This Week on One Detroit:

Michigan’s returning citizens leverage prison work experiences to create new careers on the outside

For people who have been incarcerated, the road to reintegration into society can be long and challenging, especially when it comes to finding employment. Many employers remain reluctant to hire individuals with criminal records, which can create a significant barrier for those trying to rebuild their lives after serving time. This reluctance can create a vicious cycle, leading to recidivism and further incarceration.  

Despite these challenges, some returning citizens here in Michigan have found success in the outside world by leveraging the skills they learned in prison and finding ways to overcome the obstacles they face— but not all of them.  

In a series of special Future of Work reports from One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota and special correspondent Mario Bueno, a returning citizen himself, meets three other returning citizens to hear how they’ve found success through adversity.  

Bueno talks with construction company owner Kimiko Uyeda, who served six years for filing a false police report; Kenneth Nixon, a Wayne State University student and Safe & Just Michigan employee who served 16 years after being wrongfully convicted for murder; and Aron Knall, a downriver barber who’s training for his barber’s license but had worked as a barber for nearly 30 years during his prison sentence. 

Black Leaders Detroit gears up to support Black entrepreneurs during weeklong ‘Ride for Equity’

A nonprofit that supports Black-led businesses is gearing up for its annual weeklong bike ride to  Mackinaw City to raise awareness for its cause. Black Leaders Detroit’s annual Ride for Equity, which kicks off May 21 this year, will raise money for African American entrepreneurs in Detroit and spread awareness about the importance of equitable funding practices. 

The ride includes several individual one-day bike rides, varying in distance, as well as the full seven-day ride from Detroit to Mackinaw City. Volunteers can sign up through May 11 for the ride.

As part of One Detroit’s Future of Work coverage, One Detroit producer and Future of Work host Will Glover sat down with Black Leaders Detroit CEO Dwan Dandridge for a discussion about the organization’s annual fundraiser and the importance of having diverse leadership in Michigan’s workforce.  

They talk about how the organization’s annual Ride for Equity supports Detroit’s Black-owned businesses and spreads awareness for racial equity in business. Plus, they talk about who needs a seat at the decision-making tables if Michigan wants to attract and retain a young, educated workforce for the future. 

Father-son connect through AAPI activism, art and their experiences as Korean Americans 

It was March 2021, when father and son David and Mike Han found themselves at Stop Asian Hate rallies in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings. The father-son duo had diverged some since Mike’s youth, as Mike shied away from his Korean heritage, but, through the years, they’ve learned how to better listen to each other’s experiences and build a deeper understanding of who they are as individuals 

Born in Ann Arbor, now based in Detroit, Mike Han has found success as an artist. His visual art is inspired by graffiti and Korean calligraphy and can be found all across metro Detroit. Plus, it has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Born in South Korea, his father, David Han, emigrated to Michigan in the early 70’s.  

David recently served as a commissioner with the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC) and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Surround Safety Laboratories, a company that works on surround airbag technology. David’s work brought the family—including wife Sarah, Mike, and daughter Laura—to different parts of the country, including Connecticut and West Michigan. 

The father-son duo sat down to participate in One Detroit’s AAPI Story Series, which tells stories that reflect the authentic lives of Asian Americans, to explore their generational differences, the complexities of relating to one’s cultural heritage, the sometimes differing paths of parents and their children, and what it means to each of them to be Korean American. 

One Detroit Weekend: May 5, 2023

Are you looking for some arts, culture, music and family-friendly fun to experience in Southeast Michigan this weekend? From some Motor City history to a showcase of young musicians and a production of Disney’s “Aladdin,” Detroit has so much to offer this weekend. 

One Detroit contributor Dave Wagner of 90.9 WRCJ shares what’s happening around metro Detroit during the May 5 weekend and into next week on “One Detroit Weekend.” 

List of Upcoming Events:  

  • Learn some Motor City history about Detroit’s auto industry with the Motor City Origins Tour Saturday, May 6 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. You can also visit the plant 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every weekend. 
  • Enjoy an evening of music performed by top student musicians with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s premier youth ensemble, the Civic Youth Ensemble, playing Friday, May 5 at 7 p.m. for the Wu Family Academy Showcase at Orchestra Hall. 
  • Hear a range of works from Latin American composers, including Lalo Schifrin’s jazz-infused tribute to New Orleans, during the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s wind ensemble’s performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 at the Cass Community United Methodist Church. 
  • Celebrate the diverse range of animations from local and global animators at the 8th annual Detroit International Festival of Animation at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at the Senate Theater. 
  • Have a laugh at the Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle with comedian Christian Johnson, a clean standup comedian from Charlotte, NC. Johnson performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 7. 
  • Discover a whole new world with the hit Broadway musical, Disney’s “Aladdin,” now showing at the Fisher Theater through May 14. Matinee and evening performances are both available.  

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