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Michigan Civil Rights Commission Elects Officers, Establishes Priority Issue Committees for 2024

LANSING, MI—At their first meeting of the year on Monday, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission elected new officers and established committees to tackle the Commission’s priority issue areas for 2024.

Commissioner Gloria Lara was elected to chair the Commission in 2024. She will serve as chair through the first meeting of 2025 when the body will again choose leaders for the year ahead.

“I want to thank to Chair Roberson and Vice Chair Elhasan for their leadership, and for being powerful role models for how the Commission can and should be led,” said Commission Chair-elect Gloria Lara. “I look forward to serving as Chair in what is an exciting time for the Commission, particularly as we enter an election year with so many issues in the forefront that impact what we do. I ask for your help, your suggestions and more exemplary work from both the Commission and the department in the year ahead.”

Also elected to serve as officers in 2024 were Commissioner David Worthams and Commissioner Luke Londo. Worthams will serve as Vice-Chair of the Commission and Londo will serve as Secretary.

At their Oct. 23, 2023 meeting, the Commission voted on priority issue areas for 2024 and established committees to take the lead on these issues. At their January 2024 meeting, Commissioners volunteered to serve on one of the three committees.

Voting Rights Committee: Commissioner David Worthams was named chair of the Voting Rights committee. He will be joined by Commissioners Portia Roberson and Richard Corriveau.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: Commissioner Luke Londo will chair the DEI committee, with Commissioners Rosanne Barker and Gloria Lara also serving.
Juvenile Justice Committee: Commissioner Zenna Elhasan will chair the committee on Juvenile Justice. She will be joined by Commissioners David Worthams and Chair Gloria Lara.

Commission Chair Gloria Lara is the former Executive Director of Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, a Holland, MI based non-profit organization, which works to build bridges between organizations and individuals throughout our communities and across the state, helping to educate and engage all of us in moving forward a vision of racial equity. Lara previously served as the chief executive officer of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore. She also held executive-level positions at Chrysler Corporation as well as at major automotive suppliers. Additionally, Gloria had served on the Corewell Health System – West Board of Directors from 2022 to 2023, on the Spectrum Health System board from 2017 to 2022, and the Spectrum Health Hospital Group Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2017, chairing the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Committee from 2016 to 2017. A native of Los Angeles, CA, Lara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University, Fullerton, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, Boston, MA. Lara is an Independent, appointed to the Commission by Governor Whitmer to a term that began in December of 2020 and expires on December 31, 2024.

Commission Vice-Chair David Worthams is the Director of Employment Policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA).  He serves as part of the government affairs team representing over 1,700 Michigan based manufacturers.  Prior to joining the MMA, Dave was the Vice President of Policy for the Michigan Bankers Association, a Legislative Associate for the Michigan Municipal League, the Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director for former State Senator Judson Gilbert, II, and served on the central staffs for former Michigan House Speakers Rick Johnson and Craig DeRoche.  Additionally, Dave has served as the 69th President of JCI Kalamazoo (aka Kalamazoo Junior Chamber/Jaycees) and the 87th President of JCI Michigan (aka Michigan Junior Chamber/Jaycees) and served as a member and Vice-Chair of Equality Michigan. He holds a Master’s in Legal Studies from Kaplan University and a Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Worthams is a Republican appointed to the Commission by Governor Whitmer in June of 2022; his term expires on December 31, 2025.

Commission Secretary Luke Londo is a member of the Hazel Park City Council, appointed to the office in 2021 and subsequently elected to a full, four-year term later that year. He is also a senior account executive for Siren, a strategic communication firm who strengthens companies and communities through clear, powerful communication. He assists municipal, higher education, community development and philanthropic clients in reaching their audiences through strategic media relations. Londo previously served as the Director of Constituent Services for the late Congressman Dan Benishek, M.D., and as a Constituent Relations Representative for the Michigan Department of Attorney General under Attorney General Bill Schuette. He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, where he grew up, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Londo, the first out LGBTQ Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner, is an Independent appointed to the Commission by Governor Whitmer in September of 2022 for a term that expires on December 31, 2025.

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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