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Detroit Drives Degrees hosts monthly Leadership Council meeting, welcomes Community Education Coalition CivicLab’s Jack Hess and John Burnett

Detroit Drives Degrees hosted its monthly Leadership Council meeting and welcomed the Community Education Coalition CivicLab’s Jack Hess and John Burnett.

Last month, the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees, collective impact effort hosted its monthly Leadership Council meeting and welcomed the Community Education Coalition CivicLab’s Jack Hess and John Burnett. CivicLab is an institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic collaboration. The duo presented to the council on improving the health of Detroit’s regional talent ecosystem and led a group mapping activity.

CivicLab aims to encourage influential groups such as businesses, nonprofits, and local governments to collaborate on a plan to improve the region’s education attainment and strengthen the talent pool. They encourage communities to make systematic changes to education to eliminate a series of related issues from the root, rather than address each problem individually.

“It’s a systems thing, not a single thing,” said Hess. “You’re not trying to solve a problem; you’re dissolving a problem.”

Hess explained the difference between equity, equality, and justice in relationship to helping students who are at a disadvantage to succeeding in the education system. Education is a systems problem, not an individual issue, said Hess. While the region may be programs rich – initiatives created to solve individual problems in the education system – it is systems poor, meaning that work must be done on a broader scale, he said.

The council participated in a group mapping activity which involved matching factors such as mentors, food assistance, and nonprofits to the different education milestones that they contribute to such as career readiness and advancement, postsecondary success, among others. The groups then combined their lists to create a word map of the Detroit region’s talent ecosystem. [Insert picture of map on the side.]

Visit the Community Education Coalition’s website to learn more about CivicLab.