Times have changed for ex-Detroiters living in New York, Chicago, L.A. and other cities.
For years, we had to contend with nothing but horrible headlines above our beloved hometown — corruption, blight, violence and bankruptcy. Now, though, that story is changing, and the city’s comeback is a source of pride for Detroit expatriates around the world. Not only are expats proudly sporting “Made in Detroit” products and Shinola watches, they are banding together to support the positive change in the city.
Thousands of expat Detroiters have joined groups like Detroit Nation, which formed in 2009 to bring Detroiters together wherever they may live in the world. With a mailing list of over 10,000 people in countless cities, we’ve hosted events, raised money and sent ideas and energy back to the city we love. Detroit Nation volunteers have provided pro bono consulting services to Detroit startups and community-based organizations, and dozens of Detroit Nation members have returned together to Detroit to see its resurgence first hand.
Other groups, like Born and Raised Detroit, Detroit Creativity Project, Detroit XPAC, and Michigan Corps have joined the effort as well.
Born and Raised Detroit runs a series of annual fundraising galas, bringing together expats to support Detroit nonprofits. Detroit Creativity Project, true to its L.A. heritage, brings performance arts to Detroit schools. Detroit XPAC, a political action committee, raises money for politicians it believes have the best interests of the city in mind. And Michigan Corps supports social innovation across Michigan through pitch competitions.
What we all have in common is a love for Detroit that we’ve carried with us even as our lives, our jobs, or our relationships have taken us away from home. The celebrated Detroit Homecoming gathering last month brought over 150 investors, executives, entrepreneurs and leaders back to the city for a look at the Detroit of today.
Detroit Nation is working together with leading expat organizations to ensure that all Detroiters have a way to positively impact the city in ways that are most meaningful to them — whether that means volunteering, donating to nonprofits and causes, investing in start-ups, or sharing exciting stories about changemakers in the city and state.
Perry Teicher, president,