Board Members

STAFF

Marge Sears, Executive Program Coordinator
Marge Sears was born and raised in Detroit. Marge holds a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and a Masters degree from UDM in religious studies. Marge has worked as a high school teacher and teacher in an adolescent substance abuse center, Campus Minister and Director of Center for Faith and Action for adults at UD High. Additionally, Marge is a wife, mother of 3 and grandmother of 5 incredible grandchildren who are the joy of her life. Marge has been on staff for MCHR off and on for over 14 years. Marge’s interest in social justice has focused mainly on civil rights and racism/white privilege as well as anti-war work. She is a member of Gesu Parish and their Peace and Justice Team, which is one of the most active in the Detroit diocese. Marge loves travel, gardening, cooking, photography and folk music, which bring balance to her life.

ADVISORY BOARD

Rev. Dr. Charles Adams
Hartford Mem. Baptist Church
Rev. D. Alexander Bullock
Rev. Harry Cook
Steve Spreitzer
Director of MI Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
Imam Mohamad Ali Elahi
Islamic House of Wisdom
Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs, Jr.
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Bill Goodman
Goodman and Hurwitz law firm
Dr. Karl D. Gregory
retired economics professor OU
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Archdiocese of Detroit
Imam Radwan Mardini
American Muslim Center
Hon. B. Pennie Millender
35th District Court
Fred Pearson
Director of Center for Peace and Conflict Studies WSU
Fran Shor
History professor, WSU
Rudy Simons
long time activist
Rev. Dr. Kevin Turman
Second Baptist Church

Cary McGehee, Esq.

Chair
Lawyer

Cary is a founding member of Royal Oak law firm Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers. She has specialized in employment and civil rights litigation for 25 years, since graduating magna cum laude from the Detroit College of Law in 1989.

Cary has successfully litigated and tried numerous civil rights cases resulting in favorable settlements and verdicts for her clients in the state and federal courts.

These include: discrimination cases based on age, national origin, sex, race and disability; cases alleging retaliation; sexual, racial and national origin harassment; violations of Family and Medical Leave Act: Whistleblowers Protection Act; and prisoner rights cases.

She is also a member of the Flint Water Class Action Litigation team, which is currently litigating multiple class action lawsuits in federal and state court.

Cary was selected a 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America; has received AV peer rating (highest possible) from Martindale-Hubbell and has been annually rated as one of the state’s top employment lawyers by Michigan Super Lawyers since 2006.

She was co-counsel on Neal vs. Michigan Department of Corrections case, a successful class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 500 female prisoners who were sexually assaulted by male prison guards. For her work on this case, Cary was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Public Justice Foundation (2008) in honor of her outstanding contribution to the public interest.

She has also received the Lawyers for the People Award from the National Lawyers Guild (2008) in recognition of extraordinary commitment to uphold human, civil, and constitutional rights; and the Wade Hampton McCree Jr. Award (2009) for the advancement of social justice awarded by the Federal Bar Association.

Cary serves on the Michigan State College of Law Board of Trustees and as Chair of the Local Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

In addition, she was elected Fellow by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, recognizing her sustained contribution to the field of labor and employment law and her high standards of integrity, professionalism and character.

Cary helped organize and lead the 2013 and 2016 MCHR Freedom Tours, taking 35 high school students on a two-week journey through southern states and visited key historic sites of the civil rights movement. It was an extraordinary opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the civil rights movement, to learn the history, to study and embody nonviolence, to build community and inspire our future social justice and civil rights leaders.

Dr. Brenda Bryant

President
Marygrove College

Brenda Bryant is currently the Dean of Community Based Learning at Marygrove College and the Executive Director of the Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. She was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Bryant has a B.A. and M.A. from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada), as well as a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Ecological Community Psychology. She is the Board President of Wellness House of Michigan, Chair of the Research Team at the Coalition of Interfaith Community and School Board of Pontiac, as well as a Consultant for Delta Preparatory Academy (Social Justice High School). Additionally, she is a World Bridge Master.

Kim Redigan

Vice-Chair

Redigan is Vice Chair of MCHR and represents the organization on the Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition Faith Action Committee. A non-violence trainer and peace educator with Michigan-Meta Peace Team. Redigan has served on several domestic and international peace teams in Palestine and Egypt. She is also involved in Women in Black/Detroit, Detroit Metro Interfaith Worker Justice, Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network and is on the state council of Pax Christi Michigan. For the past 13 years, she has been part of the theology faculty at University of Detroit Jesuit High School where she teaches World Religions, Human Dignity and Social Justice, Wealth and Poverty and moderates the school’s JustPeace Club. In her spare time, Redigan writes for a variety of publications and blogs on activism and spirituality at www.writetimeforpeace.com.

Dorothy Aldridge

Community Activist

Dorothy Dewberry Aldridge, a native of Detroit, is among the longest serving members of MCHR. Her civil and human rights work began in the the 1950s with the NAACP Youth Council. During the 60s and 70s, she served as director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and worked with such noted  persons as Stokely Carmichael, Hubert “Rap” Brown, Mrs Rosa Parks, Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer and Miss Ella Baker. In the 1980′s, through working with MCHR, she organized and led bus tours of Civil Rights movement historic sights in the South for young people from Metro Detroit. These tours took young people to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, AL, Albany, Georgia, Memphis, TN and other places where the Movement’s battles were fought. She also served as Chief Guide for the Detroit Freedom tours that visited historic sites locally, both here and in Canada. Ms Aldridge was active in part as a result of her work with Mohr’s South Africa Committee, in the anti-apartheid protests and the African Liberation Support Movement. She was also very active in MCHR’s South Africa Committee in its early years. She has also recently served on the MLK Day planning comittee for the last few years. Most recently, Dorothy has been active on MCHR’s film committee and annual dinner committee and was a key planner and chaperone of the 2013 Freedom Tour this past summer. Mrs Dewberry Aldridge is married to fellow activist, Rev. Dan Aldridge and they have a daughter and grandson.

Mark Cowan, Jr.

Secretary

Mark Cowan Jr. is a graduate of Oakland University, where he studied journalism and economics and created his own course of study called “Media Actualization”. He completed his capstone paper on how to combat voter apathy and voter suppression. Mark had a radio show on 88.3 WXOU, OU’s college radio station, called SKRT_STSH. It focused on under-reported news, electronic music, and humor. Mark was formerly a news intern for the Oakland Press and videographer for a local retail chain, and now serves as a 4-H Program Coordinator with MSU Extension in Detroit, where he recruits and trains volunteers for the 4-H Youth Development program in Wayne County.

Kezia Curtis

Kezia Curtis is a long time Detroit resident who is passionate about conflict reconciliation. She is a level 2 trainer for the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. Kezia works with youth in a wide range of settings. Her special interests are bicycles and urban farming.

Frank Hammer

Frank Hammer is a retired autoworker and member of UAW Local 909 in Warren, MI. He was a student social justice and anti-war activist in the 1960s on the campuses of the University of California, Berkeley and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (where he studied architecture and sociology, respectively).

Frank entered the working class in the early 70s, first at a rubber factory outside Boston, MA and then worked at two GM auto plants locally for over 21 years.  He worked production and skilled trades at GM Powertrain, served 12 years as an elected officer of his Local, and retired as a UAW-GM staff representative in 2006.

Frank is a past lecturer in the Labor Studies Programs at Wayne State and Indiana State Universities.  He is past President and current Board member of the Greenacres Woodward Civic Association (GWCA), and current Board member of the Baltimore, MD based “The Real News.”

He’s been a labor activist with the School of the Americas Watch Labor Caucus, Jobs with Justice, Autoworker Caravan, ASOTRECOL Solidarity Network and represented U.S. labor abroad at conferences in Germany, Cuba, Colombia, and South Africa.

Frank is currently organizing with the State Fairgrounds Development Coalition for a Detroit Future City.  Frank’s interviews and/or blogs can be found at Labor Notes and The Real News.

He has been married to his wife Karen for 50 years and resided in Detroit for nearly that long.  He was elected to the MCHR Board of Directors in 2012.

Eric Hood

Eric Hood is a veteran public relations and corporate communication consultant. He has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies and other organizations throughout Michigan, the U.S. and Europe for over 25 years. Eric is also involved with advocacy, education and communication initiatives on behalf of Mental Health America and the National Institute for Mental Health. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, American Marketing Association and American Civil Liberties Union.

Bob Ingalls

Vice President

Bob Ingalls is a lifelong Michigander. He retired from Ford Motor Company on a UAW pension after 31 years, where he worked as an industrial electrician. He fixes and sets up Macintosh computers, and teaches the operating system and programs. He also is a photographer and videographer, frequently donating his time and talent in the cause of social justice. He has been married for 34 years to Barbara Ingalls.

Jerry King

Vice President

Bio coming soon

Thomas R. Zerafa

Vice President

Tom Zerafa is a Detroit native and graduate of Marygrove College (B.A in Liberal Arts/ Music Major/Religious Studies Minor, class of ’91). Tom also attained a Graduate Certificate in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. He has been a Pastoral Musician in the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1969. Tom has been an Activist/advocate/fundraiser in LGBT community/peace, transportation and environmental groups and progressive organizations over past 40 years. Currently, Tom is a culinary student at Oakland Community College with a goal of opening a food/hot meal service for the underserved in lower Oakland County sometime in 2014. He is also a Half- marathoner for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society 3 years and running!

Julie Hurwitz

Julie Hurwitz is a partner at the Detroit firm Goodman & Hurwitz, P.C., where she specializes in civil rights and government misconduct/§1983 litigation. She has been adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Law since 2005, teaching Civil Rights Litigation. She was the founding Executive Director of the NLG/Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice [Sugar Law Center] in Detroit, where she served for more than 10 years. She has successfully tried several civil rights cases to verdict, including police misconduct, prisoner rights, malicious prosecution and wrongful conviction. She has spoken and written extensively on issues pertaining to civil rights, civil liberties and representing victims of constitutional violations. She has also represented civil disobedience activists since the early 1980’s and is actively involved in providing Legal Observer training and support throughout the metropolitan Detroit area. She is Vice President of the Detroit NLG Chapter and is on the Boards of the Sugar Law Center and the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. She is currently co-counsel, on behalf of the NLG and with the Sugar Law Center, in the federal Constitutional challenge to the recently re-enacted Michigan Emergency Manager Law (“dictator bill”). Julie is a 1978 graduate, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and a 1982 graduate from the University of Michigan Law School and has 3 wonderful and talented grown sons, 3 amazing stepchildren and 3 beautiful grandkids.

Abayomi Azikiwe

Wayne State University

Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African Newswire. He is a political analyst for various satellite television networks and press agencies. Azikiwe has travelled extensively in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho. He is also the co-founder of the Michigan Emergency Committee on War & Injustice and the Moratorium Now! Coalition. Azikiwe has been on the MCHR Board of Directors for 12 years and served as chair and president.

Barbara Ingalls

Barbara Ingalls is a Detroit-born graphic designer and activist. She first became active during the Detroit Newspaper Strike of the 1990’s and remained in the movement after its conclusion. She can be found working with labor, the peace movement and housing justice.

Frank Joyce

The political activism of life long Detroiter Frank Joyce began with the civil rights movement.  He joined the Northern Student Movement (NSM) in the early 1960’s and later helped found People Against Racism (PAR).  He has been in involved in labor, anti-racist, human rights and peace campaigns ever since.

Joyce has chaired the board of The Working Group (TWG), a non-profit media production company that supports the anti-hate movement Not In Our Town (NIOT).

He has worked in factories, retail and media.

Joyce has won awards for his print, radio and television journalism. He is a former News Director of WDET-FM/National Public Radio and was Communications Director for the United Auto Workers union for many years.

In addition, he is a member of the Leadership Team of the National Council Of Elders and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee.

His writing is also published at AlterNet (www.alternet.org) and elsewhere.  He is co-editor with Karin Aguilar-San Juan, of The People Make Peace, Lessons From The Vietnam Anti-War Movement.

Dr. Saeed Khan

Dr. Saeed A. Khan is currently in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Wayne State University, where he teaches courses on Islamic and Middle East History, Politics and Culture, and is also a Research Fellow at Wayne State’s Center for the Study of Citizenship. His area of research is the identity politics of Muslim diaspora communities in the US, UK and Europe. He is also Adjunct Professor in Islamic Studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy and at Rochester College, co-teaching a course on Muslim-Christian Diversity. In addition, he is a founding member and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding: a Michigan-based Think Tank promoting the study and analysis of US social and domestic policy. Most recently, Saeed has founded the Center for the Study of Trans-Atlantic Diasporas, a think tank and policy center examining and comparing the condition of ethnic immigrant groups in North America and Europe, consulting the US and UK governments and the EU on their respective Muslim communities. He is a regular contributor to C-Span, NPR, Voice of America and the National Press Club, as well as newspapers and other outlets, and is also a consultant on Islamic and Middle East affairs for the BBC and CBC.

Hasan Newash

Hasan Newash was born in Ein Karem, near Jerusalem. A longtime Detroit area peace with justice activist, Anthropology Ph.D. candidate, and published poet, he is co-founder/ initiator of numerous Arab American /Palestinian organizations, including ACCESS, ADC, Association of Arab American University Graduates (AAUG), Al-Awda, and others. He currently serves on the Coordinating Committee of the Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network (DAPJN), comprised of 30 peace and justice organizations in Michigan. Also, he is Director of the volunteer-driven Michigan Citizens for Palestinian Rights, Palestine Office Michigan, an advocacy organization headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. Newash frequently lectures on Palestinian rights and recites his and other Palestinian poets’ works in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area.

Bill Wylie-Kellermann

Bill Wylie-Kellermann is a non-violent community activist and United Methodist pastor who has authored Seasons of Faith and Conscience: Reflections on Liturgical Direct Action (Orbis); Where the Waters Go Around: Beloved Detroit (Cascade Books, 2017); Principalities in Particular: A Practical Theology of the Powers that Be (Fortress Press, 2017).

Wylie-Kellermann is also editor of William Stringfellow: Essential Writings (Orbis, 2014). Forthcoming in 2018 is Dying Well: The Resurrected Life of Jeanie Wylie.

He is co-founder of Word and World and a faculty member at Ecumenical Theological Seminary and Marygrove College (MA in Social Justice) in Detroit.

He was part of the Homrich 9, prosecuted for blocking water shut-off trucks. He is currently a member of the Peoples’ Water Board, Detroit Independent Free School Movement, and We the People of Detroit’s Community Research Committee.

In Jesus, he bets his life on the gospel non-violence, good news to the poor, Word made flesh, and freedom from the power of death.

Khurram Imam

Imam is a program instructor and innovation counselor with the Michigan State University Extension. He teaches classes and conducts one-on-one counseling for the Financial and Homeownership Education Team. For the Product Center, he provides business development services for entrepreneurs. In addition, Imam holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and is currently pursuing a masters in economics.

Dr. Barbara Hollie

Hollie is an active participant in her community, church and profession. She volunteered for many years with the Project Compassion Ministries and was a frequent presenter for the Alzheimer’s Speaker’s Bureau in the Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan. She also facilitated an Alzheimer’s Support Group for many years while working as a gerontological clinical nurse specialist.

Hollie is an Assistant Professor and full-time faculty member of the School of Nursing, University of Michigan-Flint. She earned a PhD from Wayne State University in the Urban Health Care track with a double cognate in Anthropology and Sociology. Barbara also holds a Specialist Certificate in Gerontology from the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University.

As a certified nurse practitioner, Hollie’s experience includes primary and specialist services. She has practiced in gerontology, primary care, women’s health and gyn-oncology. Hollie currently practices as a volunteer in the Street Medicine Detroit (SMD) program, precepting nursing and medical students in the provision of health care to the homeless in downtown Detroit.

She is a lifetime member the National Black Nurses Association and the Detroit Black Nurses chapter. In addition, Hollie is a member of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority; Sigma Theta Tau International/Pi Delta chapter; American Association of Nurse Practitioners; Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners; and the National League for Nursing. She is also an active board member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and supports the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

Stuart Daly

Born and raised in metro Detroit where I attended Royal Oak Shrine grade school and the University of Detroit Jesuit High. I earned my BS from Grand Valley in Public Administration and was also in the Athletic Training curriculum. After 16 years in mortgage banking, I am an aspiring entrepreneur and owner of SBD Ventures, Inc. which is committed to serve and develop sustainable communities through renewable and responsible solutions that empower people to embrace kindness, practice compassion, stand up for justice, and work for the common good.

I am currently working on business opportunities in real estate, banking, senior citizen services, and energy efficiency including LED lighting. I am a supporter and believer in the mission of MCHR promotes awareness of, commitment to, and advocacy for human rights through education, community organization, and action. MCHR opposes forces that suppress human dignity, freedom and justice locally and around the world.

I aspire for my daily actions and interactions to demonstrate concern for the common good. My involvement with MCHR provides engagement in our community to discuss and act on racism, unemployment, sexism, militarism, and economic justice. Participating in MCHR and related organizations that promote human rights is a privilege and responsibility that I embrace.

In the words of our 2017 Dinner key note speaker, Morris Dees, “What a privilege to be here on the planet to contribute your unique donation to humankind. Each face in the rainbow of colors that populate our world is precious and special.”

Christina Castillo

Christiana Castillo is an educator, activist, urban gardener and writer. She holds an undergraduate degree from Wayne State University where she obtained an English major with a co-major in peace and conflict studies and resolution.

Adonis Flores

Bio coming soon

Barbara Jones

Barbara is a lifelong Detroiter, community activist, organizer and youth-violence prevention advocate. She is the Community Dispute Resolution Specialist and Faculty Instructor at Wayne State University. She teaches a class called “Social Justice Activism” for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Program at WSU.

Barbara is also a trained mediator approved by State Court Administrative Office of Michigan.

In addition, Barbara has over 22 years of broadcast media advertising, public relations and marketing/promotions experience. She has worked for media organizations including Continental Cable, Media One, AT & T, Comcast, Clear Channel and WDET Detroit Public Radio.

Her teaching experience includes Career Services Advisor and Instructor for Specs Howard School of Media Arts and Adjunct Faculty with Wayne County Community College District. She also is a voiceover talent actor specializing in T.V., radio, cable, audio narration/storytelling for academic body of work.

Barbara received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Rochester College, a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution and graduate certificate in Peace and Security studies from Wayne State University.

Sarah Brooks

I am currently finishing up my last year of undergrad before I pursue a masters of urban education and public policy next summer. My primary work right now consists of running daily after school programs at the James and Grace Less Boggs school. I feel this aligns perfectly with MCHR’s push towards engaging the youth, and finding programs that allow them to explore many variety’s of social justice work. Outside of Boggs, I also facilitate workshops that train youth in restorative practices and non-violent communication, again something that I feel MCHR strongly backs. Finally I work closely with Alternatives for Girls, occasionally running peace circle workshops, as well as mentoring a few of their participants outside of the program, and helping them navigate the complex balance of being both American teenagers, and worrying about their often complex family dynamics. “