Brenda Lawrence

Michigan lawmakers aim to stamp out hair-based discrimination

BY: - January 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — When a Black New Jersey teen was forced to cut his dreadlocks in order to participate in a high school wrestling match in late 2018, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) was taken aback. The wrestler, Andrew Johnson, received a hurried haircut after he was told by a referee that his hair violated wrestling […]


New Michigan anti-LGBTQ discrimination ballot measure includes religious beliefs protections

BY: - January 8, 2020

Updated, 3:02 p.m., 1/9/19 A new ballot initiative filed Tuesday could make civil rights protections for LGBTQ Michiganders a reality, after attempts to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in the state Legislature have languished for years. And, perhaps in an effort to finally get state GOP leaders on board, the petition also includes language […]


Column: Michigan gets called out for having the most Black children living in concentrated poverty

BY: - October 11, 2019

We want every child to thrive in Michigan. A new snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation calls out our state on this goal … but not for praise. Due to a legacy of racial discrimination and oppression that we have yet to address, Michigan was ranked as the worst state in the nation for […]


Column: HUD’s attacks on civil rights protections contradict science and the Supreme Court

BY: - October 10, 2019

Have you ever heard the phrase “racism without racists?” Particularly in the United States, terms like “racism,” “racist,” and “discrimination” are deeply entwined with the concept of intent. While intent does matter, we risk losing sight of the forest through the trees when our obsession with intent eclipses the reality of impact. Years of scientific […]


Julie Cassidy: New HUD rule would make it easier to discriminate in housing 

BY: - September 20, 2019

At a recent staff training on racial equity here at the Michigan League for Public Policy, we considered a question: If you threw a Frisbee and accidentally hit someone in the head, would your lack of ill intent absolve you of responsibility? Or would you recognize the impact of your action, though inadvertent, and apologize?  […]