Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Who We Are

The Skillman Foundation is a grantmaking organization established in 1960 by Rose Skillman. We support youth and their advocates to transform the education system to meet the needs and aspirations of Detroit youth. Across our history, the Foundation has granted out approximately $750 million and has 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—People Powered Education—co-designed with Detroit youth and their advocates. Follow updates here on our website and on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Our Mission

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

Our Vision

Detroit youth are supported to design bold destinies. 

Our Values

Youth Driven

We are following the will of Detroit youth to dream and design new possibilities together.   
Racial Equity & Justice Focused

We enact racial equity within our practices and pursue the understanding and advancement of racial justice to change the odds for Detroit youth. We define racial equity as a level playing field for Black, Brown, and all people of color within current systems and structures. We define racial justice as shifting power to those most negatively impacted by the way things currently are so that they may redesign systems and structures to benefit all.  

Accountable to Each Other   
We love that there is no place like Detroit. We will show up every day in partnership with each other, internally and externally, creating our shared future. We are connected. 

Greater Than Grants 
We extend all forms of capital—financial, reputational, and relational—thoughtfully, ethically, and equitably.   
Listeners & Learners   
We are guided by the brilliance of Detroit youth and community. We learn from our successes and our failures to continually improve ourselves, our organization, and our communities.

Code of Ethics

Click here to view The Skillman Foundation’s Code of Ethics for trustees and team members.