New Report Highlights Struggles of Diverse Communities in Michigan

A new report from the Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion highlights issues and barriers to advancement for people of color in the state.

The report, Struggles and Triumphs of Peoples of Color in Michigan (40 pages, PDF), offers a series of essays detailing key historical and cultural moments for African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, and Arab Americans in Michigan. Written by historians, academic researchers, and community leaders, the essays give voice to the struggles and opportunities confronting people of color in the state while linking significant moments in Michigan history to specific regions.

For example, one of the essays details how African Americans were forcibly segregated within Detroit as a result of violence perpetrated by local Ku Klux Klan members. A different piece discusses how the state, and in particular the city of Dearborn, which is 30 percent Arab American, has experienced an influx of Arab Americans since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"At the Kellogg Foundation, we believe strongly that in order to put racial inequities behind us, we must first put them in front of us and include the voices and participation of all people," said Kellogg vice president of program strategy Dr. Gail Christopher, who heads up the America Healing initiative at the foundation. "Through the rich essays captured in this report, we hope to inspire people to take action to change hearts, minds, laws, and systems to forge a healthier pathway for our home state of Michigan."

"New Report Highlights Issues, Barriers for Michigan's People of Color." W.K. Kellogg Foundation Press Release 11/07/2012.