(CBS DETROIT) – Dwan Dandridge has a passion for helping nonprofits and small Black businesses in Detroit.

This past February, his Black Leaders Detroit organization gifted 20 nonprofits with $2000 grants. Now he’s going to extra mile for Black businesses in the city.

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“We are doing a bike ride to raise awareness for the need of equal access to capital for Black entrepreneurs we’ll be riding from Detroit to Mackinaw,” Dandridge said.

This is the second year the organization is taking the 377-mile trek, which will take seven days at an average of 50 miles per day. At the finish line will be the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference where the team plans to once again bring awareness for more equitable funding for Black-owned Detroit businesses.

“We become aware that we got to get creative and make sure that small businesses are getting support and it feels like that’s new to the small business community, but for black entrepreneurs, they been experiencing that,” Dandridge said.

He started Black Leaders Detroit in 2019 with the goal of providing grants and low-interest loans to these businesses that may not always have traditional resources to start or maintain a business.

“The date we’ve dispersed $568,000 to black businesses in the city of Detroit,” he said.

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He says this is possible with donations and members joining Black Leaders Detroit, and by raising awareness, that why he’s planning the bike ride and welcomes anyone to join him.

Black Leaders Detroit’s Ride for Equity kicks off at 8 a.m., Sunday, May 22, 2022, with a ceremonial kick-off and ride launch from the campus of Marygrove Conservancy (Detroit) to Ferndale. From the city of Ferndale, Dandridge will continue his journey.

Ride for Equity will visit the following cities:

  • Day 1 – May 22 – Detroit to Lapeer – 57-mile ride.
  • Day 2 – May 23 – Lapeer to Saginaw – 59-mile ride.
  • Day 3 – May 24 – Saginaw to Clare – 59-mile ride.
  • Day 4 – May 25 – Clare to Cadillac – 52-mile ride.
  • Day 5 – May 26 – Cadillac to Eastport – 63-mile ride.
  • Day 6 – May 27 – Eastport to Petoskey – 36-mile ride.
  • Day 7 – May 28 – Petoskey to Mackinaw City – 70-mile ride.

For more information about Black Leaders Detroit, visit https://www.blackleadersdetroit.org/.

Black Leaders Detroit provided the following information.

A new addition to Black Leaders Detroit Ride for Equity is a special community conversation component – ‘Speak for Yourself’ wherein selected Michigan cities Saginaw, Clare and Petoskey, Dwan Dandridge, will be hosting a post bike ride conversation with bike riders, community partners, advocates and civic leaders in the area. The intent of Speak for Yourself is to have frank and open conversations regarding equity issues in these communities in such a way as to establish and build new relationships, friendships and synergy to connect the dots that reveal as Michiganians we have more in common than not.

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