Detroit Homecoming 2021
Virtual: August 17, 24 & 31 | In-Person: September 23-26
Virtual: August 17, 24 & 31 | In-Person: September 23-26
Detroit Homecoming 2021 will comprise of virtual and COVID-safe in-person programming. Enjoy neighborhood tours, connect with local leaders, and expand your professional network. Strengthen your roots in the city of Detroit.
Detroit Homecoming’s virtual and in-person programming will allow for attendees to learn from local leaders and industry experts.
A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, Andre is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has been published by The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Post, The Root and CNN. He has also made appearances on CNN, PBS, National Public Radio, NBC and ABC.
Andre's research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. His recent scholarship at the Brookings Institution has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment.
She is also the TONY nominated book writer on the new Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre). Dominique is alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference.
Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages).
Prior to starting PlayVS, Delane worked at IncWell Venture Capital where he became the youngest black venture capitalist in The United States. Delane was then part of the early team at Rocket Fiber that raised$31M and focused on retail strategy directly with the CEO. While at Rocket Fiber, Delane founded Rush Esports, an esports team that was acquired by Team Solomid.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Delane started his first job at 13, working 40 plus hours a week during the school year. At 17, Delane used the money he saved to purchase three cell phone stores and joined the founding team of Executive Car Rental that now has 16 locations across Michigan.
He also chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.
In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Jim worked to strengthen Ford’s automotive operations, overseeing all of Ford’s global markets and automotive operations including Product Development, Purchasing, Enterprise Product Line Management, Manufacturing & Labor Affairs, Marketing, Sales & Service, and Quality & New Model Launch. He also oversaw Mobility Partnerships and Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC.
He also represents Ford on the U.S. China Business Council Board of Directors and has been appointed co-chair of the Future of Mobility Commission.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2008, Wendy was a program director for Children and Family Initiatives and executive director for education initiatives at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in Grand Rapids, Mich. She taught at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and has co-authored and assisted in the publication of several reports and publications that address community needs and problem-solving.
PART ONE: Have you ever wanted to own or run your own company? Two new funds in Michigan are hoping to match operators with family-owned/ privately held companies that are looking for an exit. Both funds are focused on creating pathways for family-owned/privately held companies that want to sell — but don’t like the idea of selling out to a traditional private equity fund that may not respect the legacy of a company in the community in which it’s based.
PART TWO: We’ll talk to expats who have “come home” to new opportunities here in the Motor City.
PART ONE: THE ARTS AFTER THE PANDEMIC
How will performing arts emerge from the pandemic? Hear from the heads of Detroit’s premiere cultural institutions on their future. INTERMISSION: Learn from Author/Playwright Dominique Morisseau about her new project on West Grand Boulevard;
PART TWO: COUNTDOWN TO DLECTRICITY AND A NEW TOWN SQUARE
What other American city has the concentration of major arts and cultural institutions within a 6-block area — flanked by an urban research university and an arts-centric college of design? See the plans for connecting the dots in ways that can benefit Detroit for generations to come — and experience some of those spaces “live” at Dlectricity during Detroit Homecoming VIII.
PART ONE–PHILANTHROPY: FORD FOUNDATION STRENGTHENS FORD FAMILY TIES A conversation between Darren Walker and Ford Foundation Trustee Henry Ford III.
PART TWO–WORKFORCE: WILL BIG TECH ADD DETROIT TO ITS JOB MAP? CEOs are professing devotion to equity. Companies are newly focused on ESG concerns. How can this play out to Detroit’s advantage? How will Detroit prepare Detroiters to take advantage of new jobs and industries in the city and the region?
In this session, we’ll look at Detroit’s neighborhoods and the future of downtown real estate in a hour-long forum and then we’ll hit the road as a group and tour some of the region’s most exciting projects in person. Box lunch served at noon.
Welcome to Detroit! All the expats will be together again in Detroit’s beautiful outdoor Beacon Park. Guests will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and beer/wine/waters at Lumen. Dlectricity will be coming to life around the park as we listen to the incredible neo-classic music of Detroit’s own BLKBOK.
This is a busy morning! We’ll get started discussing Detroit’s challenges and opportunities after the pandemic. How will Detroit spend $800 million in American Rescue Plan dollars? Then we visit General Motors’ audacious goal of becoming the most inclusive company in the world.
That leads to spotlights on equity and entrepreneurship and you’ll meet some of the most interesting Detroit companies you’ve probably not heard of. Finally, we’ll talk sports and hear about Detroit’s plans to attract major sporting events, how the pro and collegiate teams are planning for their next seasons.
Entrepreneur Speed Dating over Breakfast
Detroit and the American Rescue Plan: Rip Rapson starts it off with a 1:1 with Gene Sperling, who was tapped by President Biden to coordinate the American Recovery Act. How will the $1.6 billion allocated to City of Detroit and the Public Schools be used in transformative ways?
GM’s Audacious Goal: Be the Most Inclusive Company in the World
We bring in an array that covers Consumer, B2B and a spinoff from Wayne State. Carla offers each entrepreneur about 3 minutes to describe their company. Then asks them about their biggest needs/obstacles. Each of these companies has a competitive edge in their space.
Detroit’s Growing VC Ecosystem
Entrepreneur Delane Parnell, founder of VC-backed PlayVS, an esports company in LA, has returned to Detroit part time to work on new company ideas while growing his esports franchise, first in sanctioned high school and collegiate sports. He’ll chat with another native Detroiter, Mykolas Rambus, whose MIT-hewn tech chops has fueled successful tech companies and he’s working on his latest from Detroit.
A Conversation with Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman, one of the country’s wealthiest self-made women, recently joined the board of General Motors Co. Her passion, though, is leading the board of Teach for America, the nonprofit that sends some of the country’s best college grads into city schools as TFA fellows. Whitman says: “When I surveyed the public education landscape over the past 20 years, Teach For America was the only organization driving real change.”
Detroit – the best sports town in America? What are the short and long-term effects of the pandemic? What can fans expect? What will NCAA athletes be able to do this year as a result of new rules? And what are Detroit’s best chances to bring “big” events — such as the NFL Draft — to the city.
All tours leave from Mike Ilitch School of Business. Friday options include:
Does Ford have a better idea?
Ford CEO brings to life his vision for the company – and its investment in SW Detroit.
Wealth Disparities and Detroit’s Legacy Residents
For white Americans, home ownership has been the key to passing wealth along to the next generation. Not so for Black Detroiters.
Detroit’s Future: Young People
As CEO, Shawn Wilson created a new vision for the nearly 100-year-old Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan. Youth participants will be “career, startup and homeowner-ready” by the time they leave the Clubs at age 18. Learn more about the new Industry Clubs – and see one club’s own fashions from Deviate.
Innovations in Philanthropy
Social bonds, baby bonds, billionaires tackling social issues in new ways. We ask some of the “big thinkers” in philanthropy to weigh in on what’s working and what can we focus on in Detroit.
The Workforce Crisis
Detroit’s Image in the Arts
All tours leave from Mike Ilitch School of Business. Saturday options include:
Join a Saturday evening dinner with a group of expats at one of five great downtown Detroit restaurants. We’ll curate the groups to bring together people by topic:
We have 20 tickets to Sunday’s game, thanks to our friends at the Detroit Lions.
We have reached capacity for this session.
Detroit Homecoming is designed to reconnect former residents with their hometown, inspiring them to use their career success and resources to support the city’s development.