Black Leadership Advisory Council

The Black Leadership Advisory Council was created by Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-163 as an advisory body in the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. 
 
The Black Leadership Advisory Council will act in an advisory capacity to the governor and develop, review, and recommend policies and actions designed to eradicate and prevent discrimination and racial inequity in Michigan. To accomplish this goal, the Council is charged with:  
  • Identifying state laws, or gaps in state law, that create or perpetuate inequities, with the goal of promoting economic growth and wealth equity for the Black community.
  • Collaborating with the governor’s office and the Black community to promote legislation and regulation that ensures equitable treatment of all Michiganders, and seeks to remedy structural inequities in this state. 
  • Serving as a resource for community groups on issues, programs, sources of funding, and compliance requirements within state government in order to benefit and advance the interests of the Black community. 
  • Promoting the cultural arts within the Black community through coordinated efforts, advocacy, and collaboration with state government. 
  • Providing other information or advice or taking other actions as requested by the governor.  
 
The Council will consist of the director of LEO, or the director's designee, and 16 individuals appointed by the governor representing Black leadership in various fields, such as economics, law, public policy, education, health and wellness, technology, the environment (including environmental justice) and agriculture, community safety and preparedness, arts and culture, and media and communications. At least one member of the Council must be an immigrant or individual with expertise in immigration policy, and at least one member must be between the ages of 18–35. After the intial appointments, members will serve 3-year terms. 
 

Statute

 

Current Members

Jerry L. Clayton, Sr., Ypsilanti
Represents Black leadership in community safety and preparedness
Term expires 12/31/2021
 
Justin N. Onwenu, Detroit
Represents Black leadership in the environmental sector,
and a member between the ages of 18–35 
Term expires 12/31/2021
 
Christopher Burtley, Flint
Represents Black leadership in law,
and a member between the ages of 18–35
Term expiring 12/31/2021
 
Kathy Purnell, Ph.D., Kalamazoo
Represents Black leadership in law,
and a member who is an immigrant or individual with expertise in immigration policy
Term expires 12/31/2021
 
Theresa Roach, Flint 
Represents Black leadership in health and wellness
Term expires 12/31/2021
 
James E. Atterberry, Sr., Benton Harbor
Represent Black leadership in the faith-based community
Term expires 12/31/2022
 
Donna L. Bell, Ph.D., Southfield
Represents Black leadership in technology
Term expires 12/31/2022
 
Kelsey Perdue, Grand Rapids
Represents Black leadership in public policy,
and a member between the ages of 18–35
Term expires 12/31/2022
 
Joel Rutherford, Warren
Represents Black leadership in government
Term expires 12/31/2022
 
Seydi Sarr, Detroit
Represents Black leadership in education,
and a member who is an immigrant or individual with expertise in immigration policy
Term expires 12/31/2022
 
Kelli A. Ellsworth Etchison, East Lansing
Represents Black leadership in economics
Term expires 12/31/2023
 
Rochelle Riley, Detroit - Co-Chair 
Represents Black leadership in media and communications, and arts and culture
Term expires 12/31/2023 
 
Michele Samuels, Farmington Hills
Represents Black leadership in health and wellness
Term expires 12/31/2023
 
Michelle Sourie Robinson, West Bloomfield
Represents Black leadership in economics
Term expires 12/31/2023
 
Carl M. Williams, Saginaw
Represent Black leadership in public policy
Term expires 12/31/2023
 
Robert Womack, Grand Rapids - Co-Chair
Represent Black leadership in public policy 
Term expires 12/31/2023
 
Kim Trent
Designee of the Director of LEO