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Community Engagement

February 2021

Community Engagement - Mark Bishop

CRIS O&E - Mark has been conducting a series of O&E Case and Event Record trainings for staff; a future refresher/troubleshooting weekly session is currently under consideration and will be modeled on the bi-weekly CRIS Support Calls Renee Kenyon hosts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  All will be welcome to attend.

As you know, we are currently scheduled for a May 1 return to work. As part of this, you will receive further guidance from OSE regarding employee COVID-19 screening and a new tool to be rolled out by DTMB-IT for automated employee screening at log-in through their state issued computer/device. This will help alleviate the on-going need to complete a paper (PDF) form and submit it to your supervisor. Supervisors will have access to a special dashboard to review employee status on a daily basis. Additional directions and requirements will be forthcoming from OSE by email.

SOM will beginning offering priority frontline and priority designated employees COVID-19 vaccines in coming days and weeks. This is being coordinated by the Department of Community Health, OSE, and local health departments and will be driven by the availability of vaccine. Employees will be contacted by DCH regarding available appointments and vaccination sites.

MDCR is now participating with the Protect Michigan Commission.   The Protect Michigan Commission, comprised of a diverse group of leaders from the across the state, will work to ensure that every Michigan resident has the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccine. Established by Executive Order 2020-193, the Commission will serve as an advisory group to Governor Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services. The commission will work to protect the health and safety of Michigan residents by educating communities about the effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to eradicate the spread of the coronavirus. To achieve this, the bi-partisan Commission will develop an outreach strategy to identify and work with communities around the state where there is hesitancy to the vaccine. The Commission will complete its work and submit a report to Governor Whitmer by December 31, 2021.


Community Engagement - Anthony Lewis

The Community Engagement Division has been busy with outreach and several events with impacted communities.  Anthony Lewis is working with the City of Kalamazoo and police department to establish a Citizens Review Board. On Feb. 1, the Berrien County ALPACT had a forum about racism in the judicial process, which featured remarks from Director White. On Feb 3, Community Engagement partnered with U-M's Social Work program and Prof. Barry Checkaway to discuss how to respond to bigotry in public schools. The Response to Bigotry panel was a resounding success, with more than 45 attendees on Zoom. Special thanks to Director White for providing opening remarks and engaging with the panelists. The Kalamazoo ALPACT hosted 3 forums in January and February, featuring MDCR's Jenni Scheid discussing how to navigate the criminal justice system.

Melissa Kiesewetter is working with the Native American tribes, recently submitting her Michigan Indian Tuition Waver report to legislators. She is also serving on a taskforce for social studies standards, to make sure school curricula are inclusive of Native Americans and others.

Mariza Gamez-Garcia is working on the initial phases of a planned renumeration study of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Michigan.  She's also monitoring developments related to a Sparta zoning ordinance, to make sure it is inclusive of migrant workers.

Kudos to Charles Schoder, who contributed closing thoughts in a special report on law enforcement, Building Trust. This report, spearheaded primarily by the Dearborn Police Department with contributions from numerous police and community leaders including Charles, explores how to rebuild trust between police and the communities they serve, and outlines best practices in policing. Check out the full report and Charles' contribution here: