Mobilizing a Socially Innovative Detroit

By Michael Kulick on April 16th, 2013 / Comments

The over 100 Millennials that packed into the Detroit “College to Careers Pathways” Mobilize.org conference were vivacious to build and network this past weekend, April 5-7. Organized by the Mobilized team the conference brought together young people from across the millennial spectrum together in downtown Detroit to take in the vibrant Opening weekend for the Tigers, sharing stories and networking across organizations, and to pitch ideas for a grant funding competition.

The three-day conference was punctuated with speakers from all over the public and private sectors amplifying the energy around working and investing in Detroit. Phil Cooley, owner of Slow’s Bar-B-Q and Ponyride, opened the conference with the theme of the conference, “… resources are limited so we see [fellow Detroiters] as neighbors instead of competition.”

This thought intensified through the remaining two days of the conference as people worked on their resumes, networking skills, and eventually the competition element of Mobilize conferences. Based in democratic voting methods each attendee votes using individual keypads on the grant proposal ideas from a dozen different organizations and individuals. All projects had to be Detroit based and were judged upon their ability to be socially impactful, creative, use new social medias, and the sustainability of the project.

The dozen proposals coming from Millennials to fellow young people made for incredible energy and honesty and the five best ideas after the votes were tabulated won shares of the $25,000 grand total grant funding. The winning proposals were:

Student Voice – an online forum idea for students to share their educational experiences.

Global Youth Empowerment – a project focused on positive male role models in healthy lifestyles, art, and culture.

Children of the Village – a project which strives to enhance parental involvement in the lives of Detroit youth.

Detroit Parent Connect – a program to affiliate parent more in the education and career preparedness of their children.

STARR Leaders – a project promoting millennial talent and Detroit neighborhood collaboration.

detroit winners

All of these projects scored incredibly well with their peers and will be closely followed and assisted by the Mobilize team to allow full implementation and possible further grants and funding. It is the goal that each of the projects will eventually become self-sufficient and grow as the community and Detroit dictates.

As the conference closed the eagerness was so great that numerous groups could be seen huddled together in the hotel lobby networking or sharing business cards and phone numbers. Each team well deserved their accolades and every attendee to the conference came away revitalized and keen to begin working.

To learn more about Mobilize and to follow the progress of the projects you can check the Mobilize blog for more information. You also can view short video pitches from all the applications which are up for an additional $1,000 grant to further their ideas, whether they won or not.

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About the Author

Michael Kulick

Michael Kulick is a professional communicator working in nonprofit communications and web design and development. You can follow Michael on Twitter @South_PawMike or at his site michaelkulick.net.