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About Us




In 2020, Detroit’s corporate and civic leaders made an unprecedented public pledge to actively fight inequity in Detroit. They pledged to devote resources to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion became a reality in Detroit. Bishop Edgar Vann, a lifelong Detroiter and champion of equity, conceived of Detroit Equity Inc., (formerly known as Detroit Equity Report)  as a way to help the corporate community deliver on the commitment they made.

The nonprofit founded by Bishop Edgar Vann in partnership with attorney and civic leader Dr. Bertram Marks, D.Min., is committed to ensuring Detroit’s comeback is within reach of every Detroiter in every Detroit neighborhood. DEI’s mission is to work with Detroit’s corporate community to achieve its goal of increasing the number of Detroiters and People of Color represented in Detroit’s workforce, connected to procurement and supplier opportunities and in the pipeline for executive leadership. 


Detroit Equity Inc. will support Detroit’s corporate leaders and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion professionals by creating a space where Detroit-specific data and best practices can be developed and shared. Starting in Fall 2022, DEI will host symposiums and events geared towards enhancing the impact of DEI work in Detroit. The Detroit Equity Inc. website will also serve as a resource that can be utilized 24/7. 


In addition to its nonprofit services, Detroit Equity Inc. also offers a range of consulting services to Detroit corporations committed to taking significant and meaningful steps towards bridging the equity gap in Detroit.



Detroit Equity Inc. is focused on three principal areas of diversity, equity and inclusion:

  1. Increasing diversity in corporate employment, leadership and boards

  2. Increasing procurement to minority and women owned businesses

  3. Community based work to improve awareness and participation by individuals in corporate programs and policies aimed at reducing inequity and exclusion



Detroit Equity Inc. will create a series of town hall, community- based meetings and forums in order to understand what distressed communities want, need, and know about corporate employment, advancement, and procurement programs. Data will be collected during these events to determine the most efficient method of driving Detroit’s workforce solutions. These meetings will partner corporate leaders and community residents in a dialogue that will increase familiarity and trust between corporations and the community.

Detroit Equity Inc. data and academic divisions will evaluate the data collected from the community. Survey tools and benchmarking offering comparability to communities where employment, procurement, and awareness metrics are high will be made available. These tools will provide corporations with a clear understanding of community progress. The learnings from these surveys, benchmarking, and data evaluation and analysis will be kept confidential.

The analysis of the data will help shape programs and policies to increase knowledge, engagement, and participation in corporate programs designed to reduce inequity.

Mayor Mike Duggan has pledged to support the mission of DEI. In furtherance of his support, Detroit Equity Inc. will maintain active partnerships with the DEGC, Detroit Means Business, and Detroit Workforce Development. Much of the work done by these organizations in the areas of hiring and procurement will serve as learning tools and help buttress the activity of Detroit Equity Inc.  

Detroit Equity Inc. will organize and conduct best practice symposiums for corporations active in DEI matters. Symposiums will connect corporate leaders, HR and DEI professionals. Symposiums will include key-note speakers, breakout sessions, and round table discussions. Each event will have an expected outcome to enhance the DEI work of Detroit corporations.   Through the symposiums, participants will exchange information, share best practices, and determine what might be done to improve outcomes relative to diversity in employment, leadership, board participation and procurement for women and minority owned business. The data and academic partners of Detroit Equity Inc. will determine the metrics to be used to measure the level of impact the townhalls, symposiums, and community meetings have on DEI. A “Best Practices” website will be created that will allow partners of Detroit Equity Inc. easy access to understanding which DEI actions are having the greatest impact.

The expectation is that these efforts will result in a double digit increase in corporate employment, leadership, boards, workforce, economic development, and procurement to minority and women owned businesses.

This “ground level” engagement of Detroit Equity Inc. will help corporations accelerate their work on DEI issues.


Detroit Equity Inc. (D.E.I.) is fundraising by seeking founding corporate and philanthropic partners. Partners are asked to contribute an initial sum and pay yearly dues. This funding strategy will help Detroit Equity Inc. cover start up and initial operational costs. The bulk of the funds raised in this manner will be steered toward a rainy-day fund.

The founding partners will populate a CEO advisory group to aid with strategy. Becoming a founding partner is not a prerequisite for being a part of the CEO advisory group, however those that are founding partners will enjoy the right of first refusal. The advisory group will be separate from the governing board, but both boards may contain some of the same members.


Thus far, the following corporate leaders have pledged to become founding partners:

Thus far, the following corporate leaders have pledged to become founding partners:


Gary Torgow

Chairman of the

Board of Directors

Huntington Bank


Jerry Norcia

President and CEO

DTE Energy

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Dan Loepp


Blue Cross Blue Shield

of Michigan

DEI Leadership

The following leaders have pledged support for the mission of Detroit Equity Inc.:

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Wright Lassiter


Henry Ford Health System

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Rev. Wendell Anthony


Detroit Branch, NAACP

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Mayor Mike Duggan


City of Detroit


Roy Wilson M.D.


Wayne State University


Detroit Equity Inc. will not depend on founding partner contributions to sustain the organization into the future. Instead, the organization will be sustained through a fee for service model. Helping to accelerate knowledge and participation of a corporations’ DEI programs and policies and helping to increase diverse participation in corporate employment, leadership, boards, workforce, and procurement of minority and women owned businesses will be offered as a service to corporations for a fee. 

Detroit Equity Inc. hopes to be providing services to up to six corporations for years 1-3 and up to 12 corporations by years 5-8.

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