The PuLSE Institute, Detroit’s national anti-poverty think tank, is planning to honor its former board member Dewan Mitchell, 57, a widely respected entertainment executive and veteran of production and studio operations, who has been on the board of the Institute since 2018 until he passed away recently. The Institute will host a private appreciation dinner on Tuesday, May 31, to coincide with the birthday of Mitchell to recognize and celebrate his legacy of caring for underserved and poverty-stricken communities.
Mitchell’s daughter Ashely Mitchell, who is graduating from Tennessee State University, her father’s alma mater in May with an undergraduate degree in agriculture and environmental science, and his oldest sister Althea Graham will be the special guests at the dinner.
Ashely, who has a passion and a strong interest in examining and addressing the challenges of food inequality and environmental justice issues and their impact in the Black community, will be named a fellow at The PuLSE Institute during the remembrance dinner. She will join the Institute’s Academy of Fellows, a distinguished and coveted position, which will provide her with a high-profile platform to write and speak about issues relating to agriculture, the environment and economic justice issues in the Black community including places like Detroit, where food insecurity remains a serious concern.
Leading members of the Institute who will be attending the dinner in downtown Detroit include board members C. Paschal Eze (Chairman) and Omar Hernandez; Attorney Tina M. Patterson, the president and director of research, and Bankole Thompson, the dean and editor-in-chief of the Institute, who delivered the community tribute at the Feb. 26 Celebration of Life Service for Mitchell.
Mitchell was one of the first individuals to answer the call of The PuLSE Institute, where he brought top-notch operational and management skills in helping execute some of the Institute’s most important and highly successful and anticipated public engagements including forums that featured CEOs, captains of industry and top public and elected officials.
In the entertainment and production industries, Mitchell worked with legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle. He later spent 10 years at the world-renowned Detroit Opera House as director of booking and events, where he developed new programming to bring more visibility to the institution as well as attract new patrons.
A passionate advocate and believer in Detroit, Mitchell has been a longstanding supporter of efforts to help those who are underprivileged and bring attention to their plight. He believes that society has an obligation to bring the issues of the disadvantaged to the forefront of conversations about social transformation.