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Keith Center hosts discussion on the constitutionality of Michigan's Proposal 2

January 23, 2012

DETROIT (Jan. 23, 2012) — Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights will host a discussion titled “Michigan Prop 2: The Constitutionality of Prohibitions on Affirmative Action” on Thurs., Jan. 26, 2012, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium.

The full en banc panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear the challenge to Proposal 2 on March 7, 2012. A similar challenge will be heard on February 13, 2012, by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Shanta Driver and George Washington, two of the leading attorneys representing the plaintiffs in these cases, and Monica Smith, who has led many of the organizing efforts to defend affirmative action, will speak at the Wayne Law event.

Driver, a 2002 graduate of Wayne Law, is national chairperson of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and to Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Washington, a 1973 graduate of Harvard Law School, was a lead attorney in the case challenging the original takeover of the Detroit schools and has represented AFSCME, the UAW, the Teamsters and many other labor organizations. Smith, a 2009 graduate of Wayne State Law School, has led organizing efforts to win support for the challenges to Michigan’s Proposal 2 and California’s Proposition 209.

"The constitution guarantees equal protection under law, but Michigan took two steps backward with the adoption of Prop 2,” said Peter Hammer, professor of law and director of the Keith Center. “We will never achieve true equality in this country if we continue to pretend that race or gender do not matter, or that we live in a truly color blind society. To deny the real ways that race continues to matter is to pursue equality in form but not in fact."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Holly Hughes, program assistant for the Keith Center, at hhughes@wayne.edu or 313-577-3620.

The Keith Center honors the life and legacy of Judge Damon J. Keith, civil rights icon, one of our country’s leading jurists and a 1956 Wayne Law alumnus. By developing programs and opportunities that promote his vision of equality and justice under the law for all people, the Keith Center is advancing learning at Wayne Law, encouraging community engagement, and promoting civil rights in one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the United States. For more information, visit http://keithcenter.wayne.edu/.

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