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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Inspires Action

May 11, 2016

Wayne State University hosted its annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on Friday, January 15, 2016. This tribute is one of WSU’s signature events and provides the University with an opportunity to honor the legacy of Dr. King.  With more than 1,400 attendees from both the public and the University, this annual event once again brought the community together to reflect on the work of Dr. King and to celebrate our own local leaders.

CNN political commentator Van Jones delivers the keynot address to a crowd of more than 1,400 attendees, Friday, Janauary 16, during Wayne State University's annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Van Jones, president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Best Sellers: "The Green Collar Economy," the definitive book on green jobs, and "Rebuild the Dream," a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond. Van is currently a CNN Contributor. In 2009, he worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

Each year, as part of the tribute, Wayne State University presents the Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Awards.  These awards honor both an individual and an organization whose exemplary contributions positively impact our community.  The 2016 Individual Award was presented to Mr. Anthony Eid and the 2016 Organizational Award went to The Community Homeless Interprofessional Program (CHIP).

The program also included performances from The Achievers Ladies Ensemble of Detroit School of Arts Choir, Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Show Choir, and Inside Out Detroit poetry reading.

For the service component of the tribute, Wayne State University adopted Davison Elementary School. To secure resources and people power, WSU’s Division of Government and Community Affairs worked in partnership with the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program, Trumbull and Boulevard Towing, Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, the Detroit Police Department and Wayne State’s Dean of Students Office, Campus Police and Department of Facilities Planning and Management. More than 150 dedicated students and community members joined the effort to secure 13 properties, clear 3 blocks of trash and remove a block of graffiti from a vacant commercial property. 

Davison School students also had the opportunity to visit and tour WSU’s campus and attend a WSU Football game.  Next year’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2017.


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284