DETROIT IS UNDERGOING POSITIVE CHANGE
Detroit is clearly a city that is undergoing very positive change. Development is at an all-time high, you have new residents moving into the city, our brain drain appears to have nearly ended as Millennials are completing their educational pursuits and bringing that knowledge base to the city of Detroit. While no one can argue that this activity isn’t positive, at the same time, we must also acknowledge that Detroit has an equity problem.
36% OF DETROIT RESIDENTS LIVE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE
As of 2017, according to the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 36% of Detroit residents live below the poverty line of $23,000 for a family of four. With this type of inequity, name calling, blaming and shaming will do nothing for this problem. The Detroit Equity Project seeks to use scientific data collected and gathered present the Data to Detroit’s leading corporations as a determined by the Crain’s book of lists. We want to score these corporations in certain key metrics, present the data we’ve found and invite these corporations to develop a continuous improvement plan to rectify their failings in the area of diversity and inclusion.
CORPORATIONS NEED RELEVANT DATA TO RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM
We function under the assumption that not all corporations are deliberately neglecting goals of equity, inclusion and diversity.
In many instances, corporations simply don’t have the raw data to assist them to recognize the problem or a data driven approach to finding solutions.
Through the Detroit Equity Project, Inc. corporate report cards will be issued to the corporate citizens of Detroit who service Detroit or have a substantial number of employees in Detroit. Because of the Detroit Equity Project, corporations in Detroit will now be able to understand the problems they may have, improve on their records or if they score high, continue the practice that got them the high score and share said information with other corporations.
THE MISSION IS TO EMBRACE EQUITY AND INCLUSION
The mission is to embrace equity and inclusion in a practical way. The goals of major corporations and other civic institutions in Detroit that employs and impacts numerous citizens and the goals of the citizens who just want to make a good living to care for his or her family do not need to be mutually exclusive.
DETROIT IS #5 ON A LIST OF IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES
Detroit is a city listed at number 5 on a list of impoverished communities according to a Detroit Free Press article published on April 27,2018 as an editorial piece. This means that the city of Detroit has large concentrations of people living in poverty. In order to put a dent in this startling reality, corporations and other institutions that provide jobs must be transformative in their approach to increase diversity and include Detroiters living below the poverty line in their plans for growth and sustainability.
199,999 AFRICAN AMERICAN DETROIT RESIDENTS LIVE IN POVERTY
According to a Data USA report issued in 2018, 199,990 African American residents of Detroit live in poverty. Furthermore, according to a December 20, 2019 report by Khristopher Brooks of CBS News, nationally, although African Americans are 12% of the population, they make up only 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large corporations in the United States. They comprise a mere 0.8% of all fortune 500 CEO positions. Changing the complexion of corporate and institutional leaders at the highest levels will aid substantially in the effort to close equity gaps that exists as it relates to employment.
EQUITY SHOULD NOT BE NARROWLY FOCUSED
It is far too narrow a focus to consider equity only in the context of jobs, contracts for minority business owners, and number of minorities in C-Suites in corporate Detroit. Other factors must be considered when seeking solutions to closing the equity gap in Detroit. Issues such as education, health care access, and public transportation as a whole must be considered. The Detroit Equity Report will present data from a variety of areas where equity gaps are most critical beginning with an examination of how corporate Detroit is addressing equity gaps. The aim is to find workable solutions and track those solutions and update progress. Policies which do not appear to be viable will be recommended for abolishment.
THE FIRST STEP IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT A PROBLEM EXISTS
The key to closing the equity gap in Detroit is the participation of the business or other institution in examining its equity and inclusion profile. The first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists. Taking steps to permanently correct equity and inclusion issues will represent a giant leap forward for businesses.
PURE DATA SHOULD BE USED TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO THE EQUITY GAP
By using pure data, the Detroit Equity Report Inc. seeks to use a scientific, auditing approach to finding solutions to the equity gap in Detroit. Corporations and other institutions can take solace in this approach. Our goal is not to accuse or punish corporations on their records of diversity and inclusion. Rather, we want to help design corrections. In the alternative, those entities with good track records on diversity and inclusion will be asked to model their strategies to help others improve.