Examining the Rise of Armed Extremists and Militias in Michigan

From headline events like the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol nationally to the attempted kidnapping plot of Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan locally, the issue of political violence – or the rise of armed extremists and militia activity designed to disrupt all levels of government – is a new phenomenon to many. But for those who have observed extremist and militia movements over time, recent events like these and the May 2020 armed protest at the Michigan state capitol have been years in the making. And given the current political environment, this dynamic shows no signs of abating, and might even be on the brink of worsening. During this webinar, panelists discussed these trends, their implications on democratic institutions in Michigan, and what policy makers might be poised to do about it.


  • Heath Druzin, host and creator of the podcast Extremely American, which examines the nexus between militia movements and politics nationally and in targeted regions of the country
  • Jonathan Oosting, Capitol Reporter at Bridge Michigan, whose beat has included coverage of extremist movements in Michigan and their political activity

Moderated by Kayce Atayero, the Joyce Foundation's chief external affairs officer.

The webinar was hosted by the Joyce Foundation in partnership with Bridge Michigan.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

Related Content

In The Media

Kayce Ataiyero explains why the road to knowledge is a two-way street

Kayce Ataiyero discusses her leadership style, and the importance of teamwork and authenticity.

Rolling Out

In The Media

Why Representation and Accessibility Matter: A Conversation with Kayce Ataiyero, hosted by Chanda Smith Baker

Kayce Ataiyero discusses her journalism background and current leadership in philanthropy, and why both sectors must create a better environment for people of color to thrive and ascend.

Minneapolis Foundation


Joyce Democracy Grantees Ramp Up Great Lakes Voter Education, Protection Efforts

Democracy nonpartisan organizations working to get out the vote in Great Lakes region.

In The Media

Crain's 2022 Notable Black Leaders and Executives

Crain's Chicago Business features Kayce Ataiyero as one of the 2022 Notable Black Leaders and Executives. Kayce Ataiyero is the Chief External Affairs Officer at the Joyce Foundation..

Crain's Chicago Business

In The Media

How a Philanthropic Bet on Violence Intervention Is Winning Public Dollars

State, local, and city agencies are investing about $150 million this year in a variety of community violence-intervention strategies that philanthropy is road-testing. Read more about how the Joyce Foundation and others are stepping in to fund CVI work.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In The Media

Media Impact Funders spotlights The Joyce Foundation

Joyce Foundation’s Kayce Ataiyero (Chief External Affairs Officer) and Hugh Dellios (Journalism Senior Program Officer) discuss the Foundation's strategy behind the Journalism grantmaking portfolio.

Media Impact Funders

In The Media

Joyce Foundation continues to meet the needs of communities during the pandemic with its Lend a Hand Fund

Highlighting Joyce's Lend a Hand Fund–With an average grant amount of $25,000, the fund has assisted 37 community organizations since its inception in 2020.

Chicago Tribune


Poll Gauges Public Attitudes toward Political Violence in the United States

The Joyce Foundation, Trusted Elections Fund, and The Klarman Family Foundation initiated a public opinion research project exploring the public’s view of, and reaction to, political violence and extremism.