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Wayne State’s Detroit Revitalization Fellows receives $400k grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation to promote environmental sustainability in Detroit

March 30, 2016


The Detroit Revitalization Fellows (DRF), a program of Wayne State University, has received a $400,000 grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. The grant will support a collaborative environmental project between three local organizations that will impact the health and quality of life of Detroit residents. This is the first time the Erb Family Foundation has supported the DRF program.

“This project aligns with the foundation’s focus on the Great Lakes and sustainable development while investing in our region’s talent,” said John M. Erb, president of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. “Partnership with the Detroit Revitalization Fellows will build organizational capacity of community-based organizations in Detroit and help create equitable and sustainable approaches to environmental and public health concerns.”

Over the next 17 months, three Fellows — representing the Belle Isle Conservancy, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and EcoWorks — will work together to identify organizational priorities and community concerns. They will also design an environmental project that will have a lasting impact on the Detroit region.

“Together, these organizations and their Fellows will have the power to execute a project that no single Fellow or organization could achieve alone,” said Graig Donnelly, director of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows. “Thanks to the generosity of the Erb Family Foundation, emerging leaders in DRF will be further empowered to drive progress for the city and region.”

This effort will be completed in conjunction with the overall leadership and organizational capacity-building goals of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows program. Twenty-two Fellows are currently placed in local organizations at the forefront of the city’s renewal.

About the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation works to nurture healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metropolitan Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lake Ecosystem.

About the Detroit Revitalization Fellows
The Detroit Revitalization Fellows (DRF) are talented mid-career leaders who are stimulating progress within Detroit's civic, community and economic development landscape. This select group of doers engages in a rigorous two-year leadership development program while serving full time at organizations working to further key programs and projects across Detroit. The DRF is a program of Wayne State University’s Office of Economic Development and has been generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the DTE Energy Foundation, the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, PwC Charitable Foundation Inc., and Wayne State University.