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This Week on One Detroit:

Detroit unveils life-size bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Hart Plaza

Detroit is getting its very own Martin Luther King Jr. sculpture. As part of the Detroit Branch NAACP’s June Jubilee: A Celebration of Freedom events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Detroit Walk to Freedom, the organization will unveil a bronze sculpture of Dr. King in Hart Plaza at 10 a.m. Friday, June 23.  

This story also appeared in DPTV - One Detroit

The sculpture was created by Utah-based artist Stan Watts and donated to the city after Watts learned more about Dr. King’s connection to Detroit through the historic Walk to Freedom 60 years ago. There, Dr. King gave an early version of his famed “I Have A Dream” speech to more than 25,000 people inside Cobo Hall before reciting the famous speech standing atop the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington two months later.  

The City of Detroit’s Arts and Culture Director Rochelle Riley was key to securing the sculpture for the unveiling this week as part of the Detroit Branch NAACP commemorative June Jubilee: A Celebration of Freedom through June 25  

Ahead of the unveiling, One Detroit contributor Orlando Bailey, engagement director for BridgeDetroit, talked with Watts and Riley about the statue unveiling, how art can be used as a way to reflect history, the historical importance of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Detroit, and how the statue will serve as a centerpiece for the community.  

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Detroit’s Northwestern High School hosts inaugural Juneteenth parade

Juneteenth — it’s the newest federal holiday and communities in Michigan and across the nation are finding ways to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and the end of slavery. 

Since the inaugural holiday was signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021, several communities have been organizing cookouts, parades, block parties and more to celebrate the holiday. New to the community this year was Detroit’s Northwestern High School parade, organized by the school’s academic interventionist Alex Nichols.  

The parade joins the Highland Park Juneteenth parade that’s been going on for a few years now, and it’s likely others will follow suit. Community organizers expect their traditions will continue to grow and new events and opportunities will be formed each year. 

One Detroit senior producer Bill Kubota visited the Northwestern High School parade on June 19th for the federal observance of Juneteenth. Plus, he talks with administrators and students from the high school about what Juneteenth means to them and how people can learn more about it. 

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Detroit plans to use all its $827 million of pandemic aid by the end of 2025

The city of Detroit is planning on spending all of its’ $827 million in federal pandemic aid by 2025, a year ahead of the U.S. Treasury’s deadline to have the money fully spent. But where will that money be invested in the city?  

The City has spent some of the American Rescue Plan Act funding already to establish new job training and home repair programs, as well as to provide basement flood protection and legal aid for residents facing evictions. Future funding could be focused on down payment housing assistance, emergency shelters, nonprofit funding support, community violence intervention programs, improvements to parks and greenways, digital equity and workforce training, and more, according to BridgeDetroit reporter Malachi Barrett.  

One Detroit producer Will Glover sat down with Barrett, who’s been following the story closely, to better understand how this final swath of funding will impact Detroiters’ daily lives. They dig into where the money is going, when it will be spent and how much ARPA funding has been spent by the city already. Plus, they discuss what the critics think and why the City wants to spend its funding ahead of the national deadline. 

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One Detroit Weekend: June 23, 2023

​Summer is officially here! Are you looking for some arts, culture, and family-friendly fun to experience around the Detroit area this weekend? From the Rocket Mortgage Classic to the Detroit Walk to Freedom 60-year anniversary and a hot air balloon show, metro Detroit has a lot to offer. 

One Detroit contributors Cecelia Sharpe and Dave Wagner of 90.9 WRCJ shares what you can do around the Detroit area during the June 23 weekend and into next week on “One Detroit Weekend.” 

List of Upcoming Events:  

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Stephen Henderson is the Founding Editor of BridgeDetroit, and a former writer and editor for the Detroit Free Press, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary,...

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