The Problem As We See It

Homeownership rates among Black Americans are higher today than they were in the 1980s.

Black Americans have yet to reach a rate of 50% homeownership in United States history.

If you responded True for statement 1 and False for statement 2, you have a strong pulse on the state of systemic inequity and anti-Black racism in the United States of America.

Our Solution

The Ground Up Project is a large-scale effort to revitalize property in one of Detroit’s historic African American neighborhoods, promoting new construction and restoration development within the Dexter/Linwood and LaSalle Gardens communities. Through this initiative, we intend to expand substantial access to secure quality housing, retain and restore Black ownership, and build a culture of generational wealth communally. We intend to see 1,000 families and 1,000 homes impacted by the Ground Up Project. This vision has already started taking root in the Coalition’s headquarters city, one of the nation’s most significant historically Black metropolises – Detroit, Michigan. 

The Ground Up Project is committed to renovating homes and renovating lives through the following ventures:

  • The Ali Legacy House 
    • The Legacy Builders – Leadership Development Program
  • The Black Legacy Advancement Center
  • The BLAC Real Estate Commission
Watch the Film


Built for Impact



Through the Ground Up Project, we will strengthen our relationships and impact in the community while developing the next generation of business leaders in the City of Detroit.

The Ground Up Leadership Development Fellows will experience an integrated model of full spectrum support to ensure that they foster the skills, talents and competencies necessary to thrive intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Each participant will walk away from this experience with the tools, skills and competencies necessary to thrive while sustaining themselves and the business or career venture that aligns with their life purpose.

All applicants are required to complete a rigorous application prior to participation in our purpose incubator. We will select applicants, between the ages 18-35, from three talent pools – local Detroit talent, applicants representing our partnered ally organizations, and the Coalition’s broader national audience. As a result of the Ground Up Project’s curriculum, programming, formal learning, and work assigned by industry mentors during the incubator; fellows will strengthen their skills and mindsets and distinguish themselves as .


  • Age: 18-35 years of age
  • Motivated
  • Interested in one of the three categories:
  • Entrepreneurship & Business
  • Professional Career Development 
  • Skill Trades

The Ali Legacy House

2420 Virginia Park
Detroit, Michigan 48206

“A Haven of Hope”

The Ali Legacy House is a residential property on Detroit’s West Side named in honor of the late Ishmail Ali. Ishmail is the original inspiration behind the Coalition’s male mentoring group, The Man to Man Project. Man to Man was founded in 2010 by the Coalition’s President, Dexter Sullivan, shortly after Ishmail’s passing. Since that time, hundreds of young people have been impacted nationally through the organization’s work.

The Ali Legacy House now serves as our first residential affordable housing solution for Detroit’s rising young adult population. The space is also used to serve our Legacy Builders leadership development program. By providing this affordable housing resource, we accelerate opportunities for young people, empowering them to engage their future with the tools needed for success.

The Ali residence is located in direct proximity to the future Black Legacy Advancement Center, creating an additional layer of residential support for our growing geographical footprint.

The Ali Legacy House is the first project in Detroit’s real estate rehabilitation effort, and Detroit is the first pilot project in a comprehensive ten-city plan. The next phase of Detroit’s Ground Up Project is a commercial building, the Black Legacy Advancement Center, which will be housed less than one block west of the Virginia Park residence. This center will be activated as a transformative business incubator – run both by and for Detroiters.

The Black Legacy Advancement Center

Within the next few years, we plan to erect The Black Legacy Advancement Center. This space will serve as the main site of our work as well as a community center, living quarters and Black-owned businesses. It will be a physical manifestation of our commitment to and partnership with the city of Detroit. People will come to The Black Legacy Advancement Center to acquire tools and resources to improve the quality of their lives. They will also come to the space to learn, build community and nourish themselves mentally, physically and spiritually. 

On the grounds, we will also have a community garden, which will be an organism that allows us to educate the surrounding community about food sustainability and sovereignty. There will also be a mural that is a tribute to the people of the city of Detroit and our rich historical and cultural legacy. From the inside-out this physical project will be rooted in the principles of empowerment, accountability and community. Together, we will continue to build our vision for renovating homes and renovating lives.


“Give today, where it makes a difference tomorrow.”


The Ground Up Project presents a unique environment within our urban context. It creates a safe place where seeds of potential can fully germinate in a setting equipped with the proper support and guidance for learning. 

Partner with the Ground Up Project today – a community development effort committed to uplifting our communities. Tremendous value is at stake, and we are committed to being a key partner in rebuilding America’s historically Black communities. Consider investing into this pivotal project today!

Be sure to add Ground Up to the comment section to help us direct your gift.

Make all Checks and/or Money Orders out to BLAC.

Mail to:

PO Box 32088
Detroit Michigan 48232


BLAC’s Ali Legacy House + Ground Up Programming Promo Video

Dexter Sullivan Interviews with Fox 2 Detroit, Talking Ground up Project

0:09 / 3:07 Health Is Wealth Detroit Interview on Live in the D with WDIV Channel 4

Health Is Wealth – Detroit TESTIMONIAL VIDEO #3

Health Is Wealth Detroit Featured on Fox 2 Detroit

Detroit 60 Feature – Dexter Sullivan, President of the Black Legacy Advancement Coalition

WXYZ-TV Chanel 7 News Interviews Dexter Sullivan, Black Legacy Advancement Coalition

Ali Legacy House Dedication RECAPPED

Dexter Sullivan at the Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Awards 2022