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4th Annual Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) Fundraiser

The Fourth Annual Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) Fundraising Event was a huge success!  Approximately 100 people were in attendance, including elected officials from Inkster, Kentwood, Muskegon, Ypsilanti, Southfield, Muskegon Heights and, of course, the city of Saginaw, Buena Vista Township, and Saginaw County.  The MBC-LEO board was given proclamations and resolutions from the city of Saginaw, Buena Vista Township, and Saginaw County.  The founding members, President Clara Shepherd (Muskegon), Second Vice President Myron Frasier (Southfield), and Secretary Lois Richardson (Ypsilanti) were recognized for their efforts in starting this organization for the purposes of networking and support.  Jimmy E. Greene, Founder, Saginaw Valley African-American Leadership Institute gave a presentation about the need to develop young, African-American men into leaders.  He does this through his Institute, which is a 10-month-long educational program which also exposes the young men to political, business and community leaders in mid-Michigan. 

Keynote speaker Harold Core, Director of Public Affairs for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights spoke about the importance of the upcoming vote and the significance of everyone doing due diligence to make sure they are registered before election day and that they verify the location where they are supposed to vote.  He said elected officials should be spreading that information to their constituents.

Mr. Core’s primary focus was on what MBC-LEO could do to prepare for greater diversity in Michigan and in the nation.  “It used to be that you could get a job at the factory and be set for life,” he said, “those days are gone.”  He said just like the internet has changed our world since the 1990s, we should expect the same type of changes taking place with regards to ethnic diversity.  Some people thought the internet was a phase, just as some people think that diversity won’t impact their organizations.  Diversity is an emerging reality that we must embrace.  Since 1990 the white population in Michigan has increased by 2 percent, the black population by 9.3 percent, the Latino population by 60.7 percent and the Asian/Pacific Islander by 73.1 percent. 

Mr. Core asked the attendees to think globally.  He said many people in the room might be Christians but they should know that internationally only one in three people are Christian.  Diversity is the unspoken necessity of building the new economy.  In the 1980s and 1990s those that embraced technology are in better positions today.  The same will go for those that prepare themselves for ethnic communities.  It is a must for community leaders to start to build culturally diverse partnerships and coalitions.

He left the officials with three points to ponder:  

  • He asked them to focus on the critical skill of building coalitions.

  • He challenged them to make sure that no one is left behind, as their growing diverse communities are making the transition into a knowledge-based economy.

  • He said they should know that they have the power to make the changes that need to be made.

After the dinner and keynote presentations the group was entertained by Strive Productions, of Saginaw.  The event will be held in the city of Inkster next year.  For more information about MBC-LEO, or about joining the group, visit, or call the Michigan Municipal League at 800-653-2483.  


MBC-LEO, c/o Michigan Municipal League, 1675 Green Road Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: 800-653-2483, FAX: 734-662-8083