Madonna to Jeff Bezos: Invest Some of Your Billions in Detroit

You may have noticed that for the past couple of years, the Motor City has been busy mounting a comeback. Plenty of people are rooting for Detroit to get its groove back, including, it turns out, Madonna.

Madonna is a native of metro Detroit, but her affection for the city has not been a lifelong phenomenon. Those of us who have been following her career since childhood know that her creation story emphasized fleeing the state a few months into a University of Michigan dance scholarship. For many years, she would openly disparage her former hometown as being the pinnacle of flyover dumpiness.

Those days seem to be over, because on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reported that Madonna was on Twitter over the weekend urging Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to sprinkle some of his billions on Detroit. The tweet reads, in part, “you, me, the motor city. Let’s go and I will show incredible opportunities for almost instant impact in one of the coolest cities in America.”

She then linked to the Empowerment Plan, social entrepreneur Veronika Scott’s company employing homeless women to make coats that can turn into sleeping bags;  the Downtown Boxing Gym, which trains at-risk youth in the art of pugilism; and the Detroit Achievement Academy, through which people can donate school supplies to underserved local kids. The singer has reportedly supported all three organizations in the past.

Madonna was responding to Bezos’ own recent Twitter musings about the nature of his philanthropy, and how he would like it to be “at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

Since it was posted Saturday, Madonna’s tweet to Bezos has inspired 505 retweets and 1,620 likes. Consider us one more.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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