I am a Detroit expat. I spent Wednesday night driving through my old neighborhood, seeing one neighbor’s home burned down and another one boarded up. It’s easy to tell the story of depression and blight.
However, when exploring Detroit’s revitalized downtown and Midtown communities, meeting with local civic and business leaders throughout the city, and seeing the promise of Detroit’s potential in the eyes of new and long-term residents of the city, I am convinced that Detroit’s revitalization isn’t only possible, but is well on its way.
I am both privileged and honored to sit among fellow Detroit “expatriates” — some with some incredible resumes (see the impressive list at detroithomecoming.com) — committed to the rebuilding, revitalization and reimagination of our great city.
Our city just so happens to be the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the American Middle Class. Our city is rich in history, strength, work ethic and resources.
The Detroit Homecoming event is a beacon of light on the heels of our recent bankruptcy filing. I’m listening to significant evidence of the level of commitment from our expatriates, current residents and the state to steering Detroit to become a world-class 21st Century city.
As Yardstick Learning‘s Founder and Managing Partner, I am personally overwhelmed at the opportunities for growth for our firm that now exist in my hometown, as well as the phenomenal future growth potential that aligns with the city’s transformation plans.
Yardstick is a minority owned and operated global management consulting firm operating in 15 states and six countries that provides personalized solutions to organizations in the corporate social responsibility and education sectors. We are deeply committed to optimizing the impact of services provided to the world’s most deserving communities, including sanitation, job creation, college persistence and college access at all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum.
Unlike other communities which have experienced gentrification wherein local minorities are priced out of once thriving neighborhoods, Detroit’s transformation is inclusive. This uniquely Detroit transformation is what made Detroit Homecoming possible and it is why Detroit will be rebuilt, revitalized and reimagined.
I’m ready to re-engage.
Ebbie Parsons III is a Detroit native from Detroit’s Northwest Side and proud graduate of Detroit Country Day School and founder and managing partner of Yardstick Learning.