For Immediate Release
Contact: Alyson Robbins
Michigan Advocacy Program Names Executive Director
YPSILANTI, MI (January 21, 2019) – Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) is pleased to announce the promotion of long-time Deputy Director Ann Routt to Executive Director, effective January 1, 2019.
Ann has been with MAP since 1985, starting as a Staff and then Managing Attorney for the program’s Washtenaw and Monroe County offices and moving to her position as Deputy Director in 1996. Over the last three decades, Ann has represented more than 1,200 clients with a focus on legal issues impacting low-income parents and survivors of domestic violence. As Deputy Director, Ann managed the delivery of legal services including supervision and training for MAP’s five local legal aid offices in southeast Michigan, Legal Services of South Central Michigan. Ann also provided administrative and supervisory support to statewide programs including Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Michigan Poverty Law Program, Michigan Legal Help Program, Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project, and Farmworker Legal Services. In recognition of her commitment and accomplishments in ensuring access to justice for low-income and other vulnerable populations, Ann was recognized as a Champion of Justice by the State Bar of Michigan in 2013. Ann transitioned to the role of Co-Director at MAP in 2018 with the announcement of prior Executive Director Bob Gillett’s retirement.
As of 2019, Ann is officially leading the program and comes to her new position at a time when MAP is experiencing many exciting changes. In addition to MAP’s recent expansion of services across the state, the nonprofit’s Washtenaw County programs recently moved from two Ann Arbor locations to a consolidated, new space in Ypsilanti. “Our move to Ypsilanti has been a wonderful experience,” says Ann. “Not only is it great to experience downtown Ypsi, but we’re closer to most of our clients. Our new building is far more accessible for those who need our services and we’re developing important partnerships with the Ypsilanti community.”
While MAP has experienced growth and a change of location in recent years, Ann brings the stability of her many years with the program to her new role. “I’ve been involved in the leadership of the organization for many years and look forward to continuing MAP’s delivery of high quality legal services and client-centered advocacy.”
For many low-income individuals and families, that legal advocacy has the capacity to change lives. “People don’t always realize how much a lawyer can help address poverty issues,” says MAP Board Member and local attorney, Charles Borgsdorf. “I’ve been a member of MAP’s board for more than 40 years and have witnessed the impact that affordable legal services can have on our community. I look forward to supporting the program’s future with Ann as Executive Director.”
Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) provides free civil legal help for those unable to afford an attorney. We believe that equal justice is a right, not a privilege, and our programs work to break the justice barriers in our country. Civil legal aid helps individuals and families with issues like: wrongful foreclosures, fraudulent debt collection, escaping domestic violence, eviction and homelessness prevention, accessing health care and disability benefits, and many other civil court cases. This legal advocacy is the foundation of MAP’s Legal Service of South Central Michigan. The statewide programs focus on serving populations with specific legal challenges, including migrant and seasonal farmworkers (Farmworker Legal Services), immigrant communities (Michigan Immigrant Rights Center), families facing foreclosure (Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project), vulnerable older adults (Michigan Elder Justice Initiative), victims of crime and violence (Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project), and self-represented litigants (Michigan Legal Help Program). MAP strives to ensure access to justice for the most vulnerable members of our community, resulting in not only equity within the legal system, but broader social equity.