June 15, 2020
DETROIT – Detroit Future City (DFC) has named Ashley Williams Clark as the director of its recently formed Center for Equity, Engagement and Research (The Center). Clark’s appointment to this position marks an important step in the Center’s year-long planning effort that launched in January.
At the onset of Clark’s role as director, she will work to advance the planning phase objectives, which are to establish a common definition of economic equity; create an equity indicator dashboard; engage civic and community leaders, and residents around the effort; and develop technology that will allow stakeholders to track indicators over time.
“The Center was established to advance economic equity in our city and region, which takes a strong understanding of our corporate, public and community stakeholders, as well as knowledge of national best practices,” said Anika Goss, DFC executive director. “Ashley brings this expertise to the table, along with a deep passion for using data and research to provide informed solutions to community issues. We are thrilled to have her on the team to lead this important portfolio of work at DFC.”
Clark has over 10 years of experience in public policy research and analysis, community engagement, program development, and project management. Prior to joining DFC, Clark worked for the City of Detroit’s Department of Housing and Revitalization Department on the public-private partnerships team. She also served as the Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Urban Institute, a non-partisan, applied research and community outreach institute.
The Center launched its planning effort in January at its first annual Equity Forum, which featured local speakers as well as a keynote from PolicyLink’s Founder in Residence, Angela Glover Blackwell, who is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in racial and economic equity. In the coming weeks, The Center will begin the process to engage a diverse range of stakeholders in developing a common definition for economic equity. For those who want to contribute to the discussion and participate in developing the shared definition for economic equity, visit the Center’s webpage and join the stakeholder list.
The Center’s planning effort received seed funding from the Hudson-Webber Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
DFC was formed in 2013 and officially became an independent nonprofit in 2016. The organization serves as a “think-and-do tank” with three main program areas: community and economic development, land use and sustainability and now the Center for Equity, Engagement, and Research.