New Detroit is a coalition of leaders working to achieve racial understanding and racial equity in Metropolitan Detroit.

New Detroit’s Leadership Series on R.A.C.E.

Racial Understanding | Anti-Racism | Cultural Competency | Equity in Practice

Now more than ever leaders recognize they need to be change agents around diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Join New Detroit and local leaders from our diverse racial and cultural community for a six-part online professional development program and become a positive catalyst for change in transforming your business or community organization.

VVK Podcast with Craig Fahle
New Detroit Reinvigorates its Racial Justice Mission
A conversation with New Detroit CEO, Mike Rafferty and Rebecca Irby, New Detroit’s Director of Programs and Services.

Craig’s guests for the latest VVK Podcast are New Detroit CEO Mike Rafferty, and Rebecca Irby, New Detroit’s Director of Programs and Services. New Detroit was formed in response to civil unrest in 1967 that uncovered a host of entrenched social and community ills. At the request of then Michigan Governor George Romney and Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, business executive Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. convened a unique coalition—the nation’s first—to identify what went wrong in July 1967, what needed to change, and how to make that change happen.

Since then, New Detroit, Inc. has been a unique and valuable arena where leaders of Detroit’s business, civic, grassroots, and religious communities have come together to plan cooperative strategies and to demonstrate their commitment to the city and its environs.

New Detroit will host “Just Lead: A New Detroit Conference to Advance Racial Equity” in October of this year.

Just Lead: A New Detroit Conference to Advance Racial Equity in October, an event of the Just Institute

Detroit – New Detroit announces their First Annual Racial Equity Conference Just Lead: A New Detroit Conference to Advance Racial Equity at the Detroit Marriott. The conference will be held virtually and in person from October 13-14, 2022. National and local speakers will offer participants compelling perspectives on racial equity and racial justice, and participants can choose from learning paths designed for varying knowledge levels and experiences. This conference will provide leaders with up-to-date information on key issues related to racial equity and equip them with motivation, tools and support to advance racial equity both individually and collectively. This will be a collaborative space to address the critical issues of today with the goal of sprouting a collective vision for racial equity.

About the Conference 

  • Conference Day One: Speakers and panelists will present topics about the intersection of race with economics, health, education and leadership including corporate social responsibility.
  • Conference Day Two: Interactive workshops on racial healing, allyship and leadership

New Detroit’s vision is to dismantle racism in the Metro Detroit region by moving hearts and minds and changing policies and systems. They do this through collective action as a thought leader and advocate for policy change. New Detroit’s work is organized around these three strategies, and includes education, trainings, services, research and programs to fight racism at the personal, institutional and systemic levels.

“An unexamined history creates consequences, and we see violent, destructive and unjust consequences every day as it relates to human rights and racial equity,” said Michael Rafferty, president, and CEO. “We believe that change begins locally, and as the country’s first racial justice coalition in one of the nation’s most segregated cities, New Detroit can lead metro Detroit as a model for change.”

Just Institute 

Just Lead: A New Detroit Conference to Advance Racial Equity is a Just Institute event. Just Institute is New Detroit’s comprehensive suite of certificated trainings and customized consulting.

“New Detroit created the Just Institute to provide organizational assessments, trainings and services to advance racial equity industry by industry. We are creating interventions and solutions for people and organizations who want to deepen their skills to advance racial equity and address systemic racism in healthcare with Just Care, in hospitality with Just Place, and for leaders across all industries and sectors, with Just Lead,” said Rebecca Irby, director of programs & services.

New Detroit has trained more than 20,000 people in its 55-year history. For more information about Just Lead: A New Detroit Conference on Racial Equity or the Just Institute, go to justinstitute.newdetroit.org.

Interview with Michael Rafferty, President & CEO, New Detroit
2022 Mackinac Policy Conference

New Detroit Town Hall “COVID 19: Disparate Impact on Education”

About the Town Hall

Moderator: 

Jamie Kaye Walters, COO, Head of Marketing

& Talent, VVK PR + Creative

Panelists: 

Jane Fran Morgan, President, JFM Consulting Group

Amber Arellano, Executive Director, The Education Trust Midwest

Andrea Cole, CEO, Ethel and James Flinn Foundation

While headlines about education focus on the debate over mask mandates in schools and virtual v. in person teaching, what are we overlooking? How have schools and students been impacted by the pandemic over the past couple of years and what are the future implications? Our next Town Hall discusses New Detroit’s latest report, “COVID in Detroit: Impact on Education.” For example, while the state will allocate some COVID funds to equalize funding across the board, equal does not mean equitable; 62% of DPSCD students surveyed reported symptoms of depression; and in the U.S., the education gaps could result in income losses of about $14 trillion over the next 80 years.

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New Detroit Recognized by Crain’s as one of Metro Detroit’s Best Managed Nonprofits.

December 02, 2021

SHERRI WELCH, Crain’s Detroit Business

New Detroit Inc. was in the midst of developing plans for industry-specific, cultural sensitivity trainings when the pandemic-related disparities and nationally publicized deaths of George Floyd and other Black men and women spurred demand for them last year.

Individuals and organizations alike contacted New Detroit for guidance on how they should respond.

“Big questions were, ‘What can I do?’ ‘How should I be looking at my role in the organization…(and) my organization’s role in the moment?’” said New Detroit’s President and CEO Michael Rafferty.

The organization had just come through cost-cutting and securing $600,000 in new grants to respond to revenue losses that had decreased its budget to just over $1 million for 2020 and left it with a staff of only five employees.

It raised $130,000 or more to increase its staff capacity and launch initial cultural sensitivity training pilots with local health systems and retail and hospitality employees.

Click here to read more.

Our History

New Detroit was formed in response to civil unrest in 1967 that uncovered a host of entrenched social and community ills. At the request of then Michigan Governor George Romney and Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, business executive Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. convened a unique coalition—the nation’s first—to identify what went wrong in July 1967, what needed to change, and how to make that change happen.

Since then, New Detroit, Inc. has been a unique and valuable arena where leaders of Detroit’s business, civic, grassroots, and religious communities have come together to plan cooperative strategies and to demonstrate their commitment to the city and its environs.

On July 6, 2020, in response to the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and racial injustice (which had come to a head with the murder of George Floyd on May 25), standing alongside 30 of Detroit’s most prominent business, political and philanthropical leaders in front of the “United We Stand” sculpture at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, New Detroit declared War on Racism.

New Detroit will dismantle racism through systems change and by moving hearts and minds. We do this as an institutional thought leader, an advocate for policy change, and as a catalyst for collective action. Our work is organized around these three strategies, and includes trainings, education, research, advocacy, and partnerships to fight racism at the personal, institutional, and systemic levels.

New Detroit Founders: Joseph L. Hudson, Jr.,Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, and Governor George Romney
The original New Detroit committee

New Detroit’s work is made possible with the generous support of the following funders:

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