Home » News » Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan Launches Social Justice #WeDesignToo Design Contest and Announces Inaugural Industry Club Cohort During Detroit Month of Design

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan Launches Social Justice #WeDesignToo Design Contest and Announces Inaugural Industry Club Cohort During Detroit Month of Design

  • Design contest winners will receive $1,500 cash prize and t-shirt will sell online and at local retail stores in Detroit including Detroit is the New Black and Detroit Vs. Everybody
  • Designs will highlight student’s thoughts around social justice reform
  • Inaugural Industry Club Cohort includes a dozen high-school aged youth from Metro Detroit
  • AT&T sponsors design competition and donates $50k to support Industry Club programming as part of the company’s Believe Detroit initiative


DETROIT – September 23, 2020 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) in partnership with Design Core Detroit will host the official Industry Club launch event to announce the inaugural cohort and the #WeDesignToo t-shirt design contest winners. The virtual event will take place Monday, September 28th at 5 p.m. ET and will also include a panel discussion with local and international designers and the Detroit is The New Black Fashion Show. Event is open to the public with RSVP.

BGCSM announced earlier this summer its strategic partnerships with Bedrock Detroit, Ponyride Detroit, and Detroit is the New Black to implement the world’s first industry club that will offer immersive retail experience for Detroit youth and an accelerator space for women + entrepreneurs of color. After weeks of reviewing applications and interviews, a dozen high-school aged youth will join the inaugural Industry Club.

“Our goal at BGCSM is to ensure youth leave our Clubs career, start-up and homeowner ready which leads to economic mobility,” says Shawn H. Wilson, President & CEO of BGCSM. “We are truly thankful to all of our early adopters like AT&T, Bedrock Detroit and Pure Michigan for seeing the vision and ensuring our youth have access to these opportunities.”

Along with the important announcements, the event will include a panel discussion featuring Tommey Walker founder of Detroit vs. Everybody; Roslyn Karamoko, founder of Detroit is The New Black and partner of the Industry Club program; Rufus Bartell, the owner of Simply Casual Clothing; Trice Clark, designer and winner of the Design in the City competition; and Jourdan Sims, representative from Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC).

Detroit continues to establish itself as a globally recognized capital for creative talent along with healthy, growing design and fashion businesses making the city and region its home. Industry Club is positioned to ensure that designers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow are prepared to establish themselves as leaders in the industry.

“What better way to ensure the future designers of Detroit are able to compete in the evolving fashion industry, than to focus on educating and training our youth and emerging designers,” said Kiana Wenzel Director of Culture & Community and Design Core Detroit. “Opportunities in industrial sewing, manufacturing and merchandising are increasing in this region. However, due to the industry being dormant for several decades many of the aspiring designers in Detroit haven’t had the mentorship, business development, training and support needed to compete equally for opportunities coming down the pipeline. Programs like Design in the City and the BGCSM Industry Club help to fill that gap.”


AT&T contribution and involvement

AT&T joins as an early adopter to support the Industry Club’s growth and impact by donating $50,000 to support program operations and equipment for the youth involved.  The contribution is part of the company’s Believe Detroit initiative, a multi-year effort to help promote educational opportunities, academic achievement and a path to self-sufficiency for Detroiters.

“AT&T Michigan is proud to help provide young Detroiters with this unique chance to learn and grow through the new Industry Club program,” said David Lewis, President of AT&T Michigan. “Providing opportunities to help Detroit youth succeed is what our Believe Detroit initiative is all about and we can’t wait to see what these young people accomplish.”

AT&T will present the $1,500 check for the design contest winners. The Detroit is the New Black Fashion Show will immediately follow the announcements and will include pieces from panelists, design contest winners and local designers.


#WeDesignToo Campaign

The #WeDesignToo social justice t-shirt design contest was created in collaboration with Deviate, a Detroit-based fashion label, to celebrate creativity and ensure local youth understand no matter where they come from, they can become the next major designer too. Deviate founders, Cassidy and Kelsey Tucker are also Ponyride residents and program directors for BGCSM’s Industry Club.

“We are seeing the next generation learn how to capture and amplify their own voices through the medium of fashion. Kids as young as eight years old are calling for racial equality and social justice. It is a powerful campaign and an even more impactful program,” said Cassidy Tucker, Co-Founder of Deviate.

During the campaign BGCSM will highlight minority fashion designers who paved the way and innovated within the design industry. Participants are encouraged to be conscious of social justice and to bring elements of causes into their designs. The campaign also includes videos with Detroit’s own Tommey Walker of Detroit vs. Everybody and Roslyn Karamoko of Detroit is the New Black telling their journey from childhood as designers and business owners and encouraging youth to submit their design.

The contest will run from September 14th through September 25th and is open to BGCSM Club members only. All designs should be submitted to industryclub@bgcsm.org by 11:59 p.m. Friday, September 25th, 2020.


Click here to RSVP for BGCSM’s Industry Club launch and fashion show event.



About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan  

Founded in 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) has over 94 years of experience serving youth ages 6-18 by providing a safe, fun place that inspires, while offering high quality programs that provide real-world learning from caring adult mentors. Serving nearly 15,000 youth annually within eight Clubs throughout southeastern Michigan, BGCSM works every day to provide a world-class experience, empowering youth to become change agents through economic mobility. By providing high quality youth development programs, BGCSM has reimagined the future of afterschool learning and continues to stay agile and expand to better support the needs of our changing youth, ensuring that they are career, start-up and homeowner ready. To learn more about BGCSM visit www.bgcsm.org and follow us on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter!





Media Contact: Antonice Strickland, antonice.strickland@bgcsm.org, (734) 812-4423


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