May 16, 2022

Detroit Equity Action Lab seeks next cohort of racial equity leaders, fellowship application opens May 16

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, is seeking emerging and experienced leaders committed to advancing racial equity and ending structural racism for its Racial Equity Fellowship 2022 cohort (DEAL 7).

The free 12-month program, which begins in September, will convene in a hybrid model with both virtual and in-person sessions. Applications open May 16, and the deadline to apply is June 10. A virtual information session is scheduled May 17. Apply now for the Racial Equity Fellowship.

The fellowship is designed to strengthen a multi-racial and multi-generational network of local leaders, increasing organizations’ efficacy in addressing racial equity and catalyzing change, and to create a shared understanding of structural racism and how it plays out in Detroit. A change-driven group, DEAL’s fellowship program works to translate its sessions and learnings into actionable steps to disrupt racism and create equitable alternatives in policies, institutions, and culture in Detroit. Fellows will build skills, deepen relationships and join a cohesive network committed to addressing structural racism.

Each year, DEAL recruits leaders living and working in Detroit or the metro area who are committed to advancing racial equity throughout the city. Applicants working in a range of sectors and various levels of budgets and experience, from volunteer-based organizations and non-profits to business enterprises and beyond. DEAL welcomes leaders across all ethnic and racial groups, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, and backgrounds.

“We are excited about the launch of DEAL 7 and expanding our network,” said DEAL Director Asandi Conner. “The fellowship is a container for learning, sitting with discomfort, and exploration, and through our refined curriculum, fellows will advance their efforts to co-create a more equitable Detroit.”

DEAL focuses on racial equity through a personal to structural lens. The program believes that the transformation of movements is dependent on the transformation of the people in them. Since its inception in 2014, DEAL’s Racial Equity Fellowship program has brought together nearly 200 leaders working in the many dimensions of racial equity — including arts and media, community development, education, environment, food security, health care, and housing — to address inequities in Detroit and beyond.

“We are building the capacity of people to act. We want to have a network of people all throughout the city that know how to take action on equity issues,” said Rhiannon Chester-Bey, DEAL fellowship program manager and an alumna of DEAL 3. “The lab is where you stir things up, start to ask the questions and do the experiments — so that when you go back to your organization and back into your neighborhoods, you can engage in actions that promote racial equity.”

To learn more about the Detroit Equity Action Lab, please visit Additional information, FAQs, and more about the Racial Equity Fellowship can be found online.


About the Detroit Equity Action Lab

Powered by more than $4 million in grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Equity Action Lab is developing a national blueprint in Detroit designed to empower local communities to fight structural racism from the ground up.


Katie McMillan
Phone: 586-344-8878

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