Wayne State University

Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights

Photo of front of Keith Center

Located in Detroit and embedded within Wayne State University’s Law School, the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights addresses the civil rights needs of southeast Michigan and beyond. The Keith Center’s mission is to promote the educational, economic and political power of underrepresented communities in urban settings. 

Our communities need institutions that call attention to today’s civil rights challenges and that nurture social conscience. The Keith Center strives to be one such institution: a hub for civil rights teaching, research and action, and a place that fuels the next generation of civil rights leaders.

At the Keith Center, stakeholders gather to analyze policy, law students teach a civil rights curriculum to high school students, and leaders dive into the equity issues of the day, such as tax foreclosures, water shutoffs and police-community relations. We welcome the public for lectures by civil rights icons, we support community-based organizations, and we publish scholarship about how the law and social justice impact one another.

"Through Howard University Law School, we came to know these lawyers who are legends today in African-American legal history. They include Charles H. Houston, Thurgood Marshall, William H. Hastie Jr., James Nabrit Jr., Spottswood Robinson III, George E. C. Hayes ... They taught us that the Constitution was our best hope; that equality would come through the law."

The Honorable Damon J. Keith

Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders