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CMF Members at the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference

Michigan leaders in philanthropy, business, education and government gathered last week for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference. This year’s conference focused on bridging the future together to inspire radical collaboration across divides. 

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference (MPC) focused on “Bridging the Future Together” to inspire radical collaboration across divides. 

MPC programming focused on key themes critical to Michigan’s future including: 

  • Attracting businesses and jobs.  
  • Improving education outcomes to ensure workforce readiness.  
  • Strengthening infrastructure.
  • Leading with innovation and equity. 

Several CMF members hosted and engaged in sessions and conversations to help move Michigan forward.  

A welcome lunch sponsored by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), Knight Foundation and NetChoice.  

Linh Song, a board member of the Song Foundation, participated in a panel discussion with City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and others to discuss solving Michigan’s Housing Crisis.  

Linh Song discussed Ann Arbor’s efforts to recognize its Black historical neighborhoods. 

“What we wanted to do was make this a conversation - a deliberate conversation - on how we can remedy these inequities that came through in racial zoning and prioritizing single-family home ownership,” Linh Song said. 

Dug Song, a board member of the Song Foundation, and Senator Mallory McMorrow participated in a fireside chat on the vital importance of innovation for the state’s future. Dug Song noted that supporting start-ups is about community, not just programs. 

The fireside chat was followed by a special screening of Sure as the Wind, the story of JustAir co-founded by Darren Riley, an environmental tech company dedicated to the belief that everyone has a right to breathe clean air, as well as a sneak peek into future films that highlight the state’s entrepreneurial landscape.    

A conversation was hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and moderated by Yazeed Moore, director of Michigan Programs at WKKF, about the importance of racial equity in Michigan’s population growth.    

Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of the Detroit Program for The Kresge Foundation and CMF trustee, joined a discussion on the power of place. 

"It's more than bricks and mortar; it is how we think about those investments in education, public spaces, housing - all of those sectors need to come together not only to bridge but also braid in a way that provides greater opportunities for young people and families,” Lewis Jackson said. 

More CMF members hosted discussions during MPC including:

  • The Skillman Foundation hosted a panel discussion on understanding Gen Z’s political sway. 
  • The Kresge Foundation sponsored a conversation with Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Barack Obama Foundation, featuring conference chair Suzanne Shank, who is also board chair of The Skillman Foundation, and Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. Gilbert Family Foundation co-founder Dan Gilbert was a featured speaker.  
  • A women in leadership reception featured  La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of WKKF, and moderated by Laura Grannemann, executive director of Rocket Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation. 
  • The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation (RCWJF) sponsored a morning panel discussion on tackling talent needs for Michigan employers. RCWJF also hosted a panel discussion uplifting the importance of after-school programming, moderated by Dave Egner, president and CEO of RCWJF and CMF trustee, and featuring Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. 
  • The Song Foundation hosted an afternoon conversation about making Michigan a high-growth, high-wage state. 
  • CFSEM hosted a discussion about business-led approaches to solving Michigan’s talent crisis. 

Want more? 

Learn more about this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference and view session recordings.