained in the same environment for years,” he said. “This training
allows the user to utilize the latest training technology available to date to assist with real-world scenarios.” This leads us to consider the potential ripple effects of such technological advancements on both police performance and community interactions. This potential infusion of ARPA funds into law enforcement technology is part of a broader resolution that the Public Health and Safety Standing Committee is set to review, according to the office of Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield. Should the contract receive a favorable evaluation, it will advance for City Council approval. The investment into tasers and related accessories represents a parallel strategy to equip the police with tools that have the potential to provide alternatives to lethal force. These tools are part of a suite of equipment designed to give officers more options in their response to various situations they might encounter on duty. “Trained Department members use Tasers as an intermediate (less-than-lethal) tool/device, to be used to gain compliance with a subject,”
explained Hall. “There is department policy, training, and each member must follow the Use of Force Continuum, that each trained member must follow in order to carry the a department issued taser.” The contract’s approval process is a meticulous one, requiring careful consideration of the long-term investment and its fit within the city’s public safety strategy. The dialogue surrounding the contract is multi-faceted, touching on the efficacy of technology in law enforcement, fiscal responsibility, and the anticipated outcomes of integrating such technology into daily police work. When one ponders on the Detroit City Council’s consideration to channel millions towards Virtual Reality training and other police accessories, it naturally prompts the question of why such a significant sum is being directed toward VR technology, and what merits this investment holds in the context of law enforcement? The police leaders feel like the technology and equipment would allow for better policing tactics across the board for its force, while potentially helping to transform the landscape of public safety in Detroit. So, what is the goal moving forward? Hall expressed, “Safety and education of our members. This will assist to better serve and protect the community.” The conversation about modernizing the police force with technology like VR simulators and tasers intersects with broader discussions about public safety, police training, and community relations. As the proposal moves through the review process, the potential impact on the police department and the community it serves is a subject of contemplation for the involved parties. The committee’s analysis of the contract will delve into the logistics, benefits, and the anticipated return on investment of the proposed technology.
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COMERICA IN THE COMMUNITY
Senior Bank Manager Michael Cheatham describes himself as a creative, results oriented leader who is committed to adding value whenever and wherever he can. With 29 years of service at Comerica Bank, Cheatham is an experienced manager, community banker, public speaker and mentor. “People are my passion,” he says, adding, “and I actively seek opportunities to improve the lives of others.” But, he also adds that it’s the company culture that keeps him there. “The bank has a culture of supportive culture, a culture that is focused on diversity, or the recognizes the importance of diversity. It’s a culture of cooperation, and doing good in the community.”
Comerica Bank Executive Vice President and General Auditor Christine Moore offers insights to local students from Harper Woods and Lincoln Park High Comerica Bank Vice President, Business Banking Patricia Schools, focusing on topics such as career choices, Alexander meets with mentees of the Women of Tomorrow work life balance, and vision boards. Mentor and Scholarship Program.
Women of Tomorrow Provides Youth Up-Close Look into Banking, Leadership, and Career Paths
Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program and Comerica Bank collaborated to host mentees for a special Spotlighting Women in Banking career conversation and workforce development session at the bank’s Michigan Market headquarters, Comerica Bank Center, in Detroit.
career progression happens with hard work and dedication, why it’s important to professionally network, and how to survive imposter syndrome. The group wrapped up the day with a vision board session and a special visit from Executive Vice President and General Auditor Christine Moore, who shared the importance of making effective career decisions, raising a family as a career driven woman, and understanding the benefits of creating a vision board.
Students from Harper Woods High School and Lincoln Park High School were special guests and had the opportunity to learn from a powerhouse group of executives and leaders at Comerica. Michigan Market President Steve Davis kicked off the event with an overview of his role and discussed why the banking industry needs more women, as well as the opportunities that are available. Students heard from panelists Senior Vice President and Group Manager Erica Richard, Senior Vice President Divisional Credit Officer Danielle Cole, Senior Vice President and Michigan Director of Small Business Banking Meghan Storey, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Banking Kimberly Kersten, Vice President – Business Banking Pat Alexander and Senior Vice President & Director, Letters of Credit & Trade Services Denise Collaku
High school student attending Spotlighting Women in Banking at Comerica Bank Center in Detroit constructs vison board for her career path. moderated by CRA Compliance Analyst Shari A Collins. Richard also serves on the Women of Tomorrow board of directors. Panelists shared insights on how they began their career, understanding that
Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program provides preventative programming for at-risk girls to change the world, one young woman at a time. The program promotes drop-out prevention, increases access to higher education, creates pathways out of poverty, and fosters workforce development. Spotlighting Women in Banking was created and organized by Comerica’s Linda Nosegbe and Shaelese King. In additional to career conversations, financial education, and volunteer support, Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation has provided approximately $30,000 in financial support since 2020.
Comerica Bank National African American Business Development Manager Kevin Watkins delivers Church $ense financial education to attendees at New Grace Missionary Baptist Church. The identity theft and fraud prevention discussion covered topics such as phishing, telephone, and elder fraud scams.
Identity Theft Remains Key Topic of Church $ense Financial Education As part of Comerica Bank’s ongoing support for the community, the bank regularly provides financial education to community partners and organizations, including Church $ense for local residents and church congregations. Recently, Comerica partnered with Grace & Hope Community Development
Corporation at New Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Highland Park. Among the key topics included identify theft. Spearheaded by Comerica Vice President and Southeast Michigan External Affairs Manager Kevin Watkins, the financial empowerment sessions included protection from identity theft and fraud.
The discussion emphasized limiting shoulder surfing, which is when someone looks over another person’s shoulder as they type sensitive information on a personal mobile device. The use of privacy screens was suggested and Pastor Leon Morehead, on behalf of Grace & Hope CDC, offered to purchase a privacy screen for everyone in attendance.
When it comes to doing good in the community, Cheatham says that some of his favorite activities are to do financial education and support nonprofits and other community agencies through board membership. Cheatham also spent six years as an Army Reservist. He started his career at Comerica right out of college as part of a management training program. Out of his cohort of 20 or 30 people, he is the only one who still works in a branch.
“The training was pretty well structured. The idea was that they were going to take us through all of the things that we needed to know to be an effective banking center manager. So there was product training, human resource training, conflict resolution training, that sort of thing.” But adds that as a group of freshly-graduated college students, many in his group didn’t leave Comerica---but went on to pursue other interests inside the company. “Because one of the great things about the branches and, I’m biased, is that everything in the bank basically touches the branch system. So people who worked in the branches, especially in the managerial, in a managerial role, learn a lot about all the other departments in the bank. So oftentimes, what would happen is they would find something else in the bank that they, you know, were more interested in. And so they would migrate to those areas.” With a gregarious personality, it’s easy to understand why Cheatham enjoys branch service--naming the customers as the best part of his day. “Being able to really feel as if I am having a positive impact on the communities that we serve.” He adds that he feels his impact has been significant as a Black man sitting behind that desk. “Because when I started with the bank, there was a certain level of prestige that came with being a Black man in a branch in a Black community.” He adds, “And you know, I didn’t quite recognize it until I got into the branch. But to hear customers say, ‘We so proud to see you here. And all of that stuff. And this was before I was even a manager, I just, you know, sat up in the front and a suit.”
Vice President and Senior Banking Center Manager Michael Cheatham (right) receives a Comerica Challenge Coin in recognition as a military veteran and for his sacrifice to serve and protect the United States of America. Presenting the special coin is Wendy Holmes, Assistant Vice President - DEI Employee Engagement & Strategic Partnerships (left).
“But I get to have conversations with people that I really feel helped them, but it’s coming from a place of real concern about their well being. And they believe that the important part. You know, sometimes when I operate in other communities, I’m just another banker. But when I’m with, you know, our people, it’s, you know, I’m their grandson, their nephew, their brother, their cousin. And so I’m able to have a certain level of influence to their benefit, that I don’t carry in other communities.” He adds, “And I learned early on, I learned how powerful it is. And I’m really careful not to take it for granted.”
Cheatham says that is why teaching financial education is so important, “Because I recognize that the issues that affect our community, from a financial perspective, notwithstanding all the structural stuff that we can talk about, is really due to lack of knowledge. And part of that lack of knowledge is lack of access, lack of access to that knowledge, because people are intimidated. The average adult doesn’t want to admit that they don’t know something that they think that the world expects them to know, especially if they’ve already gotten out there and bumped their head a few times.”
Impacting the Community Where You Live and Work In partnership with Dearborn Public Schools, Vice President and National Middle Eastern American Business Development Manager Hassan Melhem, represented Comerica Bank at Fordson High School’s Annual Freshman Career Day serving around 600 students. Melhem delivered career advice and workforce development insight focused on the importance of how to transform a job and build it to impact the community.
Comerica’s annual Hispanic BRG backpack drive has provided approximately 1,500 and 36,000 school supply items over that past six years.
As part of the career day, Melhem interacted with students while also providing financial education through Comerica Bank’s Money $ense program. Topics featured Myth or Fact questions that helped students understand what their future may look like after completing their high school degrees.
Backpacks and School Supplies Donated to Harms Elementary Students
Cheatham delivers financial education at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. “I focus on delivering financial education in a way that’s accessible. I present like, we’re at the barbecue or we’re a Thanksgiving dinner, and you just happen to have somebody in your family that knows about this stuff. So it kind of removes the barriers that prevent people from getting this information.”
Led by the Michigan Hispanic Business Resource Group (BRG), Comerica donated 245 new backpacks filled with brand new school supplies to Pre-K to 5th grade students at Harms Elementary in Detroit.
Cheatham notes that in his 29 years with the bank, he spent seven of those years in community reinvestment and corporate contribution. He said that his commitment to serving the community in his personal life led to him getting offered that role, saying jokingly, “Because they were like nothing else we know Mike likes to eat and we assume that he’s going to represent the bank well.”
By providing these critical core supplies to the most vulnerable students, learning can continue without placing the financial burden on teachers and Comerica Cares volunteer hands out backparents to furnish their packs at Harms Elementary in southwest classroom needs. Detroit.
“I got my actual college degree in sociology with an emphasis in business. And so when I entered this job, I was concerned with the sociological impact of banking particularly in Black communities. So, as part of being a force for good, I see my job as being able to take the great things about Comerica and leverage those things to support the communities where we do business.”
The backpack drive has become an annual tradition. Since 2018 and led by the bank’s Hispanic BRG, Comerica has donated nearly 1,500 backpacks and 36,000 new pens, pencils, erases and other much needed school supply items in support of the students at Harms Elementary.
Which is why it makes sense that his favorite of the Comerica values is “A Force for Good.”
National Middle Eastern America Business Development Manager Hassan Melhem delivers financial education to students at Fordson High School in Dearborn.
For more information on how Comerica colleagues are giving back to our community, visit www.facebook.com/Comerica.
City ity.. Life ife.. Style. Where City Meets Life and Life Meets Style
B1 | November 15-21, 2023
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge Still Thriving in Detroit
By Andre Ash DIGITAL ANCHOR
Growing up as a kid, Eric Whitaker can remember the days of his parents coming back home from a nice evening out at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. When he became of age, he would drive to the historic jazz club to see for himself why this Black-owned establishment in Detroit was the place to be. Whitaker was 17 when he first stepped foot inside Baker’s and it’s where he met the owner, Clarence Baker. “He had the ability to continue to maintain bringing in musicians,” Whitaker says. “During that time, we were going through the Great Depression and getting ready to go into World War II, and despite what was happening in that day and time, through the love of Jazz, Clarence continuously introduced folks to the venue.” Fast forward to 2013, when Whitaker learned of the sale of Baker’s, he jumped on the opportunity and aligned with his business partner Hugh Smith to purchase the historic jewel.
A younger Whitaker recalls: “Baker’s used to be one of my favorite places to bring folks to have dinner and listen the great music.” Baker’s opened in 1934, and it began as just a deli. As a 14-year-old kid, Baker introduced the idea of having piano music played at the deli. He had to convince his parents that he and his friends would play music during the evening hours, and it later would be a great addition to the family-owned business. Over the years, an ambitious young Baker would take over the establishment and turn the Northwest Detroit jazz club into a mecca for attracting the greats in the jazz music industry. From the likes of Miles Davis to Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, and Nat King Cole, Baker’s became the go-to place for great musicians within the genre to visit while in the city. Since the art of jazz was first introduced, Detroit has been attracting jazz musicians and birthing them too. “There have been a lot of great musicians that have come from out of the city. They may not have been popular, per se, but they played with a lot of famous musicians, and they have passed along that craft and that art and the standards of how jazz is presented throughout the decades,” Whitaker says. For years, Detroit has been a place that has celebrated the art of jazz. Annually, the city welcomes The Detroit Jazz Festival during Labor Day Weekend. The free event welcomes thousands of performers and musicians from around the world to Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit. The event was started in 1980 by Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance group, all with the goal of bringing more visitors to the city. From a longtime patron to now as its owner, Whitaker is pleased to head up a jewel that has been a longtime staple of the community.
The Battle for Ethical Innovation and Accountability By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
rtificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly changed everything we do, offering numerous benefits across various industries. From healthcare to finance, from transportation to entertainment, AI has made its presence felt, promising to usher in a new era of innovation and efficiency. However, as the power and influence of AI continue to grow, so do concerns about its ethical implications and accountability. The battle for ethical innovation and accountability in AI is an urgent and complex challenge that demands our attention. AI concerns go beyond the mere identification of AI bias; it delves into a broader quest for a profound reconsideration of the very foundations on which AI systems are built. It is important to raise the alarm about the current trend in the AI domain, where technology companies are gaining the upper hand in shaping the regulations that should oversee their operations. This trend bears an unsettling resemblance to past errors that permitted the proliferation of biased and oppressive technology. Leading the charge in this battle are two Black women whose distinct journeys converge at the core of their convictions: the urgent need to rectify the biases deeply embedded in the AI landscape. Both Joy Buolamwini and Ruha Benjamin have authored books that shed light on this pressing issue. They share a common realization: the disconcerting fact that commercial facial recognition systems consistently exhibit failure in recognizing Black and brown faces. Buolamwini’s research, in particular, placed a spotlight on the struggles faced by Black women in this regard. “I decided one way to humanize AI biases and make the topic more mainstream than an academic paper was to test the faces of the Black Panther cast. Since my research had shown that the systems I tested worked worst on the faces of darker-skinned females, I decided to focus on the faces of the women of Wakanda: Lupita Nyong’o as
Nakia, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, and Danai Gurira as fearless General Okoye,” Buolamwini said. “I brought on Deborah Raji as my research intern to carry out a small-scale audit running the Black Panther cast’s faces across the AI systems of five companies. This exploration became known as the Black Panther Face Scorecard project. The project revealed some commonalities with my own experience. Like me, some of their faces were misgendered, not detected at all, or in some cases mis-aged. Angela Bassett, who was in her late 50s at the time of the photo, was estimated by IBM’s system to be between 18 and 24 years old. (Maybe not all algorithmic bias was that bad.)” Her groundbreaking findings prompted a seismic shift within tech behemoths like Google, IBM, and Microsoft. They were compelled to confront and rectify the inherent biases within their technologies, and in doing so, they distanced themselves from providing these flawed systems to law enforcement, whose use of the technology led to dire consequences. And the list of concerns and consequences keeps growing. “What concerns me is we’re giving so many companies a free pass, or we’re applauding the innovation while turning our head [away from the harms],” Buolamwini says. Ethical Dilemmas in AI As AI systems become increasingly autonomous and capable, they raise ethical dilemmas across various domains. Here are a few key areas where these dilemmas become evident: Bias and Fairness: AI algorithms can inadvertently perpetuate bias, discrimination, and unfairness. They learn from historical data, which may contain biases, and replicate those biases in their decision-making processes. This bias can manifest in areas like hiring practices, lending decisions, and criminal justice. Privacy Concerns: AI systems often collect, analyze, and
See UNMASKING AI Page B-2
See BAKER'S KEYBOARD LOUNGE Page B-2
A Historic Tee Off:
City of Detroit Acknowledges Cass Tech Girls Golf Team as First Detroit Public School to Qualify for MHSAA Division 1 Championship By Ebony JJ Curry SENIOR REPORTER
The corridors of Detroit’s civic leadership resonated with an extraordinary announcement as the Detroit City Council provided a testimony of achievement to the Cass Tech High School girls’ golf team. This was no ordinary accolade; the team etched their names in the annals of history as the first from any Detroit Public School to reach the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 Girls Golf Championships. The Council’s chambers were transformed into a scene of celebration and pride, as the six young athletes from Cass Tech’s golf team stood in unison, adorned in their school’s distinctive Cass green golf polos. They stood side
by side, a picture of unity and triumph, accompanied by their proud principal Lisa Phillips and their visionary coach, Martin Siml. “It makes me so proud that they accomplished this within three years of me starting this program the first year Kennedy Watts made state finals as an individual and then two years later the entire team now makes state finals,” shared Siml. “I have three teams entailing 26 girls – it’s vital that I don’t cut anybody from an opportunity in learning the game. I have an A-team, B-team, and C-team. The A-team is the one that made state finals and I’m so proud that within three years they’ve gone from not knowing golf to making history.” Coach Siml, who was recruited specifically to establish the golf program at Cass Tech,
See CASS TECH GIRL GOLF TEAM Page B-2
Page B-2 | November 15-21, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com
Unmasking AI From page B-1
store massive amounts of data, raising significant privacy concerns. The use of personal data for surveillance, advertising, or profiling has the potential to infringe upon individuals’ rights and freedoms. Autonomy and Accountability: As AI systems become more autonomous, the question of accountability becomes paramount. When a self-driving car causes an accident, who is responsible—the manufacturer, the software developer, or the owner of the vehicle? Transparency and Explanation: Many AI systems operate as “black boxes,” making it challenging to understand their decision-making processes. The lack of transparency and explanation can hinder our ability to trust and regulate these systems effectively. Job Displacement: The rise of AI and automation threatens job displacement in various industries. The ethical dilemma here lies in ensuring a just transition for workers whose jobs become obsolete due to AI. Security Risks: AI can be weaponized by malicious actors to conduct cyberattacks, misinformation campaigns, and other nefarious activities. Ensuring the security of AI systems is an ethical imperative. Numerous entities, including the Biden-Harris Administration, have taken proactive steps to formulate ethical guidelines for AI development. These initiatives involve securing voluntary commitments from prominent artificial intelligence companies to address the potential risks associated with AI technology. These ethical frameworks serve as a comprehensive set of principles and guidelines aimed at guiding the responsible advancement of AI, with a particular focus on essential elements such as fairness, transparency, and accountability. Another vital aspect of ethical innovation in AI is the use of diverse and inclusive data. To counteract bias within AI systems, it is crucial to ensure that these systems are trained on datasets that represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Efforts are being made to collect more representative data and create tools that can identify and rectify bias within existing datasets. The drive for ethical AI also involves ongoing research to make AI systems more explainable. This entails the development
of models capable of providing clear and understandable explanations for their decisions, thereby enhancing their transparency and accountability. AI audits, modeled after financial audits, are a valuable tool to ensure compliance with ethical guidelines. These audits involve a detailed examination of the data used, the algorithms employed, and the decision-making processes of AI systems. Their purpose is to identify and rectify any ethical concerns that may arise during the AI development process. Additionally, governments and regulatory bodies are actively working to create laws and regulations that govern the use of AI. These measures aim to address crucial issues such as data privacy, bias, and accountability. Ultimately, they seek to provide a robust legal framework for the ethical development and deployment of AI, ensuring that AI technologies are harnessed in a manner that is consistent with societal values and norms. In her book “Race After Technology,” Ruha Benjamin delves into the intricate interplay between technology and race, shedding light on how emerging technologies have the potential to either reinforce or challenge established racial disparities in society. Through her perceptive analysis, Benjamin investigates the role of new technologies in perpetuating or disrupting existing racial inequalities, emphasizing that technology is far from being a neutral force. Instead, it acts as a mirror that reflects and amplifies social, cultural, and political biases. Benjamin illustrates this through examples of biased algorithms, discriminatory surveillance practices, and the perpetuation of racial biases, especially in the realms of facial recognition, predictive policing, and employment screening. Benjamin’s motivation to act was sparked by a viral video depicting a soap dispenser that failed to function for a person with darker skin while working seamlessly for someone with lighter skin. The underlying reason for this disparity was the absorption of light by darker skin tones. Although this incident might appear minor, it prompted her to contemplate the existence of other instances of what she termed “racist robots” and the potential adverse impacts of technology on people of color. This concern extended beyond simple devices to encompass more intricate systems, such as those within healthcare, criminal justice, and education, where people of color could face systemic challenges and biases. Benjamin says, “A lot of these institu-
Baker's Keyboard Lounge From page B-1 “We’re certainly proud to be an important part of what makes this community,” Whitaker says. “With all the changes that the Avenue of Fashion has undergone, still being a part of the University District has always equated us the opportunity to renew our clientele.” Whitaker played the saxophone in his younger days and was an avid jazz lover because of his mom, who he remembers having stacks of old LP records, vintage 10- or 12-inch vinyl records or soundtrack discs, she would closely guard. Whitaker’s love for the art of jazz grew even fonder, as he recalls, after one of his first visits to Baker’s and meeting Clarence Baker who made him feel right at home. “How could I help you?” Baker asked Whitaker. I told him, “I want to listen to some jazz music,” Whitaker replied. “Come on in. You can’t have no drinks, but we do have lemonade” Baker responded. “Fine, I’m not here to drink anyway. I just want to listen to some music,” Whitaker said. “He invited me in, and I went and sat in the corner and then Miles Davis came in. He happened to be in town. He and Clarence were great friends. There was a local band playing on stage, Miles had his trumpet out with him, he started playing in the aisle and started jammin’ with those guys and it was just an experience I’ll never forget.” Whitaker recalls. That experience would feed his drive and love of jazz. As Whitaker grew into a young adult, he became an engineer and group manager at General Motors. Going out to lunch or an after-work spot with co-workers was always an adventure in his world, as there weren’t too many colleagues who looked like him. He remembers his co-workers always taking him to their favorite restaurants or places they enjoyed. Whitaker then began to invite them to his hangout spot he enjoyed. He became a regular at Baker’s and it’s how he began to know Clarence
Baker the drive he had for making the business more than just a neighborhood night club, but for turning it into something special and renown. Now as owner, Whitaker tries to instill the roots of what Clarence brought to Baker’s, while embedding his own vision into decades-old business. “Clarence’s real drive was continuing to have an opportunity for jazz music to be played,” Whitaker says. “That is what got him started and that is what kept him motivated throughout the years. To have somewhere you can bring fabulous musicians together and enjoy a different way of having the audience and musicians interact.” He says it’s why Whitaker constructed Baker’s the way he did – an intimate setting where special things happened that had audiences leaving with a great aura about what they experienced. In return, musicians created music to the sounds and intimate feelings with the proximity of the audience. It’s what motivated Clarence to keep Baker’s alive and it’s what Whitaker aims to continue to offer patrons throughout the week. One of the things that greets you right away is the stunning and unique piano shaped bar. It was made famous when the late Liberace, a famed pianist and singer, visited Baker’s and then took the concept home and made a big bar in his house of a similar design. The distinctive presentation was first introduced by Clarence in 1957 after renovations. Whitaker says he has every intention of maintaining the eye-grabbing feature. For an establishment that has hosted so many great jazz musicians, it has earned the honor of receiving a historical state and city marker, with Whitaker aiming for a historical national marker as well. That only seems right for a place that will soon approach its 90th anniversary in May 2024. Whitaker is looking forward to a special event to mark the occasion, and he is tight-lipped on plans for the big milestone, but says he’s always looking ahead to future endeavors for the storied jazz club.
“We hope to do more updates to the facility and continue to grow with the Livernois Avenue of Fashion, as the area is enticing a lot more people and places of businesses to the neighborhood and we want to continue to be a part of that.” Baker’s Keyboard currently features its Monday night comedy, Karaoke Wednesday, and Friday & Saturday night live entertainment with Ralph Armstrong.
tions are outsourcing human decisions and turning to risk assessment tools. So, by calling attention to discriminatory design, that is the human decision, assumptions and values that shape the process of tech development, we’re able to see the harm.” Benjamin hopes by shedding light on the harm black communities can take back the power and pave the way for different tech development. The battle for ethical innovation and
accountability in AI is ongoing, and it’s a battle that affects us all. Ethical innovation ensures that AI systems are developed and used in a responsible and fair manner, while accountability mechanisms provide safeguards against the misuse of AI technology. Through a collective effort involving governments, industries, developers, and the public, we can create a future where AI enriches our lives while upholding the values and principles we hold dear. We all play an important role in holding AI accountable.
Cass Tech Girls Golf Team From page B-1
has, within a span of three years, built a formidable team of 26 dedicated girls. The team’s rapid ascent to the MHSAA finals speaks volumes about their talent, determination, and the robust training they have received. The Detroit City Council recognized the Cass Tech High School girls’ golf team not only for their athletic prowess but for embodying the school’s ethos where academics are paramount. The team’s qualification for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 Girls Golf Championships stands as a secondary, yet significant testament to the dedication and discipline instilled in them. “Academics is always first in Cass and athletics is number two. We have three girls that are all-state academics which means that you have a 4.0,” said Siml. “There’re six girls that made it to the state finals, out of those six, one has 4.2 and two others have a
4.0 and the rest have at least a 3.5. I think it’s amazing to witness that in addition to our major accomplishments on the athletic level, we are awesome on the academic level as well.” Principal Lisa Phillips, a staunch advocate for academics as the foremost priority, has always maintained that athletics should complement, not compromise, educational attainment. Under her leadership, the Cass Tech team’s journey to the MHSSA finals is a dual triumph, showcasing their intellectual vigor alongside their newfound status as the first DPS team to reach such a height in golf. This recognition by the city underscores a broader narrative: that Detroit Public Schools can and do produce students who excel both in the classroom and on the green. The Cass Tech girls’ golf team carry with them not just their golf bags, but the profound impact of an education-first philosophy that has propelled them to make history.
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michiganchronicle.com | November 15-21, 2023 | Page B-3
Empowering the Future of STEM with the Lab Drawer Meet the Visionaries Behind the Motor City STEAM Foundation and the Lab Drawer By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
I understand that it may appear as if we’ve been discussing STEM quite extensively, and there’s a compelling reason behind this. STEM represents the future, and Black innovators are actively shaping the present. Remarkably, Detroit finds itself at the epicenter of this renaissance. While substantial progress is underway, it remains crucial to ensure inclusivity for all. The fundamental step in fostering diversity starts with a simple observation of identifying both those present and those notably absent. For Alecia Gabriel, PhD, and Deirdre Roberson, both proud Detroiters, entering the realms of science and technology fulfilled their aspirations. However, they couldn’t ignore a significant issue: the room often lacked individuals who shared their backgrounds and experiences. In a city where over 80% of the population is Black or Latinx, one might expect the tech industry to be more diverse, but the reality was starkly different. The lack of representation in STEM was not merely an issue of statistics; it was a matter of inclusivity, of fostering innovation that reflects the diversity of our world. “When you don’t have a seat at the table, products aren’t developed inclusively,” Deirdre emphasizes. It was this realization that prompted the two passionate advocates to take action and address the problem at its core, beginning with education. Research uncovered a disheartening trend: by the time high school rolled around, many minority students had already lost interest in STEM or had come to believe that it was not a viable option for them. Nationwide, only about 7% of STEM college degrees were awarded to Black students. The reasons behind this disparity were complex, but a significant factor was the lack of resources in underserved communities, where students often lacked the equipment and opportunities necessary to thrive in STEM from an early age. “Students in underserved schools literally do not have the equipment they need for science labs,” says Deirdre. “We wanted to build something to help.” In 2015, Alecia and Deirdre decided that it was time to be the change they wanted to see in the world. They founded the Motor City STEAM Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a unique mission: to provide STEAM-related educational programs and opportunities for minority and underprivileged students. What set their organization apart was its integration of the arts into STEM education, transforming it into STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
The Motor City STEAM Foundation’s journey gave birth to “The Lab Drawer,” an initiative designed to offer practical and real-life scientific education. Alecia and Deirdre did not aim to merely put a band-aid on the problem; they wanted to address the root issues, focusing on students in underserved schools who often lacked the equipment for science labs. Their solution was simple yet revolutionary: design lab kits that provided everything a student needed to explore the world of STEM. These lab kits were not created in isolation. Collaborating with school districts and youth organizations, The Lab Drawer distributed these kits to thousands of students, ensuring that they aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards used across the country. The curriculum was designed in-house, with a strong emphasis on incorporating feedback from the students who used the kits to make the learning experience more engaging and relevant. The team saw the critical need to create culturally relevant educational kits to empower students, ensuring they can envision themselves as scientists and have role models who share their backgrounds. The Lab Drawer’s approach includes a diverse range of kits that provide real-life applications of science. For instance, the “Body Box” kit encourages students to craft personal care products like deodorant, lip balm, and soap while immersing themselves in the fascinating world of human body chemistry. The underlying goal is to enlighten students about the professionals behind everyday products, such as formulation chemists, industrial engineers, and designers, ultimately inspiring their journey in STEM. Drawing from statistics provided by the National Center for Science and Engineering, it is evident that Black workers had the least representation at 18% in STEM fields. Organizations like the Motor City STEAM Foundation play a vital role in addressing this imbalance by providing children with valuable exposure to STEM. This exposure extends across a wide spectrum of professions, ranging from technology and automotive industries to the medical field. Offering children opportunities to explore these diverse career paths not only paves the way for prosperous futures but also introduces them to a world of possibilities and interconnected industries. The exponential growth of The Lab Drawer came as no surprise, given the impactful work being done. During the pandemic, when students were unable to attend school, the demand for these personal lab kits skyrocketed. The Lab Drawer went from producing and shipping 500 kits to 1,000 kits in just one summer, outgrow-
ing their manufacturing space three times. These challenges were a testament to the organization’s success. Today, The Lab Drawer operates from the Durfee Innovation Society, a converted Detroit public school building that now serves as an innovation center. In 2022, The Lab Drawer was selected to be one of 30 companies in the Forward
Founders accelerator program through Target. This provided invaluable insights into retail and accessibility, offering opportunities for the organization to reach an even wider audience. Alecia and Deirdre’s journey didn’t end there. Having completed the accelerator program, The Lab Drawer became part of the alumni family, which served
as an incredible network for the co-founders. Alecia recalls “It was such an insightful accelerator experience. We learned so much about retail, having products on the shelves, and making it accessible. It was really intense, but it made us better entrepreneurs.” Their dedication and innovative approach even earned them an invitation to participate in the TV series “Bet On Black,” where they pitched The Lab Drawer and secured a well-deserved $120,000 to further their mission. While The Lab Drawer’s impact began in Detroit, it has grown far beyond its origins. From supporting students in Detroit to reaching those across America and around the world in countries such as Canada, Germany, Kenya, Jamaica, Ghana, and Nigeria, The Lab Drawer has left an indelible mark on a global scale. Alecia and Deirdre’s international presence and reach continue to expand, but they remain deeply rooted in their hometown of Detroit, recognizing the city’s evolution into a burgeoning tech hub. Detroit is no longer solely defined by its historic automotive industry. Emerging innovation hubs in mobility, climate tech, health tech, and more have arisen, offering a multitude of opportunities for the city’s youth. Alecia and Deirdre understand that the young people of Detroit need access to education to prepare them for the job opportunities these emerging fields offer. Their vision extends beyond coding; they emphasize the importance of promoting engineers, chemists, material development experts, and a variety of STEM careers.
MATURE: Where Legacy and Style Meets Community in the Heart of Detroit Two Brother’s Journey to Create Confidence Through Clothing By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Black men often find solace and support in spaces where they can truly be themselves and build their confidence. Similar to the therapeutic conversations that happen in places like barbershops, a new, inclusive sanctuary has emerged in the heart of Detroit’s New Center, offering men a boost of confidence in a Mature and empowering manner. The lifestyle clothier MATURE stands out as a unique fashion destination, fueled by an inspiring backstory and an energy that is one-of-a-kind. Co-founded by brothers Darryl Humes Jr. and Koven Humes, it transcends the typical clothing store experience. MATURE embodies their family’s deep-seated passion for fashion, showcases their unwavering commitment to the community, and it serves as a portal to a world where style and self-expression reign supreme. For Darryl and Koven, style runs deep in their blood, a legacy passed down from their late father, Darryl Humes Sr. From a young age, they recognized the importance of personal presentation, not as a superficial pursuit but as an extension of one’s identity and confidence. This profound understanding led to the birth of MATURE in 2017. After years of maintaining an online store and hosting pop-up shops, Darryl and Koven decided it was the perfect moment to craft a unique and personalized shopping experience of their own. “The opening of this store
means so much to our journey. We’ve been able to build not only the confidence in our clientele through styling, but have been able to carve our own lane in the retail world,” say Darryl and Koven. “We stand on the legacy of our late father, and will aim to elevate the lifestyle and make an impact on our community through fashion.” MATURE stands as a demonstration of the brother’s unwavering dedication to their father’s vision, and it serves as a profound testament to their enduring brotherly connection. The store presents an artfully curated selection of ready-to-wear attire, complemented by tailored wedding and personal styling services. At its essence, MATURE is all about guiding men in crafting wardrobes
that truly mirror their contemporary and self-assured identities. At MATURE, their mission is to be your companion in life’s defining moments, elevating your personal style through an exceptional blend of contemporary casual and upscale fashion. Located at 3011 W. Grand Blvd. in a dedicated 900-square-foot space, MATURE provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience and personalized styling consultations to ensure that every customer looks their absolute best for any event. More than just a store, MATURE embodies a lifestyle brand where clients place their trust in the carefully curated selections. It’s a place where the essence of Detroit and the warmth of community converge within the realm of fashion. MATURE proudly represents
the 163rd business to open its doors through the Motor City Match program, a transformative initiative made possible by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). This impactful program has already provided a total of $15.7 million in grants, fostering the growth of various businesses in the city. What’s particularly remarkable is that 82 percent of the companies that received assistance through this program are owned by minorities, while 67 percent are owned by Detroit residents. Kevin Johnson, the President & CEO of DEGC, emphasizes the organization’s commitment to inclusive development at all levels of Detroit’s economy. “The DEGC drives inclusive development at every level of De-
troit’s economy – from bringing a billion-dollar manufacturing investment to the city, to helping launch a neighborhood dental practice,” remarks Kevin Johnson, President & CEO. “Catalyzing development – turning one deal into hundreds of accessible opportunities – that’s what we do.” The Humes brothers acknowledge the profound influence of their family and community. Their parents emphasized the importance of “service unto others” in their upbringing, which they have carried into their business. MATURE places a strong focus on customer experience and building relationships within the Detroit community. Before becoming store owners, Darryl and Koven were inspired by their courageous grandmother, who owned a women’s clothing store in the heart of Detroit for over a decade. Her passion and dedication left an indelible mark on their hearts, and it’s a legacy they strive to uphold in their own way. Additionally, they extend their gratitude to their clients and supporters. Entrepreneurship is a leap of faith, and their journey, which began nearly four years ago, wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering loyalty and brand advocacy of those who believe in MATURE. Darryl Humes Jr. and Koven Humes have effectively woven family, community, and style into the fabric of MATURE. It’s a store where fashion meets identity, where tradition meets innovation, and where Detroit’s past and future harmoniously coexist. As you grow in life, your wardrobe must compliment that growth, and MATURE is there to ensure you do it with style.
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Chuck Simms Lights the Way as Fire Commissioner, Setting Records and Transforming Safety Standards By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Detroit is leaving behind the era of slow emergency response times and heightened stress among its fire department personnel. The city has experienced a remarkable transformation under the interim guidance of Chuck Simms, whose dedicated efforts have now earned him a title adjustment. Mayor Mike Duggan’s announcement of Simms as the permanent Fire Commissioner comes with a wave of groundbreaking statistics and initiatives. These transformative measures are reshaping the story of safety leadership, inclusivity, and how the community perceives Detroit’s emergency preparedness and safety standards. This move reflects a broader national trend of recognizing the importance of diversity in leadership roles, particularly in areas critical to public safety. By appointing Simms as the permanent Fire Commissioner, Detroit sets a precedent for other cities to follow suit, emphasizing the value of a leadership team that deeply understands the needs of the communities they serve. “My entire career has been with the Detroit Fire Department, and I can’t express the pride it gives me to now have the opportunity to lead it as Executive Fire Commissioner,” said Simms. “We have the finest men and women of any fire department in the country. My goal is to build on what they’ve accomplished over the past two years and shift the fire department’s role in the community to being as much about prevention and education as it is about response.” Under Simms’ guidance, the Detroit Fire Department (DFD) has achieved an unprecedented milestone by providing historic low medical response times. Averaging an impressive 7 minutes and 57 seconds from the initial 911 call to the scene of life-threatening emergencies, this accomplishment not only surpasses the national standard of 8 minutes but also showcases the department’s commitment to swift and efficient emergency services. Simms has not just increased the number of ambulances on the streets during peak hours; he has achieved a historic milestone for the department. The current average of 38-40 ambulances operating during peak times, a substantial jump from a mere 10 ambulances a decade ago, guarantees that Detroit residents now benefit from prompt and crucial medical assistance. This significant enhancement not only bolsters the city’s emergency reputation but also transforms the community’s mindset, instilling confidence that calling for help ensures
swift and efficient care in the field. The increased fleet of ambulances has led to a notable improvement in the Department’s overall response time for an ambulance to arrive and transport a patient, consistently maintaining a duration below 10 minutes from the moment of the 911 call. During the week of October 1-7, the average response time was recorded at 9 minutes and 9 seconds. “Under Chuck Simms’ leadership, the Detroit Fire Department is providing its highest and most consistent level of service in its history,” said Mayor Duggan. “Over the past two years he has demonstrated his ability to lead one of the most respected fire departments in the nation to new heights and I’m proud to name him as DFD’s permanent Executive Fire Commissioner.” Simms’ vision transcends immediate response enhancements, delving into initiatives that contribute to economic growth and job creation with a focus on stability and attractive perks. Leading the charge in transitioning to a fully dual-role department, ensuring that all personnel are cross-trained as either Firefighter/EMT or Firefighter Paramedic, offers both internal and external advantages. With more than 60 members already successfully completing dual training, Simms is determined to strengthen the department further by
recruiting an additional 100 firefighter/ EMTs by January and an additional 50-70 by summer. “Simms was the commissioner when I first started,” says Sparkle Robinson an EMS Dispatcher for the city of Detroit Fire Department. “He is very helpful, and his knowledge is invaluable. I’m very excited to see what’s next for the department.” Simms embarked on his journey in 1986, joining the department at the tender age of 19. His early days as a Firefighter/EMT laid the foundation for a career marked by resilience and unwavering service to the community. Over the years, he ascended through the ranks, showcasing his prowess in roles such as Fire Investigator Lieutenant, Fire Investigator Captain, and the pivotal position of Chief of Arson and Fire Investigations. During Simms’ tenure as Chief of Arson, the department witnessed a groundbreaking 74% increase in the apprehension of arson suspects. This substantial achievement played a vital role in curbing arson fires, leading to the eventual discontinuation of the annual citywide Angels’ Night campaign aimed at preventing such incidents. Simms was appointed as the interim commissioner in December 2021. His elevation to this pivotal role reflects not only his individual accomplishments but also the
trust bestowed upon him by the department and the community at large. Continuing with his momentum for change Simms wants to make Detroit a HeartSafe Community. He has launched a citywide effort to increase accessibility to Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units. This includes a comprehensive map of AED locations, community-based training, and a commitment to ensure every 8th grader in the city is CPR-trained. Simms’ emphasis on prevention and education reflects a broader shift in the fire department’s role within the community. Mayor Duggan commended Simms for his outstanding leadership, emphasizing that Simms’ journey from a 19-year-old recruit to the Executive Fire Commissioner is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the potential for positive change within the department. “One thing I want to continue to build on is the morale of the department,” said Simms. “The men and women in the fire department are the best in the country hands down. I want to make sure that we’re doing things as a department that makes sure they have all the resources that they need to continue to do their job. That includes equipment but also health and well-being resources for them.”
11685 Appleton Redford, MI 48239 Phone: (313) 592-6061 https://www.cornerstoneschools.org/
michiganchronicle.com | November 15-21, 2023 | Page B-5
Washington-Parks Academy, a Tuition Free Public School Academy, announces the 2023-2024 enrollment period with PROFESSIONAL HELP WANTED an academic program for K-8 grade. ANNOUNCEMENTS ols Community District will host Open Enrollment: 04/01/23 through 06/12/2023. r interested Demolition REQUESTGeneral FOR PROPOSALS A random selection lottery will be held on June 13th, 2022. in Canton, MI. Traffic Engineer 2023 @ 9:00 AM. The Suburban Mobility Authority for The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. has available positions of Traffic Engineer in Canton, sing the following link: Transportation (SMART) Regional Lincoln-King Academy Position requires a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering & 36 months experience is soliciting proposals for Uniforms for 13436 MI. molitionVendorFair Grove Street Detroit, MI Position 48235 also requires: Exp. must include: 1) 24 mos. exp. as a Traffic Engineer. Drivers and Road Supervisors for RFP Phone: (313) 862-2352 ty Master Plan, the Expected conducting traffic counts; 2) 36 mos. exp. preparing traffic studies including pedestrian Control No. 24-3870A may be obtained https://www.cornerstoneschools.org/ se Schedule is: studies, lane warrants, traffic impact studies, traffic signal warrants, & crash analysis; 3) beginning November 15, 2023 from 23/2024 Lincoln-King a Tuition Public School http://www.mitn.info. Responses to Academy, 36 mos. exp.Free performing trafficAcademy, modeling using Synchro/SimTraffic, Vissim, HCS, & 25/2026 announces the 2023-2024 enrollment period with an RFP are due by 3:00 PM ET, Sidra; & 4) 6 mos. exp. preparing pavement markings & signing plans. Exp. reqs. may for: 27 December 13, 2023.academic programbe met concurrently during the same time period. Job duties: Conduct traffic counts. about upcoming opportunities 1. K-5 grades at Adams Young Building 13130 Grove Street, Prepare traffic studies including pedestrian studies, lane warrants, traffic impact perations, and Procurement Detroit, MI 48235 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS studies, traffic signal warrants, & crash analysis. Perform traffic modeling using Synchro/ 2. 6-8 grades at Lincoln-King Academy 17351 Southfield Fwy, SimTraffic, Vissim, HCS, & Sidra. Prepare pavement marking & signing plans. Any offer The Suburban Mobility Authority for MI 48235 w.detroitk12.org/Page/17320 Detroit, Regional Transportation (SMART) of employment is contingent upon passing a 10 panel pre-employment drug screen. w.detroitk12.org/Page/8999 3. 9-12 grades at Lincoln-King Academy 13436 Grove Street is soliciting proposals for Maintenance Qualified applicants should e-mail resume & verification of reqs. to Rachel Gregg, Detroit, se contact the Assessment ProcurementPlan Consultant for RFP MI 48235 Vice President Human Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org Open Enrollment: 04/01/23 through 06/12/2023. 6531. Control No. 24-3938 may be obtained A random beginning November 15, 2023 from selection lottery will be held on June 13th, 2023. http://www.mitn.info. Responses to RFP are due by 3:00 PM ET, Madison-Carver Academy December 15, 2023. 19900 McIntyre Street Detroit, MI 48219 PEOPLE MOVER/ Corporation etroit Transportation Phone: (313) 486-4626 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ORTATION CORPORATION Griswold St https://www.cornerstoneschools.org/ Griswold for Ste # 400 St The Suburban Mobility Authority Madison-Carver Academy, a Tuition Free Public School Ste # 400 Regional Transportation (SMART) oit, MI 48226 announces the 2023-2024 enrollment period with oit, MI 48226 is soliciting proposals for Academy, Talent an academic program for K-8 grade. Management Strategy Consultant for 2 Open Enrollment: 04/01/23 through 06/12/2023. RFP Control No. 24-3947A may be A random selection lottery will be held on June 13th, 2023. Corporation obtained Office ofbeginning Contracting November 15, 2023 nproposals Corporation of Contracting fromOffice qualified Contractor/ from http://www.mitn.info. ts proposals from qualified firms ometry measurements of the LIM rail are dueCornerstone Responses to RFP by Jefferson-Douglass Academy upgrades. This includes s,network running rail height andPM track 3:00 ET, gauge. December 15, 2023. 6861 E. Nevada , Detroit, MI 48234 e CCTV system, Public Address (PA) Phone: (313) 892-1860 subsequent trending information on Signs (VMS), and Wired Backbone https://www.cornerstoneschools.org/ measured parameters of the Detroit MCF, at eachJalen DPM Rose station,Leadership and at Academy will be reviewed and utilized as part of Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglass Academy, a Tuition Free Public n. nance plan to Jalen ensureRose longLeadership term safety Academy, 15000 School Academy, announces the 2023-2024 enrollment the Detroit Transportation Corporation public. Trojan Detroit, Michigan 48235, period 313with an academic program for K-8 grade. re p.m. (EST) November 7, 2022. for the 2024-25 Open Enrollment: 04/01/23 through 06/12/2023. 397-3333. Applications he5:00 Detroit Transportation Corporation termined at a(EST) later date, if19, necessary. A random school year for2023. gradesA9th-12th are beingselection lottery will be held on June 13th, 2023. re 5:00 p.m. April accepted from December 4, 2023 thru, eduled upon request. ccessed on the Bidnet Direct April 4, 2024. Should applications exceed detroit-transportation-corporation ccessed on the Bidnet Direct available space a random selection detroit-transportation-corporation drawing will be held on April 17, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. at the school. Applications are available online at www.jrladetroit.com mover.com over.com
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Published moreCHRONICLE classified ads. MICHIGAN Every 313 963-5522 Wednesday www.michiganchronicle.com
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PROFESSIONAL HELP WANTED Vehicle Dynamics Controls Simulation Engineer
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Warren, MI, General Motors. Plan &integrate GM cosimulation packages to validate, calibrate, &release embedded control syss SW for Electronic Control Units (ECU) in Model in the Loop (MIL), Software in the Loop (SIL), &virtual Hardware in the Loop (VHIL) environs, for BEV chassis control syss incl. Electronic Brake Control Module, Body Control Module, Active Rear Steering, Semi-Active Damping Sys, Electric Power Steering, &Traction Control Sys. Integrate simulation cmpts into simulation packages modeled using MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, AMESim, &CarSim tools. Use Virtualizer Studio, Vector CANoe, Vehicle Spy, ETAS INCA, &Vector Measure Data Analyzer tools to assemble, validate &release simulation packages for calibration &validation. Perform tests on SIL test bench to correlate simulation packages integrated by VHIL &Vehicle Validation teams. Perform SIL snow &ice handling, traction &handling evaluations incl. evasive maneuvers, brake stopping distance evaluations. Master, Mechanical, Automotive, Electrical, Aerospace Engrg, or related. 12 mos exp as Engineer, planning &integrating co-simulation packages to validate &calibrate controls SW for ECU in SIL, &virtual VHIL environs, for psgr vehicle or heavy duty machinery control syss, or related. Mail resume to Ref#53-232, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-C66, Detroit, MI 48265.
Exterior Lighting Animation Integration Engineer
Warren, MI, General Motors. Gather technical &aesthetic reqmts from Design Release Engrs &in Bills of Material (BOMs), understand design intent, VIP) Architect sys &cmpnt level, &full vehicle exterior lighting , dvlp &integrate choreography vision of Design Studio. Dvlp &update ure based exterior lighting cmpnts performance &functional es w/ ECUs incl. reqmts using IBM RTC tool, &integrate BEV exterior e, Short/Long lighting cmpnts incl. front lamps, taillamps, lit grilles, lit , Front Camera emblems, center bars, side markers, fog lamps, &low &Automotive &high beams, &related wiring harnesses, AS domains, in Multipurpose LED Drives, &Exterior Lighting Module te &execute VIP for full vehicle exterior lighting choreography. Create, allocation to execute, review, run, &validate exterior lighting GM psgr vehicle animation cmpnts SW files incl. Approach Vehicle &subsys Animation, Exit Vehicle Animation, Sequential Turn e functional Animation, State of Charge Animation, &Charge BM Rational Status Indication Animation to meet Design Studio, tion tools. Exterior Lighting &Vehicle Program styling, ty &security performance, electrical, &optical reqmts, &in ved on networks compliance w/ U.S. FMVSS 108, Canada Motor et communication Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Europe (UN ECE) motive, Electrical, R48, R148-150, &China (Guobiao GB4785) g, or related. 12 standards. Bachelor, Electrical, Electronics icle functional &Communication, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engrg, ng diagnostic, of signals or related. 36 mos exp as Engineer, gathering ncldg CAN technical &aesthetic reqmts from engrs &in BOMs, cols, or related. understanding design intent, sys &cmpnt level, &full bal Mobility, electrical or body exterior vision of Design FAMILYvehicle FEATURES C32-C66, Detroit, Studio, &dvlpg docs, incl. performance &functional reqmts, for psgr vehicle exterior lighting or ECU feature HW specs incl. wiring harnesses, or related. Mail resume to Ref#2400-204, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-C66, Detroit, MI 48265.
Research Shows New Car Safety Features Can Help with Crash Reduction (StatePoint) At a time when highway fatalities are on the rise, new research shows that the widespread adoption of the latest vehicle safety features could mean fewer crashes and safer roads. However, it could be awhile before we see the full benefits of these advancements. “With drivers holding onto their vehicles for 10 years or more, it could take many years before the fleet fully turns over,” says Rini Sherony, senior principal engineer, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center. But what if every vehicle on the road was fully equipped with crash-prevention features? And how do engineers identify which new vehicle safety features to prioritize next? To find out, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center and Virginia Tech teamed up to research the potential benefits that different safety systems have in various crash scenarios.
vation of safety features, such as those that were modeled, their research showed that over half of all U.S. crashes could be avoided and nearly 60% of moderate to serious injuries could be mitigated. At the same time, the research also identified what types of crashes are likely to still occur even if these safety features were deployed. The research center has made the study’s data, found at toyota.com/CSRC, publicly available so that automakers, policymakers, technology research universities and tech companies can work together to continue to make safety gains and fill the crash prevention gap.
“While drivers can’t avoid every danger on the road, our research shows that safety systems have the potential to be very effective in reducing the risk and severity of crashes,” says Sherony. “It’s important to know that most automakers offer features like lane departure warning, automatic The team took real-world crashes and recon- emergency braking, audio warnings and steering structed the data, performing multiple crash simu- assist (often with additional functionality). When lations. They started modeling with more tradition- you search for your next car, consider these feaeven invites possiblyatopting thosemay thateven do not find sharing the preparations with a loved intimate gathering. Remember send your least for you al “passive” safety features, like the latest vehicle to tures, come standard-equipped. We hope that as drivers structures, extended their workoftotheinclude weeks ahead event so guests have plenty of one is a great way to bond and create special memories. osting a major holiday event is no small effort. Itand three continue to adopt and use such technologies, we technologies as automatic braktime to respondemergency and you can prepare your menu. requires close attention to detail fromsuch planning, will be able to realize more of the accident mitigaing, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot warning, Make Cleanup a Cinch cooking and cleaning to entertaining guests tion and prevention benefits that they can offer, etc. good Assuming full deployment and optimal acti- Early Start Grocery Shopping on the big day. Fortunately, just like any resulting in safer roads for everybody.” A few simple tricks can help you maintain a relatively
Solutions for Proper
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
recipe, approaching your hosting duties one step at a time The rush at the grocery store can be one of the most clean workspace and keep up with all the dishes you can allow you to create a magnificent final product. need to prepare a lavish meal. First, be sure to clean up stressful parts of getting ready to host. Give yourself This Thanksgiving, the experts at Finish are helping you go. It may be tempting to throw all of your dirty enough lead time by picking up pantry staples and of which Features) Your nose is essential for condition- daily with a solution such as Xlear, theasmakers hosts everywhere get organized, from(Family the initial utensils and empty mixing bowls in a pile in the sink to beverages 1-2 weeks out so also yourcreated kitchenNational is stocked for Your Nose Wash Day. Featuring ing the air you breathe and serves as the first line of planning all the way through clean up, with the Ultimate dealthat with later, the big day. For perishables, getpower to the ofgrocery earlyingredient xylitol, store a natural does notbut taking a few minutes to scrape dishes defense against dust, pollution, bacteria, viruses and the Thanksgiving Timer. Created in partnership with Gaby andtissue, load the thenatdishwasher as you go can help prevent a the day 1-2indays to beattothe rush and allow bacteria adhere to nasal airway more. The presence of theseinsubstances your before nasal hosting Dalkin of “What’s Gaby Cooking,” it’s a personalized messy avoiddisease any last-minute thecare morning your uralruns sinus systemofnot only cleanses butmountain can help from forming. That also means you’ll passages can trigger infections, and illness.grocery hosting timeline designed to help hosts stay on track up to be more likely to find a clean measuring cup or spoon gathering. Proper nasal hygiene involves keeping your nasal people of all ages with fighting congestion; opening airand throughout the big day. ways; blocking debris, allergens and when viruses;you andmove pull- on to prepare the next dish. passages clean, clear and moisturized, enhancing your Maximize Prep Timeing moisture to hydrate dry, irritated nasal “I’ve been hosting holiday gatherings for years and tissue. Hosts have enough to worry about, so let your ability tohosts function and reducing congestion that know from firsthand experience that nose’s even capable While it’s likely the majority your work daily will come on wedishwasher the hard work and pull in reinforcements “Byof nose washing with xylitol, support ourdonacan disrupt breathing or cause irritation. However, the struggle to time everything just right,” Dalkin said. “From the big day, you can work ahead to reduce some of the to help clean up while you relax after a long day. Use a sal defenses in their attempts to flush away threats, renose is one of the most overlooked body parts in daily planning your menu and designing your tablescape to For example, you cansulting wash in and chop vegetables detergent that works in the toughest conditions, from burntreduced problems and a proactive approach hygiene routines, according load. to a survey of 2,000 adults accommodating dietary restrictions and even serving for stuffing andnasal storehealth them and hygiene,”on stains to old dishwashers and hard water, like Finish to promote Jones said. conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Xlear,and withother 54% side of dishes dessert, the Ultimate Thanksgiving Timer will support to minimize prepKeep time Your in theSinuses morning. You DrinkingUltimate. the only dish detergent tab with CycleSync respondents saying they’ve overnight never considered the role Moist: plenty ofIt’s water hosts every step of the way this year.”their noses may play in their can also health, use theand quiet of theis night to tackle that releases the right ingredient at the right overall more good before for overall health tasks and helps technology keep your nasal than one-quarter (29%) admitting they ignore cleaning time to work with your dishwasher. like setting the table and organizing your seating chart, passages moist and mucus flowing properly. Another Plan Your Guest List and Menu their sniffers. canhome, skip the rinse, even on tough stains like restocking towels and replenishing othertake essentials step you can is using in a humidifierYou in your cranberry sauce and gravy, and save up to 20 gallons of moisture. guest bathroom. Deciding how many guests you’ll be serving and the what youcleanthe “Keeping nose is important because es- especially in the bedroom, to help maintain water. or Hosts are invited to put Finish Ultimate to the test it could plan to serve are two essential detailssentially that willallguide the problems begin there,” said Dr. Remember to regularly clean the humidifier respiratory have the opposite effect. and take the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge; if it can’t Enlist Help Cooking certified osteopathic family with physician rest of your planning. When creating Lon yourJones, guestD.O., list, be tackle burnt-on stains, the meal is on Finish via a expert Xlear, manufacturer of xyli- Avoid Pollutants: Exposure to pollutants realistic about how many are likely toand attend andfor plan youra leading andyour allergens The day of your event is the perfect time to pull extra of airway. up to $30. tol-based products in North America. “With its connec- may result in swelling or congestion inrebate the upper menu for a few extra people so you don’t run out of food. hands the itkitchen. but tasty recipe like this the ears, sinuses, eyes andinto lungs, acts as A a simple Whenever possible, you should avoid cigarette smoke, Your menu may also be influenced bytions howtomany guests Ultimate Cheesyspread Herb to Sourdough Stuffing from Dalkin is nidus, a nest from which bacteria and viruses cleaning products, hairspray and other materialsFor thatmore hosting tips and tricks, visit you plan to host; a whole turkey is practical for a large a sure crowd-pleaser to addgive to your table this year.Also Once other parts of the body.” off unnatural fumes. beware of dust, mold, pet UltimateThanksgivingExperience.com. group, but a turkey breast may be adequate for a more you establish your cooking dander space and yourwhich rhythm, andfind pollen, are common allergens that
Consider these tips to improve nasal hygiene and can cause sinus problems for many. keep upper airway passages clear. oven to 375 F. On large, rimmed baking Sourdough Be Kind toHerb Your Nose: When blowing yourPreheat nose, gently Practice Good Hygiene: Simple practices Ultimate like cover- Cheesy sheet, spread ripped or cubed bread. Bake until one nostril at a time as forceful blowing can irritate ing your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, blowStuffing breadup is into dry, about 15 minutes. Cool. Leave oven avoiding touching your face and washing your hands the nasal passages and propel bacteria back Recipe courtesy of “What’s Gaby Cooking” on. or do so regularly can help reduce the amount of bacteria that your sinuses. Also avoid removing nose hairs, on behalfas ofthey Finish carefully, naturally help filter dirt and In debris. heavy skillet over medium heat, melt butter. enter your body through your nose. Add healthy, shallots and celery; saute 5-6 minutes. Add To find more solutions to keep your nose Wash Your Nose: To help fight germs related1 toloaf bactesourdough bread with crust, cut into green onions, parsley, oregano, sage, thyme, ria that cause allergies and viruses, rinse your sinuses visit xlear.com.
1-inch cubes (roughly 8 cups) 10 tablespoons butter 2 shallots, finely sliced 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 3 large garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 large eggs 2 cups chicken broth, divided 6 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
garlic, salt and pepper; saute until celery is tender, 6-8 minutes. Generously grease large skillet or ceramic baking dish. Place bread cubes in large bowl. Add warm vegetable mixture; toss to combine. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and 3/4 cup broth. Add egg mixture to stuffing and toss to coat. Mix in Parmesan. Add 1/2-3/4 cup broth to stuffing if dry. Transfer to skillet or ceramic baking dish. Cover with buttered foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve in baking vessel or transfer to serving platter.
Page B-6 | November 15-21, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com
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