Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights on the Passing of Elbert Hatchett

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

April 9, 2021

LANSING, MI - James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, has issued the following statement on the passing of Atty. Elbert Hatchett.

"With the passing of Attorney Elbert Hatchett, Pontiac has lost one of its most prominent citizens and Michigan has lost an exceptional legal mind and civil rights icon. Atty. Hatchett was known for his oratory and legal prowess and, most significantly, for his successful, decade-long battle against segregation in Pontiac schools. He was far ahead of his time, recognizing that the fight for civil rights would never fully succeed until we overcome inequities in educational opportunity. His passion and commitment to the people of Pontiac and the state of Michigan will be sorely missed."

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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