|LEADING ON R.A.C.E.
For more than 20 years, New Detroit has been educating leaders across Southeast Michigan on cultural differences and similarities, providing them with tools to effect change and the confidence to do so. More than 1,200 individuals have been touched by our leadership program and we are now launching an updated Leadership Series on R.A.C.E. — |Racial Understanding | Anti-racism | Cultural Competency | Equity in Practice|
R.A.C.E. continues to address cultural competency and racial understanding, while adding new elements around anti-racism, and equity in practice. Participants begin by learning about race as a socially constructed concept and exploring the different manifestations of racism from interpersonal to systemic. We review the racial justice movement, historically and in contemporary America. We then integrate the cultural competency components, engaging participants in learning about various communities of color in Southeast Michigan. Extending the training over six sessions allows us to take an intersectional approach, which is critical in light of Detroit’s multi-cultural population base. We conclude with practical tools for participants to translate their new learning to action–creating more equitable workplaces and communities.
The training is a thorough exploration of R.A.C.E. that leaves participants permanently changed and ready to extend that change. Its power is increased when several members of a corporate team join the program together. That allows for continued conversation and action programs that have a direct impact on how a team engages its customers and colleagues.
Educating leaders creates a multiplier effect that helps advance systemic change. One example is a recent program at Aetna. New Detroit collaborated with an Aetna alum of our leadership program to organize a 2‑day training modeled after the Leadership Series for over 120 colleagues at Aetna, which included local and national Directors and Senior Managers. Insurance affects society through the way it allocates the burden of losses and damage, and bias is built into everything from insurance rates to claims processing and more. There are now an additional 120 people working in the insurance industry who understand how bias impacts their work and how to change that.
We are starting our next cohort on August 13. The six sessions are held virtually for the convenience of participants, and we will be scheduling new cohorts through December. Full information is available on our website www.newdetroit.org. As you can see from Aetna’s example, alumni go back to their companies as advocates and change agents. Other alums have gone on to create educational programs, work toward equitable hiring policies and influence others to become anti-racists. We strongly encourage you to join the R.A.C.E. experts who are using proven strategies to combat racism at work, at home and in their communities. To learn more about how New Detroit can tailor its work to your team, visit www.newdetroit.org.
You may read more about the program and register here.
Remembering Glenn Wash
We are saddened at the loss of our dear friend and longest serving board member, Glenn Wash. Glenn was dedicated to the principles and practice of racial and social justice and served on the New Detroit board from 1973 until 2017, becoming a Director Emeritus upon retiring from the board. Glenn was widely known for his entrepreneurial vision and his commitment to positive change in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.
Paul Hubbard, president of New Detroit from 1989–1993, noted, “Glenn always raised the issue of the importance of Black Economic Development and support for Black Business. His comments were always well founded”. Current president, Michael Rafferty, echoed that sentiment. “Glenn was one of Detroit’s earliest Black entrepreneurs and the first Black entrepreneur on the New Detroit board. The power of New Detroit lies in the diversity of its leadership. Serving alongside major corporate representatives from the automotive and banking industries, Glenn brought an important perspective to our conversations on economic and social development.”
New Detroit’s board and staff members extend our deepest sympathy to Glenn’s family. We know that they, like us, will find comfort in Glenn’s legacy of change and hope. We invite you to read more about Glenn by clicking on this article from the Michigan Chronicle.
ZOOM INTO OUR FINAL COVID TOWNHALL
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gaps in health care and other opportunities for people of color and prompted us to explore an equitable return to improved health care, public education and economic support. For the complete story, see our report
, Examining and Addressing COVID-19 Racial Disparities in Detroit
. Our third and final townhall scheduled for August will feature New Detroit CEO, Michael Rafferty, speaking with people throughout Southeast Michigan about their pandemic experiences and their thoughts on how to create a racially equitable post-COVID recovery. Check in at our website www.newdetroit.org
soon for information and registration.FIGHTING RACISM ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
When New Detroit declared war on racism a little over a year ago, we knew that we could not achieve victory without the efforts of people across the community. In this space, we will share program information from partner organizations making a difference in Detroit and beyond. This month we encourage you to consider:
- Detroit Public Schools Community District will launch the “Detroit Perspective Project”, which is an initiative to include more racially inclusive materials in the English curriculum. This project will be supported with a grant from the Skillman Foundation. To learn more about this project, click here.
- The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion has launched the “What’s Going On?” series, consisting of radical conversations hosted by Yusef Shakur and featuring different guests speaking across the intersections of race, gender and class. Click here to learn more and register for the virtual conversations.