Make the Michigan Law community a partner with Detroit-based organizations in the overall effort to revitalize Detroit, protect basic rights of individuals living in the area, and redevelop the Detroit area as a prosperous, sustainable urban center that provides economic, educational, social and creative opportunities for individuals and the community as a whole.
We hope that this first Detroit Month engages the Michigan Law community to understand the reality, opportunities, and challenges of the Detroit area. Michigan Law students are busy, so rather than create a new group that requires more time and new partnerships, we have coordinated with a range of Michigan Law student organizations and Detroit-based community organizations to present a comprehensive vision of Detroit and tangible opportunities for law student involvement.
This year’s broad focus will be on answering the question: How are members of the Detroit legal community making their city more just, sustainable and secure? We hope that this event inspires an annual series that connects efforts across the University of Michigan and Detroit community to help transform and create a more equitable city.
During October 2012, Detroit Month will engage and educate students through a Speaker Series, Dinner and a Movie Night, and a Pro Bono Fair emphasizing opportunities to engage with work in Detroit. Panelists will speak about broad issues impacting Detroit and required to be addressed in order to restore economic, cultural, educational and social vitality, and how lawyers and law students can support these efforts. We will work with student group partners to develop cohesive themes and sponsor panelists, with a particular emphasis on inviting speakers who are currently working on the ground in Detroit. These student groups will help us organize a month-long Speaker Series, which will bring in speakers for lunch-time talks throughout the week. Student groups will invite speakers and panelists who will discuss how their work, and the work of the organizations they represent, is helping make Detroit more just, sustainable and secure. In particular, the Speaker Series will focus on legal issues facing Detroit, as well as opportunities for resolving these challenges. The Dinner and a Movie Night will feature a Detroit-focused movie, food from a Detroit restaurant, and community efforts around the theme of the movie. The Pro Bono Fair will be sponsored and organized by the Pro Bono Board, and will feature pro bono projects organized by the school and student groups. Detroit-focused projects will be emphasized, and Detroit-based community organizations will be invited to attend. We may also invite an opening speaker to talk about the importance of Pro Bono work in the Detroit revitalization process.
At the end of October, we will hold a keynote address to tie together the previous month of activities and challenge the Michigan Law community to take continuing action. We will conclude with a tour of Detroit, featuring those organizations that have participated in the Month and more directly connecting Michigan Law students with the community.
The Detroit Month Planning Team, led by Jamen Tyler and Perry Teicher, will coordinate both the month and the day-and-a-half symposium. They will be directly responsible for (a) overall thematic connection; (b) coordination: of panels; between groups; and with the university; (c) fundraising; (d) budgeting; (e) marketing; and (f) evaluation coordination. We plan to have a website to post videos, photos, and notes about the month, along with additional information for those interested in Detroit.
Student groups will co-sponsor the overall event and be responsible for (a) finding and confirming speakers; (b) sending a proposed budget to the Planning Team; (c) marketing to their membership and networks; (d) managing their speakers; (e) pro bono fair participation; and (f) participation in post-event evaluation.
Pro Bono Committee will coordinate with student groups, the university and the Student Government to plan and implement the Pro Bono Fair. It will support Detroit Month by encouraging student groups to develop Detroit-focused projects and by highlighting Detroit-based or Detroit-focused projects and activities at the Fair.
Poverty Law Society, Pro Bono Board, Food Futures, Business Law Society, Michigan Immigration and Labor Law Society, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Environmental Law Society, Black Law Students Alliance, Michigan Action Program, Outlaws, Detroit Nation
Funding provided by Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, SOFC of CSG, University of Michigan Law Student Affairs, and the UM Law School Student Senate.