The Michigan Municipal League (MML) is very excited about the new story-focused direction of our social media efforts and particularly with our ongoing “I Am Black History” series.

If you haven’t checked out our various social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn recently, please to do so. This work is focused around getting more engagement on our social media outlets by posting interesting and timely items. You’ll find recent posts on everything from our League staff testifying in Lansing to Valentine’s Day to Black History Month.

This work is a concerted effort to raise the public’s awareness of the amazing people, projects and initiatives happening in our communities.

As part of our ongoing support of Black History Month and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) awareness in general, the League has launched a new series called “I Am Black History.”

In this feature, we are focusing on a League member who is a living history in his or her community, such as the first woman black city council president in her community, or the first black city manager, etc. View the full list of people we’re featuring below.

The posts about these individuals will be on our social media pages and our mml.org home page. This idea came from a recent Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) meeting.

MBC-LEO members we’re going around the table introducing themselves to each other and a couple of them added things like “I’m the first black woman mayor in my city.”

In hearing all the amazing comments from people attending that meeting, our staff wanted to recognize how many of our members are not only making a difference in their communities, but how they are also ground breakers and a part of the history of their community and our state.

We kicked it off recognizing Lois Allen-Richardson, the first black woman mayor for the City of Ypsilanti. Other people we plan to highlight in this “I Am Black History” series are League board member Monica Galloway, Flint councilmember; Fonda Brewer, Delta Township trustee; Vester Davis, Springfield city manager; Anita Ashford, Port Huron council member; Monique Owens, Eastpointe mayor; and immediate past MML Board President Brenda F. Moore, Saginaw mayor. We hope to add some additional ones as well.

The League plans to have more regular features like this in the weeks and months to come. This includes the weekly #FeelGoodFriday where we share stories about amazing people making a positive impact in our Michigan Communities and #TravelTuesday that focuses on things to do throughout our state.

If you have “story” ideas for our social media pages please let us know by emailing the League’s social media guru – Christy Welti at cwelti@mml.org.

Here are the people we’re planning to recognize in the “I Am Black History” series:

Lois Allen-Richardson, Mayor, Ypsilanti: I Am Black History.  I’m the first black female mayor of the City of Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I was promoted to mayor by resignation of the former mayor in 2020. I am President of the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.

Monica Galloway, Councilmember, Flint: I Am Black History. I am the first female and first black person to serve as councilmember for the 7th Ward in the City of Flint. I am completing my eighth year.

Fonda J. Brewer, Trustee, Delta Charter TownshipI Am Black History.  I’m the only African-American Trustee on the Delta Township Board in Lansing, Michigan. I was appointed in 2019 for a two-year term and elected to a four year term in 2020.

Vester Davis, City Manager, Springfield: I Am Black History. I am a black city manager for the city of Springfield, Calhoun County, Michigan. There are fewer than 15 black public administrators in the state.

Anita Ashford, Councilmember, Port Huron: I Am Black History. I am the only one of eight siblings to graduate from college. The first Black mayor pro tem in Port Huron (twice designated), the first black female to lead SEMCOG, and the first black person to become Michigan Municipal League Vice President.

Monique Owens, Mayor, City of Eastpointe: I Am Black History because my ancestors created a path for me to be successful which opened doors for me to have made history as the first black councilwoman in 2017 and as the first black woman and youngest mayor in Eastpointe, Michigan as well as Macomb County’s history in 2019.

Brenda F. Moore, Mayor, Saginaw: I Am Black History. I am the first African American female to serve as president of the Michigan Municipal League in its 122-year history.