Wayne State celebrates 60 years since the March on Washington

The two-day event will honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a panel discussion and an awards ceremony.

black and white image of martin luther king jr addressing a crowd

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wayne State University is hosting a two-part event dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his famed 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The event series will feature a panel discussion about the economic force of diversity, equity and inclusion, and an awards ceremony for exemplary community leaders.

informational flyer about Wayne State University's 2023 tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stacie Clayton is the director of Wayne State’s Division of Government and Community Affairs. She says Wayne State wants to remind people what King’s speech and march were all about.

“Our focus is on economics and social justice. We want to make sure that our students understand their role in the economy, specifically Detroit’s economy, and to understand how there are opportunities. While most people know [Dr. King’s] ‘I Have a Dream’ speech as a rallying call for equality, it also was a rallying call for economic equality. And part of that comes with jobs and employment.”

Leading the panel discussion is Mark S. Lee, the founder, president and CEO of The Lee Group. He says it’s important that people of color know how to access the resources available to them so they can achieve their ambitions.

“It’s important that we continue to build a network of the minority community. The challenge there is still developing the awareness — that’s getting the information out there, getting the awareness levels up, giving the people the resources, so they know where to turn to start a business.”

Also joining the panel discussion is Randy D. Williams, founder and president of Talley & Twine, the largest Black-owned watch company in the country. He will chat with aspiring entrepreneurs about their goals and discuss his own rise to success, struggles and triumphs.

The Economics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel Discussion will take place at the Industry Innovation Center Auditorium on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. Participants are asked to RSVP in advance as seating is limited.

Williams will also give a keynote address about connecting social justice to economic growth at the Mike Ilitch School of Business Lear Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 13. Participants can also RSVP to this address online.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.