"Platinum in the Legal Profession: A Conference Highlighting African American Leadership in the Law" will take place Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, at the Fort Shelby Doubletree in downtown Detroit.
The State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section (YLS), the Barristers of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association and the Wolverine Bar Association will host the free event from 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
"Diversity remains a critical issue in the legal profession," noted Conference Chairperson Angelique Strong Marks. "In fact, African Americans are one of the most underrepresented groups of attorneys in Michigan. The purpose of the Platinum Conference is to highlight the accomplishments of African American attorneys and judges in the Michigan area and encourage the attendees to make a difference through a career in the law." Marks is the general counsel at Behr America and a State Bar Commissioner.
The conference will feature keynote speaker Professor Michelle Alexander, a former Supreme Court law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun, who currently holds a joint appointment with Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. Professor Alexander is the author of "The New Jim Crow—Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness."
Many leading attorneys from the metro Detroit Area will also participate in the conference, including Detroit Deputy Mayor Saul Green, former U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins, Detroit City Charter Commissioner Jenice Mitchell Ford, Jeffery Edison, Bonnie Mayfield, Reginald Turner, the Hon. Denise Page Hood, the Hon. Edward Ewell, former Chrysler General Counsel LeRoy Richie, Arvin Meritor General Counsel Vernon Baker, and Ford Motor Company Managing Counsel Alison Nelson.
"We have put together an outstanding one-day seminar with attorneys who have provided a strong legacy of leadership," observed Conference Co-Chair Brandy Robinson. "These attorneys will share how they established their roadmap to professional success. Most importantly, their guidance will highlight how perseverance, determination and focus allow one to accomplish his/her goals." Robinson is also the chair-elect of the State Bar YLS and president of the Wolverine Bar Association.
"African American attorneys in the Metro Detroit area have a strong legacy of leadership," noted D. Augustus Straker Bar Association President Myron Lloyd. "It is a privilege to participate in a first-of-its-kind program that highlights their commitment to the law and community."
The Platinum conference will kick-off with registration and a continental breakfast from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Lunch will be served during the keynote address from noon–1:15 p.m. A closing reception will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged.
Supporters of the Platinum Conference include platinum sponsor ArvinMeritor, Inc.; breakfast sponsors Butzel Long and Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn; reception sponsor Cooley Law School; supporting sponsors Behr America Inc., Dickinson Wright PLLC, Michigan State University College of Law, and Sommers Schwartz; and table sponsors Clark Hill PLC, Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Dykema, and Wayne State University Law School.