**CORRECTION** - MDCR Launches Council of Local Governments and Education on Equity and Inclusion

Contact: Media Only- Vicki Levengood - levengoodv@michigan.gov

The statewide work group will serve as a network to identify challenges and share best practices in the effort to build more equitable communities and organizations.

  **CORRECTION** - The following schools were added to the list of those attending: Muskegon Area ISD, Okemos Public Schools and Washtenaw ISD. Van Buren County did not participate and has been removed from the release.

October 25, 2018

Lansing, MI– The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) today convened the inaugural meeting of the Council of Local Governments and Education on Equity and Inclusion – a statewide network of governments and school districts working together to develop and implement in-depth strategies to address the root causes of racial inequity within communities.

The Council met from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, October 24, at the Banquet & Conference Center of DeWitt in Dewitt Michigan.

The goal of the Council is to remove barriers to achieving equitable outcomes for all within a community. MDCR’s specific roles, along with establishing and convening the Council, include:

  • To support jurisdictions and school districts that are at the forefront of work to achieve racial equity.
  • To develop a “pathway for entry” into racial equity work for other governmental jurisdictions and school districts to engage.
  • To support and build collaborations that are broadly inclusive and focused on achieving racial equity.

“Bringing together these governments and school districts from across the state, each actively engaged in the effort to build more equitable communities, is one of the most important steps MDCR can take in promoting equity statewide,” said MDCR Director Agustin V. Arbulu. “By engaging with each other on a regular basis, we can better learn from each other’s successes and failures, build pathways to share best practices, and create partnerships that will allow us to impact equity on the local, regional and state level.”

Governmental entities taking part in the convening include:

  • City of Grand Rapids
  • City of Jackson
  • City of Kalamazoo
  • Kalamazoo Township
  • Kent County
  • Macomb County
  • City of Muskegon
  • Muskegon County
  • Ottawa County
  • Washtenaw County

Educational organizations taking part include:

  • Detroit Community Schools
  • Kent County ISD
  • Lansing Public Schools
  • Marshall Public Schools
  • Van Buren ISD
  • Wayne RESA
  • Muskegon Area ISD
  • Okemos Public Schools
  • Washtenaw ISD

“This convening has provided me the opportunity to connect with other people doing equity work throughout the state,” said Reyna Masko, Chair of Ottawa County’s Cultural Intelligence Committee. “These connections will be beneficial to my organization in collaborating and moving equity work forward.”

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law. For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

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