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About Us | Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren

About Us

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren formed on December 11, 2014, as an independent, diverse cross-section of Detroit leaders who came together to make recommendations to improve the city’s education system. Our first report (The Choice Is Ours) focused on how the state could help. Most of our recommendations were enacted. Now our priority is to focus on actions we can take as Detroiters to strengthen our schools.

The Coalition is made up of a Steering Committee, including six co-chairs, and eight leadership teams.



  • Tonya Allen, President & CEO, Skillman Foundation
  • Rev. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP
  • David Hecker, President, AFT Michigan/AFL-CIO
  • John Rakolta, Jr., CEO, Walbridge
  • Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain, General Motors Corp.
  • Angela Reyes, Executive Director, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation

Steering Committee Members

  • Ivy Bailey, President, Detroit Federation of Teachers
  • Sandy Baruah, President & CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Charlie Beckham, Group Executive for Neighborhoods, City of Detroit
  • Ralph Bland, CEO, New Paradigm for Education
  • Kim Cameron, William Russell Professor of Management & Organizations, Ross School of Business and Professor of Higher Education School of Education, University of Michigan
  • Clark Durant, Co-founder and former CEO, Cornerstone Schools
  • Bill Emerson, Vice Chairman, Quicken Loans
  • Angel Garcia, Principal, Western High School, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Dr. Herman Gray, President & CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • Steve Hamp, Chair, Michigan Education Excellence Foundation
  • Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director, MOSES
  • Tashaune Harden, Science Teacher, Cesar Chavez Academy Middle School
  • Arlyssa Heard, Parent Leader, 482Forward
  • Nadolyn Hoskins, Wayne County Detention and Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy
  • Ines de Jesus, Community Schools Consultant, Southwest Counseling Solutions
  • John Kennedy, President & CEO, Autocam Medical and Chair, Grand Valley State University
  • Latoya Kimbrough, Detroit Parent Network
  • Wendy Lewis Jackson, Managing Director for Detroit Program, Kresge Foundation
  • Dr. Randy Liepa, Superintendent, Wayne RESA
  • Dave Meador, Chair, Detroit Workforce Development Board
  • Faye Nelson, Vice President Public Affairs, DTE Energy
  • Roquesha O’Neal, Parent Advocate
  • Edna Reaves, Retired Teacher, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Mayowa Reynolds, Associate Minister, Fellowship Chapel and Teacher, Cass Technical High School
  • Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan
  • Jimmy Settles, Vice President, UAW
  • Larry Simmons, Executive Director, Brightmoor Alliance
  • Shirley Stancato, President & CEO, New Detroit
  • Mike Tenbusch, Interim CEO, Detroit Parent Network
  • Alice Thompson, CEO, Black Family Development
  • Dan Varner, CEO, Goodwill Industries
  • Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Roy Wilson, President, Wayne State University