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MDCR Director John E. Johnson, Jr. Issues Statement on the Passing of Judge Karen Fort Hood
August 16, 2021
LANSING, MI -- John. E. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, has issued the following statement on the passing of Judge Karen Fort Hood.
"Judge Karen Fort Hood's career was marked by significant firsts: she was the first Black woman elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the first Black woman to lead the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. Her talent, persistence and dedication to the pursuit of justice will continue to inspire Black women everywhere to see a future for themselves in the judicial system. As another important part of her legacy, we note that she worked and fought hard with the Detroit NAACP in 1997 to save Detroit Recorders Court, which at that time provided criminal justice for defendants who allegedly committed a felony in the city of Detroit. She believed that the judges and juries of Detroit defendants should reflect the community in which they lived, and fought unsuccessfully to save the court. We mourn her loss and send our heartfelt condolences to her family."
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.
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