Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on Discrimination in Wake of the Coronavirus

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

March 12, 2020

 

LANSING—The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has issued the following statement in response to multiple reports of discrimination and bias incidents targeting Asian Americans and individuals of Asian descent in Michigan and around the country in response to the spread of COVID-19 /coronavirus.

 

"As the state of Michigan comes to terms with the threat of the coronavirus, we cannot allow fear and xenophobia to lead to discriminatory action against people of Asian descent,” said Denise Yee Grim, member of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and Outreach Coordinator for the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC). “In some Michigan communities and on college campuses, individuals report being harassed or shunned on the basis of their perceived ethnicity.

 

“We urge people in positions of authority throughout Michigan to address the truth about the virus and to speak out against this unlawful discrimination. If you have experienced racism or discrimination, we encourage you to report it and know that you have the right to file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.”

 

To file a complaint of unlawful discrimination, contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights by phone at 1-800-482-3604 or go online to Michigan.gov/MDCR and click on the link to File A Complaint.

 

The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. Updates will be posted to Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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, 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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