It’s the young people that you notice most when you drive around downtown. And midtown. And Corktown. And many parts of the city.
“It’s inspiring to see young people who care about our city an want to contribute to the effort to make it the best it can be.” -Luther Keith, Executive Director, ARISE Detroit
The twenty-something crowd dominates our shops, restaurants and dwellings downtown, They clearly are nesting in the city rather than the suburbs, and the influx of these new residents has spurred renewed development, caused entrepreneurs to open up where they never may have, and are helping to encourage big-brand businesses—like Nike and lulu lemon—to do the same.
Detroiters feel the energy, and those twenty-somethings will make their voices heard at the 8th Annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Rising Summit. The free event will take place tomorrow, Saturday, November 4, at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District.
“We wanted to make sure the views and the actions of this new generation are represented alongside our more senior members of the community, the latter of whom we so often see at block club and neighborhood meetings,” says Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit! “It’s inspiring to see young people who care about our city an want to contribute to the effort to make it the best it can be.”
To that end, an afternoon workshop, “Millenials in Action: How a New Generation is Improving Detroit” will give the younger generation the chance to introduce not only the ways they are each making change but to bring up the tough issues and challenges faced, like ensuring that economic empowerment reaches the neighborhoods and not just the central business district, as well as encouraging more of their contemporaries to come back home—and stay.
The workshop will include Kwaku Osei Bonsu, who helped create the first Detroit Black Restaurant Week in August, social activist and entrepreneur Korey Batey, Gabriela-Santiago Romero of We the People of Michigan, Niles M. Heron, a social activist and founder of Simple Machines Consulting, Tor Vinson of the Detroit Roses program, and Rebecca Willis, an architect and founder of Bleeding Heart Design, an arts development organization.
The afternoon sesion will be moderated by Erin Keith, who established the Return2Detroit project to encourage African-American millennials to take part in their city and its comeback.
There’s also a development discussion panel scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. featuring:
Dietrich Knoer, president and CEO of The Platform which is the lead developer on the massive Fitzgerald revitalization project in northwest Detroit
Marvin Beatty, vice president of Greektown Casino and a partner in Magic Plus, which is developing the former Michigan state fairgrounds
Douglass Diggs, CEO of The Diggs Group, which helped construct the new Little Caesars Arena
Pam Martin Turner, executive director of Vanguard CDC, which is developing housing in Detroit’s North End
Anika Goss-Foster, executive director of Detroit Future City
Jeff Jones from Doing Developing Differently in Detroit
The session will be moderated by Jackie Berg, founder and publisher of TheHUB and exclusive publisher of “The Map,” which pinpoints neighborhood development efforts citywide, and Mark S. Lee, president and CEO of The LEE Group and host of “Small Talk withMark S. Lee” on CBS Detroit Radio WXYT 1270.
“It’s not often that residents get to interact directly with the people who are developing the city,” Keith adds. “This is an opportunity for developers to explain what they are developing in Detroit and how they make their decisions. It is also a unique opportunity for residents to share their views with developers on the needs of their neighborhoods and, hopefully, work with them for a positive result for the community.”
Detroit developer James Feagin will speak on inclusive and ethical development in Detroit neighborhoods in his delivery of the morning keynote address.
Editor’s Note: The summit is sponsored by The Kresge Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation and Detroit Future City.
To learn more, visit arisedetroit.org.
Lead photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard. All other photos courtesy of ARISE Detroit