Soh Suzuki celebrated as AAPI Heritage Month Game Changers honoree

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — It has been more than eight years since Soh Suzuki actively served as co-founder and coordinator of the Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project, but the 45-year-old still views his time with the community-based initiative as an enlightening experience.

“We wrapped up our work in 2015,” said Soh, who currently works as an operations manager at Allied Media Projects. “I was very involved when we first started the program in 2004. I think the biggest takeaway was just learning from all the city’s different communities.”

DAY Project promoted leadership skills and raised social justice awareness among Asian American youth in Detroit. And for over a decade, Suzuki helped organize programs and hands-on activities to teach the next generation how culture and community are intertwined.

“I learned a lot from the Asian American youth,” Suzuki said. “They experience Detroit in ways that are much different than how someone like me did.”

In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Comerica Bank are recognizing Suzuki as a Game Changers honoree for his ongoing efforts in youth education and creating an inclusive environment for all.

“Game Changers honorees often sit at the center of building fellowship and awareness within communities,” said Ilitch Sports + Entertainment Director of Community Impact Kevin Brown. “Through current and past work, Soh continues to positively impact those around him each day.”

Born in Torrance, Calif., to Japanese parents, Suzuki lived in the United States until he was 6 years old before his family moved to Japan. Eight years later, they returned to the U.S. and settled in Michigan, where Suzuki has been ever since.

Suzuki, who has dual degrees in studio and interdisciplinary humanities from Michigan State University, said being a Midwest “transplant” played a part in his development as a community activist.

“I came to Detroit with an understanding that there was a large Asian American presence here that perhaps wasn’t talked about,” Suzuki said. “And after being here, I realized that this sense of community had shifted away. I wanted to try to bring all these different parts of the city and those people back together.”

While representing DAY Project, Suzuki said he quickly learned what makes Detroit such a unique city.

“There are so many thriving communities,” Suzuki said. “These exist, even if they aren’t necessarily talked about in the mainstream.”

Soh currently serves on the Board of Education for James & Grace Lee Boggs School, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that nurtures creative and critical thinkers who contribute to the well-being of their communities. The school uses a place-based educational curriculum to cover common core standards while instilling a sense of place in students.

For more information about The James & Grace Lee Boggs School, visit

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