Law School to Host “Summit for Civil Rights: Racial Unity and Integration as a Path to Prosperity” 

October 20, 2017

The Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity and Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice will present a “Summit for Civil Rights: Racial Unity and Integration as a Path to Prosperity” Nov. 9-10.

Vice President Walter Mondale (’56) and Rep. Keith Ellison (’90) are serving as co-conveners of the summit. The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, Mich., is a sponsor of the convening and is providing grant support.

The conference brings together top civil rights lawyers, scholars, and political leaders with grassroots organizations to reignite a movement to end racial segregation in the United States. Historic civil rights organizations, the faith community, labor movement, and representatives from diverse working-class communities will be represented in discussions focused on developing national strategies to strengthen civil rights law, improve integration, eliminate discrimination, and stabilize cities and schools.

The summit will conclude with the formation of action committees to pursue integration, economic opportunity, and other fundamental civil rights objectives.

“This summit seeks to transform the historic coalition for civil rights into a new, modern political alliance,” said Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. “The civil rights movement of Dr. King, Thurgood Marshall, and A. Philip Randolph transformed America by defeating Jim Crow and moving us closer to a fully inclusive society, but recent decades have seen a harsh backlash to that progress and a retreat from that ideal, with intensifying segregation and dramatically growing economic inequality across the country.”

Featured speakers include: Catherine Lhamon, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Timothy Tee Boddie, general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; and Alex Polikoff, landmark litigator of the Gautreaux fair housing case in Chicago. A special event will celebrate the civil rights contributions of Vice President Walter Mondale, chief author of the Fair Housing Act.

Admission to the event is $125 and seats are limited. Further details about the agenda and registration information can be found at

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grant-making and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2016, the board of trustees approved 474 grants totaling $141.5 million and made 14 social investment commitments totaling $50.8 million. For more information, visit

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