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.

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