Alissa Shelton is a facilitator, citizen-developer, and community activist in Hamtramck, Detroit. She is the owner and program curator of a 1920s corner bank building, turned Chop Suey restaurant turned community space. Bank Suey is an experiment in how we use main street spaces, exploring layered uses and curated programming. Since opening in March 2016, the space has hosted over 200 gatherings with 3000+ attendees covering a broad range of topics, but unified by a purpose: to build skills, understanding, and confidence resulting in citizen involvement and greater community wealth.
Alissa is endlessly curious and committed to how we build places together- both physically and through community. She is also the first executive director of Brick + Beam Detroit, an organization who grows capacity and community around building rehabilitation. Alissa was most recently was the Director of Training for Incremental Development Alliance, a national nonprofit focused on citizen-led real estate development.
Alissa lives a few blocks away from Bank Suey in a 1915 bungalow she owns with her partner, in the dense, walkable community of Hamtramck, a 2 square-mile city completely surrounded by Detroit, where over 27 languages are spoken and 18 different national flags line the main street.