Speaking fairness, inclusion, and entrepreneurship in East Downtown Dearborn — and on-line

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The East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority takes a proactive approach to making their community fairer and more inclusive.

Earlier this year, the EDDDA unveiled its Homage to Black Excellence program, a series of events, panels and initiatives designed to recognize systemic racism and create a plan of action to fight racism.

February began with the Art of Courage: Black Lives Matter 360 exhibition, which will run from now until February 2022 in City Hall Park and in the Connector in City Hall Artspace.

This Saturday, February 20, marks the start of the panel discussions on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, which will take place every third Saturday of the month until May. The online events are free and open to the public.

This month’s panel features a discussion on small business and entrepreneurship.

“For Dearborn, it’s not just about the number of minority and women-owned companies that are here, but also whether those companies are contracting with the city and whether the city is a welcoming environment for minorities. That is the three-legged stool. If a leg is broken, it will be a challenge here and in the future, ”says Dr. Robbya Green-Weir, Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board and moderator of the panel discussions.

This month’s panel consists of a variety of community leaders and stakeholders representing local chambers of commerce, academic institutions, banks and more. There will be discussions on systemic racism as well as information for small business owners such as: B. Information on navigating the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and disaster loans for economic violations.

Future panels will include discussions on community safety, real estate development, and healthcare, education and other resources.

A survey to determine the direction of the conversation is available online.

“These panels are a way to involve our business owners, residents and visitors in order to get everyone involved in the process of improving the city,” said Julia Kapilango, EDDDA chairman.

Do you have a development message to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.