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New Detroit series closes the racial, ethnic and cultural divide

October 15 2013 | no comments

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It’s a series of dialogues aimed to cross cultures, break color lines, and get Detroiters to speak candidly about race relations in the city.

The New Detroit Multicultural Leadership Series is underway.

7 Action News reporter Andy Choi will be attending each monthly session, and reporting on them for Detroit 2020. He talked with New Detroit President & CEO Shirley Stancato about the program.


How much do you know about the people who don’t look, sound, or live the way you do? That’s the question New Detroit’s Multicultural Leadership Series hopes to tackle. And they’ve invited us to help examine Detroit’s rich, often complex, cultural history.

“And just instinctively, people are more comfortable with people who don’t look like them. And so we said it’s important for us to help people develop these relationships,” Stancatao said.

From the boundaries along the streets, to the ones in our minds, Shirley Stancato’s New Detroit is focused on identifying and eliminating racial disparities in the city. As President and CEO of the 46 year old organization, Stancato says the group’s annual Multicultural Leadership Series is a safe haven for professionals of all backgrounds to speak candidly and broaden their knowledge of the people around them.

“And each month, you learn about a different community, you sit next to someone who doesn’t look like you. You hear that person’s story. And then you are able to connect. Connect really on a human level. And when you have those relationships, your approach to solving the issues will be different.”

The hope is to find trust, eliminate fear, and forge universal truths.

“People not only learn about other cultures, but they learn an awful lot about themselves,” Stancato told Detroit 2020. “So we’ve made a lot of progress, but we really still have a long way to go.”

The end of racism may be a long way out, but the Multicultural Leadership Series continues to serve as the catalyst to a city yearning for new levels of racial equity. In Detroit, Andy Choi, 7 Action News.

Click here to learn more about New Detroit.


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