As Detroit’s resurgence and economic development continues to garner national attention, a new report by the Black Worker Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies seeks to amplify the voices of those most absent from the public discourse on the city’s future — women of color. IPS’ Black Worker Initiative will release this new report, I Dream Detroit: The Voice and Vision of Women of Color on Detroit’s Future to the public at the Julian C. Madison Building in Detroit on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
“I Dream Detroit” profiles 20 women of color in Detroit from all walks of life who the city’s economic development planners should be working with more closely. These “solutionaries,” as the report calls them, range from Rev. Roslyn Bouier who runs one of the city’s largest food pantries, to Kiki Louya the co-owner of a corner market and café that features only Michigan grown fresh produce and market products, to Minnie Davis who runs a mentorship program for young Black men and has served as a foster and surrogate mom to over 300 boys over 30 years.
The press conference will feature report author Kimberly Freeman Brown and IPS Black Worker Initiative Director Marc Bayard, some of the women profiled in the report, and local leaders who served as advisers on the project. After the press conference, a motor coach will be available for media to tour three of the locations where the women recognized in this report do their work. Delegates will meet Rev. Roslyn Bouier, managing director of the Brightmoor Client Choice Food Pantry, Ingrid Young a millwright and alum of Goodwill Industries’ Flip the Script program, Minnie Davis, founder of Young Men-N-Motion, and Kiki Louya, co-owner of The Farmer’s Hand market and café. The tour will be followed by a luncheon and discussion with other women featured in the report and I Dream Detroit project advisors.
In addition to personal narratives, I Dream Detroit features the perspectives of over 500 women of color who participated in focus groups and a citywide survey last year. Despite their massive contributions to the revitalization of Detroit’s communities, 71 percent of citywide survey respondents do not feel included as part of Detroit’s revival and economic development.
Further, 73 percent report that big business owners and investors are the ones shaping its development.