Two of Oakland County’s top leaders and community members highlighted the progress made by Black Americans and the ongoing challenge of achieving freedom and liberation in the 156 years since enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned the Civil War had ended during a virtual gathering held earlier this month.
The occasion; a panel discussion titled, “Juneteenth: Then and Now,” highlighted the continued presence of racism in America and challenged the notion that Black Americans had already accomplished justice at a time when police brutality, health disparities and other systemic challenges persist in the United States.
The panel, which streamed live Thursday, June 17 on Facebook, called attention to the history of Black citizens in the U.S. and challenged the community to consider how past events continue to influence the present-day realities for Black Americans.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter Celebrates Resilience of Residents, Employees, and Businesses During Pandemic
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter declared his vision for building Oakland County’s future now in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic during his 2021 State of the County address Wednesday evening. It included an announcement that the Oakland80 initiative, geared to leading our state in getting 80 percent of the county’s adults a college education or certificate training by 2030, will kick off later this year by providing navigators and success coaches to help residents plot out their career goals.
“We don’t need to wait for the end of this pandemic to build our future. We must start now, “ said Coulter, who premiered his annual speech on social media from Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theater in Royal Oak without an in-person audience present due to coronavirus precautions. “The Oakland80 program will get underway this summer and will fan out across the county to give residents the assistance they need to complete college credits or skilled training programs.”
Now until March 21st, experience an immersive light display at Waterford Oaks County Park that pays homage to those we’ve lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, gives thanks to the people who have continued to risk their lives in the face of the coronavirus to keep us healthy and safe, and expresses gratitude for all of those who have helped us through the last year during the #OaklandTogether COVID-19 Tribute Walk.
YOUR art has power. Art can save lives & bring us together.
Oakland County is looking for residents of nearly any age who have an artistic flair or video-making chops to create original art or a video to promote the continuing importance of practicing COVID-19 safety.
The ‘Oakland Together’ COVID-19 Safety Video & Art Contest is a way to encourage residents ages 10 and up to offer creative ways of sending the message that practices such as wearing face masks or social distancing continue to be critical components of fighting the pandemic.
“I know first-hand how creative and imaginative the residents of our county can be. This isn’t a new message, but it remains an important one. Wearing a face mask does make a difference in stopping the spread of the virus; washing your hands makes a difference and so does social distancing. You’ve heard me say it many times. I’m certain there are a lot of creative minds out there who can deliver the message that COVID-19 is still with us and it will take all of us working as Oakland Together to beat this insidious virus.”
Oakland County Executive David Coulter
The contest has two ages divisions: 10-17 and 18 and above; and video or visual arts/2D categories for each. There is no limit to the number of times a person may enter but each entry must be done separately. Entry deadline is July 24th at 11:59 p.m.
The contest is open to original artwork submitted by the original creator, including but not limited to video, painting, drawing, photography, illustration, and printmaking. Artwork should promote and encourage COVID safety, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State of Michigan protocols.
A panel of judges will select the top three entries from each age group and category. Criteria include creativity, overall artistic impact in communicating safety during COVID-19, and the skill in mastering of the chosen medium. Coulter will announce the finalists on July 28th, whose creations will then be displayed online for a vote of by the public to determine the order of finish.
Every finalist will receive $100 each; category winners will each be awarded an additional $250 for a total of $350 combined with their finalist prize.
The winning entries will be considered for a virtual exhibit on OakGov.com, the county’s website and featured on Oakland County’s social media accounts and promoted in OaklandCountyProsper.com, the county’s bi-weekly electronic newsletter. They will also be considered for use in upcoming public service announcements. The artists will be given credit if their creations are used.
The contest is only open to residents of Oakland County. A complete list of rules and details on how to enter the contest are found at www.oakgov.com/covid/contests.
Stay up to date about the coronavirus disease in the county and explore more information at www.oakgov.com/covid.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter set a collaborative tone and ambitious agenda to expand health care for county residents, ensure adults complete needed education and job certifications, move a county division and its staff to downtown Pontiac, and triple defense investment in the county by 2025.
Coulter outlined his “Oakland Together” plan Wednesday evening before a full house at the Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Pontiac.
“I believe the fact that Oakland does well means we have an opportunity – indeed a responsibility – to do better,” Coulter said. “We can leverage our strengths to tackle our challenges before they become problems. We can lead and innovate. We can be fiscally responsible with taxpayer money and forward thinking. To do that, we must be Oakland Together. Together as public servants working for the public good, together with our residents and businesses, and together with our region.”