A Rose for Detroit Blog

We Are Culture Creators

We Are Culture Creators

“Here, I’m learning how to become myself and talk about what I see and experience on a day-to-day basis,” Yeury said confidently. It’s a Friday afternoon and the young community organizer is seated at workstation filled with computer monitors, headphones and camera parts. Surrounding him are the fellow members of We Are Culture Creators, a media arts collective based in Southwest Detroit and one of six awardees of the My Brother’s Keeper Detroit Innovation Challenge organized by the Skillman Foundation and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. ... Read More
In Reverence for Detroit Youth

In Reverence for Detroit Youth

I’m at the high school graduation of a school I’ve been working with on some workforce development training and summer employment placements. I’ve become attached to the students, the staff, and the mission of the school.

As I walk up to the church, I see a friend and counselor, “Mr. C.” He's a larger than life man who loves the kids of the school like they were his own. He greets me with his customary bear hug that lifts me off the ground. "Hey Brother Terry! Glad to see you,” he says. “I need to introduce you to someone." ... Read More

Changing in Place: The Skillman Foundation, Detroit, and the Good Neighborhoods Initiative

In 2006, the Skillman Foundation committed $100 million to a decade-long investment in six neighborhoods. Through this Good Neighborhoods Initiative, the foundation directed a majority of its grantmaking toward an intensive focus on changing the conditions where, at the time, one-third of Detroit’s children lived. The goal was to ensure that children in those places were safe, healthy, well educated, and prepared for adulthood. The initiative concluded in 2016, ultimately spanning 11 years and involving $122 million in grants, which represented 67 percent of the Foundation’s total grant spending in this time frame.

To capture information on the unique challenges facing an embedded funder as it changes program direction, Bob Tobin, senior consultant at Williams Group, interviewed Marie Colombo, Skillman Foundation director of strategic evaluation and learning. ... Read More
Working Together to Improve Academic Outcomes for Children

Working Together to Improve Academic Outcomes for Children

You can see the pride in Lourdes Valdivia’s eyes when she talks about her three sons, ages 3, 9, and 11. Each weekday morning, she and her sons walk through the doors of Harms Elementary in Southwest Detroit. Her oldest two children head for their classrooms, but it’s not the last they’ll see of their mom throughout their school day. That’s because Valdivia participates in a program that allows her to both learn English and how to better support her sons’ education.
... Read More