GreenLight Fund Detroit delivers 3 social investments
How do you recap a year like we just had? For too many of our most vulnerable, life didn't change as much as existing adverse conditions were amplified. Any veneer of shared prosperity was exposed, highlighting the work that remains for all of us.
I began my work at GreenLight Fund Detroit four years ago this week, when our co-founders and a coalition of Detroiters essentially asked: How can we significantly improve social and economic mobility in our city with residents leading the way? That question drove me then as it did when the pandemic hit, and it continues today.
As we close out our founding fund, our focus is on ensuring that our three social investments reach their ambitious goals over the next several years. I'm proud as they have gone deep for our children and families despite the pandemic shocks. We will also continue to champion our people-centered approach and values that build power locally.
I hope you and your loved ones are overcoming the adversity of this past year. In 2021, we'll continue listening to you as we build our second fund in Detroit.
Founding Executive Director, GreenLight Fund Detroit
12 Months in a Pandemic
A Look Back at Key Milestones
| MARCH | SHIFT Event Postponed
One week before celebrating our investment in New Teacher Center and the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) with 150 great education champions, Michigan confirmed our first cases of COVID-19. So we quickly had to postpone Detroit SHIFT.
| APRIL |
Rishi Urges Sustained Support of Social Impact Organizations During Early Pandemic
"So while a lot of attention during this crisis is rightfully focused on visible sectors — government, healthcare, education, and business — let’s also shine a light on the social sector, which includes nonprofits, grassroots initiatives, arts, and philanthropy." Alliance. Freep.
| MAY |
Our Opinion: How Detroit Leads Through Crisis
"At the intersection of poverty, race, and inequity, Detroit suffers more acutely from the trauma inflicting our nation... Those overcoming adversity to survive can best inform the new normal after Covid-19. As the world seeks solutions, Detroit is already modeling the way back." Bridge Detroit. Real Clear.
| JUNE |
GreenLight Fund Announces Springboard Collaborative At-Home Literacy Program
Leading a $3 million commitment to improve K-3 grade-level reading, GreenLight Fund is joined by partners from local schools as well as the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, The Skillman Foundation, Brilliant Detroit, and Black Family Development to announce our investment into Springboard Collaborative's family-engaged literacy program.
Springboard helps teachers and parents achieve reading goals for students through both innovative summer and out-of-school programs. After Covid-19 hit, they pivoted to a remote learning platform in collaboration with existing Detroit schools and providers. The program continues during the school year to expand across the city.
| JULY |
CEO Detroit Distributes $1.4 Million Stimulus
To help recently incarcerated residents pay bills, buy groceries, and support their families during the pandemic, CEO distributed over $1M in national stimulus payments to returning citizens in Wayne County this summer. Distributed through a number of outstanding local justice-focused organizations, CEO brought national resources to bear to assist those often overlooked.
| AUGUST |
CEO Leads Statewide Effort to End Lifetime Ban on Food Assistance Program
Thanks to recent policy efforts led by CEO and the Hungry for Justice coalition, Michiganders with multiple felony drug convictions will no longer be banned for life from receiving food stamps. Michigan was one of the last states to remove this unnecessary burden on many residents.
| SEPTEMBER |
NTC Launches Next Teacher Cohort
New Teacher Center continues to integrate within DPSCD by training over a hundred veteran teacher mentors as highly skilled coaches for new teachers entering the profession and district. DPSCD has also created full-time internal positions to administer the program during an incredibly difficult school year for everyone!
| OCTOBER |
Independent Sector Upswell Conference: Intersection of Racial Justice and COVID-19
Rishi and Detroit advisor Kofi Kenyatta (Family Independence Initiative), explored how funders can better work directly with the people most affected by their work, being explicit about race and access, and flattening decision-making while distributing power.
| OCTOBER |
Detroit Selection Advisory Council Reviews Fund I
On the eve of Halloween, our cross-sector advisory group gathered - some in costume! - to review the early social impact of our first Detroit fund's three social investments. This dedicated team of two-dozen leaders have been driving hard questions for four years and finding consensus with our community on best steps forward.
| NOVEMBER |
Two Years After Launch, CEO Demonstrates Success