Madonna said she was incredibly inspired by her recent Detroit visit. Today she’s backing it up with her wallet.
In what her spokeswoman calls “the first phase of a long-term commitment” to the city, the Michigan-born pop star is announcing funding for three Detroit community groups.
Benefiting will be the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, Detroit Achievement Academy and the Empowerment Plan — described in a press release as “three extraordinary organizations that have already begun to bring hope and change to the city.”
They were among the Detroit outfits visited by Madonna during a visit here in early June, when rep Liz Rosenberg said the star was aiming to connect with her hometown.
In a statement to be released today, Madonna says: “I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty. I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished.”
Dollar amounts were not disclosed, but the contributions will entail:
• A “significant donation” toward a new facility for the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, which serves 65 young people with after-school boxing and mentoring.
• Equipment, art supplies and music gear for the Detroit Achievement Academy, a progressive charter school on the city’s northwest side, including iPods, iPads and Smart Boards for classrooms.
• Funding to train three seamstresses at the Empowerment Plan, which tutors homeless women in job skills while creating coats that serve as sleeping bags for the homeless.
“From meeting the kids at Downtown Youth Boxing Gym who have a 100% high school graduation rate, to seeing how eager the students at the Detroit Achievement Academy are to learn about the arts, to understanding the value of giving homeless women the opportunity to become self-sufficient through The Empowerment Plan, it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover,” Madonna says in today’s statement. “A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I’m humbled to be able to give back to my community.”
Madonna, who left Michigan for New York in her late teens to pursue an entertainment career, has been a regular visitor in recent months as her daughter, Lourdes Leon, becomes a University of Michigan freshman.
Madonna’s Instagram photos of her Detroit visit
When Madonna visited Detroit in early June, she sent out Instagram photos from stops at the three groups she today announced funding for. From top to bottom: Detroit Achievement Academy, the Empowerment Plan, Downtown Youth Boxing Gym.
(@Detroit Free Press)