Michigan makes history with first building named after an African American woman
Michigan state leaders, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, marked state history Monday, by unveiling the new sign for the Elliot-Larsen Building.
The state-owned Lewis Cass Building was renamed after State Reps. Melvin Larsen and Daisy Elliott, who sponsored Michigan’s civil rights act in 1976. The act declared that the right to be free from discrimination was a civil right and expanded constitutional protections to a broader class of individuals.
State officials said Elliott is the first African-American woman to have a Michigan state-owned building named after her, making history at the new sign unveiling Sept. 21, 2020.
On June 30, 2020, Whitmer announced the renaming of the building.
“Together, Melvin Larsen and Daisy Elliott’s names have become synonymous in Michigan with the protection of civil rights,” Whitmer said. “In 2020, we must honor the work of our predecessors who, 44 years ago, outlined in law the vision of what we continue to strive for even today. We must hold up those who worked to build a better Michigan for us all, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity. That’s why I am proud to rename the Cass building in Lansing to the Elliott-Larsen building.”