Women You Should Know #1: Portia Roberson - A Visionary Leader Transforming Detroit


Portia Roberson, a Detroit native, embodies the essence of a dynamic and visionary Businesswoman, making profound strides in shaping the landscape of her city. As the CEO and President of Focus Hope, a distinguished social justice non-profit organization with a remarkable thirty-four million dollars in revenue, Roberson's leadership prowess is evident in every aspect of her endeavors.

At Focus Hope Roberson orchestrates a diverse team of approximately two-hundred employees, spearheading initiatives in Workforce Development, Early Learning, and a Senior Food program. Her dedication to empowering individuals and communities shines through as she navigates the complexities of social challenges with resilience and compassion.

Prior to her pivotal role at Focus Hope, Roberson served as the Group Executive of Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity for the city of Detroit. In this capacity, she championed inclusivity and economic empowerment, ensuring that residents and businesses had equitable access to opportunities for growth and development. Her strategic acumen and unwavering commitment to fostering a thriving environment for all have made her an indispensable asset to the city.

Roberson's illustrious career trajectory also includes notable positions such as corporation counsel for the City of Detroit and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison under the Obama administration. Her tenure at the Department of Justice further underscored her dedication to public service and social justice advocacy, leaving an indelible mark on policies and initiatives aimed at community enrichment.


Beyond her professional achievements, Roberson is deeply entrenched in the fabric of her community, actively participating in various legal and non-profit organizations. Her roles on boards such as Habitat for Humanity and the ACLU-Michigan attest to her unwavering commitment to social causes and civic engagement. As the Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Roberson continues to be a leading voice in the pursuit of equality and justice for all. Roberson's academic credentials, including a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, underscore her intellectual prowess and multifaceted approach to problem-solving. Her holistic perspective, coupled with her innate ability to bridge divides and foster collaboration, distinguishes her as a true trailblazer in her field.

Furthermore, Roberson's media presence as a regular guest on WDIV's Sunday morning news show, Flashpoint, further amplifies her influence and advocacy on issues pertaining to politics, social justice, and racial equity. Her insightful commentary and informed analysis serve as a beacon of enlightenment in navigating the complexities of contemporary societal challenges.

Portia Roberson's unwavering dedication to serving her community, coupled with her astute leadership and visionary outlook, position her as a transformative force in Detroit and beyond. Her tireless efforts to promote equality, inclusion, and justice exemplify the epitome of a dynamic businesswoman and an invaluable asset to the city's progress and prosperity.