The three-year grant will fund the second phase of the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of the law school's Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Launched in 2014 with a $1.5 million grant from the foundation, DEAL works to promote racial equity and justice by bringing together an intergenerational multiracial group of leaders and innovators dedicated to ending structural racism in areas ranging from arts and media, community development, and law to everyday needs such as access to a safe environment and quality education, health, food security, transportation, and housing. The initiative has convened three cohorts of fellows totaling more than eighty individuals working to end structural racism in the greater Detroit region.
Phase II of the initiative will focus on strengthening the DEAL network through professional development opportunities, the fostering of connections within the DEAL community and with others engaged in building equitable communities, and convenings. In addition to recruiting two new cohorts of fellows, the lab will continue to conduct research to meet information gaps identified by communities most affected and refine its strategies for eliminating structural racism.
"We've spent the last three years building relationships with an amazing group of leaders and innovators working hard to end systemic racism and build equitable communities in Detroit and the region," said the initiative's director, eliza perez-ollin. "Together we've begun to build shared understandings of how structural racism has shaped the vast majority of Detroit's inequities, and create visions for an equitable Detroit region that offers abundant opportunities for all, especially those who have historically been most impacted."