Community Relations

The Community Relations Division works to improve communication around common issues, provide new options in service delivery, and facilitate access to outreach and education by developing relationships with communities, organizations, businesses, and educational institutions.

The Community Relations Division is responsible for designing and maintaining partnerships and initiatives to advance the mission of the Department and to offer its services to Michigan residents. MDCR colleagues can then use the initiatives of the Community Relations Division to better serve customers.

Initiatives and Partnerships

Building Cultural Competency (BCC) Training: This workshop is offered in four-hour or eight-hour sessions. The information presented enhances participants' understanding of five major cultural groups: African American, American Indian, Arab American, Asian American, and Latino American. These sessions address the complexity and challenges of various issues within a multicultural society, as well as in the work environment. Topics covered include cultural protocols, cross-cultural communication, definition and name evolution, the impact of significant historical civil rights events, cultural characteristics and dispelling myths and stereotypes that lead to bias and discrimination. The 4-hour presentation concentrates on embracing cultural diversity in the workplace.

Crisis Response Team (CRT): The CRT initiates proactive measures and intervenes when necessary to diffuse situations involving community tension and unrest, and to assure that all people enjoy equal rights under the law.

To carry out its responsibility, the Department monitors and intervenes in civil rights-related incidents causing tension or unrest.  This includes incidents involving race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or other civil rights-related matters.

MDCR leverages its relationships established through collaboration with law enforcement agencies, community and faith-based institutions, business community representatives and advocacy agencies. In all instances, MDCR will initiate proactive measures to restore the civil rights health of the community.

Human Relations Commissions (HRC)/MDCR Partnership:  The Michigan Department of Civil Rights' relationship with the state's Human Relations Commissions (HRCs) plays an important role in partnering with local municipalities and coalitions.

These local Commissions and staff help MDCR stay attuned to civil rights issues. The regular meetings hosted by MDCR with HRC staff are a vital link to these Commissions. The partnership with the HRCs could potentially strengthen their positions within their local communities. This in turn facilitates MDCR's work at the local level.

The advocacy roles of Human Relations Commissions provide MDCR colleagues with an abundance of resources to fulfill their job responsibilities. Some of the local partnerships/collaborations that could be maintained with HRCs are fair housing activities, Anti-Klan efforts, dual MDCR and HRC-related complaint intake and investigation, and hate crime reporting and investigative activities.