This Week on One Detroit:

Returning citizens disproportionately locked out of Michigan’s workforce

Life after prison can be difficult for returning citizens, especially as they attempt to return to the workforce. Each year, in Wayne County alone, approximately 7,500 returning citizens come home after incarceration, many of whom face disparate chances of landing a living wage job and re-entering the workforce. A new program, The Good Jobs Now program, from the grassroots organization Detroit Action is working to make employment accessible for returning citizens as well as low-income and housing-insecure residents. 

One Detroit producer and Future of Work host Will Glover sits down with Detroit Action Executive Director Branden Synder to learn more about the organization’s Good Jobs Now program and how it’s paving the way for returning citizens to participate in Detroit’s resurgence. 

RELATED: Watch our Future of Work Town Hall with Detroit Action’s Branden Snyder on-demand now

They talk about how Detroit Action and partner organizations — Michigan Liberation, Michigan United and others — help train returning citizens for the future of work, what can be done by lawmakers to strengthen hiring equity and justice, and how employers can create opportunities for returning citizens to join their workforce as the economy rebounds from COVID. 

Black women entrepreneurs face uphill battle for business growth compared to men

Venturing into the world of entrepreneurship comes with challenges.  However, for Black women entrepreneurs, the hurdles can be much higher and different. A study from the National Association of Women Business Owners shows 42% of U.S. businesses are owned by women, yet those businesses grow at only half the rate as businesses owned by men. To learn more about the unique challenges African American women entrepreneurs face, One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson spoke with two Black women entrepreneurs from Detroit.  

Linda Hendricks, co-founder of the Detroit Dance Center, and Chinonye Akunne, the owner of ILERA Apothecary, join Henderson to discuss what led them to become entrepreneurs and share their advice for budding business owners. Plus, they talk about the financial and marketing grants they received through Comcast RISE, a program created during the pandemic to assist small businesses owned by women and people of color. 

‘Boblo Boats’ documentary tells Detroit ferry tale of America’s oldest steamships

Detroit’s iconic Boblo Boats have made their film debut. The two sister steamboats, the Ste. Claire and the SS Columbia, the oldest in America, are center stage for a new Aaron Schillinger directed documentary, “Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale.” 

Taking viewers back to the wonderland of the Boblo Island Amusement Park between Detroit and Canada, and the Boblo Boat ferry rides that brought people there, the film also explores the current restoration efforts of the two steamships after nearly 85 years of operation and sitting unused since 1993. Motown legend Martha Reeves narrates the film. 

Director Aaron Schillinger talked more about the film’s release and the story it tells. One Detroit contributor Daijah Moss has more on the history that can be learned from the documentary, including the civil rights story of Detroit’s Sarah Elizabeth Ray, the efforts it took to produce the documentary over the span of seven years, and the adoration former Boblo boat riders shared with Schillinger through the filming process. Watch the documentary in theaters on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.  

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