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Five of Detroit’s Most Dynamic Voices Deliver Power Perspectives

Throughout the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, five local community leaders took the stage to deliver for “TEDx-style Power Perspectives.

Shamayim “Mama Shu” Harris, Founder and CEO, Avalon Village

Transforming blight to beauty, Harris wanted to build for the better and transformed her pain into power. Some people look for a beautiful place, Harris chooses to make the place beautiful.

Andre Spivey, Council Member District 4, Detroit City Council

Detroit’s comeback is about how we value education in the city. We must value education to help educate children, and underprepared and non-educated adults. We have a great system but there are still some challenges; if we want to move forward, we must prepare all of our residents, both young and old, for the future.

Armond Rashad, Owner, Jabs Gym Eastern Market; Creator, Run This Town Detroit

The health and wellness industry are alive and well in Detroit and it’s been shown through the success of Jabs Gym and Run This Town Detroit. By 2030, Detroit will be the healthiest city in all of the U.S., Rashad Said. By taking advantage of personal wellness, we can build a healthy Detroit together.

Courtney Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Detroit Phoenix Center

In Detroit, 1.6 million youth are homeless, one in five are victims of human trafficking and 346 percent are less likely to graduate from high school.  Based on her lived experiences and the reality that is Detroit, Smith created Detroit Phoenix Center to better help serve homeless youth. By using her lived experiences, integrating youth voice, and working to better Detroit, Smith is working to make Detroit a city that leads the way in solving the most precious issues. Detroiters need to save Detroit.

Laura Granneman, Vice President, Strategic Investments, Quicken Loans Community Fund

Detroit has one of the highest municipal taxes in the country and we haven’t gotten to the root cause of the problem. Granneman said, we need to help our most vulnerable residents from being displaced as the city changes and evolves. We must make tools accessible and work quickly to reach home owners before it is too late, and their homes are lost.

Power Perspectives were sponsored by Grand Valley State University.