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Project Contact: Freda Sampson
Media Contact: Amy Morris
One Truth Commissioner seat was vacated by a commissioner who started a new job. The new commissioner was chosen by the same nomination committee that chose the original commissioners.
About Eitan Sussman: Sussman is of Jewish heritage and has been working in Corktown in the field of restorative justice and urban agriculture. He also works with the Detroit White Caucus of the Undoing Racism team, which facilitates conversations about undoing racism in the food system. Sussman also works with other young Jewish Detroiters, facilitating conversations on organizing.
On November 4th and 5th, the Michigan Roundtable seated 9 commissioners to the Metropolitan Detroit Truth & Reconciliation Commission on Racial Inequality. This is the first truth commission to take place in Michigan, and the second to seat commissioners in the nation.
This project began as the Housing Project Partnership, a group of individuals who spent 16 months creating a charter and a mandate for the Truth Commission. Commission members were selected through a public nomination process where individuals and organizations were invited to propose potential members. An independent selection panel worked to make a final determination of Commission members.
About the Truth Commission
Those named to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will spend 18-24 months delving deeply into racial inequality in the region and how it impacts those living here today. They will examine issues and incidences of racial inequity, its history and continued effects, and what can be done to create a new regional culture in Metro Detroit.
The Metro Detroit area (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties) is one of the most racially segregated places in the United States, a situation that puts Detroit in a unique position to study the causes and effects of racial segregation in housing.
This commission was inspired by the process that took place in South Africa and Greensboro, N.C. and will be encouraged to examine:
- The past injustices that led to our current state of racial segregation.
- Current practices that allow racial segregation in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties
- The impact of racial segregation in Metro Detroit and the tri-county area.
- What can be done to facilitate change.
The results and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be taken back to the community via a public education campaign that has already begun and will continue to work parallel to the truth commission. While the Michigan Roundtable helped to begin the Truth Commission, the Commission will operate as an independent body.
Meet the Truth Commissioners
View the biographical sketches of the 9 truth commissioners
WDET Craig Fahle Show – Interview with Naomi Tutu
WDET – Craig Fahle Show – Interview with Truth Commissioner Akua Budu Watkins
Mlive.com. “ MSU Professor named to Metro Detroit Truth Commission”
CBS Detroit “Group to examine racism in metro Detroit”
Michigan Citizen, Nov. 13, 2011 “Potential Truths”
Other Important Information
Declaration of Intent
Charter for the Metropolitan Detroit Truth & Reconciliation Commission on Racial Inequality