Michigan Civil Rights Commission Selects James White as Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Contact: Jeannette Johnson johnsonj106@michigan.gov

August 25, 2020

Lansing, MI— In a special meeting on Monday, August 24, 2020, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission selected James White to serve as Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). White was selected by a majority of the commission, with Chair Clayton and Commissioners Combs, Grim, Kopack and Sakwa voting in favor of his appointment.

According to Chair Stacie Clayton, “We had seven excellent candidates who represented diversity in gender, ethnicity, and experience.  With our vote for James White as the next Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the Commission has selected an experienced administrator to provide thoughtful, yet strong, leadership for the department and its employees.  Mr. White’s guidance of the Detroit Police Department’s Civil Rights Integrity Bureau, along with his graduate level degrees in business and sociology, will allow him to lay the groundwork to move the MDCR into a new era. We look forward to working with Mr. White to create initiatives that will further our goal of making Michigan a more equitable, just and welcoming state for all.”

Mr. White currently serves as the Assistant Chief of the Detroit Police Department.  With almost 25 years of exemplary law enforcement experience, problem-solving and decision-making skills, the Commission believes Mr. White can help to address one of our state’s and the country’s most prevalent issues – the enforcement of civil rights while reforming police operations and improving community relations.

The Commission expects he will begin the role of Executive Director on September 21, 2020.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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