Civil Rights

Congressional Black Caucus meets with Biden to push for police accountability

BY: - February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Thursday evening to urge the administration to use its executive power for law enforcement reform, following criminal charges for police officers in the killing of a Black man in Memphis, Tennessee.  “My hope is this dark memory spurs some […]

Black Michigan mothers continue call for paid family leave legislation

BY: - February 3, 2023

As the 30th anniversary of the seminal federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) nears, African American Michigan mothers and caregivers on Thursday shared their experiences and called for state paid leave legislation.  “Paid leave helps parents be more responsive to their children,” said Christina Hayes, a paid leave organizer at Mothering Justice, a Detroit-based nonprofit. […]

Expanding Elliott-Larsen is first order of business for Senate civil rights committee

BY: - February 2, 2023

During their first hearing of the year, the Michigan Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety listened Thursday to LGBTQ+ lawmakers, advocates and a few opponents to the bill that aims to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA). “There was a time when our community had very few outlets, and it was […]

Sen. Santana reintroduces bill establishing Juneteenth as state-recognized holiday

BY: - February 1, 2023

After years of attempting to pass bills that would honor Black history in Michigan, state Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) reintroduced legislation on Wednesday that would establish Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday.  Santana introduced Senate Bill 50 on the first day of Black History Month after attempts to pass similar legislation in 2020 and 2021 under […]

Michigan leaders speak out on continued violence against Asian Americans

BY: - February 1, 2023

Michigan leaders and residents are continuing to mourn those lost to more violence against the Asian-American community.  Civil rights groups and government officials participated in a public vigil on Saturday to remember victims involved in mass shootings last month in Monterey Park near Los Angeles and Half Moon Bay, Calif. Attending the event were state […]

Of more than 7,500 threats against members of Congress in 2022, just 22 prosecuted

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON —  Members of Congress receive thousands of threats a year, though just a fraction of the people who call, mail or email will ever be prosecuted — a situation that’s of great concern to the police who guard members. Just 22 of the 7,501 threats lobbed at members during 2022 led to prosecution, the […]

Michigan Black lawmakers renew call for police reforms after Tyre Nichols killing

BY: - January 31, 2023

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) on Tuesday continued their call for police reform after the fatal beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tenn. “Enough is enough,” said state Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit), 30, who is African American, during a news conference at the state Capitol.  His comments spoke to several fatal […]

Lengthy timeline for DACA legal fight puts lives on hold for years

BY: - January 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — Karen Judith Briseno Ortiz mailed in her application for a program meant to protect undocumented children from deportation, one day after her twin sister’s application. Her sister was accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but Briseno Ortiz, who grew up in Dallas, was not. Now her application is in limbo […]

Hall of Fame journalist Luther Keith uses blues music to keep telling stories 

BY: - January 28, 2023

Luther Keith is a former journalist, community leader and blues musician who believes that songwriting is similar to state Capitol news reporting.  “It’s 100% connected. God gave me the gift of words and the ability to write. Lyrics are the thing that people connect to. There are a lot of musicians who are great but […]

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

BY: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, […]

‘Just not The Diatribe’

BY: - January 27, 2023

Updated, 9:00 a.m., 1/27/23 When Marcel “Fable” Price, the executive director of The Diatribe, a Grand Rapids Black and LGBTQ+-run art and creative center for youth, saw their proposal to receive federal COVID-19 relief funding through Kent County ranked in the top 12 of more than 300 proposals countywide, he felt hopeful that they would […]

‘Bigotry is bad for business,’ Whitmer declares in her State of the State speech

BY: - January 26, 2023

Updated, 11:49 a.m., 2/2/23, 7:39 a.m. 2/3/22 Throughout Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fifth State of the State address Wednesday night, she drew connections between the many civil rights issues she has championed for years and the need to strengthen the state’s economy.  “Bigotry is bad for business,” Whitmer said before receiving a standing ovation from the […]