Saturday, August 5, 2023
2 - 4 pm
Wayne County Community College District
The City of Detroit Reparations Task Force is a 13-member body consisting of four executive members appointed by Council President Sheffield and nine general members. The task force will develop recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against the Black community in Detroit.
the Executive Committee
General Member (D3)
the Executive Committee
General Member (D4)
|Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson
General Member (D5)
General Member (D6)
General Member (D1)
General Member (D7)
General Member (D2)
General Member (At-Large);
General Member (At-Large)
The next meeting of the task force
Saturday, August 5, 2023
2 - 4 pm
Wayne County Community College District
801 W. Fort Street
or Via Zoom
For more information
Contact [email protected]
Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee
Keith Williams - chairman of the Michigan Democratic Black Caucus. Ran the campaign that placed the Reparations Taskforce on the ballot. He is concurrently a Director of Recruiting for the Wayne County Sheriff. Previously, he was Vice-Chair of the Wayne County Commission, an organization designed to pursue social justice aims.
Lauren Hood -Lauren A. Hood is the Founder and Chief Visionary of the Institute for AfroUrbanism (IAU). The IAU is think tank and action lab in search of what it means to be Black and thrive. In 2020, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded her for her visionary approaches with the Charles Blessing Award for thought leadership in planning and civic issues for her consulting work in community engagement and leadership of the community development corporation, Live6. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the City of Detroit’s Planning Commission and as a Trustee for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. In the Fall she joins the faculty at the Taubman College for Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Michigan as Assistant Professor of Practice.
Executive Committee Members
Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson - pastor, media personality and previously a Detroit City Councilor for ten years. She is currently an on-air personality for 910 AM Superstation/WFDF and Comcast Channel 91 WHPR as the host of Wake Up Detroit. Watson also appears as an on-air television personality for The Word Network as the host of Wake-Up World. Watson is an associate professor at Wayne County Community College where she teaches English. Watson also serves as the Associate Pastor of West Side Unity Church and is a faculty member at the Unity Urban Ministerial School.
Dorian Tyus - municipal government attorney who was born and raised in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelors in public policy, political science and sociology. He then went to Howard University School of Law in 2009. He is an executive board member and criminal justice committee chair of Detroit's NAACP branch, political action chair for the NAACP Michigan State Conference, and board member for the Michigan Democratic Black Caucus. He also works as a senior communications adviser for the Michigan Democratic Party and helped run the party's voter protection operations for the 2020 presidential election.
Allen Venable - Lawyer from Detroit, founded his own firm with a litigation and transactional practice. Attended Michigan State for his bachelor’s degree and master’s in labor relations and received his JD from Howard University School of Law. Previously, he was a board member for the Detroit Urban League, the Augustus Straker Bar Foundation, and the National Bar Association as Regional Director for Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Dr. Jeffery Robinson - principal of the Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy for the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Dr. Robinson is one of the foremost experts in African Centered Education in the Detroit public school system and is one of the original staff members of the Malcolm X Academy, the first public African Centered School in the country. He has also held Adjunct Professor appointments in African American & African Studies Programs at Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University, as well as in the College of Education at Wayne State University.
Camille Collins –
Bernard Parker III - non-profit consultant and former Wayne County Commissioner. Currently Vice President of External Affairs for the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation in Detroit (SMART). Former Director for Government Relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Dr. Gregory Hicks - formerly executive director for the 2012 Detroit charter revision commission and secretary of Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners. Received a Doctorate degree in philosophy, a master's degree in sociology, a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor's degree in public affairs, all from Wayne State. Hicks’ professional life has focused on public policy solutions to reduce social and economic inequalities.
Maurice Weeks - corporate campaigner, organizer, and economic and racial justice leader. Maurice is the co-founder and former Co-Executive Director of The Action Center on Race and the Economy. Throughout his career, Maurice has worked with community organizations, labor unions and racial justice activists on a variety of social justice issues. Maurice has a keen interest in economic extraction from communities of color and the abolition of the carceral state. Maurice has a B.A. in Sociology from Swarthmore College and has a M.A. in Economics from the University of Detroit Mercy. Originally from Newark, NJ, Maurice now lives in Detroit with his wife and child.
Janis Hazel - Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC 7D05) for Ward 7 of Washington, DC. She is the Director of Communications for Ward 7 Council member Vincent C. Gray and has served as Director of Communications in the Executive Office of the Mayor. She was appointed by the Obama Administration to manage the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census Decennial operations for the District of Columbia’s 2010 Census. She has served as the Director of Development and Communications for Howard University Television (WHUT-TV). A native of Detroit, MI and a political science major at the University of Michigan, she has served as Director of Marketing for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Events Marketing Manager for the Detroit Convention Bureau, and was part of the team that won the bid for Detroit to host Super Bowl XL. She served as Executive Director of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, producing Grammy award events featuring Aretha Franklin, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and other iconic artists.
General Members (At-Large)
Anita Belle - grassroots activist and President of the Reparations Labor Union and the female co-chair of the Detroit Chapter of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. She is the creator, Queen of the Sky, and Princess of Mars in “Exodus To Mars”, an Afrofuturistic comic book about black Martians seeking reparations. She is the attorney for the Nicaraguan Contras’ Narcotics Trafficking Cases that sued the CIA for importing narcotics into America’s segregated black neighborhoods, thereby causing genocide. In 2022, a companion case has referred to the United Nations’ anti-genocide enforcement tribunal for action during the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent. She organizes the annual Detroit Reparations Awareness Day on February 25th, during Black History Month.
Cidney Calloway - Cidney Calloway is a social justice advocate and community organizer known for her involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she developed a strong sense of responsibility towards her community from an early age. Cidney's passion for justice and liberation led her to engage in activism and advocate for the Black community.
In 2020, Cidney became a vocal abolitionist during the nationwide protests that erupted after the public murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. Inspired by the need for systemic change, she actively participated in peaceful protests demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice. Unfortunately, during one of these peaceful demonstrations, Cidney was arrested for her activism.
Following her arrest, Cidney's dedication to the cause did not waver. Instead, it led her to join forces with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), a prominent and influential coalition of organizations advocating for Black liberation and social justice. As a two-time fellow with M4BL, she played a crucial role in organizing and amplifying the voices of those fighting for racial equality and advocating for the dismantling of systems and recreating what safety means in the Black community.
As Cidney continued her journey as an activist and abolitionist, she recognized the importance of legal representation and community empowerment in the fight against systemic injustice. Subsequently, she found her way to the Detroit Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal support, advocacy, and resources to low-income communities in Detroit.
Currently, Cidney serves as the office manager for the Detroit Justice Center. In this role, she plays a vital part in ensuring the organization's smooth operation and continues to contribute to the fight for justice and equality in her community. Her dedication, resilience, and commitment to uplifting Black voices have made her a respected and influential figure in the ongoing struggle for social change and in creating a more just future for all.