Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

This is America: Building a more equitable economy

U-M Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium event


U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves

Date & time

Jan 17, 2022, 12:00-12:50 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

In honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., join us for an important discussion between University of Michigan Ford School Dean Michael Barr and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves on working to revive the economy while combating the racist systems embedded within it. Associate Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes, director of the Center for Racial Justice, will give welcoming remarks. Watch this event on YouTube.

From the speaker's bio

Don Graves is the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Most recently, he served as Counselor to President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. Prior to that, Graves served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations at KeyBank. During the Obama-Biden Administration, Graves served as Counselor and Domestic and Economic Policy Director for then-Vice President Biden. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Graves also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Williams College and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he received the Dean’s Award.

More on the U-M 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium Theme: This is America

Since 1986, the University of Michigan has hosted its Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, one of the nation's largest celebrations of the life and work of Dr. King. The symposium traditionally hosts over 40 events across campus, which pays homage and promotes the continuation of social justice reform by Dr. King and numerous others. Each year, faculty, staff and students across campus choose a theme based on its relevance to current social justice issues and the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. The theme for the 2022 Symposium is This is America. The theme explores many images of America as defined and interpreted through history, popular culture and present-day events.  The theme juxtaposes an idealized vision of America with some of the harsh realities using the teachings and observations of Dr. King as a lens. In doing so, This Is America challenges all of us to do our part to transform this country into the community that we want it to be and so purport it to be.