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Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

Dr. April Campbell - Ward 4 People & Places You Should Know (June 17, 2022)

This was part of my June 17, 2022 newsletter



Ward 4 People & Places You Should Know

If you are involved in the local birding community, you may already know Dr. April Campbell. Dr. Campbell is a local advocate committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation, specifically birding. Most recently, she has established a group called BIPOC Birders of Michigan.


I met Dr. Campbell earlier this year, when she reached out to me to talk about unconscious/conscious bias and the lack of diversity in the City’s parks department. I coordinated meetings with several City staff so that Dr. Campbell could share her direct observations and concerns. I am grateful for community members like Dr. Campbell who reach out to tell us exactly where the City is falling short, though the issues we discussed are still unresolved. She offers significant, specific, and personal experience that should inform our policy and decision making.

Dr Campbell’s local advocacy was recently featured in a Bridge Detroit article about national Black Birders Week. Her work is part of a much larger, national effort to raise awareness about how racism and bias defines a serious risk (and obstacle) for people of color participating in outdoor recreation. This article highlights the fact that these problems exist everywhere— our own community is not immune or exempt. I urge everyone to read it!

https://www.bridgedetroit.com/the-joys-and-perils-of-bird-watching-while-black


Dr. Campbell graduated from Yale University in 1978, attended Emory University School of Medicine and then completed an Internal Medicine residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She served in the National Public Health Service for three years providing healthcare to underserved regions in New York State, including the Onondaga Nation in Syracuse. In 1993, she moved to Michigan to undertake a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is now retired and lives in Ann Arbor with her wife, four cats, one stubborn dachshund, and an out of control organic garden.


Dr. Campbell has lived in Washtenaw County for thirty years and in Ward 4 since 2006.


When City leaders talk about our commitment to racial diversity, equity and inclusion, we need to listen closely to the voices and experience of advocates like Dr. Campbell. She is someone you should know!