Daily Briefs

Overton to keynote seventh Keith biennial lecture at Wayne Law

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law will present its seventh biennial lecture on Friday, Oct. 5, featuring Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

The lecture, titled “Racial Equality and the Future of Work,” is sponsored by Comerica Bank. It will include a discussion of automation, the rise of “gig-economy” independent contractors and other factors that are rapidly changing economic opportunity. According to Overton, these economic shifts could either deepen existing disparities or allow marginalized communities to leapfrog ahead, depending on today’s legal and policy choices. Overton will discuss the challenges and opportunities these shifts present for the future of racial equity in Detroit and the nation. 

The event will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the Law School, 471 W. Palmer St. Parking is $8 (credit or debit card only) in Parking Structure No. 1 directly across from Wayne Law. The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Wednesday, Oct. 3 at rsvp.wayne.edu/spenceroverton.

Overton is a tenured professor of law at George Washington University. He also is a senior fellow at Demos, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and the national chair of public policy for the nation’s oldest African American fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi (the Boule). He is a graduate of both Hampton University and Harvard Law School with honors, and he clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon J. Keith.

Every two years, the Keith Center welcomes a civil rights luminary to campus for a lecture on their work, passion and wisdom about today’s civil rights issues. Past speakers have included writer, activist and professor Julian Bond; humanitarian, activist, actor and singer Harry Belafonte; renowned and pioneering lawyer Constance Rice; and Lani Guinier, a groundbreaking scholar and the first African American woman to receive tenure at Harvard Law School.


Annual Meet the Judges Reception at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Join colleagues in honoring retiring Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr., chief judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court at a cocktail reception from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, October 2. It will be held in the atrium at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 651 E. Jefferson in Detroit. Remarks, followed by a group photo, are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The reception is sponsored by Catholic Lawyers Society of Detroit, Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers, Polish American Lawyers Society, and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. RSVP to Cindy Chiara, assistant to the dean, at (313) 596-0210 or by email to chiaracf@udmercy.edu.