Trevor W. Coleman is a national award-winning journalist and author who served s Chief Speechwriter to Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and as Director of Communications for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Governor’s Southeast Michigan office. Coleman was also a long time member of the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press where he won numerous awards for editorial and column writing prior to his appointment to the Granholm administration. He is currently working fulltime on the authorized biography of legendary federal Judge Damon J. Keith. Its working title is “Crusader for Justice: The Life and Amazing Times of Federal Judge Damon J. Keith.”
As the Director of Communications for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, he was responsible for crafting a global communications strategy which included developing all internal and external communications policies, managing media relations and executive speechwriting responsibilities. Because of his unique joint appointment, he was also required to establish an effective external communications strategy for the Governor’s Office for SE Michigan. In that position he also served as the official liaison to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Arab and Chaldean Affairs and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.
As Chief Speechwriter for Governor Granholm, Coleman wrote or contributed to all major public policy speeches including in the areas of international relations, automotive industry, education, economics, budgetary, race relations, and health, poverty and gender issues. He wrote major commencement addresses and contributed to State of the State address. Coleman also wrote the Governor’s guest OPEDS for state and regional newspapers as well as articles for public policy and other niche magazines. This included the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Crain’s Business, Detroit Magazine, the Michigan Chronicle and others. He also helped develop the Governor’s communication strategy for her “One Michigan” tour and campaign to unite citizens.
As a member of the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press, Coleman specialized in writing on education, health care and urban policy. He also frequently wrote on civil rights, civil liberties and the U.S. criminal justice system. He was the editorial board’s senior foreign affairs writer for three years. Prior to joining the Free Press, Coleman was an urban affairs and civil rights reporter for The Detroit News, an editorial writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, reporter and columnist for the Hartford Courant and city desk reporter for the Times-Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was also a contributing editor and writer for Emerge Magazine, Black Enterprise and the NAACP Crisis Magazine. Coleman also wrote a Sunday column for several years for his hometown newspaper, The Hudson Register Star.
Among his many journalism awards are a 2001 American Diabetes Association Award of Merit for a series of editorials urging the state to expand medical coverage for diabetics; a 1999 Michigan Press Association Award for column writing; a 1999 National Association of Black Journalist Award for Commentary; the 1998 Detroit Press Foundation Michigan Journalism Award for Commentary; the 1993 Detroit Press Foundation Journalism Award for News Reporting, 1993 Best of Gannett Award for News Reporting and the 1993 and 1999 Lincoln University Unity Awards for coverage of minority and social issues. Coleman is listed in “Who’s Who among African-Americans,” and in 2010 was listed in the “Who’s Who of Black Detroiters.”
Among his many honors have been a 2009 Michigan Department of Civil Rights Dedicated Service Award, 2008 Brown Chapel AME Church Civil Rights Leadership Award, 2004 Macomb County NAACP Freedom Fund Leadership Award, 2004 Over Comers Ministries Inc. Leadership Award, 2002 Wayne Community College District Award for Community Service and the 1993 Distinguished Alumni Award, from the Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at The Ohio State University.
He has been a guest speaker at many colleges and universities across the nation; among them Harvard Law School, The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and University of Michigan School of Law, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, The University of Toledo Law School, Delaware State University, Schoolcraft College, Wayne Community College and many others. He has also appeared on numerous television and radio talk and public affairs programs.
A native of New York, he received his undergraduate degree in communications from The Ohio State University and is a fellow at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland. He is also is a graduate of the American Press Institute in Reston, VA and Poynter Institute in Fla. Coleman resides in Bloomfield Hills and is the divorced father of two children Sydnie, a college junior and TJ, a high school junior.
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Michigan Lawyers Chapter
March 11, 2014