Fighting for economic and social justice for working class Detroiters

We are building a powerful movement that will transform the city through issue and electoral organizing, legislative advocacy, and grassroots mobilization.

Year-round Civic Engagement

Elections aren’t the end for civic engagement; they are only the beginning. We believe that in order to create political power for our members and our communities, our organizing must engage with the stateagainst the state and within the state. That means building and supporting the necessary political bench of candidates and elected officials that reflect our values, creating the necessary structural changes that make civic engagement easier in Michigan while pushing our government to reflect our values in policy that is created.

Detroit Action has a long-term commitment to building a base of activist leaders that continue to engage the political process long after the election. We believe in developing the power of working class Detroiters and marginalized communities to reshape our political process. To do so, we incorporate these leaders into organizing committees that remain active on issue campaigns and local politics after the election.

Our year-round membership canvass engages Detroiters on the issues that matter most to them. We hold monthly political and voter education sessions that provide our communities with a framework for making change in our neighborhoods together.

Cultural & Relational Organizing

Elections, politics and organizing don’t have to be boring. By definition, community organizing exist in order to build relational power with community. We can set the terms of our discussion with elected officials and our community by engaging them with our culture. Through both technological innovations, cultural and traditional organizing, our organization aims to build community and engage members on issues by meeting them where they are.

We utilize the social relationships of our staff and membership to engage them on what we are fighting for as well as to mobilize our community into action.

Leadership Development & Training

We provide periodic training our members on leadership, specific organizing and activist skillsets, and political education training to help members understand the issues of the day well enough to educate others throughout our community.

Detroit Action driven campaigns provide opportunities for our members to step up and take on leadership through the course of a campaign. When members are engaged in decision-making, strategizing, and action planning, the collective capacity of the membership builds for the next fight.

In order to build and center the experiences of people of color, we rely on using a number of trainings that emphasize storytelling. It is through those lived experiences that we shape our policy, power-mapping and cultural organizing.

Yearly, we partner with our friends at We The People Michigan to send our members and staff to their Detroit Community Organizer Workshop.

We also hold trainings every other week at our Soup Kitchen chapters on Monday, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Voices of Detroit Youth

Detroit Action’s VODY (Voices of Detroit Youth) is a committee made up 14-19 year olds from across Metro Detroit working to build a better community for young peopleWe believe in the potential of our generation to use organizing and advocacy to change politics as usual. We utilize these tools to develop the next generation of young leaders in Detroit.

What we do:

survey by the Black Youth Project 100 found that in late 2012, the most-common reason young Americans gave for not voting was that they were not registered. Young people who are registered to vote turn out in high numbers, very close to the rate of older voters. Youth voter registration rates are much lower than older age groups’ rates, and as a result, guiding youth through the registration process is one potential step to closing the age-related voting gap. We not only believe in registering young people, but we want to eliminate structural barriers that prevent youth from having their voices heard – at the ballot box and in the halls of power.

Community Organizing + Youth Development = Youth Organizing. If we are interested in developing the leadership of young adults and students in the public arena, then we must focus our attention on engaging them in issue-based campaigns that allow them to be fully ingrained in the full civic process.  We’re committed to educating, training, and empowering the next generation of Detroiters  and design our programs to act as a springboard for young leaders to enter the life of political and public service.Through leadership development and political education, our youth leaders develop not only the skills necessary for participation in civic life, but also the motivation and inclination to participate.

Organizing doesn’t have to be boring and political education doesn’t have to be civics class. Young people who are contacted by an organization or a campaign are more likely to vote. Through both technological innovations, cultural and traditional organizing, our organization aims to build community and engage members on issues by meeting them where they are.

Youth organizing is crucial for boys and young men of color and must be central to any campaign that tries to address racial inequity.

Emphasizing Student Safety and Dismantling The School the Prison Pipeline


We provide direct services as an opportunity to challenge the inequality that is seen in our community while creating an opportunity to organize those who are in need to become victors instead of victims against the system.

Need assistance obtaining State ID or Birth Certificate for housing, employment, etc.? Detroit Action runs a free workshop to assist low income individuals in obtaining identification.

By appointment only at 1600 E. Grand Blvd.


To schedule an appointment, please email or call (313) 451-4419

An innovative court program that supports people while they address the root causes of their homelessness

In 2011, with support from our friends, Street Democracy and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, we launched Street Outreach Court Detroit (SOCD) at the 36th District court to end the criminalization of poverty. The establishment of 36th District Court’s Street Outreach Court Detroit is a true example of collaborative effort leading to collaborative impact.

DAC led the organizational effort by obtaining the commitment of the key community and governmental stakeholders and leading organizational meetings, while Street Democracy focused on the legal framework of SOCD, drafting court guidelines, process-mapping, external case management systems, creating a network of pro bono counsel, and program evaluation and improvement. In June 2012, after over 13 months of preparation and obtaining approvals, SOCD become the 23rd homeless court in the US.

Street Outreach Court Detroit (“SOCD”) offers individuals who are homeless the opportunity to resolve certain civil infractions and misdemeanors by crediting their personal efforts to improve their lives toward their outstanding fines, costs and jail time.

Their efforts are guided by social service professionals and may include job training, education, drug rehabilitation and mental health treatment. By addressing all issues that led to their homelessness, SOCD gives participants the relief and tools they need to prevent.

How it Works?

Get A Plan

Participants meet with a social service nonprofit (“Provider”) to create an individualized, achievable Action Plan to end their homelessness. After 30 days of progress, Participants are eligible to apply for the program.

Work the Plan

Participants continue working on their Action Plan under the close supervision of the Provider. During this time, Providers provide SOCD with regular status updates on Participants’ progress.

Get Relief

Participants who demonstrate sustained effort toward their Action Plans are scheduled for an SOCD Hearing at Capuchin Soup Kitchen. After the Participant offers proofs of their progress, SOCD closes or dismisses all eligible cases, waiving most fines.

Interested: Join us Tuesdays at 11am for intake or call to see if you qualify:
4860 15th St
Detroit, MI 48208
(313) 451-4419

A new name, but our fight for living wage employment stays the same.

Detroit is one of the most politically and economically marginalized communities in the country. To make matters worse, people of color and native Detroiters have largely been left out of Detroit’s recent “resurgence”. Detroit remains challenged in providing resources for all its citizens – especially the estimated 5,000 citizens returning to Wayne County each year from prison. Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. Detroit cannot fully come back without providing opportunity for all its residents.

At a time when baby boomer workers are aging out of the workforce, employers need all the new candidates they can find. For all of the city’s residents to be fully incorporated in its resurgence, those who were formerly incarcerated and other “low-income” residents must be central and given opportunities for success. The JOBS (Job Opportunities for a Better Society) Project would act as a hiring hall for locals by systematically recruiting and bringing together individuals who face ongoing discrimination in the job market because of a record of past offenses and others within our community who struggle at finding employment to participate in the program.

JOBS trains its participants to act on issues as leaders in their communities and in their workplaces. Through strategic partnerships with employers throughout the Metro Detroit region, JOBS has put over_ Detroit citizens to work in living wage jobs.

Every ___, participants, guests, and leaders gather at two training sites. We share our stories, listen to each other, and become leaders as we take part in this second chance jobs movement.

Anti-Homelessness Organizing

The roots of our organizing are found in organizing in soup kitchens and low-income housing units on the Eastside of Detroit and it continues to be the core of what we do to develop individual and collective power to promote opportunity, advance justice, and challenge root causes of poverty and homelessness. We currently partner with a number of local shelters, soup kitchens and service providers – as well as individually build the leadership of the homeless themselves – to challenge the root causes of homelessness.

  • 1600 E Grand Blvd #305,
    Detroit, MI 48211
  • (313) 451-4419