The Detroit Historical Society announced today that it will debut a new Moving Forward Award to recognize individuals who are helping to transform our communities in meaningful ways. A part of the Society’s award-winning project, Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward, this honor will recognize inspirational and transformational leaders annually.

The inaugural awards will be presented to Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community School District, and Dr. Mark Schlissel, President of the University of Michigan, on Saturday, December 9 at the 2017 Detroit Historical Society Ball. The event will be presented by the DTE Energy Foundation and held at the Factory at Corktown.

Bob Bury, Executive Director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society, said that the new awards are an important part of the Society’s commitment to inspire the future through the Detroit 67 project. “A key goal of the Detroit 67 project is to bring diverse voices and communities together around the effects of the historic crisis of 1967, to find our place in the present and inspire the future,” said Bury, “Drs. Vitti and Schlissel are leading in ways that can create a future where we can realize our full potential as a community. We are proud to present them with the inaugural Moving Forward Awards.”

The 2017 awards are closely aligned with the Detroit Historical Society’s focus on education at the 2017 Society Ball. The Ball is the major fundraiser for the Society’s educational programs that will enable students and adults to make important connections between the people, places, and events that comprise our collective history. JPMorgan Chase and the General Motors Foundation have committed to match funds raised to support the Society’s educational initiatives during this year’s campaign. Rebecca Salminen Witt, Chief Communication and Development Officer for the Society, notes, “Schools’ interest in our museums is virtually unlimited, but our funding is not. With the support of JP Morgan Chase and the General Motors Foundation, we have the opportunity to double the funds that we are able to commit toward our educational initiatives this year. We hope that people from across the community will join this effort by donating generously from now until the end of the year.”

Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward is a community engagement project of the Detroit Historical Society that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of a historic crisis to find their place in the present and inspire the future. Learn more at

The Detroit Historical Society, established in 1921, is a private, nonprofit organization located in Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s cultural center. Founded in 1921, its mission is to tell Detroit’s stories and why they matter. Today, the Society operates the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. In addition, the Society is responsible for the conservation and preservation of more than 250,000 artifacts that represent three centuries of our region’s rich history. Through its museum exhibits, school tour programs, community-based programs and history-themed outreach efforts, the Society serves more than 150,000 people annually.

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