Mayor Duggan appoints new civil rights director to promote equity and inclusion


Kimberly Rustem, new director of Detroit's Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity department. - CITY OF DETROIT
  • City of Detroit
  • Kimberly Rustem, new director of Detroit's Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity department.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday announced the appointment of a new civil rights director.

Kimberly Rustem is replacing Charity Dean as director of the city’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity (CRIO) department. Charity Dean is leaving the post on Friday after “accepting a new opportunity,” the city said.

Rustem, who most recently served as the mayor’s chief policy advisor, will be tasked with promoting equity, inclusion, and small businesses. She'll be responsible for ensuring Detroit residents receive priority consideration for jobs, and she will monitor community benefit ordinances and mediate civil rights complaints. Rustem also will oversee the newly created Office of Disability Affairs, led by Christopher Samp.

Rustem comes to the job with a lot of experience promoting diversity and inclusion. In her role as chief policy advisor, she was focused on improving residents' quality of life, health, and safety. Among her recent initiatives was helping develop and implement the city’s long-awaited recreational marijuana program, which calls for at least 50% of all licensees to have been residents of Detroit for at least 15 of the past 30 years.

Rustem also led efforts to help micro businesses that are led by women and people of color in Detroit.

“Kim has done an excellent job in navigating and addressing several of the policy issues that have historically created inequities in the day-to-day lives of Detroiters,” Duggan said in a statement. “I’m very excited to have her in this new role where she can continue and expand her role in making sure all Detroiters have equitable access to opportunity.”

Duggan also commended Dean for the work she had done in the civil rights job.

“Charity has done a phenomenal job helping lift up Detroiters as a public servant and advocate, I have no doubt she will continue to be a champion for the residents and business owners of this City,” Duggan said.

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