LETTER FROM THE CEO
2020 was a strange and unique year. While the year began like any other, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly altered our reality and sense of community as we knew them. It ushered in a year of heartache, social isolation, and the reckoning of social and racial injustices in a magnified way. The revolution was televised.
As a humanity, we grieved together over the loss of life and recalibrated to a new normal of mask-wearing and constant hand-sanitizing. Words like “unprecedented” and “pivot” became everyday language and we shifted our homes into classrooms and offices simultaneously.
In reflection of this tumultuous time, our mission modality at Michigan Community Resources became even more imperative as the conditions facing communities of color in Southeast Michigan were exacerbated under the constraints of the pandemic. Our team stretched to meet the needs of our clients while still maintaining our organizational core values and raising up the health and safety of our community above all else.
At MCR, we are guided by a deep communal spirit that flows through our partnerships across the nonprofit ecosystem. As we enter into the second year of a global pandemic, and the roots of the poplar tree that bears “strange fruit” are exposed, we are even more focused on dismantling broken systems undergirded by white supremacy and systemic racism. The needs of our clients are symptomatic of brokenness, disinvestment, and disenfranchisement. In solidarity with incredible partners like MNA, CDAD, Co.act and NEW, MCR continues to be forward-thinking, empathetic, and extremely adaptive to the ever-changing landscape of nonprofit and community needs. And perhaps most importantly: we view our platform as critical in amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.
In recognition that we are #bettertogether—our work is more important now than it has ever been, and we thank you for your continued support.
SHAMYLE MAYA DOBBS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Serving clients in a pandemic was personally and professionally taxing for every member of our team. In spite of this, we never ceased looking for new and creative ways to carry out our mission and meet clients where they were throughout this unique year.
In this video, CEO Shamyle Dobbs and team members Matthew Schmitt and Maureen Krasner discuss the importance of MCR’s team-oriented culture; modeling organizational strength as a service to our clients; supporting staff through tough times, and in turn cultivating a team that authentically supports and relentlessly pursues our mission.
“CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST.”
Every single program MCR has carried out since its inception over twenty years ago has been in partnership with others—from other nonprofit organizations, to philanthropic partners, pro bono attorneys and firms, corporate volunteers, and more.
In 2020, we worked closely with intermediary partners like Co.act Detroit and Michigan Nonprofit Association in a variety of ways to ensure a variety of nonprofit needs were being met in the face of the pandemic.
In this video, CEO Shamyle Dobbs, program director Janai Gilmore, and Co.act Detroit director Kyla Carlsen discuss the importance of partnerships to MCR and the Southeast Michigan nonprofit sector.
“WE CAN’T DO THIS WORK ALONE; IT REQUIRES COLLABORATION.”
MCR serves a wide range of nonprofit organizations, community groups, and small businesses who seek to improve their communities in diverse ways. In 2020, many of them faced similar concerns related to employee and constituent health and safety, shifting to a virtual workplace, grants and loans available for relief, and ways for both tenants and landlords to navigate property concerns caused by shifting financial circumstances.
Throughout the year, MCR prioritized being responsive to these needs and concerns as they arose to ensure clients could still meet their goals for the year and that all could stay safe, healthy, and supported.
“WE HAD IDEAS, BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET THEM ACTIVATED. WORKING WITH MCR, THEY HAVE OPENED DOORS.”