Panel discussion aims to foster understanding between Detroit residents and developers

Panel discussion aims to foster understanding between Detroit residents and developers

It’s a conversation Detroiters have with increasing frequency.

The question of how to make sure they see themselves reflected in the city’s ongoing renewal is debated everywhere from living room block club gatherings to local taverns.

A blue ribbon panel of developers and community leaders will discuss how to promote inclusive neighborhood development at the 8th annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Rising Summit on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Wayne County Community College District’s (WCCCD) downtown campus, 1001 W. Fort Street in Detroit.

The summit’s purpose is to equip residents with strategies to improve their neighborhoods. The event is free and takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Registration for the summit is still open at

The development discussion panel is from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will feature:

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 Mark S. Lee, president and CEO of The LEE Group and host of “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee” on CBS Detroit Radio WXYT 1270 and Jackie Berg, founder and publisher of TheHUB, exclusive publisher of “The Map,” which pinpoints neighborhood development efforts citywide.

“It’s not often that residents get to interact directly with the people who are developing the city,” says Luther Keith, ARISE Detroit! executive director. “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.”

The summit will feature discussions on steering development to improve neighborhoods as well as promote inclusive and diverse opportunities for job training and neighborhood entrepreneurship.

James Feagin, a Detroit developer, will deliver the morning keynote address focusing on inclusive and ethical development in Detroit neighborhoods.

Sponsored by The Kresge Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation and Detroit Future City, the summit features 12 workshops and more than 50 community leaders offering expertise in neighborhood transformation, including:

  •          Connecting neighborhood entrepreneurs to funding sources and promoting neighborhood entrepreneurship;
  •          Home buying through the Detroit Land Bank and other programs;
  •          Fighting crime and curtailing blight;
  •          Using community collaborations to procure volunteers and sponsors for community projects;
  •          Finding jobs and overcoming barriers to employment;
  •          Finding funding and strategic planning support for neighborhood projects;
  •          Pathways to create strong community leaders;
  •         Millennial leadership, focusing on what the millennial generation is doing to help neighborhoods.



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