About EDC

The mission of the Equitable Detroit Coalition is to foster beneficial relationships between developers and the Detroit community by facilitating open and honest dialogue and to assist developers funded by public dollars to become corporate neighbors who are transparent in their relationship with the community. We believe that public investment entitles residents to be stakeholders.

In Detroit, community residents are given minimal opportunity to participate in project design but are the first to pay for implementation. This toolkit is our attempt to change the narrative regarding development in our city by advocating for a community benefits agreement policy for Detroit.

This toolkit tells the story of our process of advocating for incoming development to support a just and sustainable food system in Detroit. It is our goal for this document to serve as a guide for those who work for equity in all development and to empower community advocacy around holding developers accountable for committing and adhering to benefiting the communities they serve. Our work is guided by the equitable principle that those most affected by a decision should be seated at the decision-making table.


The Equitable Detroit Coalition would like to express a special thanks to the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative for funding this toolkit. We are deeply grateful for all those who made this work possible, especially to the following individuals, who continue to be engaged in this work and strategize for system change that will result in just opportunities for current Detroit residents and for future generations:

  • Alethea Belfon, Storehouse of Hope Client Choice Food Pantry
  • Shane Bernardo, Capuchin Soup Kitchen- Earthworks
  • Garry Bulluck, Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative
  • Linda Campbell, Building Movement Project
  • Meredith Freeman, Fair Food Network
  • Laura Grimshaw, Detroit Resident
  • Michelle Jackson, Smallville Farms
  • Ife Kilimanjaro, Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Myra Lee, Detroit Food Policy Council
  • Gloria Rivera, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit
  • Curtis Smith, Chartreuse Organic Tea

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