WWJ News Radio: 2019 Detroit Policy Conference Coverage

March 2, 2019

WWJ News Radio

WWJ covers keynotes from the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference.

Detroiters Share During First, Second, and Last Word at #DPC19

The 2019 Detroit Policy Conference offered attendees the opportunity to hear Detroit’s First, Second, and Last Word throughout the day at the Michigan Talent Investment Agency Stage.

Detroit’s First Word

Conversations during “The Power of Placemaking in Neighborhoods” and “Creating Community Space for All” panels surrounded the importance of listening to community voices and focusing on involving the people who will be using your service or program. We need to listen to receive and not listen to respond, to let community members know their voices are valued and heard.

Detroit’s Second Word

“Promise Scholarship: A Path to a Degree” panelists focused on the importance of thinking about the next for students after high school and realizing that success isn’t just getting the students into college but helping them work on their journey to finish school.

“Skilled Trades: The Talent Pursuit” discussed the importance of skilled trades and exposing younger students to skilled trade opportunities so they can see what the industry has to offer. Reaching students earlier in their life and sooner gives employers new opportunities to engage with potential employers and also discuss the needs of future talent.

Detroit’s Final Word

Rounding out the day with the last three sessions, Detroit’s Final Word talks included “Detroit’s Cost of Living: Housing”, Detroit’s Cost of Living: Transportation and Auto Insurance” and “Access to Capital: Disparities for Entrepreneurs of Color.” Although the topics covered a wide range of content, one point was made clear, if you want to make an impact in the community you have to look at the problem and work together with people who encounter it every day. By working with the community, we can really understand the root of the problem and fix it to make an impact.


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.

Jay Pitter: Building Inclusive Communities

“We can’t seize future opportunities if we disregard the past,” said Jay Pitter, author and placemaker.

At the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, Pitter emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive community to continue Detroit’s upward trajectory. Pitter, who is from Toronto, is an expert in social justice, spatial relations, and inclusive planning. She gave Detroiters a number of ideas to create inclusive communities.

Key takeaways from Pitter’s keynote discussion:

  • Pay respect to the history of a space when building new structures.
  • Create spaces that provide value, healing, and discovery. They should not only focus on appearance.
  • Tell stories with the spaces you are building.
  • Remember that urban design is not neutral; it has a history rooted in colonization and tense racial relations. Designers need to create spaces that respect our history while still moving toward the future.
  • Recognize local leaders and heroes who are building inclusive communities now.

This session was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Barry Matherly: Become an Ambassador for the Region

At the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, Detroit Regional Partnership President and CEO Barry Matherly took to the Sound Board stage to promote the Detroit region and the power of collaboration. Citing the region’s 5.4 million people and 275 municipalities, Matherly focused on helping the region compete globally, not just within the United States. For the region to succeed on a global scale, Matherly provided some key takeaways:

  • Neighborhoods must grow in conjunction with larger cities; it is imperative that regional growth is inclusive.
  • The region is not devoid of issues. We should not hide them, but instead learn from them.
  • People should become ambassadors of their hometown and entire region.

This session was sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation.

Dennis Archer Jr. On Keeping Detroit’s Comeback Moving And The Detroit Policy Conference

February 22, 2019

Daily Detroit

By: Jer Staes

On a bonus interview episode of Daily Detroit, our guest is Dennis Archer, Jr.

He’s the owner of Ignition Media, proprietor of the successful Central Kitchen and Bar, and chair of the upcoming Detroit Policy Conference.

We talk about a variety of topics around Detroit’s comeback and a vision for 2030 for the city and region.

View the original article here


Spotlight on the News: Roads, marijuana, immigration, politics & the Detroit Policy Conference

February 22, 2019

WXYZ Detroit

By: Chuck Strokes

WXYZ DETROIT — On Sunday, February 24, Spotlight on the News will interview Michigan State Senator Peter Lucido, (R ) Shelby Township; Sandy Baruah, President & CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber; Dennis Archer, Jr., Chairman, Detroit Policy Conference; Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, (D) Dearborn and Congressman Fred Upton, (R) St. Joseph. Some of the topics will include roads, marijuana, the Detroit Policy Conference, immigration and politics.

Spotlight on the News, now in its 54th season, is Michigan’s longest-running weekly news and public affairs television program. It airs every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. on WXYZ-TV/Channel 7 in Detroit and 2:30 p.m. on 23.1 WKAR-HD in East Lansing and 6 p.m. on 23.2 WKAR World.

View the original article here

Small Talk with Mark S. Lee – February 24th, 2019

February 24th, 2019

Small Talk with Mark S. Lee

This week, just sit back, relax and enjoy a hot cup of coffee on this winter day as we catch up on the latest events supporting entrepreneurship and small business development with the following guests:

Awenate Cobbina, Vice President, Detroit Pistons & Executive Director, The Pistons Foundation

Denise Graves, MEDC

Paula Silver, Vice President, DTE Energy & Devon O’Reilly, Director, Entrepreneurship, Detroit Regional Chamber

Kelly Siegel, CEO, National Technology Management

2018 Detroit Policy Conference

The Detroit Policy Conference will focus on creating a culture of civility in Detroit, exploring what it means to be “civil” and the role that communities play in influencing individual behavior.

Programming will also examine role models of civility, Detroiters that have put their differences aside and are working together to put Detroit first to solve issues and create opportunities for all.


$159.00 Chamber members; $235.00  Future members   (Registration price shown below after login)

Chamber Members Show Their Creative Side for Third Member Appreciation Day

As a way of thanking members for their support this past year, the Detroit Regional Chamber gave away a handful of prizes throughout the third Member Appreciation Day on Dec. 7th. To enter, members had to take a picture of their Chamber plaque or graphic in a fun, creative way and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The Chamber received a few creative graphics from our members. One featured the Chamber’s appreciation day graphic on Santa’s sleigh while another had a cute bulldog holding up the graphic. The Chamber also received a few video entries, among them one showed the staff of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit doing their own version of the Mannequin Challenge.

Prizes ranged from complimentary registrations to signature Chamber events to various gift cards and lunch with a Chamber executive at the Detroit Athletic Club. Five members were awarded prizes over the course of the day and three final prizes were announced the following morning.

Below is the full list of winning entries and their prizes.