PuLSE Institute Announces Cynthia Pasky Emerging Leaders Award

Detroit’s anti-poverty think tank, The PuLSE Institute (Institute for Public Leadership and Social Equity), has launched an annual award to honor distinguished students in the Institute’s Junior Fellows Program (https://thepulseinstitute.org/junior-fellows-2/), who have a demonstrable commitment to equality as well as possess exceptional civic-mindedness.

L-R- Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy, Cynthia Pasky, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions and Alessandro DiNello, president and CEO of Flagstar Bank at a PuLSE Forum with moderator Bankole Thompson

Called, the Cynthia Pasky Emerging Leaders Award, the award is named after Cynthia J. Pasky, the president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, an international staffing company headquartered in Detroit. The award, will recognize the contributions of the Institute’s anti-poverty champions of the future for showing promise and great potential to become catalysts for social change.

Pasky, is a member of the Institute’s Business Leaders Against Poverty (https://thepulseinstitute.org/business-leaders-initiative/) , an initiative created to make inequality a top priority among industry captains in the region. She is an example of how corporate governance must include meaningful social responsibility and an ethical leadership that sets the tone for how businesses must engage, embrace and support the empowerment of the disenfranchised communities in which  they operate.

“Thank you for this incredible honor. And thank you to Bankole Thompson whose work has informed the founding of an organization that takes a hard look at poverty in our world, and for knowing how important it is to nurture the next generation of leaders,” Pasky said. “Our hope is that these young people will put their considerable talent and skills to work in eliminating poverty for everyone.”

 University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel with members of the PuLSE Junior Fellows Program

Pasky, who has participated twice as a panelist on the Institute’s CEO Forum on Poverty Series, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkh_6WPEy68&t=105s), which has convened major business leaders in the region of southeast Michigan to discuss inequality issues facing Detroit, has indicated that poverty (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqz9ikV-nWk) is the issue facing Detroit, and the recovery must reflects efforts to combat the cruelty of poverty.  

As the United Nations prepares to mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Thursday, October 17, Pasky said, “So much has been done across the world to eradicate poverty, but it still persists even in the U.S. With all of the advances we have made in the world, there is no excuse for it. Now more than ever, we must continue to work toward lifting everyone out of poverty to share in the opportunities that many take for granted.”

Launched on July 4 of 2018, The PuLSE Institute was inspired by the writings of nationally-renowned journalist and author Bankole Thompson, whose illuminating work has elevated the discourse around poverty and inequality in Detroit and the region and represents an urgent call for difference-making action. Thompson is the editor-in-chief of the Institute and a twice-a-week opinion columnist at The Detroit News.

Detroit Attorney Tina M. Patterson, the president and director of research at the Institute, said the award is meant to show that business can be an effective ally in the fight against poverty.

Cynthia Pasky, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions and Alessandro DiNello, president and CEO of Flagstar Bank

“From the beginning, Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) has actively participated and genuinely supported the Institute’s efforts in addressing poverty, including challenging business leaders who occupy the highest executive positions to directly effect change throughout their organizations for the well-being of impoverished individuals,” Patterson said. “This commitment stemmed from S3’s own leader, Cynthia Pasky, whose name now carries this philosophy into the future by honoring leaders of tomorrow who will likewise highlight the need to address poverty at the highest levels and implement solutions as a top priority.”

C. Paschal Eze, the chairman of the board of The PuLSE Institute echoed a similar sentiment.

“Cynthia Pasky has been consistent in demonstrating her social consciousness and commitment to equipping and encouraging young people – especially the less privileged ones –  and it is only fitting that an award be established in her honor,” Eze said.

The Institute also boasts a brain trust made up of some of the foremost thinkers and leaders on issues of inequality America today. They are:

Dr. Arun Gandhi, advocate for global justice and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nonviolence philosophy.

Dr. Bernard Lafayette, National Coordinator, 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, former top assistant to Martin Luther King Jr., and one of the original Freedom Riders.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK

One of the nation’s leading Catholic voices for social justice and champion of Pope Francis’ message of equality.

Herb Boyd, Best-selling author of books on Malcolm X, James Baldwin and the black experience.

Janis Kearney, former President Bill Clinton’s first diarist in presidential history.

Robert S. Weiner, former White House Spokesman, who also served as top Congressional aide to retired Congressman John Conyers Jr. and late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Rev Lawrence Foster, Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church in Detroit, who is a Harvard University-trained theologian and mentee of Martin Luther King Sr.

The Institute’s Academy of Fellows, its prestigious leadership program, is made up of individuals of remarkable accomplishments from a across section of professional endeavors who have a strong interest in inequality and inclusion issues. They include:

Daniel B. Syme, Rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth El, and one of the most influential voices in the American Jewish community, Mike Smith, principal archivist at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Luba Lukova, Internationally renowned visual artist for social justice and others.


  1. I have applied for work from home opportunities on many occasions with Strategic Staffing Solutions and not once have I received a reply. So, I ask, are they really helping Detroiters who are experiencing poverty, and how?

  2. Congratulations to Cindy Pasky for walking the talk of putting people above profits and helping many of the less privileged in the city of Detroit. It’s easy for many to talk the talk but harder to be an example of the talk.

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