MEET THE SOLUTIONARIES

It is our sincere hope that the I Dream Detroit report and the project bearing the same name will greatly inform Detroit’s ongoing economic development planning- introducing to some, and reintroducing to others, new partners that economic development leaders should be working with more closely.
The report is organized around four types of solutionaries—anchors, architects, advocates and entrepreneurs. Their deeply personal narratives of trials and triumphs all offer insights that reflect the perceptions and themes that emerged in the broader conversation with women through the focus groups and citywide survey. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to move the ideas within these pages to action.

The Anchors

Women who make sure that the needs of Detroiters are met. Many are direct service providers—supplying food, youth mentorship, and other forms of support to Detroiters in need. Amazingly, many are financing this work themselves; and all of their operations are under-resourced. Other anchors featured in the report are proud Detroiters whose stories of struggle, survival and progress speak to the need for women of color in Detroit to be critical players in shaping the city’s future. By circumstance, and on purpose, they have stayed in Detroit and are committed to the uplift of their families, their neighborhoods, and the city.

REV. ROSLYN BOUIER

The managing director of one of Detroit’s largest food pantries combats food insecurity and builds clients’ self-worth

FATOU-SEYDI SARR

Single mom works odd jobs to finance advocacy work for African immigrants

MINNIE DAVIS

Surrogate mom to over 300 young black men built and financed her own program to transform their lives

SAJEDA AHMED

Young Detroiter speaks on the importance of community engagement in developing plans

DENISE HAMPTON

Millennial says improvements in healthcare, transportation and policing are critical

NADA DICKINSON

Community health worker helps address the social condition of vulnerable moms

CIERRA BURKS & TAMISHA REMBERT

Advocating for safety and opportunity for transgender women of color as part of Detroit’s future plans

Meet Them All & Hear Their Stories

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LYNNETTE BOWENS

Community leader encourages civic participation as a path for residents to shape Detroit’s decision-making

The ARCHITECTS

Women who are fueling economic development across the city. Community-oriented architects are building infrastructure in neighborhoods or are leaders in the economic development domain who work to ensure that the interests of the community are brought forward in spaces where the powerful are making decisions about the city’s future.

KIKI LOUYA

The Farmer’s Hand grocer is determined to bring fresh food infrastructure to her hometown

SOMMER WOODS

Transportation executive brings all perspectives into the conversation on transit

ANIKA GOSS-FOSTER

Economic development leader calls for inclusion that fosters shared prosperity

The ADVOCATES

Women engaged in arenas where policies affecting Detroiters are made. From community activists to locally elected officials, these women build power among the people, or leverage their power for the people.

STEPHANIE CHANG

Former community organizer brings commitment to social justice to the Michigan State Legislature

LINDA CAMPBELL

Organizing to ensure all Detroiters benefit from economic revitalization

MONICA LEWIS-PATRICK

Water-crisis activist calls for building an economy built on putting people first

MARIA SALINAS

Fostering collaboration to address safety issues in Southwest Detroit

The ENTREPRENEURS

Our socially minded business owners whose enterprises are bringing valuable products and services to underserved neighborhoods and communities. Our entrepreneurs leverage their enterprises for community uplift by hiring people traditionally denied access to jobs or young people in need of job training.

DARLENE ALSTON

East Side’s Just a Bit Eclectic Tea Shop prioritizes job training opportunities over profit

ERIKA BOYD & KIRSTEN USSERY-BOYD

Nationally recognized Detroit Vegan Soul cooks up healthy food and career pathways

INGRID YOUNG

Formerly incarcerated single mom leverages her skills and good job as a union millwright to buy homes to house people in need