February 22, 2023
The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) extends its deepest condolences to the students and their families impacted by the senseless and tragic shooting at Michigan State University last week. In a small gesture to show our support, DDP illuminated The Rink at Campus Martius Park presented by Visit Detroit and Beacon Park in green and white for the entire Spartan community that undoubtedly extends to the Downtown, Metro Detroit and beyond.
DEI in Downtown Detroit
When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, the DDP has been able to exhibit forward progress and aims to lead the way. Last year we took an audit of our overall approach and developed some key strategies to improve our implementation. This meant applying our DEI mission to everyday practices, including a focus on equity and inclusion at all levels of the organization.
The DDP prioritizes intentionally diversifying the people and voices at the table, from our hiring practices and staff to our board, partners, vendors and other stakeholders. Through our park and public spaces stewardship, convening people and catalyzing economic engagement, we hear directly from the various communities and constituents we serve.
This is one of the many reasons you’ll notice a slightly updated and improved logo at the top of this newsletter. This news reflects DDP’s longevity in Downtown and its steady presence throughout the past 10 decades. Additionally, I’d like to share that we have launched a new tagline: Connecting People, Places, and Parks. We think this will help the communities we serve, our team, partners, funders and others concisely and easily understand and share our story, which includes our DEI efforts.
Although DEI is an ever-evolving process, there are numerous ways we’ve implemented it across the organization. Through our Parks programming alone, the DDP produces more than 2,000 inclusive programs and events. Last year, we collaborated with the City of Detroit, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Alkebu-Lan Village to debut the world’s largest kinara at the Motor City Kwanzaa Celebration and Kinara Lighting. This is just one example of many.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), we offer a free DDP membership to restaurants and retailers located in the Downtown Detroit BIZ. This helps to ensure business efficiency and success. We also host a variety of business roundtables and offer resources like Downtown Job Fairs and The Spirit Card e-gift card program to encourage residents and employees of Southeast Michigan to shop at both Downtown and citywide businesses.
Internally, during Black History and Women’s History Months, we support local businesses through our DEI efforts. If you are inspired to do the same, here’s a list of Black and women-owned businesses located in the Downtown area and throughout the city. We are also preparing to kick-off DDP’s 2023 Exceptional Intern Program; this year’s initiative has a DEI focus to create access and opportunity for underrepresented students in the area.
The Downtown Detroit Partnership is committed to creating an organization and Downtown that is inclusive, open and inviting for all. Thank you for helping us achieve our goals.
See you Downtown,
Lila Asante-Appiah, DDP Chief Administrative Officer
Read the full newsletter at the following link: https://mailchi.mp/downtowndetroit/feb2023newlogotaglinedei
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