Our mission is to build a business collaborative with Detroit youth that allows for sustainable education programs and community empowerment through the dynamic effect of creativity and productive learning.
Turn on the local news in Detroit, and first images that are flashed across the screen are usually related to crime, corruption, school closings, and failure of the education system. Every day, the media and society continue to perpetuate these negative attitudes and statistics. 62% graduation rate, 18% unemployment, 70% single parent households and that 40% of Detroiters are planning to leave the city within the next five years. Detroit is constantly cast into the limelight, but not for the right reasons. Now imagine growing up in an environment with predominantly negative attitudes, expectations quickly turn into reality. This is what we want to change. We want to empower the students, and show them the bright side. This is how we came up with the idea of DCH Apparel. Focus on an idea that tackles identity and empowerment by using artistic expression to make a statement, and clothing as the medium. Initially the program started as a class project through the University of Michigan’s Entrepreneurship course, a team of six university students collaborated with an art class of thirty freshmen at Detroit Community High to develop creative ideas and collaborations that would help impact the school’s surroundings and environment. When working with the youth, we discovered that many of the students felt that they were not capable of making an impact because of their lack of involvement regarding the recognition of their communities and urban culture. We saw an opportunity that allowed us to not only teach the participants in the program but also give them jobs.