Feb 2024 Around Downtown: DDP News & Events

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At the Downtown Detroit Partnership, we work hard to ensure that we reflect the diverse communities we serve — Detroit’s businesses, employees, residents and visitors. From our board and employees, to our partners and vendors, we are deliberate that there is representation at every level of the organization.

This is also true of our programs and initiatives that create a clean, safe, and welcoming Downtown for all to enjoy. In honor of Black History Month, I’d like to share some of the ways in which we uplift Black culture and community throughout the year.

In 2023, DDP hosted numerous events focused on Black culture and experiences, including Detroit’s Black Wall Street presents… “Past Forward,” hosted in collaboration with Hot Sam’s. This event highlighted the history and legacy of Black businesses and communities in Detroit and the nation.

Our summerlong Detroit Market and Downtown Street Eats Food Truck programs provide opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, including many people of color. We remain intentional about inclusion when it comes to the entertainment we engage for our seasonal and signature events.

For Juneteenth, we worked in tandem with N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts to include African Dance and Drumming and a live performance by Michigan Poet Laureate, Nandi Comer in conjunction with DDP’s Movie Night in the D’s free public screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The N’Namdi partnership continued throughout the summer months with “Hustle & Flow” dance classes in Beacon Park.

As well, in June, we partnered with the Detroit Branch of the NAACP to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Freedom March along Woodward Avenue.

We proudly collaborated with Alkebu-lan VillageCouncilman Scott Benson, and the City of Detroit to host the 2nd Annual Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara in Campus Martius Park. This December event has become a welcome addition to our winter season programming. 

Our secret sauce to keeping Downtown vibrant is the BIZ’s Ambassador team, of which 90 percent are Detroiters. Currently, we’re hiring BIZ Ambassadors with the goal of employing and uplifting residents who are passionate about our community.

We are proud to celebrate the contributions of our city’s Black leaders, many of whom are DDP board members, general members, team members, partners, vendors, small businesses and, most importantly, the individuals reading this newsletter.

Finally, we know that learning is key to understanding. The DDP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has curated an extensive list of books, movies, and podcasts that we encourage you to share with your teams.

We invite you to stay tuned for another year of exciting and inclusive programming and collaborations, and a year-round supply of diverse offerings that celebrate the richness and impact of Black culture and community.

Lila Asante-Appiah
DDP’s Chief Administrative Officer

Read the full newsletter at the following link: https://mailchi.mp/downtowndetroit/february2024ddpnews

Join our mailing list at the following link: https://downtowndetroit.org/contact-connect/newsletter-signup/

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