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

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



 Support the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.



Wayne Law School


Calendar of Events

Full List
Law School Showcase
October 9 2014 at 1:00 PM
Law School, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium
Hands-On Learning at Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson, students and faculty will share how Wayne Law brings the law to life through classes, clinics, fellowships and study abroad while revitalizing Detroit and making a difference worldwide. Highlighted areas will include entrepreneurship, business law and public-interest fellowships abroad. In addition, students and faculty will host informative presentations on topics such as medical-legal partnerships, environmental law and civil rights law. 1 to 3 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium Atrium Student galleries - Clinical experience and International Public Interest Law Fellowships Refreshments with faculty Video testimonials  1 to 1:30 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium    Panel discussion: Wayne Law’s Role in the Detroit Revitalization Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights Assistant (Clinical) Professor Nick Schroeck, director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic Assistant (Clinical) Professor Eric C. Williams, director of the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, Business and Community Law Clinic, and Patent Procurement Clinic 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium    Medical-Legal Partnerships Kathryn M. Smolinski, director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic 2 to 2:30 p.m. – Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium   Student Opportunities Abroad in International Law Professor Gregory H. Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies  2:30 to 3 p.m. – Law Classroom Building    Back to Law School – Join a class discussion Reimagining Development in Detroit: Institutions, Law & Society with Professor Peter J. Hammer   This showcase event is part of the launch of WSU's comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Julian Bond presents the Sixth Keith Biennial Lecture
October 23 2014 at 7:30 PM
Law School Building
The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce its Sixth Biennial Lecture featuring civil rights activist and distinguished professor Julian Bond.  The lecture, titled "Under Color of Law" is sponsored by Comerica Bank and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Wayne State University's Law School Auditorium on Thursday, October 23, 2014.Reservations are not required, but recommended. Complete details
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.
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