Here at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we are pleased to be a sponsor for the second #313DLove event happening Friday, March 13th, at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This year’s event plans to be bigger and better with an impressive lineup of speakers and organizations, all passionate about the city and communities of Detroit. Founder of #313DLove, Terry Bean, provides insight and inspiration as to why he took on this passion project.
What inspired you to start 313DLove?
At the time this movement really kicked off I was focused on changing both the energy and the narrative of our city. There were still plenty of people both in/around Detroit and all over the rest of the world, that were living in our past. They hadn't experienced the changes that are rapidly expanding. We have a VERY different city and outlook than we did back in 2010, when the first twitter lovefest for Detroit happened. There's so much excitement and productivity happening here now it's hard to keep up.
Why did you choose to do what you do in Detroit?
Because it would have been totally silly to do a pro-Detroit event in Tuscaloosa. Seriously, it was 2005/2006 timeframe and I was connecting with people all over the world through LinkedIn. Detroit didn't have a great rep at the time and really needed some cheerleaders. I was here. I had an audience. It needed to be done. Very few other people were doing it. So I stepped up. It's really a simple equation of see a need and fill it.
What was the greatest challenge you faced running your movement?
Fear. Hatred. Anger. Frustration. History. Status quo. People who don't love the idea of love. People who love the idea separation. But you know what, all of that moves away when you're focused and on the right path. Sure there are doubters, but there are a lot more believers. We just keep focused on finding them.
What is the most rewarding part of doing this in Detroit?
Being able to connect with some of the coolest people and sharpest companies in our area. It's amazing what kind of people actually get what we're doing and how ready they are to lend a helping hand, voice, wallet or what have you. We really are blessed to be surrounded by such passionate and caring people who know how to get stuff done!
How do you see Detroit's future?
It's not totally done yet, but sooner than later headlines will read "Detroit is back, baby!". And I truly believe that will happen for the vast majority of Detroiters far sooner than most could ever imagine. The amount of momentum we have right now will continue to grow. It is a VERY exciting time in our history.
What is your favorite "Made in Michigan" product?
As much as I want to say this really cool sketch of my family made by local artist and good friend Chazz Miller, I've got to go with Lafayette Coney Islands. MMMMMMMMMMM Coneys (said in my best Homer voice). Want to attend the second annual #313DLove event? Tickets are still available at 313dlove.com. You can also join in the conversation by searching for and/or using #313DLove on your favorite social media site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EFhPdolfvo Photo Credit: David Murray