Monday, June 30, 2014
Madonna Aims to Help Detroit Hometown by Funding Organizations
The Downtown Youth Boxing Gym offers after-school boxing and educational mentoring to 65 kids in Detroit's Eastside community, with Madonna providing the funding to build a new facility for the community. The Detroit Achievement Academy, which Madonna is supporting, aims to supply new equipment and art and music supplies to area classrooms in Michigan's poorest ZIP code. The singer's third organization, the Empowerment Plan, employs homeless women to sew coats and sleeping bags for homeless in Detroit and around the country.
"I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty," Madonna said in a statement. "I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished. From meeting the kids at Downtown Youth Boxing Gym who have a 100 percent high school graduation rate, to seeing how eager the students at the Detroit Achievement Academy are to learn about the arts, to understanding the value of giving homeless women the opportunity to become self-sufficient through the Empowerment Plan, it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover. A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I'm humbled to be able to give back to my community."
The Material Girl lived in Bay City and Rochester, Michigan, before moving to New York to pursue dancing and singing at age 19. In recent years, Detroit has been attempting to recover from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Previously, Madonna recalled her formative Detroit years in an interview with Rolling Stone. One thing that stood out to her was the music that surrounded her in the predominantly African-American neighbhorhood where she grew up. "Motown was everywhere," she said. "Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross and the Jackson 5; that's what I grew up on. But when I was in high school, we moved to a suburb that was predominantly middle-class and white. There weren't any more house parties, there wasn't music blaring from the house next door. I felt estranged, and that's when I created my own world…. I was aware of the power of music at that point, not that I could articulate it to anyone."