Model D Speaker Series: Influence = change?

From art and entrepreneurship to community development, creative grassroots projects are multiplying in Detroit -- often outside of traditional modes of municipal function. The national media has taken notice, elevating profiles of emerging leaders and shifting the dialogue from the "Tragedy of Detroit" to opportunity and innovation here. But is this creative energy sustainable in a city with larger systemic challenges? What is the responsibility of "doers" who have built influence in elevating the next generation of Phil Cooleys and Torya Blanchards? How can we create a Detroit that works for all?

Join us for a conversation with media darling Phillip Cooley and media watchdog Vince Keenan, two residents of Corktown with different takes on the rising influence of new voices in the city and how they're changing the narrative and landscape. It's tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Avenue, Detroit. Doors open at 5 p.m.; program begins at 5:30 p.m.

Phil Cooley believes Detroit is a land of opportunity. As the co-owner of Slow's Bar BQ and co-founder of the Roosevelt Park Conservancy, Mr. Cooley was recently named Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day." He serves on the Mayor's Advisory Task Force for the Detroit Works Project and is actively involved in revitalization efforts in Corktown and beyond.

Vince Keenan believes this is a critical moment for Detroit reform. As founder of Publius, a nonprofit to promote informed civic participation, Mr. Keenan is closely following the Detroit Works Project and City Charter Reform efforts. As a leader of Detroiters for City Council by Districts, he helped pass Proposal D last year to take effect in 2013.

The Model D Speaker Series is sponsored by Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health Systems, Detroit Medical Center, Lawrence Technological University and Marygrove College.