Free HIV Testing during National HIV Testing Week

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens

In honor of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday, June 27th, Walgreens, local AIDS service organizations, and health departments are teaming up to offer free HIV testing. Four area Walgreens stores are participating in Flint, Royal Oak, Detroit and Ypsilanti. Testing will be available Thursday, June 25th and Friday, June 26th, from 3:00 pm -7:00 pm, and Saturday, June 27th, from 10:00 am -2:00 pm.


For more information on free year-round HIV testing or services for those living with HIV/AIDS contact:

HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC), University of Michigan HIV/AIDS Treatment Program, Infectious Disease Fellowship Clinic, Washtenaw County Public Health Clinic, or The Corner Health Clinic, in Ypsilanti.

Another Ann Arborite to Executive Produce film based on the life of Black Conductor on the Underground Railroad

Short Film Screening

Short Film Screening

Another Ann Arborite Deborah Meadows is Vice-President of the Board of The Ann Arbor Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, and the Executive Producer of the historical film ALL OR NOTHIN’This soon-to-be-produced feature film is based on the life and times of Asher Aray. Aray was an abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor, and member of the first Black family in our area. He, along with other conductors on the Underground Railroad, helped 28 people who were fleeing Kentucky, liberate themselves from slavery.  

Deborah Meadows and her team are holding a fundraiser to help off-set production costs for the film that begins shooting in August. The May 14th  fundraiser will include:

The screening of a short film that will be expanded and turned into the feature ALL OR NOTHIN’ 

 A performance by a Washtenaw Community College student

An auction of donated items from local sources

A video produced by University of Michigan film students

Remarks by Carol Mull, local author and historian

Remarks from Asher Aray’s Descendants 

For more information contact Deborah Meadows at or 1-734-819-8182

Ann Arbor Police Chief Stepping Down

Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto

Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto

From the City of Ann Arbor’s website,
“Earlier today, Chief of Police John Seto announced his intention to retire from the City of Ann Arbor Police Department in July. An exact retirement date has not been identified.

Seto has worked for the Ann Arbor Police Department for 25 years. During that time, his assignments have included Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Lieutenant, Patrol Shift Commander and Deputy Chief of Operations.  He was appointed Chief of Police by City Council in July 2012.

“I’m grateful for Chief Seto’s 25 years of service and leadership to Ann Arbor,” said City Administrator Steve Powers. “Through his dedication, professionalism and commitment to public safety, he has rightfully earned the respect of his colleagues, City Council and the Ann Arbor community. We wish him and his family the very best as he moves into this next chapter in his life. During the next few weeks, I will work closely with Chief Seto to work through transition details.”

Once a transition plan is identified, those details will be shared.”  

 Lisa Wondrash

Communications Unit Manager

City of Ann Arbor













Entre-SLAM storytelling and networking for entrepreneurs and friends.

Entre-SLAM: A storytelling competition for Entrpreneurs

Entre-SLAM-SLAM “features a full night of stories of impact and power from entrepreneurs and business support organizations. The top two winners will go on to compete for cash prizes up to $15,000 at the Michigan Theater in November.

A Happy Hour pre-party at The Heidelberg, a full, catered experience from Brillig Dry Bar and an after-party at the Necto Nightclub.

Find ticket info at:

Free Ballet Class with Lyon Opera Ballet Dancers

Lyon Opera Ballet Dance ClassYou Can Dance: Lyon Opera Ballet

“Join dancers from Lyon Opera Ballet for an exploration of the company’s movement style. No dance training necessary, and all levels, age 13 and up, are welcome. Free, but first come, first served until studio reaches capacity. Sign up begins at 12:45 pm.”

April 25th,

Ann Arbor YMCA,

400 W. Washington, Ann Arbor

NPR’s Award-Winning Journalist Michel Martin Is Coming To Town

2015 CEW Mullin Welch Lecture
Michel Martin, American Journalist and Correspondent for NPR and ABC News


You are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 1st at 5:00 p.m. for the 2015 Mullin Welch Lecture. This year’s guest lecturer is Michel Martin, an American journalist and correspondent for NPR and ABC News.
Where: Hussey Room, Michigan League, 911 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI. A reception will follow the lecture. 

Free and open to the public but registration (below) is requested.

Michel Martin 
is an American Journalist and Correspondent for NPR and ABC News. Martin came to NPR in 2006 and launched Tell Me More, a one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that aired on NPR stations nationwide from 2007-2014. She has spent more than 25 years as a journalist-first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Martin has also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR news magazines and talk shows, including Talk of the Nation and News & Notes.

The CEW Mullin Welch Series was established in 1989 by Frances Daseler and Marjorie Jackson in memory of their sister Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch, bringing to campus lecturers who exemplify Elizabeth’s characteristics: creativity, strength of character and expansive vision.

The 2015 Carol Hollenshead Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Changewill be presented before the lecture. This year’s recipients are Sandra Gregerman, Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, and Edward Goldman, Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Register Now!
I can’t make it



ScienceFest: Engineering at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

National Engineering Week is right around the corner! Let your child discover the engineering field.Visit the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum to celebrate National Engineering Week with circuits, design, chemical concoctions and more. 10am-4:00pm. $12.00 age 2+ Feb. 16-22, 2015

IN THE BLACK: Business Spotlight Aprons For Action



Sharon and friend baking in their Aprons for Action!

Sharon and friend baking in their Aprons for Action!

Aprons for Action! is an international non-profit that provides scholarships for academically talented, yet economically marginalized girls in Còte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The girls who attend school through the Grace Scholarship Program could not go to high school without financial help. The organization helps prepare its students for college as well.
Ann Arbor native, Susan Frazier Kouassi once lived in Còte d’Ivoire. While there, she banded together with 8 Ivoirian women to create the program in 2002. Today, in addition to her full-time work, Susan raises educational funds by sewing one-of-a-kind, reversible cotton aprons, as well as place mats and pot holders, from West African fabric. For more information on the Institute for Education of Women in Africa and the Diaspora (IEWAD) visit: or email Susan at: To purchase an apron go to:

IMO: Washtenaw District Court Judge Responds to Ghost Accuser

In My Opinion: Guest Column by Leslie McGraw, Friends & Family of Judge J. Cedric Simpson

The Honorable J. Cedric Simpson, Washtenaw County Judge, 14-A District Court

The Honorable J. Cedric Simpson, Washtenaw County Judge, 14-A District Court

The Honorable J Cedric Simpson, 14-A District Court Judge covering dockets in Pittsfield Township and Saline, Michigan, filed a response with the Judicial Tenure Commission on Wednesday, November 26 after a formal complaint was filed against him two weeks prior.

The complaint contained a host of allegations around the arrest of his intern, Crystal Marie Vargas. Vargas had been a student of Judge Simpson’s at Cooley Law School and an aspiring judge. Vargas was selected by Judge Simpson and his staff to be a part of the internship program based on her academics, strong writing skills, career goals, and background. Vargas became the only assistant in a high-profile case.

On the morning of Sunday, September 8, 2013, Vargas called Judge Simpson at 4:20 a.m. after she collided with a tow truck while turning at a blinking red light. Judge Simpson raced over to the scene to discover Vargas had been drinking while driving. After she failed sobriety tests, Officer Cole placed her under arrest. “Because you’re being cooperative, we will do what we can”, said Cole to Vargas, “We’ll see if we can work on somebody to get your car so we don’t have to impound it.” After Cole placed Vargas in the police car, he walked over to Judge Simpson and asked a hesitant Simpson to take the car keys because she had told him she didn’t have anyone else to come get her and it would help her to avoid impound fees.

After Judge Simpson left the scene, a decision to tow the car was made. Vargas was told that it would be a “crash tow” and not impounded. When Ms. Vargas arrived at the tow company, an impound fee had been applied. After several credit card attempts, Judge Simpson paid the tow balance which was reimbursed to him the next day she came to the court.
The Monday after the accident, Judge Simpson reported the incident to Cooley Law School and reached out the City Attorney’s office to receive a police report and clarify the correct blood alcohol level so he could make a decision about the fate of her internship.

Judge Simpson went on about his duties in good faith until he received an anonymous complaint from the Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) in 2014, which later evolved into an official complaint on November 12, 2014. In one of the first times in the JTC’s 46 year history, the allegations were served with no accuser. According to a May 2014 Edition of The Ann Magazine, Paul Fischer, the commission’s executive director, said the commission discloses the identity of complainants to judges, and that circumstances that would warrant anonymity are very rare. “In fact,” Fischer said, “I can’t even think of one.”
Judge Simpson, in his response to the Judicial Tenure Commission stated:

Judge Simpson had assigned Ms. Vargas the task of reviewing an extremely large volume of text message records that were then the subject of litigation in Nassif. Ms. Vargas’ review of these records and her need to report to Judge Simpson what she was findings she was going along led to an extremely large number of text messages and telephone calls during that period of time, including at times other than normal business hours. Other communication between Ms. Vargas and Judge Simpson during this period involved one or more other matters Judge Simpson had assigned her to work on. Neither the number nor the nature of the communications was in any way improper, nor were the communications in any way an indication of an inappropriate relationship.

This is not the first ghost complaint against Judge Simpson. In fact, in 2010 Judge Kirk Tabbey took Judge Simpson off of the criminal docket for ghost complaints. Or at least that’s what his cryptic message to the press seemed to imply. MLive reported that then-Chief Judge Tabbey said “I have received no official written complaints about Judge Simpson, and any other issues are personnel matters, so I would have no comment.” It would seem that the Former Chief Judge Simpson who worked with the Dispute Resolution Center to alleviate 78% of small claims docket, worked with youth in the Community in conjunction with CAN, and coordinated with the county and Department of Human Services to reduce homelessness and landlord/tenant issues in Washtenaw County deserved more than such a mediocre response. Apparently, the ghost grumblings subsided this year as Judge Simpson as Chief Judge Richard Conlin reassigned the Criminal Docket and Collections from Judge Tabbey to Judge Simpson this October.

Since this ghost accuser has had so many questions and allegations, the friends and family of Judge Simpson have some questions as well.

1. The allegations in the complaint against Judge Simpson were released via media before 7 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2014. That is less than 24 hours after the complaint was served to Judge Simpson. Do “you” always post allegations such as these so quickly and with such bias? It is hard to remember the last time we have seen a positive story about a black man posted with such urgency in the local press.

2. At the same commission meeting on Monday, November 10, 2014, it was recommended that Judge Tabbey be suspended for 90 days without pay after he pled guilty to drinking and driving. Why did it take a commenter on the article about Judge Simpson to prompt local news reporters to publish a story about Judge Tabbey? When were “you” planning to publish that story?

3. Judge Simpson has mentored almost 50 young people of different genders and ethnicities through the internship program he began in connection with Cooley Law School. Why did “you” presume that Judge Simpson had to have been engaged in a dishonorable relationship with Ms. Vargas?

4. Judge Simpson’s award-winning contributions in the community span decades, mostly for his compassion and integrity. Here are a few just in case “you” didn’t know:

  • 2004 Father Bernard J. O’Conner Award for Compassionate Justice – Dispute Resolution Center
  • 2007 Animal Humanitarian Award – Huron Valley Humane Society
  • 2011 Integrity in the Community Honoree – The Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • 2013 Drill Sergeant, Tough Love Award – Thomas M. Cooley Ann Arbor Student Bar Association
  • 2013 Professional Integrity and Community Outreach Award – Washtenaw Association for Justice

5. Many of the allegations are addressed in the police video footage. How did they make it to the complaint? Did “you” see the entire video? If “you” saw the entire video, then why did “you” decide to splice the video on television news in such a way that implied interference? Why did “you” show the tow truck driver speaking about Judge Simpson taking the keys for Ms. Vargas without the scene where the police officer asked Judge Simpson to take the keys?

There are so many questions and concerns that our community should be asking about our only remaining black judge in Washtenaw County. Sometimes, we are uncertain exactly whom these questions should be directed. That does not excuse, however, our failure to continue to ask the questions. Just as we have banded together in communities across these united states to ask tough questions to authorities and make the statement #BlackLivesMatter in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York, and Charleston, we also must band together to ask the tough questions in Washtenaw County. Wayne Moore, Civil Rights activist and member of the historic Wilmington Ten, posed the question: where have all the leaders gone?The leaders have not gone anywhere. They are present, in the positions we elected them to serve in, just trying to breathe.

To learn how you may join the community of support for the Honorable Judge J. Cedric Simpson, please email the Friends and Family of Judge Simpson at or join us on Google + or Facebook.

The views of Guest Columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Posts, Listings, Likes, Tweets, Retweets and other forms of social media engagement do not necessarily equal endorsements. Go to the ‘News’ tab if you are interested in submitting an opinion piece or other information to for publication consideration. Another Ann Arbor, Inc., and it’s subsidiaries,  has no stance on religious or partisan political issues. Our aim is to uplift and strengthen Black communities in Washtenaw County by informing and engaging African Americans and other communities of color, on news, events, issues, history and concerns, that may be of particular interest to African Americans and other members of the African Diaspora. WE WELCOME ANY AND ALL WHO SHARE THIS MISSION TO JOIN US!

NPHC Council Cookout & Back to School Supplies Drive


Bring at least one backpack to the Washtenaw County National Panhellenic Council’s 2014 Cookout & Back to School Supplies Drive. Donations benefit the Parkridge, Ann Arbor, and Hikone Community Centers.

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