Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Understanding Gen Z’s Political Sway 

This panel discussion took place at the Mackinac Policy Conference on Wednesday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m. 

Gen Z adults account for about one in six Americans eligible to vote, and they’re turning up at the polls more than any other youth cohort in history. This panel illuminated young people’s perspectives on policies across the political spectrum and highlighted how they are exerting their influence on our state’s and nation’s direction. 


Angelique Power is the president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation, a Detroit-based philanthropy that partners with people to transform the education system. With assets over $500 million, the Foundation provides approximately $19 million in grants annually. Beyond dollars, the secret sauce of The Skillman Foundation is its focus on youth power, understanding that young people are the designers of our destiny. Power has a BA from University of Michigan and an MFA and honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Esther Guerrero is a youth and community organizer at Congress of Communities, a resident-led organizing and advocacy agency in Southwest Detroit. A proud Latina and Detroit native, Guerrero is dedicated to community empowerment to lead equitable public policy and positive social change. Guerrero will be pursuing a master’s degree in public health, concentrating on behavior and equity, at the University of Michigan in the fall of this year.

Jacob Manning is the grassroots coordinator and policy advisor for the Small Business Association of Michigan and its 32,000 statewide members. Manning uses his past experience of working in the Michigan legislature to drive positive policy results and to help small business owners across the state engage in the governmental process. He is a Michigan State University graduate and resides in Portland, Michigan.

The Skillman Foundation

The Skillman Foundation is a grantmaking organization established in 1960 by Rose Skillman. We have granted out more than $730 million and have served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice.

We are in the process of developing a new strategic framework, co-designed with Detroit youth and their champions.

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