"Transforming Detroit: New Alternatives for Social and Economic Empowerment" will be the topic when author and Michigan Chronicle Executive Editor Bankole Thompson delivers a keynote address at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor on Oct. 2.
Bankole, who was a speaker at the 2011 Conference of Federal Judges for the Eastern District of Michigan, will deliver his address during the law school's Detroit Month 2013 program.
The program is being organized by "JDs in the D," a student organization that seeks to showcase the work that the Michigan Law community has been doing in Detroit, which is undergoing a major revitalization effort. The Poverty Law Society group and several other student organizations are among the sponsors
"Our goal is for Detroit Month to serve as a platform to promote strategic partnerships between Michigan Law and the City of Detroit, and to foster tangible opportunities for Michigan Law students and faculty to engage with Detroit businesses, community organizations and city initiatives," said Joshua Ronnebaum, one of the student organizers of JDs in the D.
Thompson is the author of the forthcoming (2014) book "Rising From the Ashes: Engaging Detroit's Future with Courage." His latest book – "Obama and Christian Loyalty" – includes an epilogue by Robert S. Weiner, former White House spokesman. Thompson, who has had a series of sit-down interviews with President Obama, deals with the president's faith posture, politics of the religious right, black theology and politics, faith and race in national politics.
The Eisenhower Foundation describes Thompson as a "courageous voice on behalf of the dispossessed and disenfranchised, a shining example of journalism for the public good." He will be speaking one month before the Nov. 5 general election when Detroit will elect a new mayor, police commissioners and – for the first time – council by district members. The backdrop also includes a contested Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing.
Thompson is also a senior news analyst at WDET-101.9FM (Detroit NPR Affiliate), and a member of the weekly "Obama Watch" Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York.