By Andre Ash, Digital Anchor
He makes his rounds and delivering quite the gift.
He’s handing out checks. Dwan Dandridge is on a mission. He’s working to impact and stabilize Detroit neighborhoods. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Black Leaders Detroit (BLD), a non-profit organization helping financially support Detroit Black-owned and based entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits.
“We wanted to something that was true to the mission of Black Leaders Detroit,” he said. “It’s making sure that the Black leaders in the city that are doing impactful work have access to capital.”
BLD nominated organizations doing impactful work each business day in February in honor of Black History Month. It selected a Black-led non-profit to receive a grant of $2,000 or more.
From the Coleman A Young Foundation, to the Detroit Youth Choir, The Detroit Justice Center, and several other organizations received grants.
“It’s incredible to have the support of our peers,” said Amanda Alexander, founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. The non-profit legal organization, which opened its doors in 2018, is one of the several groups to receive grants by BLD.
“Our is mission is making sure that there is a Detroit that works for everybody. We remove legal barriers for people who are at risks from being shut out in the future of this city. We help people stay out of jail and prison. We help people hold on to their housing and help people reunite with their kids.”
Dandridge, who rode his bike from Detroit to the Mackinac Policy Conference last year, believes that Black people not only need a “seat-at-the-table,” but already has the tools it needs to make its own table with seats for people of color.
“For us it was symbolic. We really want people to understand to what length we’re willing to go to make sure that there’s equity taking place.”
Black Leaders Detroit selected 20 Black owned non-profits.
Two non-profits will receive a $5,000 grant each, making the total of grants Black Leaders Detroit will give out in February to $50,000.