Stories that Inspire Us
America is a nation of immigrants. Immigrants helped build America, and they continue to help make the U.S. the most prosperous nation on earth. Like most American cities, Detroit is certainly no exception to the immigrant experience. Detroit grew strong with waves of immigrants. And as immigrants came to Detroit, the city prospered.
Evidence of immigrant inspiration, innovation, perseverance and success can be seen everywhere. From a burgeoning restaurant in Southwest Detroit to the design and craft of a soaring skyscraper in New Center. From the halls of science and medicine in Midtown or Ann Arbor, to the growing automotive design sector in Oakland County. And from developing a new engineering process at an auto plant on the city’s far east side to developing a new way of growing plants at a neighborhood community garden on the city’s far west side, immigrants are everywhere, fundamentally contributing to our city’s and region’s greatness.
Metro Detroit is full of immigrant stories that inspire. Here are stories of some of the everyday innovators, leaders, and neighbors who call Detroit home.
Randal Charlton has led many lives: journalist, agricultural innovator, public relations, founder of a biotech company and now, executive director of TechTown. He moved to Michigan from Great Britain in 2000 for the most capitalist of reasons: the numbers made sense. “I was coming off [...]
Stephen Rapundalo was attracted to Michigan for its economic opportunities, and today its his job to help create them for others. Rapundalo is president and CEO of the Michigan Biosciences Industry Association, which fosters growth in the state’s bioscience industry. Rapundalo grew up in Canada, [...]
It’s no surprise that Rashida Tlaib is an advocate for improved access to human services, education and civil rights. As the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, she represents Southwest Detroit, where she was raised the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. She previously worked [...]
Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1955, Osama Siblani came to the United States in 1976 to pursue his education. He completed bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Detroit three years later and assumed the position of Vice President at Energy International, Inc., [...]
Ronald Wong’s parents immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1930’s and made their living in the restaurant industry. He migrated to Michigan in 1971 after getting degrees in math, physics and business from universities in California. While working in the aerospace industry in his home [...]