civil rights

Courtesy of Robert Weir

Robert Weir was “a little too young” to participate in the civil rights movement. Since he grew up in a rural, all-white area in Michigan, he didn’t know much about the movement until Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated. Weir has since written about civil rights, and recently joined a pilgrimage to key sites in three southern states. The Living Legacy Pilgrimage is a bus tour through Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.


Alice Tregay worked to help desegregate Chicago’s schools, became a political activist who worked to help the help elect the city’s first African-American mayor and helped inspire a young man named Barack Obama long before he came the nation’s first black President. Yet her story is largely unknown. 

Gene Herrick, The Associated Press / AP

The Executive Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College says in the history of the civil rights movement women have become symbols, rather than recognized for their work. Mia Henry says many women made valuable contributions in the fight for civil rights. 

"When Daisy Elliott, a soft-spoken legislator from Detroit who spent years fighting against racial bias and discrimination of all sorts, learned that her dream to enact a civil rights law would finally become a reality, she showed the world how change is possible: The Democrat embraced a Republican." (Detroit Free Press)


Kalamazoo State Representative Jon Hoadley is among 14 people from Michigan appointed to a state advisory committee by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.