(Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chanel Hampton)
Once ravaged by blight, economic downfall, and business failures, the city of Detroit, is now a city on the rise. In recent years, Detroit has made a turn-around, and its partly due to its citizens. As Detroit continues to show its resilience, businesses are filtering back into the city, and its economy is building.
Strategic Community Partners, an organization that strives to ensure the Black community and its leaders can impact change in their neighborhoods, celebrates its first five years of serving in Detroit. Standing on values of passion, excellence, and integrity, SCP works to provide a more equitable community for those most underrepresented.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chanel Hampton began her career as a teacher and shifted gears to impact the city she grew up in.
“I was gone for about 15 years before returning to Detroit. I returned in 2014,” Hampton says.
Specifically geared towards the Black community in Detroit, Strategic Community Partners has one goal in mind.
“One of our unapologetic commitments is how to get a seat at the table and stay there. Part of our work is making sure people who look like us have a seat at the table,” Hampton explains.
While committing to the Black community, SCP has partnered with multiple organizations to bring about opportunity and change.
“Detroit was named an impact community by President Barack Obama. We worked with President Obama during his time in the White House hosting the Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit, where over 1,800 young men joined, and over 300 young men gained employment,” Hampton says.
In addition to working with the former President, Strategic Community Partners has also worked with United Way to exposes high schoolers to higher education, Mayor Mike Duggan, and other community leaders in securing a 1 million dollar grant as well as Teach 313, an initiative to bring teachers to the city.
In 2019, Strategic Community Partners opened a community center operating out of the Fitzgerald neighborhood on Detroit’s west-side to be accessible to the community they serve. It provides a space for other Black-owned businesses and organizations to work and operate free of charge.
“We opened and renovated a community center with no loans or grants. We were intentional in buying property and making sure people know it’s Black-owned, and we aren’t leasing or renting this space,” Hampton explains.
Strategic Community Partners has grown to become a national organization with offices in St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
“We’ve accomplished more in the first five years than I envisioned sitting in my living room writing the business plan,” Hampton says.
As COVID-19 shifted how many businesses operate, Hampton explains her first concern was her employees.
“The world stopped overnight. We brought in mental health professionals and added an additional stipend in addition to their salaries to do what their souls needed,” Hampton shares. “We’re continuing that indefinitely, adding additional stipends for health and wellness.”
As Strategic Community Partners works to give the Black community a voice in decision-making processes, Hampton has a vision for the organization’s next five years.
“We have a strategic plan of where we hope to grow. I want to hire the same young people we’ve worked, and I want our staff to continue to evolve and continue working with communities across the country,” Hampton shares.
In addition to her plan, Hampton hopes others with a goal will work hard to see it through to the end.
“The first year and a half of business, it was just me. People don’t always have to see your vision. Do the work and remember why you’re doing it.”