The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), a DJK initiative, welcomes eighth program cohort

DETROIT, MI – Detroit’s latest cohort of racial equity leaders is beginning their journey together in a year-long program focused on training and supporting those working to end structural racism in Detroit.

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) recently announced its eighth cohort (DEAL 8) of Racial Equity Fellows to join its multiracial and multigenerational network of leaders. Founded in 2014, DEAL is an initiative of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. DEAL develops leaders who work to end structural racism by equipping them with tools to disrupt racism and create equitable alternatives together.

One of DEAL’s priorities is focusing on racial equity from a personal to structural lens. Fellows connect to anti-racism movement ancestors, as a means of personal and movement transformation. DEAL emphasizes that co-liberation toward racial equity is as much about our personal journeys as it is about addressing oppressive systems.

The 2024 cohort of 21 diverse fellows represents more than seven sectors, including education, advocacy/public policy, public health, and human services. DEAL 8 Fellows come from diverse racial and ethnic communities and more than 60% reside in Detroit. New sponsoring organizations like 482Forward, City Year Detroit, Eastside Community Network, The Wright, and others are a part of this year’s cohort.

“We are excited to kick off a decade of DEAL with DEAL 8 and are proud of our continuing efforts to recruit and attract diverse applicants to this leadership development opportunity,” said Asandi Conner, DEAL’s Director.

DEAL’s ultimate impact is shifting fellows’ baseline understanding of racial equity and supporting their journey toward co-liberation. Fellows discover more about themselves, Detroit, and the deep history of structural racism — through building a shared understanding, developing skills and tools, and co-creating a space to deepen relationships.


For more information, visit the DEAL website.



Contact: Jennifer Kennedy

Phone: 313-577-4629


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