Duggan launches stickers for coronavirus-free businesses, Juneteenth celebration

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan on Monday announced a city-wide celebration for Juneteenth as well as a plan to make sure salons, barbershops and other personal care services are safe when they reopen.

The announcement came at a press conference where Duggan, along with representatives from the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department and Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship Office, previewed a week-long, virtual celebration for Juneteenth, a day to commemorate the end of slavery on June 19. 

"It has become a celebration of black culture in America," Duggan said. 

Local artist are being called on to partner with high school students to paint words of "resilience and power" on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.

The Juneteenth celebration will include several forums on the history and culture of the black community and will take place on the city of Detroit's Facebook Live. 

"We're not only celebrating what it means to be black in America and black in Detroit but we're also inspiring change," said Charity Dean, the director of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity.

On Monday, the kickoff conversation about the history of Juneteenth will be streamed at 6 p.m. Tuesday will feature a talk at 6 p.m. called Black Mental Health Matters and then a 7:30 p.m. live workout session with a certified personal trainer. 

On Wednesday, another talk will be held called Black Education Matters, followed by a seminar at 7:30 p.m. on how to build wealth in the black community. A talk on criminal justice reform will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The week of celebrations will conclude with the Juneteenth Freedom Rally at Spirit Plaza downtown Friday at 10 a.m. The rally will also unveil an uplifting message that will be painted on Woodward, spanning a block-long. 

The painting will cover the west lanes of Woodward, from Larned to Congress and will be completed over 24 hours to allow for drying time. That section of the street will be closed from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 8.m. Friday. 

COVID-19 safety

On Sunday, Detroit recorded 19 new cases for a total of 11,369 cases; it has recorded 1,420 deaths with 88 probable cases. The city's seven-day average is about 11 new cases each day

As places reopen, the city is providing personal protection equipment kits and rapid COVID-19 testing to businesses. Ninety-six barbershop and salon workers in the city were tested for COVID-19 this weekend. Only one of those people tested positive, Duggan said. 

Duggan said Police Chief James Craig got his hair cut on Monday after making sure his barber had a sticker declaring he tested negative this weekend. Duggan encouraged everyone to check with hair and nail salons and barbershop workers to make sure they have a negative COVID-19 sticker.

That extra assurance is something Courtney Wilson, co-owner and stylist at Anthem Salon, said will be helpful as she gets back to work. 

"It was important for us, my husband and I, to take the test... I wanted my clients to know that they were entering into a safe environment," said Wilson.

Duggan also announced that the hazard pay for essential employees will be eliminated this week. The hazard pay went into effect nine weeks ago to support essential workers who were on the front lines when COVID-19 reached its peak in Detroit. Now, since salons and barbershops will be opened again, Duggan said it would not be fair to the employees of those businesses for hazard pay to continue. 

Essential employees who already received hazard pay will get a lump sum check on the first week of July. About 8 million dollars was distributed to hazard pay, Duggan said. 

Duggan said insurance companies in Michigan are not doing what they should to inform policyholders on how to lower their rates. In response, Duggan will hold a seminar on June 18 at 7 p.m. to walk people through each line on their bills and what they can change. 

On July 2, Michigan car insurance holders can lower their rates by calling their insurance providers. 

“Everyone is pushing against your rights to have lower car insurance,” Duggan said. “There is a potential for significant savings... but no one is going to give it to you.”