Sheriff Clayton Appointed by Gov. Whitmer to the Black Leadership Advisory Council


|2 min | from Washtenaw County |

Last week Governor Gretchen Whitmer made appointments to the Black Leadership Advisory Council, which brings together a diverse group of Black Michiganders to serve in an advisory capacity to the governor and develop, review, and recommend policies and actions designed to prevent and eradicate discrimination and racial inequity in Michigan.

Housed within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the Council will also work to identify state laws, or gaps in state law, that create or perpetuate inequities, collaborate to promote legislation and regulation that ensures equitable treatment of all Michiganders, serve as a resource for community groups, and promote the cultural arts in the Black community.

The Black Leadership Advisory Council is among a set of diverse ethnic commissions within the state of Michigan. Although African Americans are the largest racial minority in the state, this Council is the first of its kind in Michigan to elevate Black leaders.

In response to the announcement, Sheriff Clayton made the following statement: “I applaud Governor Whitmer's insight in creating the Black Leadership Advisory Council. Similar to the voice provided by the Hispanic/Latino Commission and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. BLAC is recognition that the best public policy is created when a diverse perspective is included as an integral part of the decision-making process. I am honored to be a part of this initiative to better serve all the people of Michigan".

Michigan has emerged as a nationwide leader in reducing health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 15% of Michiganders are African American, but in April, African Americans accounted for over 40% of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The Michigan Task Force on Racial Disparities, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, studied this issue and recommended actions to immediately address it and the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them. And now, thanks to their hard work, the state has seen significant progress: with Black residents accounting for 9.1% of cases and 5.7% of deaths as of early November.

The Governor has appointed the following 16 individuals to represent Black leadership in various fields:

Jerry L. Clayton, Sr., of Ypsilanti, is the Sheriff of Washtenaw County. He also serves as a training consultant for the National Institute of Corrections and CEO of The Cardinal Group II, a policing and corrections training company. Sheriff Clayton is appointed to represent Black leadership in community safety and preparedness for a term commencing November 12, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2021.

A complete listing of council members can be found on the County’s website at

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