Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color in Michigan. African Americans represent nearly 14 percent of the state’s population, yet they represent 40 percent of the deaths from coronavirus. The task force was created per Executive Order 2020-55, and will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor. It will study the causes of racial disparities and recommend actions to address the historical and systemic inequities.

The task force will suggest ways to:

  • Increase transparency in reporting data regarding the racial and ethnic impact of COVID-19. 
  • Remove barriers to accessing physical and mental health care. 
  • Reduce the impact of medical bias in testing and treatment. 
  • Mitigate environmental and infrastructure factors contributing to increased exposure during pandemics resulting in mortality. 
  • Develop and improve systems for supporting long-term economic recovery and physical and mental health care following a pandemic. 

The task force will collaborate with community action stakeholders as well as identify avenues of funding for combatting racial disparities. The task force will continue its work until 90 days after the termination of the declared states of emergency and disaster, or such other time as identified by the Governor.

Meeting Times & Call-in Information:

Taskforce on Racial Disparities Community Action Stakeholder Team meeting
Every Friday - 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 248-509-0316   United States, Pontiac (Toll)
Conference ID: 962 509 056#

Michigan Coronavirus Taskforce on Racial Disparities
Every Friday -  3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 248-509-0316   United States, Pontiac (Toll)
Conference ID: 130 380 551#


Task Force Meeting Minutes and Agendas

Racial Disparities Task Force Meeting Agenda 6-5-2020

Community Action Team Meeting Agenda 6-5-2020

Racial Disparities Task Force Public Meeting Agenda 5-15-2020

Racial Disparities Task Force Meeting Agenda 5-8-2020 (Public Notes)


Task Force Meeting Documents

RDTF Accomplishments

Recommendations sheet 

Utility Protections_6.4

Press Release - MDHHS and LEO partner to help low-income college students enrolled in career and technical education programs to receive food assistance

Primary Care Connections Workgroup Presentation

Strategic Infrastructure Testing Workgroup 5/26/2020


Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities

Chair: Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist
MDHHS Staff: Director Robert Gordon or his designee, and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun

Governor appointees:

  • Brandi Nicole Basket, D.O., Clinton Township; chief medical officer for Meridian Health Plan Michigan Market
  • Matthew L. Boulton, M.D., Ann Arbor; senior associate dean for Global Public Health and director of the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program at the University of Michigan
  • Renée Branch Canady, Ph.D., Lansing; chief executive officer of the Michigan Public Health Institute
  • Denise Brooks-Williams, Detroit; senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Henry Ford Health System North Market 
  • Dessa Nicole Cosma, Detroit; executive director of Detroit Disability Power
  • Connie Dang, Jenison; director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and special assistant for Inclusive Community Outreach at Grand Valley State University
  • Marijata Daniel-Echols, Ph.D., Farmington Hills; program officer at W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Debra Furr-Holden, Ph.D., Flint; epidemiologist and associate dean for Public Health Integration at Michigan State University, and director of the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions
  • Audrey E. Gregory, Ph.D., Franklin; chief executive officer of the Detroit Medical Center 
  • Whitney Griffin, Detroit, director of marketing and communications for the Downtown Detroit Partnership 
  • Bridget G. Hurd, Southfield; senior director of diversity and inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Curtis L. Ivery, Ph.D., Detroit; chancellor of Wayne County Community College District 
  • Solomon Kinloch, Jr., Oakland Township; senior pastor at Triumph Church in Detroit
  • Jametta Y. Lilly, Detroit; chief executive officer of the Detroit Parent Network
  • Curtis Lipscomb, Detroit; executive director of LGBT Detroit 
  • Mona Makki, Dearborn; director of the ACCESS Community Health and Research Center.
  • Alycia R. Meriweather, Detroit; deputy superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Randolph Rasch, Ph.D., East Lansing; professor and dean of the Michigan State University College of Nursing
  • Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, Grand Rapids; community program manager for Strong Beginnings at Spectrum Health and a fellow in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Jamie Paul Stuck, Scotts; Tribal Council chairman and member of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council
  • Maureen Taylor, Detroit; state chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
  • LaChandra White, Allen Park; director of the UAW Civil and Human Rights Department.
  • M. Roy Wilson, M.D., Detroit; president of Wayne State University

Contact: MIEOG-COVID-19RacialDisparitiesTF@michigan.gov