Lend a hand | Detroit MOTTEP Foundation

Washington, DC (November 7, 2016) – African Americans, the population once thought to be among the most resistant to donating organs, today represent the nation’s lead donating population, according to new research from renowned Howard University transplant surgeon Dr. Clive O. Callender.


Founded by Dr. Callender, the organization has been aggressively striving to help solve the number one nation-wide problem in transplantation – the shortage of donors. The first and only organization of its kind, MOTTEP has educated communities worldwide on minority organ donation and healthy lifestyles that can prevent the need for transplants.


“Since MOTTEP began, minority donor rates have doubled,” Dr. Callender said. “Through a community grass-roots approach and the use of multimedia we found the solution to the shortage problem. The community is the most potent change agent. Continued support will keep our work going for another 25 years, and then some.”


Minorities have had a history of being reluctant to donate due to multiple factors: lack of awareness, religious beliefs, medical distrust, fear of premature death and racism. Data on the growth in African American donation rates were analyzed from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) statistics.

Based on the latest available data from UNOS, African Americans now rank as the number one ethnic group in reference to organ donors per million. In 2010, African-American organ donors per million totaled 35.36 while the results in other ethnic groups are: White (27.07), Hispanic (25.59), and Asian (14.70) populations.  Blacks now represent 17 percent of the donor population, while representing 13 percent of the total U.S. population.


There are more than 120,000 people on the national transplant waiting list, more than half representing minorities. Dr. Callender said it was critical that the methodology of the community grass-roots approach be expanded to reach all minority and majority communities across the United States.


Facts about organ donation and transplantation:

  •  African American donors represented 3% of donors in 1982 and represent 17% of donors in 2010 (while making up 13% of the American population).

  •  Minorities were 15% of donors in 1991, but are now 32% of donors.

  • African American increased from 8 organ donors per million in 1982 to 35 organ donors per million in 2010.

  • African Americans represent 17% of donors, but make up 32% of those waiting for a transplant.

  • Minorities comprise 25% of the total population, but make up more than 60% of those waiting for kidney transplants.

  • African American and other minorities make up more than 60% of those on the waiting list.  Those on the waiting list may wait 5-10 years for a Deceased Donor kidney transplant.

  • 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. 60% are minorities.

  • Diabetes and hypertension are the number 1 and 2 causes of kidney disease which is 3-4 times as common for Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics

  • Nearly 300,000 persons are on dialysis; 120,000 persons are on the national transplant waiting list and 30,000 transplants take place each year.


Lend a hand | Detroit MOTTEP Foundation

Our Mission

Our mission is to decrease the number and rate of people in need of organ and tissue transplants through prevention education and to increase the number of organ and tissue donors in the Greater Detroit multicultural community.

Our Vision

The vision of Detroit MOTTEP Foundation is to be a trusted source of information concerning minority organ and tissue donation and healthier lifestyles in Greater Detroit.

Our Core Values

  • Access

  • Collaboration

  • Commitment


Frequently asked questions

Am I too old to sign up?

No, there are no age limits to register. There have been donors of all ages who have saved lives.

I think donation is against my religion. Is it?

Probably not. Most major religions approve of organ, tissue and eye donation and consider it the ultimate act of human kindness and generosity. > View a list of specific religious organizations and their positions on donation

I have health problems. Can I still be a donor?

Yes, anyone is a potential organ donor despite medical conditions, so please don't rule yourself out. A diabetic, for example, might have unhealthy kidneys, but a very strong heart or lungs. Donors with some medical conditions, such as hepatitis or HIV, are able to save or prolong the lives of who already have hepatitis or HIV. Medical criteria for organ donation changes as medical advances occur; and a physician evaluates all potential donors at the time of death to determine what can be used to help others.

How much does it cost to donate?

Nothing. It won’t cost your estate or your family anything. All procedures related to the donation are covered by Gift of Life Michigan.

Can I indicate specific organs or tissue to be donated?

Joining the Michigan Organ Donor Registry gives consent for all organs and tissues that are healthy enough to help another person. However, people wishing to limit their gift may create a separate document to indicate specific organs and tissues they want to donate. They should keep this in their own possession and let their families know where it is kept.

Why is it important to register as a donor?

Your gift will be used to help others through transplantation, therapy, research and education. If you register to become a donor, you relieve your grieving family of having to make a decision when you die. Having your wishes documented also ensures that your decision to donate will be carried out, if medically possible.

Will I still be able to have an open casket at the funeral?

Yes, donors are afforded the utmost respect and care so neither organ nor tissue donation typcally interfere with open casket viewings.

How do I sign up?

You can do so right here, by visiting any Secretary of State branch office or by calling Gift of Life at 800.482.4881. It takes about 30 seconds.

Why should I donate?

About 3,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in Michigan today. Nationwide, the number stands at about 114,000. People die waiting every single day because the number in need greatly outpaces the organs available. There is an especially critical need for hearts, livers and kidneys. Your decision to someday donate your organs could save up to eight lives. Your tissue can ease the pain and improve the lives of up to 50 more sick or injured people.

Will doctors work as hard to save my life if they know I’m a donor?

Yes, absolutely. This is, perhaps, the number one myth about organ donation. Every effort to save your life will be made before donation is considered or even discussed. By law, the medical team treating you must be completely separate from the transplant team.