Ashley (Ash) Marie Aidenbaum leads the Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives work. She joined the Foundation in 2014.
Prior to her current role, Ashley held multiple roles at the Foundation including special projects manager, where she played a critical role in the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, and later as a program officer leading the Foundation’s college and career pathways work, where she partnered with schools, community-based organizations, and other foundations to increase equitable access to postsecondary pathways in the city. She also championed funding for Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Detroit Perspectives Project to support culturally responsive, anti-racist education in partnership with students, educators, and community. She has dedicated her career to placed-based efforts and initiatives.
Before joining the Foundation, Ashley spent six years helping to grow the Detroit-based media company Issue Media Group, which publishes Model D in Detroit. As group publisher and director of business development, she drove the company’s expansion into new markets and helped to build their internal capacity. Prior to that, she worked as a policy consultant for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority through Public Policy Associates in Lansing, supporting former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Cool Cities Initiative.
Ashley came to the Foundation with a passion for social, racial, and economic justice. Her work-based values are wholeheartedness, solidarity/partnership, truth-telling, power sharing, and responsibility. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in cultural anthropology and a minor in history. During her time at U of M, she had formative experiences with economic activism. Ashley previously served as president on the board of directors for the Baldwin Public Library. She currently serves as president of the executive committee of the Detroit College Access Network and is also on the board of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation.
A self-development and wellness enthusiast, she enjoys reading, weightlifting, and is dedicated to veganism. A Bagley resident, you are likely to find her out enjoying local jazz or house music in the city. Ashley is also a published author in the Michigan Journal of History.