TechTown’s Ned Staebler Talks Economic Development and Policing in Detroit

“As a white person I think we have a responsibility to be an agent of change.”

Laura Weber Davis, WDET

What is the obligation of average white citizens to further a conversation about race in Detroit and beyond?

Ned Staebler is vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and president and CEO of TechTown. He says he’s been moved and disturbed by the recent violence toward black Americans by police officers caught on tape and widely shared throughout the internet.

“A lot of my white friends as why I’m posting [on social media] so much about this,” says Staebler. “Racism is a really uncomfortable conversation… [but] imagine how uncomfortable for someone who actually suffers from racism.”

“As a white person I think we have a responsibility to be an agent of change,” he says. “The only way to change it, ironically, is by white people.”

To hear more of Staebler’s conversation with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson, click on the audio player above. Staebler also talks about the role of tech entrepreneurship as being a critical piece in bringing jobs back to Michigan and retaining talent.



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