New Detroit was formed in response to civil unrest in 1967 that uncovered a host of entrenched social and community ills. At the request of then Michigan Governor George Romney and Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, business executive Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. convened a unique coalition—the nation’s first—to identify what went wrong in July 1967, what needed to change, and how to make that change happen.
In recent years, New Detroit had shifted to operating more programs to focus on racial understanding and racial equity. New Detroit seeks to address inequities in the region by improving interpersonal behavior and addressing structural racism in more tangible, measurable ways. In 2020, New Detroit published a "Racial Equity Highlights" report to identify measurable disparities among different racial and ethnic groups in the region. These highlights lift up a range of issues concerning racial equity, beginning with a section summarizing the emerging racial equity implications of the COVID-19 virus. The report includes highlights in the following categories:
• Income and Wealth
• Employment and Entrepreneurship
• School Discipline and Incarceration
In every part of this country, we see symptoms of racism, and all too often, we talk in isolation about treating the symptoms rather than working to cure the root cause itself. We must all agree that racism is a problem facing our nation and we must all work toward dismantling it head-on as a moral imperative.