[Michigan, July 12, 2023]:

AHRC Mourns the Passing of Freedom Fighter and Detroit Icon Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) expresses its profound sadness for the passing of one of Detroit’s true freedom fighters, activist, trailblazer, and leader Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson who died on July 10, 2023.

Dr. Watson’s long years of unwavering and tireless activism for social justice and equality are a living testimony to her exemplary leadership that will be remembered for years. Dr. Watson was a leading voice and relentless fighter for social justice.

Dr. Watson devoted all her life to serving the public. Rev. Watson served as the public policy staff director for U.S. Rep. John Conyers from 1997 to 2002. She was the first woman to serve as the executive director of the NAACP Detroit Chapter. Dr. Watson also served as Detroit City Council member for 10 years until 2013. Dr. Watson also hosted an on-air “Wake Up Detroit” TV program. The Show is broadcast live on Comcast channel 91 in Detroit. Dr. Watson taught as an associate professor at Wayne County Community College.

The civil rights and human rights community lost one inspirational leader who led by example through hard and real work serving people. She was a humble servant of the community who gave activism its true meaning. Her remarkable contribution to the social justice struggle, especially during the toughest times, is a constant reminder of her living legacy. AHRC sends its sincere condolences to Dr. Watson’s family and friends.

“I have been working in the nonprofit sector for decades and have met and worked with probably hundreds of people,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “Dr. Watson stood out as one unique leader, a formidable fighter for justice and a true friend,” added Hamad. “I deeply mourn her loss,” concluded Hamad.

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