Watch a Replay of 2024 Pancakes & Politics Forum 1 with Dan Gilbert and Dennis Archer Jr.

Thursday morning, around 400 attendees from various sectors gathered at Campus Martius One for the 19th edition of the Michigan Chronicle’s Pancakes & Politics Speakers’ Forum, a key event for addressing critical issues in Detroit and its Black community. The forum, known for sparking significant discussions on Detroit’s socio-economic challenges, featured billionaire Dan Gilbert, who highlighted the city’s holistic development, extending beyond downtown. The event, streamed live with WDIV, facilitated a rich dialogue between Gilbert and Dennis Archer, Jr., with inputs from the audience.

This year’s focus, “A Conversation with Dan Gilbert,” centered on Detroit’s challenges and opportunities, emphasizing youth retention and economic growth. Gilbert’s recovery journey and strategies for keeping young talent in Michigan were notable topics, highlighting the importance of creating an appealing environment for the younger generation. The forum also delved into the housing market, aiming to align with Gen Z’s aspirations for homeownership.

The discussion extended to Detroit’s hospitality and downtown development, stressing the need to enhance the city’s appeal through quality dining, accommodation, and an inviting atmosphere, especially in light of the upcoming NFL draft. The importance of supporting the small business community and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem was also emphasized.

A significant announcement was the partnership between CEO of Real Times Media and Publisher of Michigan Chronicle Hiram Jackson and WDIV’s VP and General Manager Bob Ellis, symbolizing a pivotal merger between Black press and broadcast media, aiming to amplify local voices and narratives. The forum celebrated Black excellence, covering topics like Black Tech Saturdays and the role of Black developers, highlighting the event’s impact and commitment to Detroit’s progress and inclusivity.

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