Photo of Julian Bond



View photos
from the sixth Damon J. Keith Biennial Lecture,
featuring activist Julian Bond


About the Keith Center

As a member of the federal judiciary, Judge Damon J. Keith has consistently stood as a courageous defender of the constitutional and civil rights of all people.

On Oct. 19, 2011, Wayne Law proudly celebrated the grand opening of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.  Well over 600 people attended the event and leaders from around the state were on hand to pay tribute to Judge Keith. Speakers included philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and writer Mitch Albom. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a video message with congratulations on the new building. (Click here to see photos of the event.)

Located at Wayne State University Law School, the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights honors the life and legacy of Judge Keith by carrying out his vision for civil rights. The Keith Center will advance learning, attract talented faculty, students and lecturers, enhance programming, and promote civil rights in one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the United States. The Keith Center will have active programs of legal studies and will promote community engagement.

The 10,000-square-foot Keith Center building will feature an exhibit area, meeting space, conference space and a 60-person lecture hall. It will also house an exhibit area that features Judge Keith’s life and work and focuses on civil rights.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights took place at 1:30 p.m. on May 17, 2010. (Click here for event coverage and to view the event video.)


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's video presentation at the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights Grand Opening, Oct. 19, 2011.


Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights 2013 Annual Report

Grand Opening Celebration of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights 



 Support the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.






Wayne Law School


Calendar of Events

Full List
Youth Civil Rights Conference Facilitator Training
November 5 2014 at 6:30 PM
Law School Building, 2242
Youth Civil Rights Conference Training:  Training session for all Youth Civil Rights Conference facilitators.
Youth Civil Rights Conference
November 14 2014 at 9:00 AM
Law School Building, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium & various other rooms
The Youth Civil Rights Conference brings groups of high school students together to engage actively in seeking solutions to building communities across racial, ethnic, and class lines in Metro Detroit.  It is also a means of supporting the school-to-higher-education path for high schools students.
FOCIS presents Democracy in Faraway Places: Namibia
November 17 2014 at 2:00 PM
Law School Building
The Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society presents Democracy in Faraway Places: Namibia Monday, November 17, 2 p.m.Law School AuditoriumThe Emergence and Challenges of Democracy on the African ContinentFeaturing MARTIN ANDJABA, Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Namibia to the United States of AmericaMartin Andjaba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Namibia, is currently accredited to the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico and Panama. Before taking up his current position, he was Head of Department of Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2006-10. Before this role, he served as Namibia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for 10 years. What must have been one of the high points of service to his country, the Ambassador represented Namibia on the UN Security Council, serving as President of the Council in both 1999 and 2000. He was a member of the Security Council Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda, which was aimed at assisting the parties resolve conflict in the Congo.Before independence, Ambassador Andjaba went into exile in 1977 and joined the ranks of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, the military wing of his political party, SWAPO. In 1989, he was repatriated to Namibia and was appointed as Chief of Protocol. Before that, he served for five years as Senior Coordinator at his party’s provisional headquarters in Luanda, Angola. He earned diplomas from the UN Institute for Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia, and the UN Institute in Training and Research, as well as a professional certificate in diplomacy at the Foreign Service Academy of Nigeria. Tuesday, November 18, 6 p.m.McGregor Memorial Conference CenterThe Challenges of Democracy and the Education of Women in AfghanistanFeaturing SAKENA YACOOBI, Founder of Afghan Institute of Learning Professor Sakena Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), a women-led NGO she founded in 1995. AIL provides teacher training to Afghan women, supports education for boys and girls, and provides health education to women and children. She has spoken on education for women and children at a number of international conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative, the Central Eurasian Studies Society conference at Harvard University, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the World Justice Forum in The Hague. Sakena, as she likes to be called, was among 1,000 women nominated to jointly receive the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. She was presented with the Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy and also was the recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership for her outstanding work. She has received many other awards, honorary degrees and recognitions across the globe, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut. She is a graduate of the University of the Pacific and Loma Linda University, both in California. Reservations not required, but requested.  Light refreshments served.  To learn more about FOCIS programs, visit focis.wayne.edu  
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