A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that serves as a fierce champion of Detroit children. The Foundation works to ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by strengthening K-12 public education, afterschool learning opportunities, and college and career pathways.
To best ensure Detroit youth are prepared and positioned to be tomorrow’s leaders, The Skillman Foundation is focused on two Impact Areas: Education
and Economic Well-Being
First place goes to Detroit kids, always. They:
Value the perspectives and insights of all Detroit children and youth;
Take on what they believe will have the most transformational impact for Detroit kids, no matter how big the challenge; and
Position Detroit youth as the authors of their future so they may envision and achieve what they deem to be success.
Kids are the mission; partnerships are the way. They:
Work collaboratively, developing and implementing solutions in partnership with others;
Develop strong relationships, cultivating mutual trust and respect by acting with integrity and communicating with consistency; and
Convene and participate in cross-sector tables, using their influence to ensure those closest to the issue are seated alongside them.
World Wise, Detroit Smart:
They combine innovative and best-practice content knowledge with deep understanding of the Detroit context to make the biggest impact for kids. They:
Learn from successes and failures as well as from the experiences and insights of others, near and far;
Use data whenever possible to inform and monitor; and
Reflect and seek feedback on their strategies, actions, and impact.
Greater Than Grants:
They cultivate and deploy resources – beyond grants – in service of Detroit kids. They:
Deploy all forms of capital – financial, reputational, and relational – thoughtfully, ethically, and equitably;
Use civic leadership to raise awareness and advocacy around critical issues facing Detroit youth; and
Convene across a chasm of stakeholders to bring a diversity of thought, resources, and sectors to the table.
They are equity focused, diversity driven, and inclusion minded. They:
Embrace diversity and authentic inclusion in all areas of their work as a prerequisite for positive social change;
Understand that they work in a context defined by inequities that are as present as the air they breathe;
Confront the drivers of inequality and redesign systems with those who have been historically marginalized; and
Create a community where all Detroiters – especially youth – are valued, heard and mobilized in the service of opportunity and prosperity for all.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Skillman Foundation embraces diversity and authentic inclusion in all areas of their work; they consider this a prerequisite for positive social change. As a guiding principle, it impacts their decisions at every level from staffing to partnerships and how their resources are deployed.
They understand that they work in a context defined by inequities that are as present as the air they breathe. Therefore, they must confront the drivers of inequality and redesign systems with those who have been historically marginalized.
They are driven to create a community where all Detroiters – especially youth – are valued, heard and mobilized in the service of opportunity and prosperity for all.