Notes From our Leadership

Dr. Alaina Jackson, Managing Director

I left Detroit 20 years ago, in 1997, during which time I pursued my education (Northwestern University and University of Southern California) and worked and lived abroad (Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, etc.). My work, studies, research, and travel exposed me to inclusive housing policy and financing in Mexico, inclusive healthcare policies and programs in Germany, and inclusive business start-up financing and cooperative business models in Spain and Costa Rica. While living abroad, I learned about, and lived, the possibilities of inclusively designed and deployed systems and institutions. What these experiences affirmed for me, and what I believe in my heart and know to be true, is that inclusion is the superior strategy every time.

In every system and institution, and at every scale, inclusion will not fail us.

I returned to Detroit in 2017, seeking a new professional home where those experiences and lessons could be put to their best and highest uses. And, in Global Detroit, I’ve found that home as their first managing director. At Global Detroit, we believe that immigrant inclusion as an economic development strategy, where the regional economy welcomes refugees, humanitarian arrivals and immigrants of all backgrounds, education levels, and skill sets, will strengthen the regional economy and the economic outcomes for all residents.

2022 saw Global Detroit advance its efforts at multiple scales- individual (Common Bond work with immigrant and refugee women), household (DTE Energy Efficiency Assistance Program for low-income households), neighborhood (Social Cohesion demonstration project with long-term African American residents and their immigrant neighbors, and Trusted Connector work with small and micro businesses), institutional (Global Entrepreneur in Residence program, housed at several universities), regional (Southeast Michigan Refugee Collaborative), and systemic through research, advocacy, and policy work. I’m proud of our team’s accomplishments and the positive impact we’ve had on our community.

Our goals for 2023 stand on the accomplishments and lessons learned from 2022, and I’m excited to see where they take us.

While Steve, as the executive director, will oversee the growth of our statewide footprint through the first comprehensive immigrant-inclusion strategy for a state workforce upskilling program, and the creation of the Center for Immigrant Inclusive Economic Development, as the new managing director, I will oversee our core programs and operations in Southeast Michigan.

Thank you to the Global Detroit team and board of directors (past and present), funders, residents, and ecosystem partners that have welcomed me with open arms. I’m inspired and encouraged by the work you’ve invested in, the outcomes you’ve achieved, and the rich legacy you’ve established. I look forward to learning with you and from you, and to collaborating and co-creating with you. 2023 is going to be amazing.

Let’s go!

© 2023 Global Detroit
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© 2023 Global Detroit