Allen: 2015 Year-End Reflection


Reflecting on the achievements we’ve made together over the past 12 months, I’m struck with gratitude for those who have worked tirelessly to lift up Detroit’s children. May our diligence and resolve only grow stronger in the year ahead.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “Draw us from base content and set our eyes on far-off goals. Keep us at tasks too hard for us.”

The efforts highlighted below are works in progress. I’m ready to continue our steep climb, and I know I won’t be alone. 

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren

It’s been a long year since the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren organized last December and released its Choice Is Ours report on March 30. The plan is a comprehensive and pragmatic way forward for Detroit schoolchildren and for bringing much needed stability to the education landscape in Michigan’s biggest city. It really is on all of us to get this right and to give children in Detroit the same hope that exists for kids across Michigan. Although the Coalition has made significant progress in advocating for its plan, there is still work to be done. My hope is that over the holiday break, lawmakers won’t forget about the major challenges that face Detroit schoolchildren, and that finally we will get the necessary stability that has eluded Detroiters for several years. The Coalition lives on, and we won’t quit until we accomplish our mission. All eye are on Detroit and Lansing to see if we can fix this. Our children deserve better. 

Right click and save this photo and use it as your avatar on social media to show support for real change for Detroit kids.

Learn more about the Coalition and view its set of comprehensive recommendations at

Social Media Suggestion:
#ChoiceIsOurs report provides a road map for #Detroit schools reform: 


My Brother's Keeper Detroit

One year ago, in December 2014, the Skillman Foundation committed to President Obama’s My Brother Keeper Initiative in continuation of our work to change outcomes for young men of color in Detroit. We entered My Brother's Keeper Detroit alongside more than a dozen civic, corporate and philanthropic partners, under the leadership of Mayor Mike Duggan. The strength of the collaboration surrounding My Brother's Keeper Detroit was recognized by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which ranked Detroit first among 50 cities for efforts to reduce disparities and expand opportunities for boys and men of color. We've laid the groundwork over the past year and will hit the ground running in 2016 with programs aimed at moving the needle on outcomes for black and brown boys. 

Learn more about #MBKDetroit:

Social Media Suggestion:
Detroit rates highest in efforts supporting black male achievement - #MBKDetroit
Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. #MBKDetroit - 


Progress Toward 2016 Goals

Beginning in 2006, we worked alongside residents and our partners to set an agenda that would improve life outcomes for children in six Detroit neighborhoods. From this, we established our 2016 Goals, a set of performance measures that have guided our work over the past decade. As we move into the final year of this 10-year initiative, we'd like to share an overview of the progress made toward these goals.

Learn about our 2016 Goals and our current status toward reaching them here.  

I'm grateful to our partners for the accomplishments we've shared over the past year. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and happy new year! Make memories with your loved ones, take time to relax - and let's start 2016 with renewed energy to complete the many efforts we have begun.