The Challenge

In February 2016, the Skillman Foundation and Campaign for Black Male Achievement called upon community members to put forth their ideas to increase opportunities for black and brown boys. This call for ideas, the MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge, drew close to 500 submissions. Applications were narrowed down by nearly 50 judges, which included young men from the city, individuals who work on behalf of youth and young men of color, and community leaders.

Now in its second year, the 2018 Innovation Challenge is seeking to lift up ideas that help create opportunity for young men and women of color in Detroit.


  • Seek out new leaders
  • Create a meaningful application
  • Engage community (including youth) to identify which ideas should move forward
  • Create a space where ideas can evolve
  • Activate the best ideas and help scale the ones that get traction
  • Provide technical assistance throughout the process
What is MBK?

In 2014 President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

Click here to learn more about the White House initiative.

Click here to learn more about MBK Detroit.

To read the MBK Detroit Recommendations for Action report, click here.

What is MSK?
My Sister's Keeper has been added into this year's challenge to help focus on the issues impacting girls and young women of color.  
Do I have to live in Detroit to apply?
You do not have to live in Detroit to apply. However, your idea must address an issue that Detroit’s youth of color face.
Can I apply as an individual?
Do I have to address each of the program goals?
Your idea should address at least one of the outlined program goals.
Are there restrictions on who can apply?
There are no restrictions on who can submit an idea or apply.
Do I have to be a nonprofit or have 501(c)3 status to apply?
You do not need to be affiliated with a nonprofit to submit an idea, however recipients of the $50,000 award must have a nonprofit act as a fiduciary. (Don’t worry we’ll help you out with this part, if needed.)
Can I submit more than one idea?
Of course!
Can I choose any issue affecting youth of color in the city?
Your ‘end user’ should be youth of color in the city of Detroit otherwise the scope and scale of your project can vary.
What age group constitutes youth?
We categorize youth as individuals up to the age of 24.
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