civil rights

On this day in 1960: JFK lands in metro Detroit ahead of Labor Day parade 

BY: - September 4, 2022

On Sept. 4, 1960, U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) arrived in metro Detroit to participate in the city’s annual Labor Day that was held the following day. After his flight arrived at Metro Airport in Romulus, he was greeted by Democratic Gov. G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams. “… Tonight we are in Detroit. We did […]

GOP support for same-sex marriage protections builds in U.S. Senate

BY: - July 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate appears on track to send President Joe Biden a bill in the coming weeks that would guarantee same-sex and interracial couples can marry, even if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark cases that enshrined those rights.  “I think we’re very close,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday of efforts […]

Grand Rapids police implementing de-escalation training, new policies in wake of Lyoya’s death, charges of racism

BY: - July 26, 2022

At a time of elevated public scrutiny, the Grand Rapids Police Department will undergo de-escalation training, improve victim support services and make the department more transparent, according to the GRPD chief.  At a Grand Rapids City Commission’s committee meeting Tuesday, GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom presented his findings and plans based on his initial review of […]

Civil rights department files discrimination charges against Grand Rapids police

BY: - July 25, 2022

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) filed formal charges of discrimination against the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) in two separate complaints. During a press conference Monday morning in Grand Rapids, John E. Johnson, Jr., MDCR executive director, said the charges officially levied last Wednesday are a “significant step in our ongoing investigations into […]

Michigan Supreme Court finds Grand Rapids Police fingerprinting policy unconstitutional

BY: - July 22, 2022

On Friday the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a now discontinued Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) policy of fingerprinting and photographing individuals not charged with a crime is unconstitutional.  The unanimous decision determined that the GRPD violated the Fourth Amendment rights of two Black teenagers when, in separate incidents, the teens were stopped by police, […]

U.S. House on bipartisan vote passes bill protecting right to same-sex marriage

BY: - July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House voted Tuesday to enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law, though the bill’s path forward in the Senate is unclear. The 267-157 bipartisan vote stemmed from concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the constitutional right to […]


A Republic, if we can keep it: Now is not the time for despair, but renewed and relentless action

BY: - July 4, 2022

Most of us have heard the tale: As Benjamin Franklin walked out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, someone shouted out, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin is said to have responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” This Independence Day, many Americans feel betrayed and […]

African World Festival returns to Detroit’s Hart Plaza, entrance fee concerns some

BY: - June 24, 2022

The African World Festival will be held at Detroit’s Hart Plaza for the first time in nearly a decade. But many of those who attend the 39th annual event, which will be held July 15-17, will have to pay to do so for the first time. Jamon Jordan, City of Detroit historian and a festival […]


LGBTQ+ lawmakers detail ‘toxic’ atmosphere in GOP-led Legislature

BY: - June 22, 2022

Following the high-profile rejection of a Pride Month resolution in the Michigan Senate last week, and amid a historic rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, three LGBTQ+ state lawmakers told reporters Wednesday that they are having to maneuver in the GOP-led Legislature’s “toxic atmosphere.” “This agenda that they have of division prevents us from getting other work […]

The District of Columbia allows incarcerated people to vote, a rarity in the U.S.

BY: - June 21, 2022

This article is published through a collaboration between States Newsroom and Bolts. WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, about 10 men detained in the Young Men Emerging unit in the Washington, D.C., jail sat around a TV to watch the Democratic candidates for mayor debate issues including affordable housing and gun violence.  “It was on a […]

Advocates encourage voting accessibility and engagement with young voters

BY: - June 16, 2022

Activists, educators and nonprofit organizers on Wednesday discussed efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 elections, restrictions on voting rights and methods for promoting civic engagement.  The panel was held as part of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ 2022 Civil Rights Summit at the Lansing Center. The discussion opened with Democratic Secretary of […]


Michigan communities host Juneteenth events celebrating culture, education and activism

BY: - June 15, 2022

As Juneteenth approaches, communities and institutions throughout Michigan are hosting parades, festivals and educational events to commemorate the holiday. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day or Emancipation Day, is celebrated annually on June 19, marking the anniversary of Union soldiers arriving in Galveston, Texas, and informing enslaved African Americans of their freedom, more […]