Detroit Equity Action Lab seeks next cohort of racial equity leaders

Fellowship application now open

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, is seeking emerging and experienced leaders committed to advancing racial equity and ending structural racism for its Racial Equity Fellowship 2024 Cohort (DEAL 8).

The free 12-month program, which will begin in January, will convene in a hybrid model with both virtual and in-person sessions. Application opened August 1, and the deadline to apply is September 29. A virtual information session is scheduled For Friday, August 25 on Zoom. Interested applicants can visit

The fellowship is designed to strengthen a multi-racial and multi-generational network of local leaders, increasing local organization’s efficacy in addressing racial equity and catalyzing change, and create a shared understanding of structural racism and the ways it plays out in Detroit. A change-driven group, DEAL’s fellowship program works to translate its sessions and learnings into actionable steps to disrupt racism and create equitable alternatives in policies, institutions, and culture in Detroit. Fellows will participate in skills building with other Detroit-area leaders, deepen relationships, and join a cohesive network committed to addressing structural racism.

Each year, DEAL recruits leaders living and working in Detroit or the metropolitan area who are committed to advancing racial equity throughout the city. Applicants from groups and organizations working in a wide variety of sectors and various levels of budgets and experience, from volunteer-based organizations to non-profits, entrepreneurs, and beyond. DEAL welcomes leaders across all ethnic and racial groups, gender identities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds over 18.

“As we approach our 10th year and prepare to launch the eighth cohort, I am proud of the program's evolution and our fellows' impact on spatial-structural racism in the city and region. Our unique curriculum is rooted in healing and self-exploration to complement fellows' existing tools and talents..” –  Asandi Conner, DEAL’s Director.

The DEAL focuses on racial equity from a personal to structural lens. The program believes that the transformation of movements is dependent on the transformation of the people in them. Since its inception in 2014, DEAL’s Racial Equity Fellowship program has brought together nearly 200 leaders working in the many dimensions of racial equity – including arts and media, community development, education, environment, food security, health care, and housing – to address inequities in Detroit and beyond.

To learn more about the Detroit Equity Action Lab, visit Additional information, FAQs, and more about the Racial Equity Fellowship can be found online.

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