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'Michigan Matters' Exclusive: Michigan Chronicle's 'Pancakes and Politics' Forum: Millenials Sound Off On Detroit, Its Challenges, Its Future

As the 11th season of the Michigan Chronicle's lauded "Pancakes and Politics" speaker series wound down June 16, it was fitting that five young leaders took to the stage to talk about Detroit and its future.

Tyson Gersh, President & Co-Founder of Michigan Urban Farming Initiative; Eric Thomas ,Senior Partner and Brand Specialist at Saga Marketing; Katherine Cockrel, Associate Vice President of Finn Partners; Rev Charles Williams, Pastor of Historic King Solom Baptist Church and President of the National Action Network Michigan, and Tatiana Grant, President of  Infused PR Events & Marketing and Co-Founder of Flash Delivery answered a flurry of questions.

The conversation included talk about the challenges of doing business in Detroit, the generation gap, and what will be needed to take Detroit to a more well-rounded future. (You can hear the conversation as a special "Michigan Matters" 11:30 Sunday on CBS 62).

"From day one, the downfall of Detroit was not riots or rebellions. But years of institutional divestment. We need to understand our history to figure out how to move forward," said Cockrel, daughter of former councilwoman Sheila Cockrel and the late Ken Cockrel Sr.

The idea of featuring young people was the brainchild of Hiram E. Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media and Publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. He launched the breakfast gatherings 11 years ago to talk about issues that matter to the region.

"We have to support these young people, they are our future," said Jackson.

Vickie Thomas Pancakes and Politics
Vickie Thomas, City Beat Reporter, WWJ Newsradio 950, poses questions to the "Pancakes and Politics " panel. (credit: Paul Pytlowany/CBS 62)

The event was moderated by Carol Cain, Senior Producers/Host of CBS 62's "Michigan Matters," and also included probing questions from Keith Owens, Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle, and Vickie Thomas, City Beat Reporter of WWJ Newsradio 950.

Keith Owens, Senior Editor, Michigan Chronicle, asks a question of the panel. (credit: Keith Owens/CBS 62)

CBS 62 has been a sponsor of the speaker series since it began. The sessions have all aired as special "Michigan Matters" programs.

Pancakes and Politics
Tom Canedo, Rev. Charles Williams, Eric Thomas, Carol Cain, Cathy Nedd, Tatiana Grant, Katherine Cockrel and Tyson Gersh at the Michigan Chronicle's "Pancakes and Politics" forum. t will air as a CBS62 "Michigan Matters" episode 11:30 am this Sunday. (credit: Ken Bryant/CBS 62)

WWJ Newsradio 950 has also been a media sponsor.

You can hear the conversation by watching "Michigan Matters" 11:30 Sunday only on CBS 62.

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