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MCRC honors civil rights leaders, welcomes new commissioners - February 2021

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) held a regularly scheduled meeting virtually on Monday, January 25 where they welcomed new commissioners and honored two Michigan civil rights leaders who recently passed away.

The Commission unanimously passed two resolutions honoring the lives of Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, a former Chair of the Commission who served from 1984 to 1991, and Judge Dalton Roberson, Sr., a renowned Detroit judge and father to current commissioner Portia L. Roberson, whose life was committed to justice and public service.

Three new commissioners were also sworn in at the meeting - Anupama Kosaraju of Franklin, Gloria E. Lara of Grand Rapids, and Richard Corriveau of Northville.

Kosaraju is currently a community organizer working to increase civic engagement in the South Asian Community in Michigan and nationally. She is retired from Harman Industries International where she worked as a global procurement controller. Her term expires 12/31/22.

Lara is the executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. She previously served as the chief executive officer of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore. Her term expires 12/31/22. 

Corriveau is a trial attorney and the president of Richard J. Corriveau Law, P.C. He is a veteran of the United States military and previously worked as a public school teacher and an adjunct professor. Although Corriveau was sworn in for a term that expires 12/31/24, the Senate, in a process known as advice and consent, rejected his appointment to the Commission on January 27. The advice and consent process gives 60 days to the Senate to reject certain appointments by majority vote.

The rejection of Corriveau, along with a number of other appointees made recently by Governor Whitmer, is linked to the Republican-led Senate’s disapproval of her Coronavirus response. His rejection should not be seen as a reflection on him, his qualifications or his selection.

The advice and consent process, according to Senate Advice and Consent Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, was a “tool” to pressure her into working with the legislature regarding future executive orders surrounding public health in the state.