Team Members of Global Detroit
steve.tobocman (at) gmail.com , 4444 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
Steve Tobocman has spent the past three years spearheading Global Detroit, a regional economic revitalization strategy for the Detroit area focused on immigration and global connections. Steve is the Managing Partner of New Solutions Group, a mission-driven consulting firm that develops smart, innovative, and collaborative solutions that often challenge old paradigms that often restrain success and opportunity. New Solutions Group works with a diverse array of clients, including local, statewide and national community development organizations, regional chambers of commerce, foundations, nonprofit organizations, government, and for-profit entities.
From 2003-2008, Steve served as the State Representative from Michigan 12th State House District in southwestern Detroit, one of the state’s largest immigrant communities. In his last term, Steve served as the Majority Floor Leader, the second-ranking position in the House. During his time in the Michigan Legislature, Steve spearheaded efforts to protect immigrants from predatory immigrant service providers and wrote one of the nation’s strong consumer protection laws for immigrants, the Michigan Immigration Clerical Act. Steve fought to create in-state tuition equity for undocumented students, insure immigrant access to work-study and state housing assistance programs, and fought against attacks on immigrants obtaining Michigan drivers licenses. He also championed a variety of community economic development policies.
Currently, Steve also splits his time with Global Detroit by co-directing the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University, as well as the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force, a 200-member organization that works to fight the foreclosure crisis in Michigan. He also has served as the Interim Director for the Community Development Advocates of Detroit, the Detroit trade association for community development.
francis,grunow (at) gmail.com , sloan.herrick (at) gmail.com , sarah.szurpicki (at) gmail.com , and thebrennangroup (at) comcast.net , 4444 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
Francis, Sloan, and Sarah are partners at New Solutions Group, LLC, a mission-driven consulting firm that develops smart, innovative, and collaborative solutions that often challenge old paradigms that often restrain success and opportunity. Together they provide support for a number of Global Detroit initiatives.
Kate Brennan is the principal of The Brennan Group, a consulting firm partner of New Solutions Group on the Global Detroit project. Kate’s work focuses on the Global Detroit Welcome Mat and marketing.
New Michigan Media (NMM) is a network of ethnic and minority media across the state of Michigan, organized in 2006 by Professor Hayg Oshagan, director of NMM, at Wayne State University’s Department of Communication. The NMM network includes 100+ ethnic and minority media outlets in Michigan, which represent hundreds of thousands of readers, viewers and listeners in the Michigan media market. Prominent members include the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Jewish News, Arab News, Michigan Korean Weekly, and Latino Press.
In the year 2008, NMM held newsmaker briefings, conferences, workshops, convenings, provided an ethnic news server and created an ethnic and minority media directory. Global Detroit has partnered with New Michigan Media to produce a 1,000-person conference on “Immigrants and Michigan’s Economic Future” at Wayne State University in July 2011 that brought Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos, and other regional dignitaries together.
NMM is funded and supported by a grant from the McCormick Foundation and has received funding from the New Economy Initiative for Southeastern Michigan to write stories about ethnic and minority entrepreneurs.
sharb (at) accesscommunity.org , ACCESS, 6451 Schaefer Rd. 2nd Floor Dearborn, MI 48126
Sonia Harb oversees the Employment and Training, Youth and Education Programs at ACCESS, the largest Arab American human services nonprofit in the United States. With eight locations and more than 100 programs serving metro Detroit, ACCESS offers a wide range of services to a diverse population, including the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a national network of independent Arab American community-based organizations. Established in 2004, there are currently 22 NNAAC members in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The Network’s primary mission is the development of Arab American community-based nonprofit organizations that understand and meet the needs and represent the concerns of Arab Americans at the local level and collectively address these issues on the national level.
ACCESS works with the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit to coordinate the Global Detroit Welcome Mat network of some 70 nonprofit agencies in southeast Michigan whose primary missions serve immigrant, refugee, and ethnic residents. The Welcome Mat network was built during the Global Detroit study process and has been bringing these agencies together on a quarterly basis since 2010. Meetings have included capacity-building workshops for members of the network, as well as speakers, networking, and introductions to key regional leaders. A searchable database of Welcome Mat organization service providers can be found on the right side of this website.
susanree (at) lsscm.org
Susan Reed is the Director of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, which houses the Welcoming Michigan campaign, Michigan’s affiliate of the Welcoming America campaign. Welcoming Michigan is grassroots-driven collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans. The ultimate goal of Welcoming Michigan is to create a welcoming atmosphere – community by community – in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometowns in Michigan. Welcoming Michigan accomplishes its mission through community organizing and civic engagement, as well as a mass communications strategy.
The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is a resource center for advocates seeking equal justice for Michigan’s immigrants. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities are fully integrated and respected through education and training on immigration law, training and mentoring volunteer immigration attorneys, leading systemic advocacy to protect immigrants’ rights, building coalitions, and promoting respect and understanding among immigrants and receiving communities through the Welcoming Michigan initiative.
Southwest Solutions, Housing Opportunity Center, 3627 West Vernor Highway, Detroit, MI 48216
Hector Hernandez serves as the Director of the Housing Opportunity Center for Southwest Housing Solutions. In this role, Hector supervises a network of staff and partners that comprise the Global Detroit Neighborhood Development Collaborative (ProsperUs Detroit). This $2.4 million initiative will work in the North End, Cody-Rouge, and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods over the next three years to provide micro-enterprise training, technical assistance, and lending programs to low-income immigrant, refugee, ethnic, and African-American entrepreneurs. Modeled upon the nationally-recognized Neighborhood Development Center in Minneapolis/St. Paul, this program expects to train over 300 low-income, minority entrepreneurs and develop some 75 new businesses.
A product of Southwest Detroit, Hernandez was born and raised in southwest Detroit, went to grade school and high school at Holy Redeemer, and has been working on addressing the housing and development needs in the area for two decades. In 1989, Hernandez joined the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) as a property specialist, and then became its Section 8 Area Manager in 1994. From 2004 until joining the HOC, Hernandez was director of Assisted Housing Programs for the Detroit Housing Commission. The Housing Opportunity Center provides bilingual housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services, homebuyer education, home repair loans, and financial fitness and credit counseling and is recognized as one of the state’s leading nonprofit centers for its work.
athena (at) urcmich.org , MSU Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Athena Trentin joined the University Research Corridor in September 2011 to lead the Global Talent Retention Initiative, which was the outgrowth of Global Detroit’s International Student Retention initiative. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field of International Education, Athena Trentin specializes in helping international students and scholars succeed in every aspect of their lives while studying and/or performing research at U.S. universities. She has worked as an international student and scholar advisor at Tier I research institutions such as the California Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan.
The University Research Corridor (URC) is an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University to transform, strengthen and diversify the state’s economy. The URC partners formed this alliance to improve the understanding of the vital role these three universities have played, and will play, in revitalizing the state’s economy.
The Global Talent Retention Initiative is the only full-time regional program in America to retain international students after they graduate. The goal of GTRI is to provide a central resource on living and working in the Detroit area for Michigan’s international students who wish to take advantage of their practical training eligibility during their degree programs and after graduation. GTRI is assisting in Global Detroit’s International Student Retention program