DETROIT — After a remarkable year hosting over 50 community conversations at the Urban Consulate in Detroit, Chase L. Cantrell is passing his baton to friend & colleague, Orlando Bailey.

Orlando will work with founder Claire Nelson to bring people together & share ideas for better cities, thanks to support from Knight Foundation.

We couldn't be more grateful for Chase's smart & thoughtful leadership over the last year, and we will continue being big champions of his work with Building Community Value. For more reflections on Chase's tenure, read on below.

We are delighted to welcome Orlando Bailey of Eastside Community Network as the Consulate's new host in Detroit. Orlando will continue his work at ECN while leading Consulate events in the evening.

Chase will deliver a special farewell talk, "State of Our Black City," on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Urban Consulate, 4735 Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit. Reflecting on ideas he has explored in the parlor over the last year, as well as his own evolution in thinking about the city, he will share some personal observations & offer recommendations for the future.

The talk is free & open to the public. Locals & travelers welcome.

Thank you, Chase Cantrell

A Note from Consulate founder Claire Nelson


I had never met Chase before he was a guest in our parlor in Detroit. He came to one of our first talks, and soon became a regular — inviting new guests and posting smart takeaways & insights from Consulate conversations on social media.

In the summer of 2016 he led his own parlor talk titled "Disparate Narratives and the Power of Storytelling." That fall, he became our host.

There are many things I love about Chase, but perhaps most is that he possesses a beautiful mix of local pride & global curiosity. His heart is deeply rooted in Detroit, but he soaks up ideas, writing, research & perspectives from everywhere.

Also great about Chase: He's not just a thinker & talker, but a doer — committing his energy to support emerging leaders, candidates & entrepreneurs who share his passion for creating more equitable communities. He truly wants to see both his peers and his city succeed.

When Chase won his own Knight Cities Challenge grant in 2017 to help more Detroiters become real estate investors, we couldn't be more excited. Ditto when he was selected for a Salzburg Global fellowship in Austria. With more leaders like Chase, Detroit's future is bright.

Even through a year of heightened political & social anxiety in America, it has been an absolute joy working with Chase to amplify Detroit voices and push the envelope to ask hard questions & share daring ideas for the city. Chase has brought great intelligence & care to his role as host & diplomat and left an indelible mark on the Consulate's mission & vision for the future.

Thank you, Chase. 

Welcome, Orlando Bailey

Meet our new host of the Urban Consulate in Detroit


Born & raised in Detroit, Orlando grew up just down the road from where he now works.

As Director of Community Partnerships for the Eastside Community Network, he is passionate about civic engagement and youth development to shape the city's future. 

In 2015, Orlando was selected by 880 Cities and Knight Foundation as an Emerging City Champion, traveling to Toronto to learn & exchange. In 2017, he joined the Detroit Delegation of PlaceLab Chicago's Ethical Redevelopment Salon Series with Theaster Gates.

When the Consulate hosted visiting guests from Philadelphia in the fall of 2017, Orlando was a generous tour guide & great ambassador. He also gave his own Consulate parlor talk in April with Ezekial Harris. The topic? Letting new leaders have a seat at the table. Indeed.

Through Orlando's studies in media & journalism, he understands the value of being a great question-asker & active listener — qualities we cherish at the Consulate. We look forward to the conversations he will host!

About The Consulate

Urban Consulate is a network of parlors for urban exchange. A winner of the Knight Cities Challenge, the Consulate has hosted over 150 conversations in Detroit, Philadelphia & New Orleans to bring people together and share ideas for better cities.

For future events, follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @urbanconsulate.

For more about who we are, what we do & why, read more here.