Devotion's President

IMG_0183-1-scaled-blackwhite
Devotion USA is the brainchild of life-long Brooklyn educator, organizer and activist, Michael West.
Michael West has pioneered economic development initiatives in Brooklyn, New York since 1982.
In the early 2000’s, his work with Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (B.U.I.L.D.) included the development of the groundbreaking Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. His work with B.U.I.L.D. also included the design and management of capacity building programs for small businesses.
Michael West founded Devotion in 2015. In the 6 years since its inception, the organization has expanded to have offices in multiple states.
Mr. West received an Associate Degree from the College of Staten Island in 1979 and a B.A. in journalism (with a public relations concentration) from New York University in 1981. He received a Master of Science in Education from Bank Street College of Education in 1995.
When he’s not travelling to grow Devotion’s coalition and partnership base, he spends time in his hometown, Brooklyn.

The Education Coalition is made up of educators, educational organizations whose goal is to increase contracting opportunities with local, state and federal departments of education and educational agencies.   

Local education organizations help community members build the capacity to earn more over their lives, and to create more jobs. Supporting educational is an investment in a brighter future for our communities.

The Education Coalition connects educational organizations to resources and opportunities.

The Construction Coalition is made up of home improvement, trades and construction contracting companies whose goal is to increase contracting opportunities with local, state and federal government agencies, corporations and large institutions.

We emphasize the significance of job creation, and economic stimulation through construction and home improvement contracts. The Construction Coalition helps constructing contracting companies secure more of these opportunities.

The Arts and Entertainment Coalition is comprised of artists and arts organizations whose goal is to increase contracting opportunities with local, state and federal government agencies, corporations and other large institutions. 

The Arts and Entertainment Coalition’s objectives are to increase awareness of the role of art, artists and art organizations as engines of business and economic development in local community. Local artists and arts organizations create jobs, pay taxes, and create multiple benefits for their communities. 

We work to help artists and arts organizations access contracting and procurement opportunities.

The ownership of land, home and real property is the foundation of economic self reliance and prosperity. 

Opportunities to build wealth through property have been denied to marginalized groups. Some government institutions, banking institutions and real estate institutions have manipulated systems in order to bar access from property ownership. This manipulation comes in the forms of unfair appraisals, unethical mortgage lending processes, deed theft, and more.

These illegal practices create economic disparities that Devotion’s Home Owner’s Coalition works to address.

People make economic prosperity possible. Where we spend our money, and how we spend our money are the drivers of the economic engine of any community. 

The Community Economics Coalitions is composed of individuals, groups and organizations whose goal is to educate their communities about how to use their economic influence to better their lives.

Devotion Coalitions

HBE Logo

In Loving Memory

IMG_0213-scaled-blackwhite
James-Caldwell-blackwhite
Mr. James Caldwell and Ms. Marie Louis were pioneers in the field of economic advocacy and Humanity-Based Economics. At Devotion USA, we honor the memory of their loving and fighting spirits by trying our best to continue their work.
In 2005, along with Michael West and many others, these advocates led the fight to create the Barclay Center/Atlantic Yards development complex. From that effort came the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (C.B.A.).  The Atlantic Yards C.B.A., was signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Forest City Ratner C.E.O. Bruce Ratner.  The agreement committed groundbreaking resources to affordable housing, small business development and employment opportunities for low and moderate income community members. It was one if the nation’s first C.B.A.s and become a model for the others that followed.