African leaders visit Detroit to learn immigrant integration strategies
Earlier this month, Global Detroit was honored to host a group of 25 Fellows from the Young African Leaders Initiative, a national effort to help rising African business and civic leaders connect with American businesses and leaders. We were invited to organize a discussion of the immigrant welcoming and integration strategies underway in metro Detroit, and how they may apply in the Fellows hometowns.
Taylor Nelson, Executive Programs Coordinator for the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office, facilitated a conversation on the municipal model and why the city has chosen immigration and welcoming as a strategy to revitalize the city. Akindele Akinyemi, National Co-Director of the National African Business Association, engaged the Fellows on international business relations, and the role this plays in international growth and Detroit’s economy. Global Detroit led a discussion of the NGO (nonprofit) model and entrepreneurship development.
The Fellows were interested in how entrepreneurship, collaboration, and other cross-sector efforts help build or rebuild societies. Despite the differences between their various hometowns and Detroit, the group drew parallels and identified ways they can draw from strategies at work locally to help them grow their business or social enterprise back home.