Mackinac Policy Conference 2021: Pandemic Exposed Inequities in Detroit, Detroit Future City CEO Says

Detroit Future City CEO Anika Goss highlights her organization’s findings on the inequities of the Detroit community amid the pandemic.

Detroit Future City recently published data that found the pandemic has exacerbated and exposed the economic, social and racial inequities in the City of Detroit. CEO Anika Goss says it’s time to act on these disparities and create investment solutions for Detroit’s neighborhoods. 

 “The inequities that we point out in the report manifested themselves during the pandemic.” –Anika Goss, Detroit Future City

Listen: Anika Goss on investing in Detroit’s near-middle-class neighborhoods.


Anika Goss is CEO of Detroit Future City, a nonprofit organization dedicated to community development and equity. DFC recently published a report titled “The State of Economic Equity in Detroit.” She says the data in the report was from before the pandemic, with the most prevalent inequities around income and unemployment. “The inequities that we point out in the report manifested themselves during the pandemic.” Goss says when hearing from residents during the pandemic, many wanted acknowledgement of harm: “What would that look like to be able to measure whether a hospital is acknowledging previous harm that they’ve done in care?” 

Goss says of the 11 middle class neighborhoods in Detroit in 2019, four of them have seen an increase in population of white, upper-class households. “Even the response to the pandemic was a very two-parent, 2.3 children response, a very upper-middle-class … suburban response.” She says this difference in wealth and racial demographics within these neighborhoods destabilizes the response to the inequities that exist within them. “It doesn’t mean that white, upper-middle-class households aren’t welcome. What it means is that white, upper-middle-class households can’t be prioritized.”

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