The Detroit Historical Society announces the Detroit 1967 Project, a transformational effort to promote informed discussion and spark clearer understanding about the events of the summer of 1967 and their effects on metro Detroit and the United States. More details of the project will be made public at a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Avenue.
Society CEO Robert Bury will join project partners Juanita Moore, President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Shirley Stancato, President and CEO of New Detroit, Inc., and John W. Hardy, chair of the Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee, for the announcement. Remarks from Joseph L. Hudson, Jr., the Founding Chairman of New Detroit, Inc., and Detroit Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon, and a patrolman at the Detroit Police Department in 1967, will round out the program.
“There is little argument that no single event has had a more significant impact on our city and region than what occurred during July of 1967,” Hudson said. “The upcoming 50-year commemoration and the Detroit 1967 Project provide a unique and much needed opportunity for people to fully understand what happened and communicate on a topic that’s often not easy to talk about.”
Detroit 1967 will collect stories and images relating to conditions in Detroit prior to 1967, as well as the events of that summer, and explore how those factors have affected our past and present – and, very likely, our future. This research, along with personal accounts, media reports and artifacts, will culminate in a groundbreaking exhibition about Detroit’s struggles with racial and cultural diversity. The exhibition, opening in the fall of 2016 at the Detroit Historical Museum, will be complemented by numerous public programs and other components developed in collaboration with a wide range of community partners.
“The riots of 1967 brought forward the ethnic and racial divisions that ignited and ran rampant for days in Detroit. Thousands were arrested, 43 died, and thousands were injured,” said Congressman John Conyers. “The Detroit 1967 Project will remind us of what happened and will be helpful to future generations and other cities around the country.”
A key goal is to connect the Detroit 1967 Project to today’s conversations about racial equality, gentrification, economic disparity, and demographic change taking place in Detroit and throughout the country. To ensure a balanced, fair and comprehensive treatment of this sensitive subject, the Society will rely extensively on a coalition of diverse partners and welcome broad, region-wide community participation.
Those interested in getting involved in the Detroit 1967 Project or in sharing their story can visit the project website at Detroit1967.org.
A growing group of community partners and advisors have already committed their support to the project, including:
N. Charles Anderson, Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan
Kevin Boyle, Northwestern University
Sheila Cockrel, Crossroads Consulting and former Detroit City Councilperson
Judge Avern Cohn
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and former Congressman John Dingell
DeWitt Dykes, Oakland University
Roman Gribbs, former Mayor of Detroit
Harvey Hollins III, Office of Governor Rick Snyder
Arthur Horwitz, Detroit Jewish News
Brenda Jones, President, Detroit City Council
William Jones, Focus Hope
Judge Damon Keith
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence
Mark Miller, Temple Beth El
U.S. Senator Gary Peters
Ahmad Rahman, University of Michigan Dearborn
Detroit Regional Chamber
Richard C. Van Dusen Urban Leadership Forum
and many others.
“We believe the Detroit 1967 Project can promote the understanding of our collective history, and foster the cooperation and reconciliation that will enable us to emerge strong, resilient and hopeful for the days ahead,” Bury said.
The Detroit Historical Society, established in 1921, is a private, nonprofit organization located in Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s cultural center. Founded in 1921, its mission is to educate and inspire our community and visitors by preserving and presenting our region’s shared history through dynamic exhibits and experiences. Today, the Society operates the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. In addition, the Society is responsible for the conservation and preservation of more than 250,000 artifacts that represent three centuries of our region’s rich history. Through its museum exhibits, school tour programs, community-based programs and history-themed outreach efforts, the Society serves more than 150,000 people annually.
Source: Detroit Historical Society