News and Announcements Archive

Conference on Racial Inequities in Housing Policies, Oct. 16

September 18, 2009

DETROIT (Sept. 18, 2009) – Wayne State University Law School is pleased to host a conference addressing the discriminatory lending practices of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) starting in the 1930s and the repercussions of those practices. “We Don't Want Them: Race & Housing,” sponsored by the Michigan Roundtable, will take place from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2009, in the Law School’s Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium and in Wayne State University’s McGregor Hall.


The conference will be divided into mock trial and breakout sessions. The mock trial portion of the event will specifically identify and acknowledge, through a legal lens, harms inflicted by individuals and institutions specifically related to the FHA policies in the Detroit metro area. This acknowledged history will lay the groundwork for a truth and reconciliation process, designed to recognize the role the larger community played in perpetuating and condoning these harms. The shared, acknowledged history of the first two phases will lay the groundwork for the action project of the third phase.




Abraham Singer of Pepper Hamilton, LLP, and Khalilah Spencer of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP, will conduct the trial, including investigating facts and preparing witnesses. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Judge Victoria Roberts will preside over the trial and deliberations. Civic and community leaders, leading lawyers, judges, and legal experts and scholars are a part of the advisory team.


The breakout sessions will cover the relationship between housing and health care, education, employment and business development, the environment and poverty. As part of the project, the Michigan Roundtable plans to produce a documentary DVD of the trial, deliberations and post-trial discussions to bring this experience to other communities.


Community leaders and organizers including urban planners, local politicians, faith leaders, educators and corporate community relations managers are invited to attend the day-long conference. To register, contact Freda Sampson, title, at (313) 870-1500 Ext. 113 or at




About Michigan Roundtable

Since 1941, The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion has been a not-for-profit civil rights organization located in Detroit working to overcome discrimination and racism by crossing racial, religious, ethnic and cultural boundaries. It brings together community leaders from government, law enforcement, education, faith, grass roots organizations and business to understand different points of view and then takes action to overcome structural impediments to inclusion and equity. Its programs are recognized by national organizations for bringing about sustainable change. It works to address inequity throughout our region through a process of recognition, reconciliation/reorientation and renewal. It strives to build relationships that create social justice and build sustainable inclusive communities.


About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit