Growing up, Aaron Dawson was nourished by the Detroit community and now he dedicates his life to exposing the younger generations of the city to mentorship, opportunities, and possibilities for a bright future. He says, “It was my grandmother, aunties, my friends’ mothers [who raised me]…truly I am the kid raised by the village and I have a responsibility to give that back to other people.”
Dawson describes himself as a social entrepreneur and storyteller. For the last 10 years his company Passion MGMT has provided consultations in leadership and production-solutions aide to non-profit organizations and businesses of every size and prominence. He does this with his team by using art, film, photography and digital media to assist those nonprofits in sharing the stories in their community that need to be told. Dawson has worked with the NAACP, Bing Youth Institute, The Yunion, I Can Too Foundation, Quicken Loans, Stock X and countless more.
“Everything I do is connected to a bigger piece of the puzzle. My business is way more than just the bottom line, it’s about wellness and prosperity. Not only for me, but for a community to move the needle for a whole generation,” Dawson says.
Recently he and the Bing Youth Institute joined together for their reCONNECT day. The program began 7 years ago with the mission to show young Black men love, familial mentorship and the power of opportunity. He says, “Through the work and dedication of the mentors, we open up their minds. I’ve had kids tell us that this program has changed their lives and they don’t know where they would be without this program.”
The team accomplishes this by hosting Black college tours, offering kids behind-the-scenes access to their favorite businesses and sports teams, participating in field trips like suit-fitting excursions and providing advice and guidance about different career opportunities and pathways.
“Although I am blessed to travel the country now, my heart will always be in Detroit, I could never forget or truly walk away from the city that has given me so much,” Dawson says.
Photos from the Bing Youth Institute
Credit – Kenny Wilson @bykennyw