Driving Equitable Development: Ford Foundation’s Impactful Partnership with University of Detroit Mercy
At the heart of Detroit’s resurgence, the University of Detroit Mercy stands as a pivotal ally in the realm of equitable development grantmaking. A recent gathering at their School of Architecture brought together an array of grantees, showcasing a diverse blend of community development leaders and representatives from financial institutions.
Kevin Ryan, a seasoned senior program officer at the Ford Foundation, has been at the forefront of steering Ford’s grantmaking efforts in Detroit since 2017. With a keen focus on housing, community development, civic engagement, and youth opportunities, Ryan embodies a commitment to the Motor City’s revival.
In his own words, Ryan emphasizes the enduring connection each individual should maintain with Detroit, regardless of how far they may have ventured from its borders. His philosophy resonates: “No matter how long you’ve been gone from Detroit, Detroit should always be a part of you—and you should always find ways to support your people.”
A significant aspect of Kevin’s mission revolves around charting a course for Detroit’s recovery from bankruptcy in a manner that ensures equity for all residents. This involves unwavering support for a cadre of community organizers, cultural leaders, and changemakers across the city. Moreover, Kevin has been instrumental in fostering collaboration among these influencers, paving the way for innovative approaches to community development.
In a visual journey through recent photos, Kevin Ryan offers a glimpse into the impactful work of Ford’s local grantee partners. Each image tells a story of resilience, progress, and community-driven change. From grassroots initiatives to large-scale projects, these partners are leaving an indelible mark on Detroit’s landscape.
As Detroit continues its transformation, the collaboration between the Ford Foundation and the University of Detroit Mercy emerges as a beacon of progress. The commitment to equitable development, combined with strategic partnerships and community empowerment, paints a promising picture for the city’s future. In this dynamic landscape, the Ford Foundation’s dedication to fostering positive change resonates, making a lasting impact on Detroit’s journey towards inclusivity and prosperity.