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'Game-changer': Wayne State to build $25M athletic facility, house Pistons' G-League team

Built in 1965, the Matthaei Center has been the hub of Wayne State's athletic campus in midtown Detroit. Intramural and club sports, the swimming facility and almost every other sport were housed in the same outdated facility.  The upgrade is coming.  With an 8-0 vote, the school's Board of Governors unanimously approved a plan Wednesday to build a new $25-million on-campus athletic facility that will house its men's and women's basketball teams. In addition, the Pistons announced that the new facility will be home to their affiliate in the Gatorade League.  The new 70,000-square-foot facility — seating 3,000 — will be near the corner of Warren and Trumbull, where an intramural field
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Pistons say Detroit G League affiliate beneficial all-around

The NBA G League is coming to Detroit. The Detroit Pistons announced plans Wednesday to bring a developmental team to the city as part of a multi-faceted partnership with Wayne State University. The G League team will play in the arena Wayne State is planning to build for its men’s and women’s team. A specific timeline has not been determined, but the $25 million facility, with a capacity of 3,000, is scheduled to be compete in time for the 2021-22 season. The Pistons and their current G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, recently extended their operating agreement through the 2020-21 season. Discussions with G League officials continue, regarding whether the new team will be part of an expansion or whether the Drive will relocate. “We continue to invest in the success of our franchise and the success of our community,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “Bringing a G League team to Detroit delivers on both fronts. It will give our players and coaches the best tools available to maximize performance, and it will add more fuel to the revitalization underway in Midtown and throughout Detroit.”
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Michigan has 1.6M college dropouts. Debt forgiveness may lure them back

Statewide, nearly a quarter of adults over the age of 25, 1.6 million, have “some college” but no degree, according to the U.S. Census. Lakeshia King was among them until taking advantage of  “Warrior Way Back,” a Wayne State program that started last year to forgive up to $1,500 in past due tuition. Henry Ford College and Oakland University are set to announce Tuesday that they will join Wayne State in a cooperative agreement to offer college debt forgiveness incentives. Any student who takes advantage of up to $1,500 in debt forgiveness would be able to transfer between the colleges. The initiative is part of an effort announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and supported by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce to improve the state’s post-secondary education attainment rate from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2030. The partnership is an extension of the Wayne State program and debt forgiveness that Henry Ford started offering six years ago. 
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After years of planning, a new Wayne State park is almost ready to open

A Wayne State University placemaking project years in the making is now just a few weeks away from a grand opening. Though the park is currently open and accessible to the public, a few more touches — a paint job here and a shade umbrella there — need to be completed before the Woodward and Warren Park will officially be activated as intended. The new park is the result of Wayne State University and its Office of Economic Development’s efforts to transform a grassy open space into a more attractive and usable place. 
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The unique harm of sexual abuse in the black community

Jennifer M. Gómez, postdoctoral fellow in trauma psychology, wrote an article for The Conversation on sexual abuse in the black community and the harms of cultural betrayal. “As a trauma expert who has studied the effect of violence for over a decade, I have found that there is a unique harm for black people and other minorities whose perpetrators are of the same minority group. To understand this harm, I created cultural betrayal trauma theory. The general idea of cultural betrayal trauma theory is that some minorities develop what I call “(intra)cultural trust” – love, loyalty, attachment, connection, responsibility and solidarity with each other to protect themselves from a hostile society. Within-group violence, such as a black perpetrator harming a black victim, is a violation of this (intra)cultural trust. This violation is called a cultural betrayal.” Gómez suggests that policy change that combats inequality, such as changes in education, health care, law enforcement and the judicial system, can benefit minorities who experience trauma.
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Leaders pay respects to late Judge Damon Keith

Federal Judge Damon Keith of Detroit died Sunday morning at 96. Dignitaries from around Michigan weighed in to offer their respects. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson: "It’s a sad day. Judge Damon Jerome Keith passed away earlier today, and we are all mourning the loss of this outstanding civil rights pioneer, federal judge and great friend of Wayne State. I had the honor of being sworn in as the 12th president of Wayne State University by Judge Keith, but it meant even more to me to have met the man..."
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Places, programs named in honor of Judge Damon Keith

Federal judge and civil rights icon Damon Keith, who died Sunday morning at age 96, left a legacy well beyond the ground-breaking decisions he made from the bench during his career. Keith — who more than five decades on the federal bench first as a  U.S. District Court judge and later on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — ruled in several high-profile cases during his tenure, including the desegregation of Pontiac schools, President Richard Nixon's and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell's wiretapping of student radicals in Ann Arbor and against deportation hearings held in private. While Keith may be gone, his legacy lives on. Here are the buildings and programs named in his honor: Damon J. Keith Scholarship. 
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Jack White to receive honorary degree from Wayne State University

Jack White is set to receive an honorary degree from Wayne State University. The now-globally-renowned rock musician will be on hand at 9 a.m. May 3 at the Fox Theatre to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters, "for his dedication to Detroit and significant contributions to the arts as one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades," according to a WSU release. The May 3 ceremony is part of a two-day slate of commencement activities for WSU's latest graduating class of 4,000-plus students. Other honorary degrees will also go to Detroit native Florine Mark, CEO of the WW Group (2 p.m. May 2), and social-justice scholar Earl Lewis (2 p.m. May 3). 
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Wayne Law sex trafficking program draws large crowd

The conference “(S)exploiting the Vulnerable: Empowering Future Legal Advocates,” held April 12 at Wayne State University Law School, attracted more than 300 attendees from a variety of disciplines including, law, social work, law enforcement and non-profits. Planned and coordinated by Wayne State Assistant Professor Blanche Cook and law students Taylor Hilton, Ben VanSlyke, Lydia Mikail, Rebecca Bundy, and Elisabeth Moore, the event opened with remarks by WSU Law School Dean Richard Bierschbach about the issues of sex trafficking and how future legal advocates can make a change by bringing light to this topic. Wayne Law alumna Angela Povilatis from the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, and Kim Trent from the WSU Board of Governors spoke about the growing world of sex trafficking and how the legal community can work to combat this practice. 

Wayne State smart manufacturing center partners with HERE Technologies

Wayne State University and HERE Technologies have announced an agreement to partner on various industry projects, create education curriculums, and develop solutions with other technology providers at the Wayne State Smart Manufacturing Development Center (SMDC). “Wayne State University is at the heart of Detroit’s resurgence. The campus is growing, the curriculums are being tuned to the needs of the future workforce and we’re aligning to new industry principles such as Industry 5.0,” said Joseph Kim, professor of industrial & systems engineering at Wayne State University. “HERE’s expertise in navigation and location will help us bring practical experiences and real-life business situations to students and provide them an opportunity to see how location technology is applied to customers in the industrial sector.”