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April 08, 1994 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-04-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

7-

THE AdULT SERViCES DEPARTMENT

of ThE

Icc

Ms. Berlin Elected
Civil Rights Chair

of Metropolitan Detroit

A N d

JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

A longtime advocate for the
rights of the handicapped, Son-
dra Berlin of West Bloomfield
has a new position she hopes
will help advance her cause.
Ms. Berlin, who was elected
chair of the Michigan Civil
Rights Commission by a unan-
imous vote last week, will serve
as spokeswoman and head the
eight-member commission,
which was created to eliminate
and prevent unlawful discrim-
ination in Michigan. It also sets
policy for the state department
of civil rights and issues final
orders in discrimination cases.
First selected in 1985 by for-
mer Gov. James Blanchard to
serve two terms on the com-
mission and reappointed by
Gov. John Engler, she is the first
handicapped individual ever ap-
pointed to the four-year post.
Ms. Berlin often uses a wheel-

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WEdNESdAy, ApRiL 13
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New civil rights chair Sondra Berlin.

chair because she was afflicted
with polio. Currently she is the
only Jewish commissioner.
"There is so much hate and
physical abuse," Ms. Berlin. "As
chair, I hope to stop these things
and help people live more equi-
tably in the state of Michigan."
In her new position, Ms.
Berlin plans to map out an
agenda with the director of the
Michigan Department of Civil
Rights. She would like to help
prevent discrimination against
people with disabilities and see
more cooperation among vari-
ous groups in institutions of
higher education.
Ms. Berlin is co-owner and
corporate secretary-treasurer
of Weight Watchers Group, Inc.
She is a board member of the
Anti-Defamation League.
Ms. Berlin, who sits on the
commission with a member of
the Arab community, said they
have discussed working to-
gether to benefit both commu-
nities. 0

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