Five and a half million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor going to school, a problem facing America’s cities that will only grow if we don’t support children trapped in generational poverty in new ways.

Unlikely partnerships have begun to do just that.

  • Church movements of diverse denominations are springing up in cities across the nation to more directly engage in the issues of generational poverty.
  • Businesses and universities are creatively engaging their people personally in the lives of young people to help them get to college.
  • Schools and community organizations are brokering this influx of talent in their communities.

Their efforts are beginning to power change in the communities they serve.  In the Cody-Rouge Community in Detroit, graduation rates soared from 65% to 81% and violent crimes against young people fell by 57% over the last seven years, even while housing values lost two-thirds of their value and the number of tax-foreclosed homes tripled.

Cities as diverse as Portland and Pittsburgh are similarly experiencing the power of leveraging their efforts.

Join us for a gathering in Detroit to hear first-hand from the students and civic leaders who helped to turn their school and community around.  Forge common bonds and solutions for the children who need it most—not only be hearing from students, practitioners, and innovative leaders, but by walking and talking with them in small group visits in Detroit’s schools, neighborhoods and Downtown.


Our Sponsor / Giving us Leverage

Our Partners / Lending a Hand


Dan Varner

Excellent Schools Detroit

Dr. John Wallace

University of Pittsburgh

Tonya Allen

The Skillman Foundation

Kenyetta Campbell

Cody-Rouge Action Alliance

Doug Kempton

Grace Community Church

Chris Lambert

Life Remodeled

Johnathon Matthews

Cody Academy of Public Leadership

Nicole Baker Fulgham

The Expectations Project

Jeff Martin


Mike Tenbusch

The Jonathan Effect

Kurt Alber

Cody Partnership

Erika Beal

Rock Pointe Church

Mike DiGiovanni

GM Student Corps, U of D Mercy

R. York Moore

InterVarsity USA

Issues and Site Visits

How to start, catalyze and sustain a community transformation over 300 city blocks.

How to help parents build social capital and habits to prepare their children for success in life by kindergarten.

How churches and community groups are working closely with law enforcement to reduce the number of shootings and offer viable alternatives to gang members.

How to help schools and communities ensure that all kids read at grade level by third grade.

How to restore hope and create meaningful college and career pathways in high schools surrounded by entrenched poverty.

testimonials / See What People Say About Leverage

Register Now

Event FAQS / find your answers

People who feel personally called to confront the hopelessness and violence that pervades communities with high concentrations of entrenched poverty—and who need new ideas, inspiration and strategies for how to do something about it.

This conference will focus in part on how churches can play more of a much-needed role in helping to strengthen schools and communities in poverty, but it will also focus on how businesses, community organizations and even colleges can do the same.

It will include leaders and teachers from schools to share their hopes, needs and challenges working with diverse stakeholders, and it will feature plenty of young people—students from the Cody Academy of Public Leadership in Detroit who will sharpen the conversations with their own perspectives.
You should leave with:

  1. A bigger vision for what can be done in your community
  2. New friends that you can count on for advice and inspiration
  3. Practical steps, tips and tools to help you make a larger impact in your community.
To create lasting change in high-poverty schools and communities through an infusion of caring people who want to love and serve them well.

This includes people of faith and of no faith, as well as people on the left and on the right.

The real agenda here is to create more pathways with easier on-ramps for people who want to help to be able to help through service and relationships, regardless of their background or identity.
Detroit has long topped the list in just about every negative indicator imaginable, from crime, unemployment and poverty rates to educational achievement scores.  It is also the largest city to ever go through bankruptcy.

Yet the city’s Downtown and Midtown business areas have begun to thrive, with thousands of people and businesses creating a vibrant city center after decades of decline.  More importantly, businesses, community organizations, and churches have begun to serve schools and communities in ways that are reversing trends after decades of abandonment and blight.

Hope is being restored in Detroit, in a way that you can feel and bring back to your school, community, or city.

Event Location

Detroit World Outreach
23800 W Chicago St.
Redford Charter Twp, MI 48239


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