Cody students to present solutions to Detroit issues May 9 at Wayne Law


 Students from Wayne State University Law School have been mentoring high school students from the Cody Academy of Public Leadership in preparation for a symposium May 9 offering solutions for critical issues facing Detroit.


Leaders and residents will hear solutions for critical issues facing Detroit from high school students of the Cody Academy of Public Leadership during a symposium Friday, May 9, at Wayne State University Law School.

The event, “Why the D? Detroit Youth Offer Solutions,” will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the law school, 471 W. Palmer St. The symposium is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. To register, visit or call (313) 577-3620.

Parking will be available for $6.50 (credit and debit cards only) in Structure One across West Palmer Street from the law school.

The symposium, which is hosted by Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, will consist of presentations and breakout sessions on these key topics:

Business and employment


Housing and neighborhoods

Public services

The symposium, featuring about two dozen juniors and seniors from Cody, is for local business, legal and political leaders, as well as community members and activists.

For the past two months, 21 Wayne Law students have volunteered their time to engage the Cody students in a project to inspire interest, education and constructive thinking about Detroit. The law student mentors assisted the Cody students in formulating a set of problems and communicating them through historical research, data, personal testimonials and solutions for growth. The Cody students have developed their ideas through this process and have prepared a policy platform.

First-year Wayne Law student Matthew Z. Robb, who taught civics and economics last year at Cody, has coordinated the law school’s involvement in the project with Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of the Keith Center.

“The revitalization efforts in the Detroit’s central business district are widely publicized, and citizens from the downtown and Midtown areas can see its effects clearly,” Robb said. “Lost in this, however, are the voices of Detroit’s youth, who struggle every single day to manage family life and school in the context of widespread urban poverty. These young people know Detroit. They live Detroit. They know how it feels to walk home from work and school, down unlit streets decimated by abandonment, crime and despair. They know how it feels to lose a family member to gun violence. They know what it’s like to take care of their younger siblings while their mother is busing herself to the suburbs, to a minimum wage job that can help put food on the table. And they have a lot to teach us.”

For more information about the symposium, contact Marti Knight at (313) 577-3620 or



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