January 20, 2020

Monday, January 20, 2020

National Day of Racial Healing

On Tuesday, communities across the state and the U.S. will come together for events and programming for the fourth annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH).

The annual day of recognition is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, a national, community-based process of transformative, sustainable change, addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

The NDORH website shares: “Racial healing is not only important, it is essential. Because healing is at the heart of racial equity.”

Michigan is home to four of the 14 TRHT collaborations in the country.

The sites in Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing have been working deeply in TRHT efforts, supported by CMF with funding from WKKF.

This year you can participate in the NDORH virtually via a livestream, spark conversation in your own office, networks or family by using the NDORH individual action kit or attend one of the in-person events happening around the state.

There are several events taking place in Michigan TRHT communities and in Detroit. 

Highlights include:

Battle Creek, January 21:

  • Lifting Our Voices: Sharing Stories of Strength and Resilience Community Dinner: TRHT Battle Creek is hosting its inaugural community dinner for racial healing. You can learn more and RSVP on Facebook.

Detroit, January 21:

  • Detroit Let's Talk About Race: The Civil Rights Inclusion and Opportunity Department is hosting a community conversation on race for Detroiters. Learn more and RSVP.

Kalamazoo, January 21:

  • Local Day of Racial Healing Celebration: This year's event is a family friendly community celebration featuring local artists and a Truth Talk with youth and community voices. Attendees can also learn more about how TRHT Kalamazoo connects racial healing and systemic change in Kalamazoo County and beyond. Learn more and RSVP.

  • Racial Healing Circle: TRHT Kalamazoo is also hosting a racial healing circle for 20 participants. It marks the first time the site has hosted a racial healing circle on the National Day of Racial Healing. Learn more and RSVP.

Lansing, January 21:

  • Powerful Youth & Adult Allies Webinar: This one-hour lunch and learn webinar focuses on listening to and supporting local young people. Participants will learn about work in progress to increase civic participation of youth and young adults, as well as strategies to show up for young people who are leading transformative change. Learn more and register.

  • National Day of Racial Healing Lansing Celebration: Join TRHT Lansing for a community-wide racial healing event, exploring what racial healing is and how we heal, celebrating common humanity and growing in beloved community. The event will honor the tradition of healing circles, which is rooted in Indigenous cultures, as participants share personal experiences and stories. Learn more and RSVP.

If you can’t make it to one of the in-person events happening in Michigan tomorrow, you can still be involved by joining the W.K. Kellogg Foundation national livestream event that’s happening from 9 a.m. to noon. You can also join the conversation via social media by using the hashtag #HowWeHeal.

CMF staff will be actively participating in NDORH as well, with facilitated conversation focusing on the role of philanthropy in addressing racism and racial equity.

Want more?

Check out all of the NDORH Michigan events.

Connect with the NDORH individual action kit.

Learn more about TRHT.






Sharing Your Voice in Shaping the Future for Public Education in Michigan

Now is your chance to weigh in on the state’s strategic education plan. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is asking for public feedback via an online survey to help review and update Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 plan.

“We’re asking the public to help shape Michigan’s education focus,” Dr. Michael Rice, state superintendent said. “It is my expectation, and that of the State Board of Education, that an updated plan will be more streamlined and focused and will have measures that align with the goals to help us monitor progress toward becoming a top education state.”

The MDE shared that the current strategic education plan for making Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years has been in place since 2016. Rice indicated last fall that the plan should be reviewed and updated.

According to the MDE, potential goals were explored and included within the survey for input based on recent interviews with State Board of Education members, education stakeholders and partners, tribal partners and MDE staff.

The survey is open until February 7.

As CMF reported earlier this month, Launch Michigan, a collaborative of education, philanthropic, business and other leaders, including CMF, recently announced its first series of recommendations to improve educational outcomes for Michigan students.

“Launch Michigan really encourages you to weigh in on this MDE survey - the importance of input from a personal and professional level to the improvement of Michigan’s public education system cannot be understated,” Adam Zemke, president of Launch Michigan said. “Our state is filled with thousands of wonderful amazing children and hardworking educators, but they are stuck in a system that deeply needs improvement and support. This is an important opportunity for your lived experiences to contribute to that change.”

A draft of the updated plan is expected to be presented to the State Board of Education later this spring. CMF will follow any developments and share updates as they become available.

Want more?

Participate in MDE’s survey.

Watch Launch Michigan’s press conference and read a summary of their recommendations.






Statewide Task Force Shares Recommendations for a More Equitable Justice System

The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, a bipartisan cooperative focused on reforming the state’s justice and jailing systems, released a set of recommendations to the public last week.

The recommendations, announced at a press event, were given to the state Legislature for consideration. The report focuses on reforming the state’s use of fines, fees and cash bail for those arrested or awaiting trial in an effort to make the system more equitable for people with low income.

“Our current jail system’s overemphasis on fines and fees—and severe imbalance and punishment for those who can’t afford them—is creating a modern-day debtors’ prison where people with lower incomes receive harsher penalties than people with money,” Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO, the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) said in a press release. “But the jail task force’s recommendations that were released seek to change that, and the League wholeheartedly supports these recommendations.”

The 21-member task force, co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, is comprised of attorneys, law enforcement officials, lawmakers, victims of crime and those who were formerly justice-involved individuals.

Eighteen data-driven recommendations were developed by the task force, highlights include:

  • Ending the suspension and revoking of driver’s licenses for violations unrelated to safe driving.

  • Reducing the use of arrest warrants to enforce court appearances and payments.

  • Reducing fine amounts for civil infractions. Also, determine an individual’s ability to pay for the fines and fees.  

The task force hopes these recommendations, if enacted, would make the court and jail systems more equitable for all Michigan residents.

“Now that we have clear data and information about the state of Michigan’s jail and pretrial system, we can begin to take a more thoughtful approach to ensure our policies meet the needs of all who come into contact with that system,” Gilchrist said. “The policy recommendations that we have outlined will provide people with a much healthier chance of success here in Michigan, and I’m ready to work with the Legislature to codify them into law.” 

Gilchrist and Attorney General Dana Nessel—another task force member—participated in the Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable hosted by the Hudson-Webber Foundation and other key partners in 2018. Two reports focused on effective and equitable solutions in the justice system were created from the gathering, one centering around youth and one on adults.

Issues and topics from the Roundtable have influenced the recommendations, including data reporting, poverty, lengths of stay and more.

As for the recommendations, according to a press release from the state, House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who received the report, committed to giving the recommendations a thorough review and serious consideration. 

Want more?

Read the Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration’s report and recommendations.

Check out the Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable reports.







Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation supports Motown Museum expansion campaign with $1 million grant

Content excerpted and adapted from a Motown Museum press release.

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation has provided a $1 million grant to support the expansion campaign of the Motown Museum.

The foundation is lending support to phase one of the expansion—Hitsville Next—the Motown Museum’s creative hub for entrepreneurship designed to offer innovative education and community engagement programs. The programming made possible through Hitsville Next is designed to activate and inspire future generations of creatives, artists and entrepreneurs.

“One of the key pillars of our mission is to help organizations develop and sustain programs that empower children and their families to help them unlock life-changing opportunities,” Virginia Romano, CEO of Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation said. “Hitsville Next is the core of the expansion and home to a creative hub specifically designed to educate, inspire and support promising young artists and entrepreneurs."

The foundation is continuing its founders' legacy "by supporting the museum's innovative work, impactful educational initiatives and community engagement efforts that will continue to help elevate and transform families in our community,” Romano said.

The $1 million grant is the most recent contribution to Motown Museum’s expansion initiative after announcing it had reached a significant halfway funding milestone—$25 million—during Hitsville Next’s groundbreaking in September.

Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by renown architects and exhibit designers.

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