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Detroit Grows is a non-profit organization born from our desire to actively participate in the revitalization happening in the Detroit community.


Driven by and in support of female empowerment, we endeavor to deliver experiences and opportunities that build our community up; fortifying them with the self-confidence to go out and make meaningful contributions to the world.

We are able to do this in the form of grants to propel minority-owned businesses as well as donating to organizations making an impact in the community, both with financial donations and donations in the form our time and resources.

Nia, Katy + Sophia

Nia Batts


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Nia Batts is a native Detroiter, who after spending a decade in entertainment and media returned home to find ways in which she could build organizations that would have a positive impact in the community.

In 2020 Nia joined EqualSign as a Founding Partner — a C-Suite business consultancy for the inclusive economy — where she leads the firm’s Board Diversity practice, and consults across its consumer, education, and private equity clients.

She is also a Principal at Union Heritage Capital, one of the nation’s leading minority-owned, multi-line financial services company; serving on the investment committee, and overseeing the firm’s social equity strategy.

Upon her return to Detroit, Nia co-founded Detroit Blows, a non-toxic salon and impact-driven retail store, that served as a model of inclusive community redevelopment in city’s downtown core. She continues to Chair its affiliated philanthropic arm, Detroit Grows, which makes micro-grants to Detroit-based female entrepreneurs, and to programs helping women enter or reenter the workforce.

Prior to returning to Detroit, Nia was the Head of Strategic Partnerships and Social Innovation at Viacom, Inc. splitting time between New York and Los Angeles. In her position, she worked with all of the Viacom brands on division priorities and cross-promotional, marketing, programming and pro-social campaigns for key corporate, non-profit and talent partners including: General Motors, AT&T, Capital One, Taco Bell, The White House, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The United Way, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Mariska Hargitay, LeBron James, Kelly Clarkson, and Sophia Bush.

As a producer, her projects have been nominated for Emmy, Peabody, NAACP, and Banff World Television awards.

Nia earned a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, Executive Education Certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility, and Alternative Investments, from Harvard Business School, and a professional certificate in Film Producing from New York University.

She has been recognized by People Magazine's 25 Women Changing the World, Black Enterprise’s 40 Rising Stars Under 40, Dell’s #Inspire 100, and Create & Cultivate 100, and featured in Forbes, Vanity Fair, Elle, Women’s Health, Essence, Refinery29 and Hour Detroit Magazines.

Nia resides in Detroit, where she serves on the board of Birth Detroit, Detroit’s first freestanding birth center and easy access clinic, founded by women of color. And oversees the philanthropic work and art collection of modern artist, McArthur Binion.

Katherine, otherwise known as Katy, is the vice president of public relations at StockX, the world’s first-ever
‘stock market of things.’ In her role, she is responsible for media relations, executive communications and
community relations. Prior to joining StockX, Katy was an Associate Vice President at Finn Partners where she
oversaw public and community relations for the agency’s clients. She was also previously the Director of
Strategic Communications at Ignition Media Group (IMG,) a boutique integrated marketing agency in
downtown Detroit. Over the course of her four-year tenure at Ignition, she built the agency’s PR practice from
the ground-up taking its client roster from two to more than 10. Prior to joining Ignition in July 2011, Katy was
the Small Business Programs Marketing Manager at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

A native Detroiter, Katy’s experience took her to London, Chicago and New York before returning to the city in
2009. She has worked at internationally renowned public relations agencies and in an in-house capacity as the
sole Public Relations Coordinator for Intermix, a 27-store luxury retailer headquartered in New York City.
Throughout her career, she has also held positions at Duffey + Petrosky, Fleishman-Hillard International
Communications in Chicago, Fingerprint Communications in New York and Franco Public Relations Group in

Katy has represented clients including Viacom, the Get Schooled Foundation, Macy’s, Motorola, The Salvation
Army of Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Polaroid.

She is the volunteer PR director for Detroit-based voter awareness initiative, Vote Detroit and also served as a
member of the host committee for Another Detroit is Happening, a week-long event launched in September
2012 to raise awareness of investment opportunities in Detroit. In June 2015, she was recognized as a Crain's
Detroit Business "twenty in their 20s" winner. She is a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s active
professionals committee, Riviere 28, the Detroit chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and
the advisory board of Detroit SOUP, a micro-granting dinner that funds creative projects in and around Detroit.

She holds a dual B.A. in political science and public relations from Wayne State University where she was a
member of the David Mackenzie Honors Society. In 2015, the university recognized her with its annual Recent
Alumni award for outstanding professional achievement and community contributions.

Katherine Cockrel


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Sophia Bush



Sophia Bush is an American actress, activist, entrepreneur, and global education access advocate. Bush is a
member of the Directors Guild of America in 2017 entered a talent and development deal with 20th Century
Fox TV. She starred in various independent projects, shows and movies such as the hit comedy John Tucker
Must Die, Incredibles 2, The CW’s hit drama One Tree Hill, and starred as Detective Erin Lindsay for 4 seasons
on Dick Wolf’s Chicago PD.

Bush has earned multiple Teen Choice Awards in the categories of "Choice Movie Actress: Comedy," "Choice
Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller" and "Choice Movie: Breakout Female."

Named one of the most charitable celebrities by CNN, Sophia devotes her free time to bettering girl’s
education and the environment. She inspires millions as she uses her personal platform and social media
influence to raise awareness and funds for great causes. Since taking to social media to share her passion for
change, Bush has inspired young people to join her in raising nearly half a million dollars for charity, built
three primary schools in Guatemala and Laos, and now serves as a global ambassador for Glamour's The Girl
Project. Her focus, with The Girl Project, is to break down the barriers the girls face to secondary school
education. They are currently working in 96 countries around the world.

Most recently, Sophia launched her podcast, Work in Progress. She features frank, funny, personal,
professional, and sometimes even political conversations with people who inspire Sophia about how they’ve
gotten to where they are, and where they think they’re still going. These discussions stem from her "aha"
moment of realizing you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.

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