Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards
Enabling Communities

2020 Skillman BMe Vanguard Fellows

Detroit residents—and their voices—are strong. Detroiters have played an instrumental role in shaping culture in their city, country, and world.

But too often, their voices are missing from the forefront of shaping the policies, practices, and systems that impact their lives and communities.

To help deepen the bench of Detroiters who help shape the narrative and lead positive change in the best interests of the city’s children, we partnered with BMe Community to create the Skillman BMe Vanguard Fellowship in 2019. BMe Community cultivates a national network of Black leaders and innovators to reimagine a future that is better for all. It facilitates workshops, seminars, and fellowships aimed at helping leaders address root causes of tour country’s most pressing systemic problems. BMe
Community’s programming is sought after by the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations as well as Fortune 100 businesses that are committed to elevating Black leadership.

During the course of the fellowship, experts in race, culture, public policy, social innovation, and media help cohort members develop a deeper understanding of the history and current context of issues they are working to resolve as well as the skills needed to drive narrative change and mobilize a diversity of people.

Fellows graduate better equipped to drive narratives about Detroit—shifting dominant perceptions of what is and what can be—and lead systemic change that champions children and acknowledges the power of their voices now. They acquire new knowledge, skills, and most importantly, close connections with leaders from Detroit and across the nation who are influencing the trajectory of their communities.

2020 Skillman BMe Vanguard Fellows

Orlando Bailey
Photo: BridgeDetroit

Engagement Director, BridgeDetroit

Chase Cantrell
Photo: Building Community Value

Executive Director, Building Community Value

Andrea Thompson
Photo: Ladies Entrepreneur Empowerment Circle

President & CEO, Ladies Entrepreneur Empowerment Circle

Calvin Mann
Photo: Encourage Me I Am Young

President & Founder, Encourage Me I Am Young, Inc.

Lauren Hood
Photo: Detroit Urban Innovation Exchange

AfroUrbanist, Strategist, and Community Developer, Deep Dive Detroit

Sarida Scott
Photo: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Program Officer, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Damarqio “DK” Williams
Photo: Little Guide

Founder, Detroit Father

Bryan Lewis

Photo: Ecoworks Detroit

Executive Director, Ecoworks Detroit

Taqueece Myers

Photo: BMe Community

Founder & Executive Director, Redefining Beauty, Inc.

Asia Hamilton
Photo: Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation

Founder & Director, Northwest Gallery of Art

Gabriela Sullen
Photo: Gabriela Sullen

Consultant, The Johns Hopkins Health System

Courtney Smith
Photo: Detroit Phoenix Center

Founder & CEO, Detroit Phoenix Center

Carmen Kennedy-Rogers

Senior Program Officer, The Skillman Foundation

Marcell Copeland

Photo: Detroit Urban Innovation Exchange

Community Leader, Maintaining A Neighborhood Network

Robin Gamble

Photo: Robyn Gamble

Owner, Dot-Connections Consulting Group

Paris Wilson
Photo: Paris Wilson

Compliance Manager, Chicago International Charter School

Todd Bettison
Photo: BMe Community

Deputy Chief, Detroit Police Department

Darryle Buchanan
Photo: BridgeDetroit

Boys Varsity Basketball Coach, Southfield Public Schools

Kumar Raj

Former program officer for The Skillman Foundation

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