Wayne Law celebrates Black History Month

DETROIT – In celebration of Black History Month, the Black Law Students Association at Wayne Law brought together alumni, faculty, staff, students and the community for several events in February.

The organization hosted a free, public screening of the award-winning documentary from Bill Moyers, “Rikers: An American Jail.” The film brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. The Feb. 7 event was followed by a panel discussion with Victoria M. Burton-Harris ’12, managing partner at McCaskey Law; and Robert D. Burton-Harris, ’15, investigator at McCaskey Law.

Jehan Crump-GibsonAlumni gathered at the law school Feb. 15 for Esquire Etiquette, an annual program designed to sharpen the professional etiquette of law students. Speaking at the event were Jehan Crump-Gibson ’09, founder and managing partner, Great Lakes Legal Group; Jessica Mills ’16, associate attorney, Edwards and Jennings; Christopher Rambus ’17, associate attorney, Bodman; Jason Webber ’04, counsel, General Motors. Second-year student Shaunte Wilcher, president of the Black Law Students Association, moderated the event, which was co-sponsored by the law school’s Career Services Office.


For “Race and the Legal System,” Judge Dalton A. Roberson, former chief judge of the Detroit Recorder’s Court, discussedRecorder's Court discussion the significance of the court, the role race played in its demise and the implications of eliminating it. The Recorder’s Court, which was abolished in 1997 after 173 years, had jurisdiction over all felony cases originating in Detroit. Audience members included Judge Craig S. Strong, of the 3rd Circuit Court. Moderating the Feb. 22 event was Assistant Professor Blanche Cook.  The program was sponsored by the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law.

The organization’s fourth and final event of the month was the Annual Soul Food Café. This year’s featured chef was Tony Durden of Durden’s Catering in Detroit. The menu highlighted a variety of soul food specialties including fried chicken, BBQ ribs, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, potato salad, cornbread, cobbler and cake.

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights also partnered with other Wayne State University groups to host two events at the law school. Events included African American Politics the Trump Era featuring Dr. Clarence Lusane, presented with WSU’s Department of African American Studies; and a Black History Month Celebration featuring Millery Polyne of New York University, presented with WSU’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies.


Wayne Law alumna Jehan Crump-Gibson provides advice to students at Esquire Etiquette on Feb. 15 at the law school.

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Hon. Dalton A. Roberson spoke at Wayne Law as part of Black History Month events. Roberson (right) is pictured with event moderator and Assistant Professor Blanche Cook.

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Contact: Kaylee Place

Phone: 313-577-4629

Email: kaylee.place@wayne.edu

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