This Week on One Detroit:

This week, 1,500 business leaders, policy makers and others from across Michigan and the nation gathered at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference.  This year’s conference and its theme, “Bridging the Future Together,” addressed Michigan’s social, political and economic challenges with an emphasis on collaboration across partisan divides.

Conference speakers addressed key issues, including strategies to attract businesses and jobs, improving education systems to ensure the workforce is prepared for future challenges, and ways to strengthen Michigan’s infrastructure. There were also discussions on advancements in innovation and equity and the need for equitable practices in leadership to drive sustainable development.

In this hour-long special, “One Detroit” contributors Zoe Clark, political director for Michigan Public, Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” and Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of The Detroit News present important conversations from this year’s conference. They discuss the future of work,  growing Michigan’s population, addressing the state’s affordable housing shortage, legislative policies, and Detroit’s successes and challenges. 

One Detroit contributors discuss Michigan’s successes, challenges at the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference

One Detroit contributors Stephen Henderson of American Black Journal, Nolan Finley of The Detroit News, and Zoe Clark of Michigan Public talk about the goals of the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference, this year’s theme, “Bridging the Future Together,” the current successes and challenges in the state as well as the conference’s significance.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Police Chief James White share the city’s progress and goals

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James White share updates on the city’s progress in reducing crime at the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference. They also discuss a major challenge facing Detroit and Michigan – the mental health crisis.

Michigan’s affordable housing shortage

One Detroit contributor Zoe Clark talks with Samaritas Chief Advancement Officer Kelli Dobner and Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Monique Stanton about the affordable housing shortage across the state and its impact on residents.

Community leaders push for racial equity to help grow Michigan’s population 

Last year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Growing Michigan Together Council to identify strategies to reverse the state’s population loss.

Michigan Black Business Alliance President and CEO Charity Dean, Michigan Chief Growth & Marketing Officer Hilary Doe, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Andre Perry, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Director of Michigan Programs Yazeed Moore discuss racial equity’s role in growing Michigan’s population. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference keynote address

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discusses her vision for moving the state forward during her keynote address.

University Research Corridor shares its efforts to attract businesses, talent to Michigan

The University Research Corridor is a collaboration with Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Michigan State University President Kevin Guskiewicz and University of Michigan President Santa Ono talk about the organization’s impact on research and innovation in Michigan.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti talks challenges facing the district and efforts to prepare students for the future

Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti talks with One Detroit contributor Zoe Clark about the district’s efforts to prepare its students for higher education and the future workforce. They discuss current challenges facing the district, concern over students bringing edibles and vape pens to the classroom, and new education initiatives.

Businessman and philanthropist Dan Gilbert on investing in Detroit

Businessman and philanthropist Dan Gilbert, the founder and chairman of Rocket Companies, spoke at this year’s conference about the importance of providing opportunities for the community and inspiring others to invest in Detroit.

Key political leaders talk about partisanship ahead of the 2024 election 

The Mackinac Policy Conference is known for hosting prominent political leaders from Michigan and across the nation. This year’s notable guest speakers included U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, former U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Valerie Jarrett, CEO of The Barack Obama Foundation.

Erb Family Foundation gifts $7.5 million to Detroit PBS for its move back to the city

Detroit PBS is moving its headquarters back to the city, restoring a building in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood at 234 Piquette Avenue. Construction is expected to start this year, and the building is scheduled to open in Fall 2026. 

The Fred. A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation announced its plans to give a $7.5 million challenge grant to Detroit PBS to help with renovation of the new location. Detroit PBS President and CEO Rich Homberg talks about the gifts impact with Erb Family Foundation President Melissa Damaschke and Chair John Erb. 

What’s next? Contributors share commentary coming out of the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference

The 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference addressed social, political and economic challenges Michigan faces.

As the conference comes to an end, “One Detroit” contributors Zoe Clark, political director for Michigan Public, Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” and Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of The Detroit News discuss Detroit’s role in the state’s growth, next moves for state lawmakers, affordable housing, and more. 

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