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Issues Of Race In Metro Detroit Under A Microscope

Michigan Matters: Shirley Stancato (4/20) Seg 1Michigan Matters: Shirley Stancato (4/20) Seg 1Michigan Matters: Shirley Stancato (4/20) Seg 2Michigan Matters: Shirley Stancato (4/20) Seg 2Michigan Matters: Roundtable (4/20) Seg 3Michigan Matters: Roundtable (4/20) Seg 3Michigan Matters: Roundtable (4/20) Seg 4Michigan Matters: Roundtable (4/20) Seg 4

By Carol Cain
CBS Detroit

Armed with her new report looking at equity among races across Metro Detroit, New Detroit President and CEO Shirley Stancato talked how blacks, Arabs, Chaldeans, Asians, Hispanics and others are faring when it comes to education, home ownership and income.

"Our goal at New Detroit is achieving a time when race is no longer an issue in this region and no longer an obstacle to progress for our city, region and state," Stancato said during taping of "Michigan Matters.

Stancato, who has led the group for 14 years, said it was the first time they have done a study on the issues since the organization formed after the 1967 riots in Detroit.

"Our inaugural report shows in vivid detail that we are far from achieving that goal. At the same time, it offers examples of hope in the form of local initiatives that are in fact, achieving real success in closing the gap that exists," she added.

Stancato appeared show with Bankole Thompson, senior editor of Michigan Chronicle and Dr. SyedMohiuddin, who is a board member of the Michigan Muslim Community Coalition.

Michigan Matters
(from left) Shirley Stancato, CEO of New Detroit, Bankole Thompson, senior editor of Michigan Chronicle , Dr. Syed Mohiuddin of MMCC and host Carol Cain during taping of "Michigan Matters". (credit: CBS 62)

Stancato said she was surprised by findings that 56 percent of the Hispanic population in Detroit did not have a high school diploma. That compares to nearly a third of American Indian, 28 percent of Asian populations, 24 percent of white residents and 21 percent of black or African-American residents not completing high school.

"That's never been a part of the conversation," she said.

She added that New Detroit will make the equity report an annual one and use information to further policy discussions on things like transportation and education.

New Detroit is a coalition of leaders from civil rights and advocacy organizations, human services, health and community organizations, business, labor, foundations, education, media and clergy. It is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

Dr. Mohiuddin, who is also an internal medicine resident at Detroit Medical Center's Sinai Grace Hospital, has been working with the MCCC as a board member to further the image and impact of Muslim Americans.

As part of that, MCCC will hold its annual Capital Muslim Day in Lansing on May 13 where state legislators and leaders from across Michigan will gather meet and learn more.

Dr. Mohiuddin was very vocal over a recent local story that gained national coverage about a Muslim parent being  upset that a Dearborn public school had given flyers to students inviting them to an Easter Egg hunt.

The mixing of school and religion didn't sit well with that parent and his children., Dr Mohiuddin saw the issue through a difference lens.

Thompson, who has covered issues of race at the Chronicle, also discussed his being honored with the upcoming "Centennial Journalist Award" by the Council of Bishops of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African American Christian denomination.

He will be fetted April 26 at Cobo Center during the 100 year celebration of the Michigan/Canada jurisdictions of COGIC when 12,000 attendees are expected.

Thompson, who has also written books about President Barack Obama, was lauded for his editorial leadership on issues impacting the African American community.

"I feel a deep sense of gratitude to be recognized by an institution that perhaps has had the single most important impact on the African American Christian faith in the last 100 years," Thompson said.

You can hear the conversation by watching "Michigan Matters" 11:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS 62

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning senior producer/host of "Michigan Matters." She also writes about business and politics in Sunday's Detroit Free Press. You can reach her at

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