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Recap: Detroit Policy Conference talks ‘Detroit’s Next Chapter’

From: MLive

By: David Muller

February 27, 2014

DETROIT, MI – Now in its third year, the Detroit Policy Conference gathers Thursday at Motor City Casino with another set of heavy-hitting speakers to chew over this year’s topic, “Detroit’s Next Chapter.”

We’re live-blogging it in the comments section below. Things should get underway around 8:45 a.m. The full agenda is here.

Whether intended or not, the forward-looking theme to the 2014 conference, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber, comes a day after newly elected Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave his first State of the City address, in which he illustrated several ways he would like to see the long-struggling city move forward.

Thomas Sugrue, a history and sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is giving a keynote address at 11:55 a.m. Sugrue is the author of “The Origins of Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit,” a book that takes a hard look at what made Detroit it is today, and is now also recommended reading for anyone studying American urbanization.

“Detroit’s postwar urban crisis emerged as the consequence of two of the most important, interrelated, and unresolved problems in American history: that capitalism generates economic inequality and that African Americans have disproportionately borne the impact of that inequality,” Sugrue’s book, which won the 1998 Bancroft Prize, states in its introduction.

Among the local speakers at Thursday’s event are Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, Adam Hollier, vice president of Hantz Woodlands; and John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press.

Breakout sessions during the day’s event include topics such as “The City Speaks: Revitalizing Detroit’s Neighborhoods” with speakers including Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Detroit Blight Authority founder Bill Pulte, and “Breaking the Mold: The Entrepreneur’s Business Plan” with speakers such as Slows Bar BQ founder Phil Cooley and Bizdom recruiting and development leader Maria LaLonde.

While it may not be physically possible to attend all of the sessions, we will give as many updates as we can in the comments section below. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or add your own thoughts.