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Wayne County Community College District and WCCCD’s Institute for Social Progress is proud to present nationally recognized policymakers, scholars, authors, and leaders from across the nation at the Detroit Urban Summit III. They represent a variety of disciplines including education, law, sociology, politics, and related fields to give a well-rounded view of key issues that affect urban America, and urban community colleges. This conference, the third in a series of national summits presented by WCCCD – the largest urban community college district in Michigan serving 36 cities and townships across 500 square miles – focuses on key issues that affect urban America, U.S. politics and policy, and education; as well as real-world programs that can positively affect student outcomes.

We hope you will enjoy the program!


Dr. Curtis L. Ivery
WCCCD Chancellor



Elizabeth Anderson

John Dewey Distinguished University Professor; John Rawls Collegiate Professor; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Philosophy Department Chair at the University of Michigan; nationally sought after author and speaker on the interactions of social science with moral and political theory.


Nabih H. Ayad

Civil Rights Attorney and Co-Founder of the American Arab Civil Rights League.


Ilya Benjamin Washington

Creative Director, Founding Member, #WeAreWelcomeHere, a New York-based nonprofit that offers students the opportunity to work on public interest design challenges with the goal to empower those historically threatened with physical or symbolic displacement.


Rob Breymaier

COO, Heartland Housing, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety.


Dr. Walter G. Bumphus

President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, is also a former college Chancellor and university professor of educational administration, and a nationally known education leadership educator.


Godfrey Dillard

Civil Rights Attorney and author


Erica Frankenberg

Associate Professor of Education and Demography in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University, focuses her research on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies.


Michael Hansen

Michael Hansen is the President of the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) where he works with the State’s 28 community colleges to advance MCCA’s public policy agenda.  Prior to coming to the MCCA, Mike worked for the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency where he was a chief analyst for Capital Outlay and Community Colleges.  His professional background also includes teaching in the public schools.  Mike has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Michigan State University in Labor Relations.


Michael Hilton

Policy Counsel, Poverty and Race Research Action Council, focused on PRRAC’s education work; and an Attorney with the New York City Department of Education.


Tanya Clay House

Co-Founder and COO of ClayHouse Consulting; and a senior strategist for the Schott Foundation for Public Education, Tanya is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for P-12 Education with the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.


Maria Krysan

Professor and Head in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois – Chicago, and professor in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at UIC.


Rubén Martinez

Professor of Sociology and Director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. His research is focused on institutional and societal change, neoliberalism and Latinos, education and ethnic minorities, diversity leadership in higher education, youth development, Latino entrepreneurship, and environment justice issues.


R. L’Heureux Lewis McCoy

Associate Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York and on the doctoral faculty at the CUNY – Graduate Center. His research concentrates on issues of educational inequality, the role of race in contemporary society, and gender equity.


Christine McPhail

Managing Principal for the McPhail Group LLC and Emerita Professor and Founder of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University.


Irving Pressley McPhail

Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail founded and serves as principal of The McPhail Group LLC. Dr. McPhail has also served as the sixth president and Chief Executive Officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME). 


Natalie Moore

is WBEZ Chicago's South Side Reporter where she covers segregation and inequality. Natalie is the author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, winner of the 2016 Chicago Review of Books award for nonfiction. Her work has been published in Essence, Ebony, the Chicago Reporter, Bitch, In These Times, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian.


Gunder Myran

Community College Education Leader and Author


Thomas Pedroni

Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies and Policy Sociology and Director of the Detroit Data and Democracy Project. His current research examines educational and social inequality in relation to the post-welfarist educational policy complex of Detroit.


Wil Del Pilar

Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps, from preschool through college. Dr. Del Pilar is representing John King, 10th U.S. Secretary of Education, President and CEO, The Education Trust.


Leonard Pitts, Jr.

a nationally renowned, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, educator, radio producer, and lecturer.


john a. powell

Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley, an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties, as well as issues including race, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy.


Randall Robinson

Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, Founder of TransAfrica, Renowned Author and Civil Rights Attorney


Verdis Robinson

National Director of The Democracy Commitment, a non-partisan national organization dedicated to advancing democracy in higher education, and to make democratic skills available to all individuals who desire a voice and a seat at the table of local, state, and national discourse and action.


Lee Teitel

Lecturer on Education, Faculty Director, Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project, Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He is the faculty director of the newly launched Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project at HGSE.


Andrew Grant Thomas

Co-Founder, Embrace Race, a multiracial community focused on meeting the challenges that race poses for children, families, and communities. Andrew has also served as director of programs at the Proteus Fund, as deputy director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, and Harvard University.


Bankole Thompson

The Detroit News op-ed columnist, presidential author and cultural critic.


Nikolai Vitti

Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District


Maya Wiley

Senior Vice President for Social Justice and the Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management at The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy; Chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) – the independent oversight agency for the City of New York Police Department; former Counsel to the Mayor of the City of New York.