Hey, do you dig Detroit? Do you have a Twitter handle? Do you have next Thursday free? Then you need to show off some 313DLove.
Meet Terry Bean. He’s the executive director of all this love. Bean, who is a social-media pro, is one of the biggest proponents for the city and those who support it. That is why he’s turning March 13 (read: 313 Day) into an event that gives Detroit the love it so desperately needs.
In previous versions, 313DLove was an online thing. At 3:13 p.m., everyone Tweeted a message with that cute hashtag thingie, and we displayed our affection for Detroit through 140 characters of good tidings. Detroit “trended,” and that was it. It was pretty spectacular in its way, but it only existed for a moment.
This year, things are different. Things have been “activated,” to use Detroit speak. Bean and friends have organized a huge event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. There are a dozen speakers who cover all races, colors and creeds, united in their visions for the city and their adoration for this crazy mess called Detroit. The event, which starts at 1 p.m., has a set number of tickets available: 313.
Numerology is on our side, me thinks. Bean agrees. After all, the number “1” stands for leadership. The number “3” is all about creativity. Put that together, and we have double the creativity of other cities. And, now, in many ways, we finally have the leadership we need.
“It’s about making a difference and having an impact. And we finally have that here in the Detroit area,” Bean said.
Shawne Duperon, a noted media coach, will talk about forgiveness – and there are decades of stupid moves, dumb ideas, poor judgment and cruelty Detroit and its neighbors need to resolve. Rabbi Yisrael Pinson, Executive Director at Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit, will talk about his decision to move his life and family of seven to the city. Menachem Kniespeck of Operation: Kid Equip will talk about giving of yourself and giving away free books, supplies and school equipment. John George of Motor City Blight Busters will show how he saw the ugly side of Detroit and turned it into something beautiful.
Bean said he always wanted to do more with the event. However, the loss of his father last year postponed 313DLove’s growth as planned. So, he knew this year had to be more – especially because we are celebrating the city’s birthday.
“In August 2010 we had what was called Blood, Sweat and Gear week where we supported: Red Cross, Blight Busters and Operation Kid Equip,” Bean said. “Turns out it’s harder to get people to give blood, time (and sweat) and money/school supplies than you’d think.What seemed reasonably easy to give was a tweet.
“So I asked people to tweet #100KDlove and say what they loved about Detroit,” Bean continued. “Shortly after that, I knew I had to do the same on 3/13 and that’s when it all came to me. … I slept on it on 3/13/11 and finally did something on 3/13/12 and phoned it in on 3/13/13 cuz of a loss of a father on 3/12/13.”
But, now, they’re ready to roll.
“I knew I wanted to do more, so I rounded up some colleagues and friends. And I asked them if they would share what they do and why they do it in and around Detroit. All of them are doing inspirational things. And no one tapped them on the shoulder and asked them to do it. They just stood up and made it happen,” Bean said.
“What would happen if any one of us did the same thing? What if we stood up, came together and made the changes we wanted to see in Detroit? We’d be so much further along,” Bean added.
Bean sees a day when 313DLove gets big enough that it can fill Ford Field. He wants the goodness to grow. There is a gravitas to this event – it is a natural connection to our collective area code, the numbers that represent us, the moments that we collectively share. And finding people who inspire us to try more, to do more, to be more…That’s a great reason to get together.
“It really just came together. We were so thrilled with how easy it was. Everyone said, ‘Hell, yeah! We’re in.’ Everyone is doing it for free and from their hearts,” Bean said.
But there is some give back as well – four charities, including Operation: Kid Equip and Blight Busters, are benefitting from your entry fee. Support the sponsors, including Click Click Car and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. So sign up. Don’t just say you’re going on Facebook. Buy a ticket. Spread the love.