Black giving is rooted in a history of collective liberation and an embodied understanding of shared fate. Detroit, a majority Black city for the last century and a geographic hub for Black culture, holds a unique and extensive chronicle of Black philanthropy. Detroit Gives Black paints a small corner of a large portrait of Detroiters over decades, and illuminates how we have always been resourceful in creating pathways of hope for our community and loved ones.
The eight individuals and organizations here were selected by a local nomination committee as examples of innovative philanthropy happening right here in Detroit.
While we celebrate their contribution and learn their stories, our hope is that you are reminded of similar stories in your family, neighborhood and networks of people that share this same spirit of giving.
Learn their stories and share your own stories of giving.
Marlowe Stoudamire Making a Difference Award
Kirk Mayes is an entrepreneur and successful nonprofit executive, most known for scaling the distribution of services at Forgotten Harvest under his eight-year run as the organization’s executive director. Mayes is the son of Jamaican parents who immigrated to the United States to create better lives. He attended Brother Rice High School in Birmingham, Michigan and completed his college education at Michigan State University.
Giving Back Nonprofit Award: Midnight Golf
Reneé Fluker is the founder of the Midnight Golf Program, a nonprofit dedicated to equipping determined young adults through life skills training, proactive coaching, long-term mentoring, and the discipline of golf in order to succeed in college, their careers, and beyond.
John W. Barfield Trailblazer Award
Denise Brooks Williams
Denise Brooks Williams is the Executive Vice President and CEO, Care Delivery System Operations. Throughout her career she has been able to focus on areas of interest such as health equity and mentoring in communities. During the height of Covid, she had the privilege of serving on a governor-appointed statewide task force addressing racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. The work resulted in improved outcomes for many communities throughout Michigan.
Howard Sims Lifetime of Excellence Award
In 1996, Gail Perry-Mason took action to address the underrepresentation of Black investors by establishing Money Matters for Youth. This organization focuses on teaching financial awareness and literacy to adolescents, requiring only a modest $50 investment to participate.
As an author, Perry-Mason penned Money Matters for Families, serving as a practical guide for managing finances, including providing valuable insights for DaimlerChrysler employees. She also co-authored Girl, Make Your Money Grow, empowering individuals to take control of their financial well-being. Money Matters For Youth has empowered over 7,000 youth with financial literacy.
Alma Greer Lifetime of Teaching Award
Students have walked through Marilyn McCormick’s classroom door and exited having learned the skills of communication, performance, and storytelling. She has taken students abroad, to visit prestigious, colleges and universities, and for professional auditions - experiences that took them beyond the borders of home. These students can now be seen on television shows, films, and stage productions. They are the recipients of the NAACP Image Award, the MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and have been featured at the Sundance film festival. McCormick received the Tony award for Excellence in Theatre Education.
Dwan Dandridge Emerging Black Philanthropist Award
Daniel A. Washington is the founder and executive director of NW Goldberg Cares. The lifelong Detroiter is a leader and creative guided by the needs of his community - NW Goldberg. A Black kid from a westside neighborhood, home to Motown sound and the often forgotten history of the 1967 Detroit Riots, he is adamant that his community must not be left behind. In his work, he champions the value of accessible public spaces, high-quality single-family renovations and dynamic youth and family-based programs to create a more equitable society for the current and future generations of residents.
Ora Williams Community Champion Award
Avalon Village is a nurturing and healing project, founded to uplift an underserved community and that has also helped Mama Shu heal from personal tragedy. In 2007, her son, Jakobi RA, was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the age of two and in 2021 her older son, Chinyelu, was murdered at the age of 23. Rather than fall into despair, Harris chose to heal and honor the memory of her sons by creating something wonderful for the people of Highland Park. She and her team lovingly maintain more than 40 parcels of land and 5 structures on Avalon between Woodward and Second, an effort that has received media attention around the world, with many exciting future plans for the village's continued growth.
Artist: William Daniels
Vivian Pickard Legacy of Service Award
Kenyetta M. Campbell is an Executive Director and servant leader at Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance CDC. With over 15 years of experience, she has founded and led two non-profit organizations, P.E.E.P.S. and Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, CDC. Her work has been widely recognized for its groundbreaking efforts in developing youth, families, and communities. Campbell's passion lies in her local neighborhood, Detroit's Cody Rouge Community, where she has co-created and overseen various initiatives such as Cody Rouge College Access Network, Grow Cody Rouge Project, DEX Design's Social Innovation Institute, and more. Additionally, she served as the leader of the Skillman Foundation Good Neighborhood Initiative in Cody Rouge for a decade, where she played a key role in brokering a $400,000 deal to establish Don Bosco Hall, a multi-service community center addressing youth development needs identified by the community.