Our Work

People Powered Education

We partner with people to transform the education system, nurturing the brilliance and power of Detroit youth..

We want Detroit youth to achieve their highest aspirations, to be successful and prosperous in life, and to forge a better future for all. To get there requires an exceptional and equitable education system.

Today’s education system is in desperate need of updates and upgrades. We’re working alongside Detroiters to envision and enact an innovative, future-forward education system that meets the needs of every student.

People with firsthand experience—students, educators, parents, and education advocates—have the insights and ideas needed to transform our education system. What they need more of are resources, supports, and connections to understand and lean into the policymaking side of education.

The Skillman Foundation is investing in those two things: Detroiters’ power and access to design an exceptional and equitable education system (our Ground Building work), in lockstep with policy movers who are currently setting education policy and practices (our Policy & Systems work).

Transforming our education system is possible, and change is already underway. Building sustainable positive change will take many positions on the field working in concert, from the grassroots to the grasstops and many places in between. The Skillman Foundation is directing all of our resources toward fueling a shared vision for education where all partner for young people’s success.

The Skillman Foundation will focus our grantmaking and efforts to:

  • Expand education organizing power.
  • Advocate for education policymaking to center the insights and outcomes of Detroit youth.
  • Build common ground for education system change.
  • Be an accountable and racially equitable grantmaker.

We are in the process of developing new, community-informed strategies with Detroiters, to launch in the second half of 2024.

As we build out our strategies and grant areas, we will update this site. To be notified of updates, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

A sketch of our current strategic thinking