Human Rights Group Will Also Recognize Outstanding Detroit Area Human Rights Leaders and Activists

Posted September 17th, 2020  |  News

Rev. Liz Theoharis to Present Keynote Address at Michigan Coalition for Human Rights 40th Annual Dinner on October 4, 2020

Rev. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, will present the keynote address at the 40th annual meeting of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) which will be conducted virtually at 5 p.m. on October 4, 2020. MCHR will also recognize area human rights leaders for their works towards a peaceful world without poverty, prejudice, hate and commitment to environmental stewardship during the event.

Theoharis, an ordained Presbyterian minister, is also the director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminar in New York City. She has been an activist and advocate for poor and homeless people for more than 20 years. In addition, Theoharis is the author of two books, “Always With Us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor” and “Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing.”

As part of the event, MCHR will also honor these local human rights leaders and activists with awards for their strong commitment and outstanding service to the community:

  • Lifetime Activist Award – To Gloria Rivera, who previously served as MCHR executive director, for her long history of commitment to social justice. Rivera has been involved with Groundwork for a Just World (which provides education on peace, environment, women’s issues and education) and Project Help (which provided older adults with minimum wage jobs). She was also executive director of Freedom House, providing comprehensive services for asylum-seekers.
  • Labor/Organization Activist Award – To United Auto Workers-General Motors and United Auto Workers-Aramark for their courageous 40-day strike during Fall 2019, the longest auto industry strike in four decades. The steadfastness of the of the strikers inspired support from Ford and Chrysler workers and sparked a reform movement within the UAW ranks committed to building a stronger grassroots labor movement.
  • Youth Activist Awards – To Shimekia Nichols and Michelle Martinez for their outstanding leadership and efforts in environmental justice, energy democracy and community activism. Nichols is currently communications coordinator at Soulardarity and Martinez is statewide coordinator for Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition.

Tickets are $25 and available here. For additional information on tickets and the MCHR 40th annual dinner, please contact Chantelle Yancy at 313-579-9071 or

About Michigan Coalition for Human Rights
The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights promotes awareness of, commitment to and advocacy for human rights and the environmental rights of planet Earth through education, community organization and action. MCHR opposes forces that suppress human dignity, freedom and justice – locally and around the world.


15 Civil Rights Groups and MCHR Board Member Julie Hurwitz Calling for Investigation Into Detroit Police Department Killing of Hakim Littleton

Posted August 19th, 2020  |  News

The Coalition for Police Transparency and Accountability, which includes 15 civil and human rights groups, is asking the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the killing of city resident Hakim Littleton by the Detroit Police in an incident which occurred on July 10, 2020.

Julie Hurwitz, an MCHR board member and part of the Coalition, was quoted in a Detroit News report on the request for an investigation of the shooting.

“The number of shots that were fired after (Littleton) was on the ground raises serious questions about what (police) were doing,” said Hurwitz, who is part of the group asking for an independent investigation. “The question is, should police have a license to execute someone, no matter what?”

Click here to read the Detroit News coverage.


John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights, Dies at 80

Posted July 18th, 2020  |  News

The New York Times paid fitting tribute to Rep. John Lewis in a front page obituary that reviews the highlights of his life as a civil rights crusader.

Click here to see the NYT obituary.


MCHR Advisory Board Member Bill Wylie-Kellerman Publishes Article on Corktown Gentrification in Metro Times

Posted July 13th, 2020  |  News

MCHR Advisory Board Member has published an article in the Metro Times regarding the gentrification now occurring in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood.

In his article (“Corktown’s Black Housing Project is ‘Target Area’ for Developers”), Wylie-Kellerman reported on current and prior redevelopment initiatives in Corktown and the impact on current residents of this district.

The Corktown neighborhood, which is named for its 19th century Irish residents from County Cork, Ireland, is in the area adjacent to the former site of Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumball Avenues in the near west side of Detroit.

Click here to read the entire article.


Civil Rights Coalition Files Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Detroit Water Shutoff

Posted July 13th, 2020  |  News

A coalition of civil rights organizations have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court to make water affordable and end permanent shutoffs for Detroit residents.  According to the complaint, Detroit’s water shutoff policy violates the civil rights of thousands of Detroit residents by forcing them to live without a service essential to their health.

The lawsuit also alleges that water shut-offs disproportionately affect Black Detroiters in violation of the Fair Housing Act and Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit seeks to permanently end the water shut-off policy and asks for a court order immediately preventing shut-offs from resuming.

Click here to view the announcement and complaint.