DETROIT — Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization project bringing 30 innovative leaders to the city to live, work, play and give in the community, has launched its second Team Challenge in partnership with United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
The second team challenge focuses on generating ideas to increase food and job security by strengthening food access and developing opportunities for the structurally unemployed in the greater Detroit community. The Challenge Detroit Fellows will work with UWSEM and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Community Ventures program to identify projects and partners which could help develop entrepreneurial endeavors and ultimately, employment opportunities surrounding food accessibility.
“United Way has been improving communities in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan since its inception,” said Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. “This is an extremely important issue for the greater Detroit community and together with United Way, I believe we can start to develop a solution for the city.”
During the month of October, Fellows will be challenged to identify project concepts which have the potential to strengthen food security and job growth within the city of Detroit. Upon the challenge’s completion, the goal is to identify projects and organizations which are effectively connecting food security and job creation and develop project plans which have the potential to be further developed and implemented by UWSEM and related partners.
“One in five individuals, and one in four children, struggles to access enough nutritious food in southeastern Michigan,” said Michael J. Brennan, President and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “While significant work is being done to combat food insecurity in the city of Detroit, ultimately, the greatest contributor to an individual’s food security is adequately compensated employment, which can guarantee financial security and the ability to buy food.”
UWSEM mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. In addition to being one of the ten challenge partners, United Way is also a Challenge Detroit host companies and has employed fellow, Cornetta Lane. Cornetta has been managing projects which build awareness for United Way’s “A Better Headline” campaign, which predicts positive, albeit tongue-in-cheek, news headlines from the year 2030 made possible by community support of United Way efforts. For her first project, Cornetta wrote the slogan that is currently wrapped around the Ford Motor Company World Headquarters building.
Each month for the entirety of the year-long program, the 30 Challenge Detroit fellows will work with a different non-profit to address needs and create opportunities in the Detroit region. These projects are designed to positively impact the community while addressing issues and opportunity throughout the region.
The Collaborative Group, a Birmingham-based non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, has launched Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization project for one of the most significant cities in the world. Challenge Detroit selected 30 innovative leaders from throughout the United States to live, work, play and give in Detroit for one year. Fellows live in Detroit, supported by a $500/month housing stipend; receive a $30,000 salary to work at one of the top companies in the region; participate in monthly team challenges, in partnership with area non-profits, designed to positively impact the city and region; and experience the City through organized social and cultural events. For more information, visit www.ChallengeDetroit.org.