Detroit Equity Council

One City, For All of Us

Our Mission

We are committed to successful data-driven initiatives that drive toward demographic parity, are rooted in systemic change, remove barriers in city government, and catalyze change in institutions outside of city government for Detroiters.

Equity Council Members: Charity Dean, James Craig, Boysie Jackson, Arthur Jemison, Kevin Johnson, Kaiwan Bowman, Denise Starr, Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Donald Rencher, Lawrence Garcia
Our Work

The city and its partners are working to improve housing, entrepreneurship, jobs, and procurement opportunities as well as land access and criminal justice for Detroiters. Below is a list of the initiatives we’ve launched this year. Please continue to visit our website for updates on our work.

We are prioritizing Detroit businesses in city procurement

  • Removal of procurement clearance requirements: Recognizing the barriers Detroit businesses face in contracting with the city, we removed the Detroit-based business certification clearance requirements so Detroit businesses can have an easier time bidding on these contracting opportunities.
  • Local procurement preference for Detroit-based businesses: We know that past Detroit-based business certifications were not adequately advantaging our truly Detroit-based businesses. Therefore, the City changed the definition of a “Detroit Based Business” to ensure only businesses physically based and providing goods and service in Detroit can take advantage of the local procurement preference. Learn more.

We are improving access to technical and financial assistance for Detroit businesses

  • One-stop shop for business resources and technical assistance: We know that Detroit businesses need better access to supportive resources and assistance to make their businesses thrive. Therefore, the City and a coalition of private, public, and philanthropic partners launched the Detroit Means Business website.  This website serves as a one-stop shop for meeting Detroit businesses financial, human resource, bookkeeping, marketing, financing, health and safety, and supply needs. Learn more.


We are developing affordable housing for Detroit residents

  • Preserving existing affordable housing: We know that in order to ensure Detroit remains affordable for its current residents, we must preserve the affordable housing we already have and improve its quality. As a result, the City launched partnerships with property owners to increase the number of affordable units available for Detroit residents and prevent displacement. Since 2016, the City has preserved 4,000 affordable housing units.
  • Improving access to affordable housing: Seeking to ease residents search for affordable housing in Detroit, the city created online resources and a searchable map residents can use in their search. Learn more.
  • Tackling barriers to homeownership: We know that our residents still face unfair obstacles to home ownership, and we want to help change that. Therefore, the City launched the housing resource center initiative to develop neighborhood hubs throughout the City. These resource centers will help Detroit homeowners, particularly those that face discrimination, can access housing assistance such as eviction prevention and legal services, tax filing preparation assistance, financial and housing counseling services, and emergency home repair services.


We are paying Detroiters for high school completion

  • Reducing barriers to high school completion: We know that today, employers paying a livable wage require at least a high school education. Through a partnership between DPSCD and Detroit at Work, the City is delivering free adult high school completion programs along with a stipend for participants who successfully meet program requirements. The program is available online and at select Detroit at Work Career Centers.  Through this partnership between DPSCD and Detroit at Work, Detroiters will be able to complete the education required to move up to vocational training or college, and to get onto a good career pathway.


We are prioritizing Detroiters for jobs

  • Detroiters Get the First Shot at New Jobs: We believe that when new jobs come to the City, Detroiters should get the first shot. In 2018, the City of Detroit and Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) entered into an agreement to ensure that Detroiters have priority access to 5000 new jobs in the City. This agreement helped set the course for the City’s strategy to work with dozens of new employers to provide priority hiring for Detroiters. Through Detroit at Work, jobseekers can access training, career coaching, and apply to jobs—in our neighborhood Detroit at Work Career Centers and online. This effort includes Ready to Hire, Detroit at Work’s new initiative to make Detroiters aware of post COVID-19 employers who are ready to hire today.
  • Prioritizing Detroiters in City Government Hiring: We believe that our city government should be reflective of our residents. Therefore, City of Detroit job descriptions and hiring practices are now consistently reviewed to ensure that more Detroiters are at the top of the list. Additionally, the City developed career pathways and professional development opportunities so City of Detroit employees are more prepared to be promoted to higher level positions.


We are closing Detroit's digital divide

  • Closing the Digital Divide for Detroit Businesses: Acknowledging the city's digital divide, the City of Detroit partnered with Rebrand Cities to get Detroit businesses online. It’s a collaborative effort where trained web designers work with local business owners to build websites and strengthen e-commerce operations. Learn more.
  • Closing the Digital Divide for Detroit's Youth: In an ever increasing internet-connected world, we want our youth to be ready to participate. Therefore, Connected Futures, Skillman Foundation, Detroit at Work and others are working to ensure that 8,000 GDYT youth have the devices and Internet connectivity needed to have a paid virtual summer employment experience in the midst of COVID-19.
Related Links

Let's Talk About Race

Detroit Future City: COVID-19 Future Resilience Demands Greater Equity Today

Detroit Future City: Growing Detroit’s African American Middle Class

Civil Rights and Inclusion Office (CRIO)

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