Wayne State University

Van Dusen Urban Leadership Forum

The 2015 Richard C. Van Dusen Urban Leadership Forum at Wayne State University welcomed Chicago-based artist and urban planner Theaster Gates to Detroit for a lively keynote and discussion titled “To Build a Bank: Notes from the Construction Site" on Thursday October 8.

Following his keynote, Gates was joined on stage by Lauren Hood, director of Live6; Erik Howard, co-Founder and director of Young Nation and The Alley Project; and Rebecca "Bucky" Willis, founder of Bleeding Heart Design and project manager at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center. Click here to view photos from the event. A video of the keynote and conversation is available here.

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The Van Dusen Urban Leadership Forum brings together national experts with existing and emerging local leadership to: demonstrate new ways of thinking, sharing and problem-solving; inspire individuals towards action; and provoke intergenerational knowledge transfer by intentionally driving diverse audiences into the same room.

Richard C. Van Dusen had a lifetime concern for and commitment to urban communities, particularly metropolitan Detroit. His life was characterized by distinguished public service in national, state and local affairs. Mr. Van Dusen served as undersecretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives and chaired the Detroit Regional Chamber. Van Dusen also served as a distinguished governor of Wayne State University.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, he spent his professional legal career at the Detroit law firm of Dickinson, Wright PLLC. Van Dusen’s life reflected his belief that the private sector as much as the public sector could provide leadership and implement initiatives to enhance the quality of urban life.