Less than 10% of the businesses downtown are Black-owned, and even less than that, 2% of the buildings downtown are Black-owned. In a city with a majority Black population, how did we get here? BridgeDetroit Engagement Director Orlando Bailey sits down with Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance President and CEO Charity Dean, at the 2023 Detroit Policy Conference, to talk about how downtown Detroit can invest in and empower Black businesses.  

They talk about the racial wealth gap that exists in downtown Detroit, Southeast Michigan and across the state, and the history of discriminatory laws and practices that paved the way for these disparities. 

Plus, Dean shares how members of the Black Business Alliance must navigate a lack of access to capital and how corporate America can be part of the solution. She talks about reparations for descendants of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, the origins of the Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance, and the policy changes the alliance is advocating for in 2023. 

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.