A Letter to Detroit from the Founder of Detroitisit

PHOTO KATAI

Dear Detroit,

 

Today is a different day.

This week is a different week.

Things smell different, sound different, taste different.

Life around us is different.

The sun is still shining, the rain is still coming down. The wind is still blowing, the moon still comes to greet us every night. But the times are different.

We’re different.

This is a new reality for us all – the whole world as one – as we experience the changes that we’re living through, now each moment is moment to moment.

We take solace in the fact that we’re in this together, albeit virtually. We’re homeschooling our children together, we’re baking and cooking together, we’re watching archived movies we’ve been meaning to together. We’re working through skype and email together. Imagine how lucky we are for digital, social and email at this moment!

So that means that we’re inherently all connected, right?

Yes, it does.

DETROIT NOW AND FOREVER

DETROIT NOW AND FOREVER

I’ve been thinking a lot these days, as certainly each one of us has, what will tomorrow bring? Surely you have heard of the excerpt from Plato “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Well, truth be told, that is so much of how I see it. Maybe you do too. What does this all mean? Why? Why now when things seemed to have been on the uptick, not more than one month ago? Is there a lesson in this for us? If so, what challenging lesson are we going through? And why?

I’ve been sent memes of families on their phones all in the same living room BC (Before Coronavirus, thank you to the brilliant Thomas Friedman). Now AC (After Coronavirus) we are biking, baking, and balking together on phone calls to friends. Yes, phone calls. I called three of my friends today where we actually spoke together for more than 30 minutes each. When did you do that last?

We live in a new normal.

Abnormal.

No, we may need to come to terms that this may be our new normal. Life will change as we know it once we get out of this, and we will. Will there no longer be a need for movie theaters now that Universal has announced digital Blockbuster releases? What about corner convenience stores, will Amazon simply take over our online shopping lives? Will DoorDash deliver all our Impossible Burger Whoppers?

At my core, I believe this is the time to show our true colors, what we’re made of. I believe we can do anything we put our heads to. I believe we can build together and grow together. I also believe we are each connected by one thread that’s sewn between each of us from Africa to the Middle East, Europe to Asia, to North and South America and straight to our great city of Detroit. An illness may try to beat us. We may have to sidestep things a bit, but we will get through this. I truly believe that.

I’m an immigrant, having lived in metro Detroit most all my life and consider Detroit my home. I’m a woman business owner and lifelong entrepreneur, and, like many of us, I take my responsibilities to my team, family, friends, community, partners, clients and city to be my top priority. Entrepreneurs have never had it easy, but now it seems like the corporate and line workers with seemingly steady jobs don’t have it easy either. Our brothers and sisters in F&B, retail, education, and healthcare are feeling challenges at this time maybe more so than most.

It’s more important than ever to stay steadfast, which is why I founded Detroitisit now over two years ago. My belief has always been that media plays a key role in being a teller of stories, of sharing new ways of looking at things. I believe Detroitisit has that role to play for our community now and to the future. Our team is focused and determined – working hard to provide that place for Detroit to feel some sense of relief, comradery, understanding, and connectedness. My belief was then, as it is now, we are in this together, we are one connected community.

I am thankful to those that believe in us, thankful to our public servants in the city, state and federal level that we know are working hard for us and thankful to our audience – it’s because of you that we do what we do.

There are 101 more things to say here, but please know this. I want us to be here for you, for us, for Detroit. What I know is this, we are in this for the long haul, for you, with you. We are believers, makers, dreamers, and doers, all of us. We will do this together. Connected as one.

Stay safe, listen to those that know more than we do and follow our leaders. Stay home because we need to, and remain close, virtually, to one another.

With great care, empathy, and support,

Your friend, Ivana

Founder, Detroitisit

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