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Hill Harper: Invest in the People of Detroit

Hill Harper did not only bring his star power to the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference stage, but also shared insight from a career rooted in philanthropy and service to communities in need. Harper gave a keynote speech and spoke with Fox 2’s Huel Perkins on how he first got involved in Detroit, and why more people from around the country should too.

As an actor known for his starring role in the CBS hit drama “CSI: NY”, a New York Times best-selling author, and successful entrepreneur, Harper has always looked for places where he can do good. After meeting people from Detroit while attending Harvard Law School, Harper began to develop an affinity for the city.

“Harvard Law School was my first connected tissue to this city,” said Harper. “Some of the best people in the world are here, and that really resonated with me.”

Harper’s love for Detroit is apparent in the multiple large investments in the city, including the purchase and renovation of the Charles T. Fischer mansion in the Boston Edison district, which he plans to convert into an art museum and art incubation space, Harper explained. Harper also owns the downtown Detroit Roasting Plant shop which he bought in 2017.

“It’s a 360 impact in a positive way from the farm to the filter,” commented Harper. “I thought coffee was a great vehicle for social change.”

Harper’s work stems from his belief that the people of Detroit deserve to be invested in. In his time in Detroit, Harper has helped city residents restore credit to pursue homeownership and created a youth empowerment program in partnership with Wayne State University and local businesses.

“The people are Detroit’s greatest asset,” said Harper. “We have to push each other to dream as big as we can about this city.”