This week, Big Sean hosted the first annual DON Weekend in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. In a city where gentrification in the communities are stripping away the culture of the city, Big Sean made it his point to bring that good ole’ Detroit feeling back.
The DON (Detroit’s On Now) Weekend featured several days of events, kicking off with a performance at the newly purchased Ford Train Station, which has been abandoned and dilapidated for the past 30 years after the owners left it to crumble. In an article on Local 4 Website, Ford’s acquisition of the long-abandoned and iconic Detroit train station may do well to recruit young professionals to the area, but its true economic impact on the neighborhood will be measured long-term. Big Sean is becoming a business partner in ensuring that this project doesn’t leave out the thousands of true Detroit residents that have been looking for hope within their own backyards. This project is set to bring over 5,000 technology jobs to the heart of the city.
Over the next couple of days, DON weekend included a Benefit for the legendary Motown Museum. This museum was once the home to iconic Motown Music artist such as The Jackson 5, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and many more. The Motown Museum is set to undergo a $50 million massive renovation that will expand the musical capsule to a 50,000 square foot world-class tourist destination featuring dynamic exhibits, a wondrous theater, recording studio, and much more. via Motown Museum.
In addition to the Motown Benefit, a Fashion Mogul Challenge, Block Party, Neighborhood Occupy of the Corner, and a Lite Fest (mini festival) is a part of the DON Weekend. The Fashion Mogul Challenge, sponsored by Puma, allowed 20 aspiring designers to create and present a sneaker design to be sponsored by Puma- the winning designer was awarded $20,000. Kyle Hodges was the innovative winner of that contest.
Each of these events were produced with the idea of bringing community, family fun back to the streets of Detroit. In the past 5-7 years, Detroit has been scolded with out of town investors looking to make their business mark on the city, however they have left out one important facet – NATIVE DETROITERS. As a proud product of the city of Detroit its extremely saddening to see new attractions being built all around the city, but tearing apart the natural culture of the city. The kids in the city have very few recreation centers to play at, a school system that has been toyed with by the state and federal governments, and nowhere to completely store and hone in on their creativity.
Big Sean is brining back hope to the community. Detroit has several noted celebrities that have given back to the city in some aspect, but nobody has made the impact on the youth like Big Sean has. He is a product of the Detroit Public School System, grew up in the actual neighborhood of Detroit, and understands what it means to need a sense of hope when all you want to do is share your dream and gift to the world. We haven’t seen an artist that believes in the city and understands what it needs – Big Sean does. The mission of his Sean Anderson Organization is to assist in the education, health, safety and well-being of Detroit area school aged youth as well as disadvantaged youth in other areas across the nation. The DON weekend is an amazing start to revitalizing the youth, neighborhoods, and community within the city of Detroit.
We can’t wait to see what happens next.