Diversity Committee hosts special event, March 28

The Diversity Committee at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit is pleased to host Godfrey Dillard on Wednesday, March 28, to speak about his experience as an African-American civil rights activist. The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Detroit Room of the courthouse, 231 West Lafayette in Detroit.

Dillard is an African-American lawyer who achieved some notoriety in the 1990s by working on the lawsuit involving Jennifer Gratz, the white student who sued the University of Michigan over its race based admissions policy. The lawsuit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed U-M’s policy in a landmark decision.

Dillard is an all-state basketball player from Detroit who was the second of two African-American players signed by Coach Roy Skinner to integrate the Vanderbilt University’s basketball team in Nashville, Tennessee. In joining the Vanderbilt Commodores, Dillard became one of the first African-American players in the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA.

As a point guard, Dillard was known for his aggressive style of play by “pushing the ball up the court.” His style of play continued off the court too, as Dillard was a leader in pushing the boundaries of diversity and social change at Vanderbilt University, such as starting the first African-American newspaper at Vanderbilt. As a result of the discrimination he endured at Vanderbilt, Dillard left in his junior year to complete his education at Eastern Michigan University.  He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan to become a civil rights lawyer.

The event will be streamed on-line to the divisional offices for those who are not in the Detroit office.

For additional information, visit fbamich.org and click on “events.”