Michigan Civil Rights Commission Names Attorney John E. Johnson, Jr., as Interim Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
May 24, 2021
Lansing, MI - At their meeting on Monday, May 24, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission named Attorney John E. Johnson, Jr. as Interim Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Atty. Johnson currently serves as the department's Legislative Liaison and Special Advisor to the Commission. Interim Director Johnson will begin his duties on Tuesday, June 2, 2021 and will continue to serve in that capacity until the Commission selects a permanent Executive Director.
The decision to name an Interim Director was precipitated by the announcement on May 17 that MDCR Executive Director James E. White had accepted the position of Interim Chief of the Detroit Police Department.
"The Commission extends our deep gratitude to John E. Johnson for stepping up and agreeing to serve as Interim Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The Department has made significant progress in the last 8 months under Director White, and we believe Attorney Johnson will help us advance the momentum and progress we have achieved during Director White's tenure," said Commission Chair Stacie Clayton.
Before he was hired by MDCR, Johnson served as Executive Director of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, a position he held for seven years. Prior to his position with the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, he held several leadership positions, including Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit, General Counsel to the Detroit NAACP, Deputy Executive Director of Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services, and Hearing Officer for the Michigan Tax Tribunal. He also is a former Management Consultant with Legal Services Corporation of Washington D.C. and previous owner of a private law practice.
Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University. He has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan for more than 41 years and has been involved with the Detroit NAACP since 1992.
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.