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Justice InDeed: Addressing the History of Racial Covenants and Segregation in Washtenaw County


Tuesday November 9, 2021: 6:30pm to 8:00pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar




Learn about the deeds to thousands of homes in Washtenaw County that contain “racially restrictive covenants” – or provisions prohibiting Black people and other minorities from living there.

A panel from Justice InDeed will discuss the role these covenants played in causing segregation and economic inequality and how to repair the damage caused by systemic housing discrimination in Washtenaw County.

Panelists include:


Susan Fleurant (she/her) is working with Justice InDeed as a student-attorney in the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative at the University of Michigan Law School. After graduating law school, Susan intends to practice disability rights law. Over the past three years, she has worked for the Minnesota Disability Law Center, Legal Services of South Central Michigan’s Medical-Legal Partnership, AARP Foundation, and the Network for Public Health Law.

Joyce Hunter is President/CEO of the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County; Joyce is a founding member and has been a key leader in establishing the plans to open the Museum.  AACHM has been a “Museum without Walls”  for many years and officially open to the public on October 24, 2021. She is a retired Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Ann Arbor Public School system.

Justin Schell is the Director of the Shapiro Design Lab, a peer and engaged learning community at the University of Michigan Library. His work in the Lab revolves around facilitating learning and project development in areas such as publicly-engaged scholarship, community and citizen science, accessibility and disability justice, media production, and more. 

Michael J. Steinberg is a professor from practice at the University of Michigan Law School and the founding director of the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative at Michigan Law. Before becoming a law professor, Steinberg was the legal director of the ACLU of Michigan for 22 years, where he oversaw all ACLU litigation in the state. Professor Steinberg has litigated dozens of high-impact, high-profile cases on a wide variety of civil rights issues, including six cases that have reached the United States Supreme Court. Prof. Steinberg and his students, working with many community and university leaders, recently founded Justice InDeed to not only raise awareness about racially restrictive covenants in Washtenaw County, but also to take action to repeal them.   

Bailey Sullivan is a second-year Ph.D. student in the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, specializing in late-medieval Northern European art. Her research focuses on the visual culture of physical and imaginative travel, most notably cartography and cityscapes. To this end, she has been a collaborator on the Justice InDeed Project since April 2021, and serves as a member of the Black Washtenaw County collaboratory group at the University of Michigan.

Claire Zimmerman is Associate Professor of Architecture and Art History at the University of Michigan. I teach about the history of the built environment over the last two centuries, focusing on its buildings, spaces, materials, methods, and social effects. About six years ago, I began working on Detroit-area industries, and their social and environmental effects on the region and globally. She is part of a research collaborative entitled Black Washtenaw County at the University of Michigan and will contribute to the larger BWC effort as a member of the Race in Arts and the Built Environment working group.

This event is in partnership with Justice InDeed.