Detroit Equity Action Lab

We develop leaders who work to end structural racism in Detroit.

Our Latest

At the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), we develop leaders who work to end structural racism. We equip leaders with tools to disrupt racism and create equitable alternatives in policies, institutions, and culture in Detroit.

National Day of Healing from Racism: Tuesday, Jan. 17

Have you struggled with talking about racism and its impact on you? Join us for our National Day of Healing from Racism on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wayne State University. Free to attend and open to all!

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we collaborate every January to host the National Day of Healing from Racism in an effort to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias and build an equitable and just society where everyone can thrive. We learn how to talk about racism's impact and how to use practices to guide us on our journey of healing from racism. #HowWeHeal

Learn more.

New DEAL: The Detroit Equity Action Lab prepares to train a new generation of social justice activists

"Currently, DEAL’s best-known tool is its Racial Equity Fellowship, a program that recruits and trains racial justice leaders over the course of 12 monthly sessions. DEAL recently welcomed its seventh cohort of Racial Equity fellows (known as DEAL 7) this fall via a hybrid learning format the group implemented after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its sixth cohort to attend all sessions virtually. This also marks the first time the curriculum has been expanded to cover a full year."

Read the feature in Wayne State University's Warrior Magazine.

Introducing: DEAL 7 Racial Equity Fellows

We develop leaders who work to end structural racism. We equip leaders with tools to disrupt racism and create equitable alternatives in policies, institutions, and culture in Detroit.

Through our Racial Equity Fellowship, we bring together the people and organizations working in the many dimensions of racial equity—including arts and media, community development, education, environment, food security, health care, and housing—to develop a shared analysis of structural racism and white supremacy and to build a tool kit for creating equitable alternatives.

Meet our DEAL 7 Racial Equity Fellows.

Today@Wayne Feature

The Detroit Equity Action Lab prepares to train a new generation of social justice activists

"Our goal is to increase the fellow’s capacity, and we hope that, as they add to their racial equity toolkit, they will share what they’re learning within their communities and organizations where they work or volunteer." — Asandi Conner, DEAL Director

Read the feature.

2021 Cohort of Racial Equity Fellows

Congratulations to our 2021 cohort of Racial Equity Fellows (a.k.a. DEAL 6)!

Through our Racial Equity Fellowship program, we bring together the people and organizations working in the many dimensions of racial equity—including arts and media, community development, education, environment, food security, health care, and housing—to address issues of structural racism in Detroit and beyond. Participants build capacity for their organizations and their work in racial equity. Through training and discussions, they identify long-standing structural racism and improve awareness on racial equity issues to promote change in their communities.

Cover Story: 'All Eyes on Detroit'

“All Eyes on Detroit” tells the story of how our work at the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) is developing a national blueprint in Detroit designed to empower local communities to fight structural racism from the ground up.

"With a focus on lifting others to dismantle structural racism, the Detroit Equity Action Lab has discovered a new way to transform hearts and minds in Detroit — and across the country."

We're honored to have an amazing team leading and designing our Racial Equity Fellowship, all of whom are alumni of the program. Learn more in the recently released feature story on our work.

Race and Justice Reporting Initiative

Our mini-grants support media coverage on racial justice issues in Detroit.

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) launched its Race and Justice Reporting Initiative to support independent journalists of color with mini-grants to cover racial justice issues and their impact on Detroit's Black, immigrant, and low-income communities. Areas of focus for this initiative include environmental justice, equitable development, and more to be determined.

This is a unique opportunity for print, radio, and video journalists to receive funding to help cover reporting expenses, mentoring and coaching, and assistance with placement of their work to news media outlets. Learn more.

Detroit's Right to Literacy Case

Detroit students filed a class-action lawsuit charging that the State of Michigan denies children their right to literacy.

In 2016, Detroit students filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and state education officials, charging that the State of Michigan denies children their right to literacy. Now in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Detroit’s right to literacy case (Gary B. v. Snyder) is the first lawsuit to argue that the right to literacy is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Check out our 101 guide on the issue.

Fiat Chrysler Plant Expansion in Detroit

Detroit's east side currently has illegal levels of ozone in the air. Despite this, Fiat Chrysler is building an assembly plant in the region and is, in part, meeting EPA standards by reducing emissions at a nearby plant in Warren. Not in Detroit.

So how does increasing pollution impact the people of Detroit? Check out our Race and Justice Reporting Initiative series, along with our infographic on environmental racism and our research dossier on asthma in Detroit.

Policing and Surveillance in Detroit

What is the role of police today and what was its role historically? We explore issues of policing, surveillance, and accountability amid the systems of structural racism in Detroit.

Project Green Light: Let's consider the cost of 24-hour surveillance in Detroit, a majority Black city. According to experts, Detroit's Project Green Light is proving to be a dangerous surveillance program through its invasion of rights and use of flawed, discriminatory practices⁠—particularly through facial recognition technology.

Watch our videos and check out our resources on policing and surveillance.