Press Release

Detroit Future City to Host Inaugural Blight Bootcamp Saturday

June 4, 2014

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office’s inaugural Blight Bootcamp on Saturday, June 7 will bring together the leadership of Detroit’s many successful blight fighting initiatives to speak with attendees about ways to get involved in eliminating blight in their communities.

Blight Bootcamp is free to attend, and will take place at Wayne County Community College District, 101 W. Fort Street, in downtown Detroit from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The DFC Implementation Office has secured two keynote speakers: Detroit Blight Removal Taskforce Member Linda Smith and City of Detroit Department of Neighborhoods Director Charlie Beckham will speak at from noon to 1 p.m. during lunch.

Both Smith and Beckham are at the forefront of important blight elimination efforts in the city of Detroit. Just last week the Detroit Blight Removal Taskforce released a comprehensive plan to eradicate blight, it included many of the recommendations from the DFC Strategic Framework.

The 2014 Blight Bootcamp will also feature 12 panel discussions and community workshops about blight removal resources, best practices and innovative tools already available to increase impact of blight elimination efforts.

Detroit City Council member and DFC Steering Committee member Saunteel Jenkins will kick-off the Blight Bootcamp with brief remarks. The day-long schedule of events is as follows:

8:00 – 9:30 AM Open Registration
8:20 – 9:30 AM Plenary Session & Panel Discussion

Dan Kinkead, Detroit Future City
-Victoria Kovari, City of Detroit Department of Neighborhoods
-Robert Linn, Detroit Land Bank Authority
-Luther Keith, ARISE Detroit!

9:45 to 11:00 AM Morning Breakout Sessions (1hr 15 min)
Session 1 – Rm. # 236 Data Driven Decision Making
Session 2- Atrium Advocating for Your Neighborhood
Session 3 – Rm. # 144 A Community Arts to Fight Blight
Session 4 – Rm. # 144 B Resident Led Safety
Session 5 – Rm. # 144 C Youth Engagement in Neighborhood Development
Session 6 – Rm. # 144 D Transforming Blight Into Urban Gardens
11:15 – 12:00 Atrium Innovate Idea Presentation
12:30 – 1:30 Atrium Lunch & Keynote address

– Detroit Blight Removal Taskforce Member Linda Smith

-City of Detroit Department of Neighborhoods Director Charlie Beckham

1:45 to 3:00 Afternoon Breakout Sessions (1 hr 15 min)
Sessions 1 – Rm. # 236 Blight Mitigation Resources
Session 2 – Atrium Environmental Blight and Public Health
Session 3 – Rm. # 144A Green Space Solutions
Session 4 – Rm. # 144B Deconstruction vs. Demolition
Session 5 – Rm. # 144C Repurposing Commercial Vacancies
Session 6 – Rm. # 144D Securing Vacant Properties
3:00 PM Adjournment

While it is free to participate in Blight Bootcamp, attendees are asked to sign-up for morning and afternoon sessions by visiting: or calling the DFC Implementation Office at 313-259-4407.

“Our goal for Blight Bootcamp is to bring the important blight elimination programs that exist within our city, under one roof, for a day-long session to engage and inform the community,” said Ken Cockrel Jr., Executive Director, Detroit Future City Implementation Office. “Blight Bootcamp is designed to support current blight elimination initiatives by empowering residents to get involved in the fight against blight.”

Blight Bootcamp is a collaborative effort between the Detroit Future City Implementation Office, the City of Detroit Department of Neighborhoods, ARISE Detroit, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Michigan Community Resources, DFC District Hub organizations, and The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force.

Attendees are encouraged to use #DFCBlightBootcamp for all social media post before, during and after Saturday’s event.

About Detroit Future City

The Detroit Future City Implementation Office was formed to be the steward of the DFC Strategic Framework Plan. It strategically coordinates actions and resources to maximize their impact and catalyze long-term capacity within all contributing stakeholders. For more information visit



Detroit Strategic Framework
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