Detroit 67 Project

Detroit 67  Receives the Support of the Knight Foundation

The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to receive a gift of $200,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of its Detroit 67 community engagement project and exhibition. The multi-year project, currently underway, is collecting first-hand stories to commemorate Detroit’s July 1967 civil unrest, convening programming to explore their current relevance and culminating in a comprehensive, balanced and experiential museum exhibition, set to open in June 2017. The Society was one of seven Detroit arts and cultural organizations to receive Knight funding in September 2016 for projects focused around 1967.

The major grant announcement rounds out a successful summer for Detroit 67:

• From May 31-June 3, Society staff presented the project to the business and philanthropic community at the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference. Partnering with the Detroit Regional Chamber and PNC Bank, we presented an unprecedented panel on opportunity and inclusion in Detroit, moderated by Soledad O’Brien, national broadcast journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group.

• To complement the dialogue at Mackinac, the Society also partnered with the Detroit Equity Action Lab to host a community conversation on economic inclusion at the Detroit Historical Museum on June 2 that was open to all.

• On July 23, we welcomed nearly 400 guests to a community open house at the museum, which featured a powerful panel discussion on the impacts and legacy of 1967 by some of Detroit’s cultural leaders.

• From August 15-19, we convened informational sessions for organizations wishing to become project partners, who will join over 100 groups and individuals currently engaged.

• Throughout the summer, we hosted public oral history collection days, bringing the number of unique first-hand stories in our online archive to over 200.

• From September 14-17, we presented the project to a national audience of attendees to the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) annual meeting, which took place at Cobo Hall. Project advisor Thomas Sugrue was featured as the conference’s keynote speaker. 

Watch for upcoming events, including more oral history collection events, partner information sessions and public programs planned for the fall.

Other funders of Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward include Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Ford Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, Lear Corporation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and PNC Foundation.