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** UPDATED ** Michigan Department of Civil Rights Announces Two Fact Finding Hearings in Grand Rapids on March 28, 2019
March 22, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, MI– The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) has scheduled two fact finding hearings in Grand Rapids on March 28th in response to allegations of discriminatory conduct against people of color. The hearings will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at Greater Grand Rapids NAACP located at 1530 Madison Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507. The entrance to the facility is on the Cottage Grove side of the building. Session one will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., while session two will held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Anyone with an interaction with the Grand Rapids Police Department who would like to share their experiences is invited to attend one of the two hearings. Speaking time may be limited due to time constraints. Written statements will also be accepted during the hearings.
Written statements will be accepted electronically starting at 1 p.m. March 21, 2019 and ending at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019. Statements must include a name, address and a telephone number or email address for contact. Statements can be emailed to Community Engagement Liaison Gwendolyn Moffitt at MoffittG@Michigan.gov.
“We are present because of the two recent videos as well as other such events from the past 18 months. Each of these instances are disturbing and should not be happening,” said Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu, director of MDCR. “We want to hear more from the community and assess what our next steps may be as it relates to the ongoing issues between communities of color and the Grand Rapids Police Department. Following these hearings, the department staff will determine our next steps.”
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.