#MCHRFreedomTour2016 Sing-a-long Fundraiser: Songs of the Movement With Matt Watroba

Join us for a singalong fundraiser with Matt Watroba supporting the #MCHRFreedomTour2016 on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at 7pm:

Swords Into Plowshares Gallery, 33 E. Adams Detroit, MI

Donation of $20 to help cover the cost of 2016 Freedom Tour

Light Refreshments Included

50/50 raffle to also support the Freedom Tour

Free parking in rear. Entrance through parking lot only.

Matt Watroba is first and foremost a community singer. He has the knack for picking the perfect songs and stories for the audience in front of him. In concert, at a festival, in a library, in a school, or in the park, you can count on a performance that will get you singing, make you laugh, and leave you feeling a little bit better about the world we live in.

Matt brings his Songs of the Movement event to support MCHR as we organize a Freedom Tour; a bus full of high school students who will walk in the footsteps of the Freedom Riders of the 1960’s. Come support the Tour and sing with Matt!

If you can’t attend the event, DONATE HERE 🙂

MCHR Annual Meeting- June 16

The public is invited to sit in on MCHR’s Annual Meeting on June 16th at 7 pm at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Activity Center (13500 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park).

Board elections will take place at 7 pm (only paid members can vote) and our annual report will follow at 7:30. After the report, join us for a talk by MCHR board member Abayomi Azikiwe on “What Role Should the Movements For Peace, Racial Equality and Economic Justice Have in the 2016 Elections?”  Respondees will be MCHR board member Kezia Curtis and her father, artist and activist Wayne Curtis. You need not be a member to attend the talk. 

Light refreshments. Donations accepted.

“This Changes Everything” film screening at DIA- May 26

MCHR is proud to co-sponsor a screening of the film This Changes Everything at the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA (5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit 48202) on Thursday May 26.

Doors open/networking at 6pm

Film at 7pm

Filmed in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Directed by Avi Lewis and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.Interwoven with these stories  is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
Free to the public.

2016 Spring Film Series

MCHR 2016 Spring Film Series

Tuesdays in April – May 2016 – 7pm

First two films are at 7pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church- 11 Mile and Woodward, parking in rear off 11 Mile.

April 12th
Inside Assad’s Syria” is the most current film on Syria available. Correspondent Martin Smith goes inside Syria to report from government-controlled areas as war rages. With on-the-ground reporting and firsthand accounts from Syrians caught in the crisis, the film shines new light on the ongoing conflict. Facilitator will be Saeed A. Khan – Lecturer, Department of Classical & Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Wayne State University

April 19th
“Disruption: Climate Change” ‘When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?’ Through a relentless investigation to find the answer, Disruption takes an unflinching look at the devastating consequences of our inaction. Facilitator will be Gloria Lowe, CEO-Founder of We Want Green, Too!

May 3rd
Moyers and Company, “The Fight – and the Right- To Vote” In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill speaks with Sherrilyn Iffill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Ari Berman, contributing writer for The Nation magazine, about Texas’ harsh voter ID law and the troubling issue of voter suppression. This is happening in states all over the country. Our facilitator will bring us up to date and discuss what needs to be done this election cycle.


Last two films at new location– St. Matthew / St. Joseph Episcopal Church, 8859 Woodward, Detroit 48202 – South of Holcomb, guarded parking adjacent.

April 26th
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” More than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded, the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring images in our popular imagination. This will weave together the voices
of those who lived this story — police informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party, and those who left it. Facilitator will be Gloria House – Professor of Humanities and African American Studies and Director of the African and African American Studies Program University of Michigan-Dearborn.


2016 Freedom Tour Poster Contest Results are in!

This year, MCHR opened a poster contest to young people across the state of Michigan to help promote our #MCHRFreedomTour2016. We received a ton of great revolutionary art from talented local young artists!

A panel of local artists, activists, and journalists judged the young revolutionary posters


MCHR is proud to announce the winners of the #MCHRFreedomTour2016 poster contest! The winners were awarded checks at our 36th Annual Dinner.

1st Place: Gregory Rochon Age 16 Eastpointe, MI $1000 winner

1st Place:
Gregory Rochon
Age 16
Eastpointe, MI
$1000 winner

2nd Place Theresa Zettner Age 24 Detroit, MI $500 winner

2nd Place:
Theresa Zettner
Age 24
Detroit, MI
$500 winner

3rd Place: Victoria Bayagich Age 22 Detroit, MI

3rd Place:
Victoria Bayagich
Age 22
Detroit, MI
$100 winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our poster contest and helped make it a success! There were lots of great entries (I’m glad I wasn’t a judge).

2016 Annual Dinner

NOTE: To purchase dinner tickets, program ads, or donate to be a sponsor of our Freedom Tour, please use our PayPal donate button on the left side of our Annual Dinner page. The button is labeled “Make a Donation” and is in the left sidebar of that page under the heading “DONATE”. Simply type a description of the item you are purchasing (eg: “Full page ad” or “table of 8, dinner and reception”) and enter the price and your credit card info. Thank you for helping support our 2016 Freedom Tour and advance the cause of justice locally and worldwide!

MCHR proudly extends an invitation to all for our 36th Annual Dinner on Sunday, April 3 at the gorgeous campus of Marygrove College in Detroit (8425 W. McNichols- east of Wyoming)! The reception starts at 4 pm and the dinner and program start at 5 pm.

This gathering represents a celebration of work throughout the year designed to implement the aims and objectives of this organization.

At this year’s Annual Dinner the keynote speaker is Vince Warren, the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Mr. Warren’s speech is entitled “Emergency Managers, Structural Racism, Economic Repression and the Fight for Democracy”.

The winners of our 2016 Freedom Tour Poster Contest will also be announced at the dinner and the entries will be proudly displayed.

At our Annual Dinner, we reflect on the social justice events that transpired in the last year and recognize and thank those social justice leaders who have made a difference as we work towards a peaceful world without poverty and committed to environmental stewardship. Our honorees this year are:

            Lifetime Achievement Award- Dean Robb

            Activist Organization Award- Rosa Parks Institute

            Media Activist Award- Kate Levy

            Human Rights Activist Award- Charity Hicks (Posthumously)


The focus of our dinner will be our upcoming 2016 Freedom Tour, a 10 day inspirational and educational journey with 25 high school students from across Michigan and 10 adult mentors. Our group leaves via bus on June 19 and returns home on June 29. We will be visiting historic sites from the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

MCHR needs YOUR help to get kids on the bus! Can your organization, house of worship, or neighborhood sponsor a young person on the trip?

Make a secure and easy payment using our PayPal right now and help pass the torch of justice to the next generation.

MCHR Freedom Tour Sponsorship Levels:

Champion of Justice: A pledge of $10,000 or more for which the sponsor will receive 2 tables of 8 at Annual Diner; 16 reception admissions; full-page, inside cover, color program ad., and prominent recognition at event and on website.

Beacon of Freedom: A pledge of $5,000 to $9,999 for which the sponsor will receive 2 tables of 8 at Annual Dinner; 16 reception admissions; full-page program ad; prominent recognition at event and on website.

Torch Bearer: A pledge of $3,000 to $4,999 for which the sponsor will receive a table of 8 at Annual Dinner; 8 reception admissions; full-page program ad; prominent recognition at event and on website.

Legacy Builder: A pledge of $1,500 to $2,999 for which the sponsor will receive a table of 8 at Annual Dinner; 8 reception admissions; half-page program ad.

Trail Blazer: A pledge of $250 to $1,499 for which the sponsor will receive 2 Annual Dinner tickets with 2 reception admissions; recognition in program book.

Securely and easily purchase tickets on our PayPal (using the Make a Donation button at the top left sidebar of the page):

If you require a vegetarian meal, please indicate so in the purchase notes.

Reception only: $60

Dinner only: $60

Dinner & Reception $100

Table of 8 for Dinner $450

Table of 8 for Dinner & Reception $650

Securely and easily purchase Annual Dinner program ads via our PayPal:

Full page (7½” w x 10” h) $400.00

Half page (7½“ w x 4⅞” h) $250.00

Quarter page (3⅝” w 4⅞” h or 7 ½ “ w x 2 ¾” h) $150.00

Business card (3⅝” w x 2⅜” h) $80.00

Include all support graphics, fonts and photos. Ads must be paid in full by March 14th to be included.

Digital files – Ads ONLY in: PDF, EPS, TIF, JPEG, Photoshop, Microsoft Word.

Please E-mail electronic ad files to mchrdinner2016@gmail.com by March 14th.

2016 Freedom Tour Poster Contest Rules

Michigan Coalition for Human Rights
2016 Freedom Tour Poster Contest

Printable flyer (in Word doc format with clickable links)

Official Rules


1. Basic Information


The contest is open to all Michigan residents aged 15-25.

No shared work or entries are allowed.

Entry Limit

One poster per student.

Entry Deadline

Sunday, March 20, 2016 is the submission deadline. Entries must be postmarked by this date.

Address for Poster Submission

Entries must be submitted to:

MCHR Freedom Tour Poster Contest, 117 West 4th Street,

Suite 200, Royal Oak, Mich. 48067

Digital submissions are also acceptable and should be emailed to “support@mchr.org” with the subject line “Submission for MCHR poster contest”.

Back of Poster Must Include the Following Information (if  submitting a digital file, this information should be included in the submission email):

-Student Name

-Student Age

-Student Address (home and e-mail)

-Student Phone Number and/or E-mail Address

-Student School


A $1,000 first prize and a $500 second prize will be presented for the selected poster designs. The winners will be announced in early-mid April 2016 (date TBA).

2. Poster Requirements


Posters must have a theme or message representing civil rights and/or the civil rights movement, the history, places and monuments of the civil rights movement and/or the meaning and importance of the 2016 Freedom Tour. (See “What is the 2016 Freedom Tour?”) All subject matter must be in good taste.


There is no word limit, but submitted posters must include, at minimum, the following copy/words:

– “2016 Freedom Tour”

– “June 19-29, 2016”

– “Civil Rights”

– “Michigan Coalition for Human Rights”

A credit line on front of poster with student’s name will be allowed.


Poster must measure approximately 18”x 24.”

Poster presentations can be horizontal or vertical.

Poster must be mounted on matte board. (or foam core, etc.)

Digital submissions must also conform to these same size specifications.


Any mixed media suitable for print reproduction as a poster is allowed, including

computer-generated graphics.

All artwork must be camera-ready.

Posters must be two-dimensional.

All posters must be original art.

Digital submissions must be print-ready (proper resolution) and must also follow all of the above requirements.

3. Rights

All entries become the property of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. Except as used by the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, all artists, including contest winners, will retain the rights to their work. Entry in the contest constitutes full permission to publish the name and photo of the winner and reproduce and sell copies of the poster without further compensation. The determination of eligibility of entries and any interpretation of these rules is at the sole discretion of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and shall be final and binding upon all entrants.

By participating, the entrant agrees to abide by and be bound by these rules.

For additional information on poster contest, send e-mail to support@mchr.org.

#                 #                 #

Additional Information on 2016 Freedom Tour and U.S. Civil Rights Movement

What is the 2016 Freedom Tour?

The 2016 Freedom Tour is a ten-day educational trip (June 19-29, 2016) for Michigan high school students to learn and experience the history of the U.S. civil rights movement.  It will also enable students to become knowledgeable and deeply engaged with the civil rights movement and its rich history – and what it means for them, their peers, and their communities today.

The bus tour will take students from Michigan to the states where much of the country’s civil rights history was made, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The 2016 Freedom Tour will visit multiple cities and sites, including:

*The King Center & Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

*Rosa Parks Center, Southern Poverty Law Center & Viola Liuzzo Memorial in Montgomery and Lowndes County, Alabama.

*Edmund Pettus Bridge & National Voting Rights Museum & Institute in Selma, Alabama.

*Tougaloo College & Medgar Evers House & Museum in Tougaloo and Jackson, Mississippi.

*National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

*Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning, Tennessee.

Media Coverage of 2013 Freedom Tour

*“Trip to Selma Connected Local Students to Civil Rights” from Detroit Free Press.

*“Michigan Youths Follow Freedom Riders’ Civil Rights Journey” from Toledo Blade.

*“Local Attorney Leads Local Teens on Freedom Tour of South” from Legal News.

Additional Information on U.S. Civil Rights Movement

*American Civil Rights Movement

*“The Abolitionists” online video from PBS’ American Experience

*“Freedom Summer” online video from PBS’ American Experience

*Civil Rights Movement at History.com/History Channel

*Honoring Detroit’s Revolutionary Civil Rights Fighter from Detroit Free Press

Downloadable resources:

Printable flyer (in Word doc format with clickable links)

Undoing the Demos: DPS Emergency School Managers and the Privatizing City

Detroit Public Schools: Teacher Sickouts, Deteriorating Buildings, Massive Debt, Rodents, E.A.A., Charter Schools, Overcrowding, No Heat, No Schoolbooks, No Computers

Undoing the Demos: DPS Emergency School Managers and the Privatizing City

Professor Tom Pedroni

Tuesday February 2nd @ 7pm

Responses following by:

William Weir – DPS Teacher

Aliya Moore – DPS Parent

St Matthew and St Joseph Episcopal Church

8850 Woodward Det 48202

Woodward near Holbrook. Adjacent secure parking.Click here for a printable flyer

MCHR opposes the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)



(Info on the rally is below the statement)

The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) joins with 1,500 labor, environmental, faith, and family farm and consumer organizations across the U.S. in opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The TPP is not about “the U.S. writing the rules versus China doing so.” The TPP’s rules are all about 500 corporate trade advisers over the past 5 years secretly rewriting the rules of 40% of the world economy for the benefit of trans-national corporations.  If approved by the U.S. Congress and the governments of the other 11 participating nations, the TPP will (among other things) –

1.    Promote more U.S. job offshoring and further gut the U.S. manufacturing base. U.S. workers would be forced to compete with counterparts in Vietnam (paid less than 65 cents an hour), Malaysia (rampant human trafficking), and other low wage economies. The TPP’s labor standards – modeled on the failed “Labor Action Plan’ accompanying the 2011 Colombia FTA – are grossly inadequate to the task of protecting human rights abroad and jobs here at home.

The TPP contains no enforceable safeguards against currency manipulation.  Thus, the often modest tariff cuts achieved under the pact for U.S. exporters could be easily wiped out overnight by countries’ willingness to devalue their currencies in order to gain an unfair trade advantage.

2.    Ban “Buy American” and “Buy Local” procurement preferences in many types of government purchasing.  Our tax dollars would be offshored rather than being invested at home.

3.    Undermine the recently negotiated global climate treaty; the decision to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and roll back the environmental standards enacted as part of past trade deals.  The TPP’s “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)” system would enable foreign investors to challenge bedrock environmental and public health laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.

4.    Allow exporters to challenge border food safety inspection procedures, jeopardizing food safety. Vietnam and Malaysia, for example, export massive quantities of shrimp and other seafood to the United States, significant amounts of which are currently rejected as unsafe.

5.    Delay the introduction of low cost generic medications, allow additional 20-year patents for new uses of drugs already under patent, expand monopoly patent protections for big drug firms – increasing health care prices and reducing access to medicine at home and abroad.

6.    Weaken gay and women’s rights by allowing the country of Brunei to remain in the TPP, even after it announced that it would begin stoning to death gays and single mothers under new sharia-based laws.

7.    Help banks unravel the new rules enacted to regulate Wall Street by prohibiting bans on risky financial products and “too big to fail” safeguards, while empowering foreign banks to “sue” the U.S. government over new financial regulations.

The TPP is just one of three global so-called “free trade” deals which threaten peoples across the globe (the other two: TTIP, TISA).  The fate of the TPP will shape the outcome of the other two, all the more reason to ensure that we stop it.  Our efforts in Michigan will contribute to the growing movement in opposition not only in the U.S. but in the other 11 nations included in the TPP.

The TPP elevates corporate prerogatives over human rights and democracy in an unprecedented scale, amounting to a corporate “coup-d’état.”  We stand with United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, who describes the TPP as a “prescription for disaster” and vows to vote out any lawmaker who supports it.



 TPP Feb 4 rally & vigil -2.0Printable version of the rally flyer

Join Stop The TPP-Michigan in raising our voices against the toxic and oppressive trade deal, the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership.) This deal, and others like it blatantly favor corporate rights over workers rights, indeed the sovereignty of nations and citizens alike. The impact such a trade deal would have if passed, would be disastrous for U.S. workers, the environment, and the people at large.

No more profits over people!!

February 4th marks the first day Pres. Obama can sign the TPP into law, per fast track legislation. But we still have a chance. We can still apply pressure. Especially before this goes to Congress. This campaign is just beginning, but our resistance is needed NOW.

We will meet for a rally behind the GM headquarters, at the GM Plaza Promenade at 4:00 p.m.

We’ll hear speakers talk about the TPP, and what it represents for the community, as well as on a larger scale. From there, we’ll march to the Transcending Labor’s Legacy monument at Hart Plaza, for a candle-lit vigil and community, as well as to announce coming actions and ways to resists corporate power grabs such as this. Our public action will coincide with similar rallies in 25 U.S. cities (and growing). And we’re just getting started!!!

Parking: Miller Garage @ 400 Renaissance Dr W, & Ford Underground Parking @ 30 E. Jefferson

There are many ways that you can help – with an organizational endorsement, getting the word out and recruiting your friends and co-workers, bringing your own signs, etc. If you would like to speak or perform at the event, or have any further questions, please contact:

Grace Alexander
248 358 5522

Kyle Martin