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Federal funding to promote gender equity in National Guard Michigan

Capt. Brian Anderson
Michigan National Guard

The Michigan Army National Guard is set to receive about 26 million dollars in federal funds to promote gender equity in its facilities. As Michelle Jokisch Polo reports, the money will be used to make its armories more inclusive to women service members.

Many of the guard’s armories across Michigan were built before 1970. Since most service members at the time were men, the designs of these facilities were made solely to cater to their needs. 

That’s according to Del Avery. He is the master planner for the guard’s Construction and Facilities Management Office. 

“One of the inclusions piece of it that we we seen through this process of design was yes, the shower facilities are inadequate. Yes, the toilet facilities are inadequate. And yes, the lactation rooms are inadequate.” said Avery.

About 18% percent of those currently serving in the Michigan National Guard identify as women. Avery says updated facilities will include private showers, lactation rooms and renovated bathrooms. 

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community. Michelle is also the voice of WKAR's weekend news programs.