Listening to and learning from you
As the newly appointed President & CEO of The Skillman Foundation—a role I began in mid-September after moving with my family from Chicago—my first order of business is listening to and learning from Detroit youth and the adults who have a great impact on their lives. Detroit is full of visionaries and experts. I enthusiastically and humbly seek to learn from them—from you—to ensure The Skillman Foundation has the greatest impact possible for Detroit kids.
To do so I’ve launched a listening tour that will span the next year. The purpose of the listening tour is to understand the most pressing needs of Detroit kids, the unique landscape of Detroit, and to learn how philanthropy and specifically The Skillman Foundation can rise to meet this unique moment in history.
Through the fall of 2022, I’m holding 2-3 group listening sessions each month. The groups are curated by our team members, board members, and longtime partners to include a wide range of Detroit youth, community members, and leaders on a span of topics related to the Foundation’s work. They’ll also be informed by listening tour participants along the way. The listening sessions are a way to hear from a variety of perspectives to inform our understanding and investments. They’re happening in conjunction with many other meetings I, a newcomer to Detroit and to the Foundation, am engaged in. But I’m clear that, for me, these group listening sessions will be the most informative conversations I have, as they’re focused on youth and community insight.
Every month, we’ll share what we’re hearing here on our website.
The listening tour will give me a chance to hear from hundreds of Detroiters. With every voice comes greater insight, and so it is my goal to hear from as many folks as possible. Hundreds of Detroiters, and yet, so many voices will still be missing.
To open this dialogue further, we’ve created a way to collect insights online. It’s not the warm face-to-face interaction I prefer, but time is finite and our children are too precious to not do all we can to listen to their needs.
I would love to hear from you. If you’re willing to share your insights about Detroit, child well-being, education, and/or the past work of The Skillman Foundation with me, I would be humbled.
To do so, please share your thoughts here.
President & CEO
The Skillman Foundation