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An Open Letter to Black Women Who Are Lovingly Devoted and Committed to Supporting and Protecting Robert Kelly

This one is heavy. Let me set the table in love and understanding and start by saying that by the time you are done reading this you will either appreciate the letter or not. I am okay with that, as silence breaking can go either way in a community where silence has been a protector […]

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I Have Nowhere Else To Report This

Monday, August 3, 2015:  I’m sitting on a plane on my way to DC for an organization wide event. My stomach is knotted as I think about seeing a co-worker who I have filed a sexual harassment claim against. I am a Dream Director. I empower youth and my community to believe that anything is […]

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The Need to be Super Mommy … in a Wheelchair

BEST of SHETROIT … We ran Tameka’s story in 2012 after she had her FIRST-born Miles. We’re featuring it now on the occasion of her SECOND child, Naima, starting to walk … (GO Tameka!)   I’m the type of young woman who always wanted a family. As a little girl, I played with baby dolls, feeding […]

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How Grandma Reacted When I Told Her I Was Gay

On one of my last visits to see my 90-year-old Grandma Pearly before she died, I decided to take the plunge and tell her I’m gay. I hold on to that complicated and intense conversation so dearly now.  It was a tough one for me because while I loved her deeply, we didn’t always get […]

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Juicing While Black

I’m walking into a civic engagement training in Midtown Detroit when a white lady stops me, glances at my hand and asks, “What did you juice?” I have my workbag in one hand and a mason jar filled with green liquid in the other. “It’s kale, celery, apples, and grapes,” and both of us say, […]

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What They Don’t Tell You About Detroit

 “Sometimes you think you know what you’re looking at, and you actually have no idea.” -Sandra Simmons (Mama Sandra), Hush House, Detroit   I came to Detroit knowing very little about the city. What I did know was love, and I rested in the understanding that love was enough to take me anywhere. And what […]

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It was Either Curling into a Fear Ball or Launching into Action (Guess What She Chose)

It was getting late – about 8pm last November. Varsity basketball practice had wrapped up and Detroiter Alyssia Akers couldn’t catch a ride home. So 18-year-old Alyssia (pronounced: A-lee-see-a) decided she didn’t have much choice and started walking the five miles home from Central High on Detroit’s Westside.  What happened that night has shaped the […]

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How Grace Lee Boggs Helped Me Define My “Asian American-ness”

How does a young Asian American woman find her compass in an environment where her “Asian-ness” can foster confusion and alienation? With the release of the hailed documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Shetroit revisits Stephanie Chang’s post on the indelible and life-changing impression that Grace made on the evolution of her […]

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Here’s How to Get Up, Admit Your Self-Worth Fears and Own Your Greatness

When was the last time you curled-up into in a ball of shame and let those judging voices in your head tell you how inadequate and pathetic you are? If that sounds familiar, read on … as this Detroit woman, a leader in our community, rescued herself from the scathing criticism of a total stranger. […]

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Delighting Detroit Parents with an Edgy New School

“I didn’t know this was here!  I never knew this Detroit existed!” 19-year-old Desmond Burkett was both shocked and delighted – with a tinge of regret as he said that. Desmond is thoughtful and outgoing but dropped out of school in 10th grade defeated and angry over the crumbling condition of his Detroit school and […]

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