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.

Statement from New Detroit regarding racially motivated killing of 10 people in Buffalo, NY

Ten people were killed and three wounded in a racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store by an 18-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, fascist, and antisemite. Investigators believe that the shooter picked the zip code with the highest population of Black people and chose a business at its busiest. The suspect fired 50 shots while live-streaming the loss of life at his own hands.

New Detroit was founded to fight racial injustice and, today, we are outraged and deeply saddened by another mass hate crime in this country. Violence, like what happened in Buffalo, has its roots in the KKK. White replacement theory is getting a voice in the mainstream, gained traction with one-third of adult Americans, and has led to racially motivated murders, other violence, and the proliferation of hatred through social media and other communication mediums.

New Detroit grieves for all the families of those who violently lost their lives and everyone who is experiencing the emotional and physical aftershocks of this senseless and sickening shooting. New Detroit is appalled at this latest horrific incidence of racially motivated domestic terrorism.  This is a time for individuals, elected officials, and those with influence to end the spread of hateful rhetoric and access to military grade weapons that aid in the horrific action of humans hunting humans. Time for action.

Detroit Free Press

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

About the Town Hall


Jamie Kaye Walters, COO, Head of Marketing

& Talent, VVK PR + Creative


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.


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: