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MLK Symposium

January 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Cities Divided: the Persistence of Segregation in the American Metropolis

“For we have come to see that segregation is not only sociologically untenable, it is not only politically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Segregation is a cancer in the body politic, which must be removed before our democratic health can be realized. Segregation is wrong because it is nothing but a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity.” 

— Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., please join us in an open conversation to examine the causes, and explore potential solutions, to the persistence of segregation in U.S. cities.  With a focus on Detroit, we welcome guest speakers from the Michigan Roundtable, Detrioters Working for Environmental Justice, the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit, and a community health worker for an informal dialogue.  Opening remarks by Master of Urban Planning candidate Adam Kokenakes will be followed by an inspirational poem from distinguished Detroit poet Melba J. Boyd.  Light refreshments will be provided. 

The profession of Urban Planning has a long and storied history of practices that have led to the exploitation of minority populations.  Policies such as racial steering, exclusionary zoning, redlining, federally backed suburbanization, and urban disinvestment have caused and exacerbated racial and economic segregation.  Yet along with Urban Planning’s flawed history has been an openness to new ideas, new perspectives, and the learning from past failures. This event’s conversation will analyze the impacts of segregation in Metropolitan Detroit through the lens of housing, the environment, access to resources, and current ‘revitalization’ efforts.  We will explore potential solutions with the hope that through understanding the causes and discussing the solutions we can plan for a better future. 


  • Margaret Brown – Executive Director for the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Charles Stokes – Community Organizer with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
  • Alex B. Hill – Researcher at Wayne State University and Community Health Worker in Detroit
  • Stacey Stevens – Race2Equity Program Manager with The Michigan Roundtable 


  • Melba Boyd – Poet, Chair of Africana Studies at Wayne State University

MLK Symposium


January 15, 2015
7:00 pm