AG to speak at groundbreaking

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., will speak at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17.
The ceremony comes on the heels of two gifts made to the law school, including a combined gift from the Henry Ford II Fund and the Edsel B. Ford II Fund and a gift from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In addition to his gift, Edsel Ford has commissioned a portrait of Keith by local artist Nancy Mitter that will be displayed in the exhibit area of the Keith Center.
“I am grateful to the Henry Ford II Fund, the Edsel B. Ford II Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and other university alumni and friends, for making the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights a priority,” said Wayne State University President Jay Noren. “The Keith Center will play a pivotal role in civil rights education and awareness nationwide through its various programs of legal studies and community outreach.”
“Judge Keith’s life has been dedicated to fighting for justice and opportunity,” said Dean Robert Ackerman. “These gifts, combined with A. Alfred Taubman’s 2006 gift and gifts from many other friends of Judge Keith and Wayne Law, will help continue that legacy and make the Keith Center possible.”
The groundbreaking ceremony will be attended by a number of dignitaries, including Gov. Jennifer Granhoim, A. Alfred Taubman, WSU President Jay Noren,  Judge Damon J. Keith and Edsel B. Ford II.
Wayne Law students, alumni, staff and friends are encouraged to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking — scheduled the same day as the law school’s commencement ceremony.
The Keith Center honors Keith’s life and legacy by carrying out his vision for civil rights.
The 10,000-square-foot center building will feature an exhibit area, meeting space, conference space and a 60-person lecture hall. An exhibit area featuring Keith’s life and work and focusing on civil rights will also serve as a reception area for the law school’s clinics.
In 2009, the law school moved forward on a number of Keith Center programming initiatives following more than $2.5 million in endowments.
The school announced the appointment of john a. powell as its first Damon J. Keith Distinguished Visiting Professor and Wayne Law Professor Peter Hammer as director of the Keith Center.
As director, Hammer is responsible for initiating and continuing an array of programs, including the Keith Biennial Lecture.