Dan Akerson, General Motors CEO, and his wife, Karin Akerson donated $1 million for Leaders to ReBuild Detroit, a new Habitat for Humanity initiative, which aims at stabilizing the MorningSide neighborhood on Detroit’s east side.
J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy was the host for today’s event which launched the $ 15 million effort to help at least 500 families that live in the neighborhood. Dan and Karin Akerson chose to make this donation hoping that other leaders will also give a hand at helping to rebuild a deeply distressed city. The two highlighted the fact that the city has become two separate worlds, one of them highly affected by the economic devastation.
Akersons’ gift will focus on building and upgrading homes in Detroit’s MorningSide area, especially around the Clark and Robert Brown Academy elementary schools. Habitat has been working in MorningSide since 2005, but the Leaders to ReBuild Detroit initiative will triple its impact in the city to date.
“Obviously, a gift this size doesn’t happen everyday,” said Karen Haycox, senior director of collaborative research projects at Habitat’s Atlanta headquarters. “And when someone of the status of Mr. and Mrs. Akerson comes and gives us these resources, we want to develop plans to really leverage and provide the biggest impact.”