A Rose for Detroit Blog

Philanthropy as a Platform for Civic Leadership

Philanthropy is often the tie that binds communities together. From city to city, state to state, country to country, the vast majority of people benefit from or participate in philanthropy. The true power of philanthropy, however, lives deeply beyond the art and form of grantmaking, and lends itself towards the ability – and responsibility – to equip and empower communities to move forward. ... Read More

Restructuring Detroit K-12 education

As the legislature debates restructuring K-12 schooling in Detroit, a reporter asked me why Excellent Schools Detroit (ESD) hasn’t worked. If "worked" means a substantial increase in the number of quality schools in the city of Detroit––or for that matter outside of Detroit but serving lots of Detroit kids––then clearly it hasn’t worked. None of us involved in the creation and operation of ESD these last six years would claim that the quality of schooling has substantially improved in the city. But that isn’t a realistic standard to judge an organization that doesn’t operate or authorize schools; nor sets education policy at the state or local level; nor regulates schools. Student achievement in Detroit––or any other urban area in Michigan with similarly low student outcomes––can’t substantially change until state policy changes. ... Read More

$500K Innovation Challenge taps into Detroit's next generation

The Skillman Foundation, in partnership with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, launched My Brother’s Keeper Detroit Innovation Challenge to invest $500,000 in programs that seek to empower Detroit’s young men of color.

More than 450 ideas were submitted for the first found of applications due March 18. The 100 most innovative ideas will be selected to move to round two and fill out a more robust application to build out their plan. ... Read More

Building Hope for Detroit's Young Men of Color

The MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge is a chance to turn issues into opportunities. To cultivate new leaders. To build hope. Importantly, young men of color will be involved in each step of the process, working shoulder-to-shoulder with other community members who are committed to standing with them and learning with them. After all, our youth not only possess the insight, but the drive and talent to plot their own path to greatness. ... Read More

MBK Detroit earns presidential pat on the back

In February 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, challenging communities across the nation to close the opportunity gaps that boys and men of color regularly face. Present in the crowd for his announcement were Skillman Foundation President & CEO Tonya Allen and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, both of whom readily accepted the President’s call to action. The Foundation joined with Mayor Duggan’s office, as well as more than 100 other civic, social and corporate leaders, to develop and execute a “cradle to college-and-career” strategy that would help ensure Detroit’s black and brown youth reach their full potential. ... Read More