Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Equity Leadership: Chamber’s Marnita Harris Graduates From Detroit Equity Lab’s Racial Equity Fellowship

Equity Leadership: Chamber’s Marnita Harris Graduates From Detroit Equity Lab’s Racial Equity Fellowship

August 18, 2023

The Detroit Regional Chamber is proud to celebrate the graduation of Marnita Harris, Vice President of Racial Justice and Economic Equity, from the Detroit Equity Action Lab Racial Equity Fellowship, an initiative of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. 

The fellowship is a year-long leadership development program that provides practical tools, resources, and training to equip its graduates with the knowledge needed to make a change in their communities. Harris was a member of the program’s seventh cohort, a multiracial and multigenerational group of 21 leaders dedicated to disrupting racism and creating equitable alternatives. 

“This program has given me the knowledge and confidence to come into the room unapologetically with the profound influence of my ancestors, the efforts they have made, and the hardships they have endured throughout generations that paved the way for me to sit in this room today,” said Harris. 

Over the fellowship’s 12 months, Harris engaged in high-quality skills building with other Detroit Region racial equity leaders, focusing on: 

  • Building a structural racism analysis 
  • Deepening their understanding of structural racism in the Region and Detroit’s history 
  • Understanding their racialized identities 
  • Exploring multiracial coalitions and how structural racism shows up for all racial groups 
  • How to move from allyship to co-liberation 

“The fellowship taught us how to be collaborative disrupters,” said Harris. “It empowered us to confront structural racism from the ground up in regional communities.”  

Graduating from this program marked a major milestone for Harris. The insight and experience she has acquired from the fellowship complement her years of experience and knowledge in racial justice, ranging from her participation in New Detroit’s Multicultural Leadership program to her involvement with the Women United Committee. It also underscores her commitment as Vice President of Racial Justice and Economic Equity to building an equitable Region. 

“I hope to apply the knowledge I’ve gained internally to the Chamber, contributing to our Racial Justice and Economic Equity efforts,” said Harris. “I also want to continue building partnerships that will positively impact the Region, addressing issues of disparities in areas like health and well-being, education, and economic opportunity.”