THE DETROIT EQUITY REPORT IS A PURELY DATA-DRIVEN ACTIVITY
Detroit Equity Report is a nonprofit conceived by Bishop Edgar Vann and developed in partnership with an attorney and civic leader Bertram Marks dedicated to helping Detroit’s corporate community utilize data to develop solutions that help disadvantaged communities and its residents break the cycle of poverty and access economic mobility.
Although Detroit and Southeastern Michigan have made significant progress as it relates to building sustainable communities, there is much work to be done. It is irrefutable that an equity gap exists in Detroit. We have prospering affluent areas that thrive and flourish daily. We also have communities with staggering levels of unemployment, violence, and homelessness. For years, we have attempted to resolve this problem by determining who is at fault. It was rationally believed that finding those at fault would ultimately lead us to solutions. In some instances that has been the outcome. For too many others, we can identify what led to the problems, but that does little to help with concrete solutions.
As concerned thought leaders, looking to develop tools that can help eliminate wealth and quality of life gaps in and around Detroit, we brainstormed a number of ideas that could help be a spoke in the wheel of helping disenfranchised citizens improve their quality of life. A data-driven approach was found to be the best strategy and thus, The Detroit Equity Report was born.
Using a scientific data gathering approach and sharing that data with the businesses and other civic institutions who are positioned to impact equity, we believe we can move the needle of poverty to fewer people being adversely challenged by a low quality of life. Our technique is to be collaborative. We will invite institutions to allow us to examine their numbers as it relates to equity issues. For example, we would invite a grocery store chain to help us retrieve data on how many of their stores are located in or near impoverished communities. Once we have established data, we would recommend solutions for closing this equity gap. The solution may be to simply locate more stores in impoverished areas or work with public and or private transportation entities to ensure residents of impoverished areas can travel to and from quality grocers easily. The data will point us in the direction the policy developed needs to go. Attacking equity gaps collaboratively assures willing and active participation from all sides. The Detroit Equity Report will be shared with impacted communities and the institutions whose data contributed to the report.
There are numerous efforts currently in motion to understand and eliminate the equity gaps in the Detroit area. By no means do we wish to negate the extraordinary work being done by numerous other people, organizations, and groups. Instead, we wish to be one amongst others working diligently to close the wealth gap in and around Detroit.