Detroit Policy Conference

In today’s polarized environment, is it possible to instill civility in Detroit as a necessity in all that we do, and not simply a response in times of crisis?

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2018 Detroit Policy Conference focused on creating a culture of civility in Detroit. More than 60 speakers took the stage, offering insight on the need for civility in public discourse, communities and the workplace. Sessions will highlight examples of people and projects that have put differences aside and moved Detroit forward through civility. The Conference also helped define what it means to be civil and examine the role traditional and social media play in driving incivility.

2018 Conference Agenda

7:30 a.m.
Registration, Breakfast and Networking
Location: Detroit Experience Hall
Sponsor: Greektown Casino-Hotel

8:30 a.m.
Location: Sound Board
Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

8:45 a.m.
Video Feature: Detroiters Defining Civility
Location: Sound Board

8:50 a.m.
Defining Civility: An Academic Perspective
Location: Sound Board
SpeakerBob Ackerman, Professor of Law, Wayne State University; Director, Levin Center, Wayne Law

9:05 a.m.
Power Perspective: Champion of Civility
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Abdullah Hammoud, State Representative (D-District 15)
Sponsor: Grand Valley State University

9:10 a.m.
Moderated Discussion: Civility and Inclusion in the Workplace
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Amity Millhiser, Chief Clients Officer, PwC
InterviewerWright Lassiter III,
President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System
Sponsor: Michigan Talent Investment Agency

9:40 a.m
Power Perspective: Champion of Civility
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Marlowe Stoudamire, Founder, Butterfly Effect Detroit
Sponsor: Grand Valley State University

9:45 a.m.
Keynote Address: Building Civil Communities
Location: Sound Board
IntroductionRichard DeVore, Regional President, Detroit and Southeast Michigan, PNC Bank
Speaker: Wes Moore, CEO, Robin Hood Foundation; U.S. Army Combat Veteran; Best-selling Author
Sponsor: PNC Bank

10:15 a.m.
Refreshment Break
Location: Detroit Experience Hall
Sponsor: ITC

10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions: Examples of Civility

The Amazon Bid: Collaborating to Market Detroit
Location: Sound Board

Detroit’s proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 represented an unprecedented level of local and regional collaboration between the public and private sector and state and local government. A high point for the region’s leaders, who set aside their differences and rallied around one common goal of attracting Amazon to Southeast Michigan, this panel will focus on the positive takeaways from this effort. Panelists will explore the steps taken to develop a unified message to promote Detroit’s key assets, share lessons learned through the bid process, and discuss how these lessons can be applied to positively benefit the region in the future.

Basil Cherian, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Detroit
Jared Fleisher, Vice President, Government Affairs, Quicken Loans Family of Companies
Khalil Rahal, Assistant County Executive, Wayne County
Justin Robinson, Vice President, Business Attraction, Detroit Regional Chamber

ModeratorJohn Gallagher, Business Columnist, Detroit Free Press

Sponsor: Quicken Loans Family of Companies

Arts and Culture: Igniting Civility in Communities
Location: Room 1

The power of the arts to start conversations with others, change perspectives, and circumvent politics and ideology is vast. Whether it is attending an outdoor concert or visiting a museum, the arts bring people together. This panel will explore the role of Detroit’s arts and culture community in fostering civility and how public spaces allow people of all beliefs and backgrounds to come together, enjoy shared experiences, and put their differences aside.

Christopher Collins, President and Artistic Director, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation
Anne Parsons, President and CEO, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Omari Rush, Executive Director, CultureSource
Salvador Salort-Pons, Director, President and CEO, Detroit Institute of Arts

ModeratorKaty Locker, Program Director, Detroit, Knight Foundation

Sponsor: Quicken Loans Family of Companies

Detroit ’67 Project: Commemorating History Through Civility and Collaboration
Location: Room 2

The Detroit Historical Society’s Detroit ’67 Project is a defining blueprint for collaboration, bringing together more than 100 civic, business, cultural and community groups to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Detroit’s historic summer of unrest. Under the lens of respect, collaboration and compromise, this panel will serve as a case study in how civility among the partners played a key role.

Bob Bury, Executive Director and CEO, Detroit Historical Society
Melanca Clark, President and CEO, Hudson-Webber Foundation
Tricia Keith, Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff and Corporate Secretary, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

ModeratorRochelle Riley, Columnist, Detroit Free Press

Sponsor: Quicken Loans Family of Companies

11:35 a.m.
Visit the Detroit Experience Hall and pick up a gourmet lunch using the redeemable voucher provided upon arrival and return to the Sound Board.

12:20 p.m.
A Conversation with Carl Levin
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Carl Levin, Former U.S. Senator; Senior Counsel, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Honorary Chair, 2018 Detroit Policy Conference
Interviewer: Devin Scillian, Anchor, WDIV-TV 4, NBC

12:50 p.m.
Leading with Civility: Perspectives from James Craig and Nikolai Vitti
Location: Sound Board
James Craig,
Chief of Police, Detroit Police Department
Nikolai Vitti,
Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District
Interviewer: Huel Perkins,
Anchor, WJBK-TV 2, Fox
Sponsor: MotorCity Casino Hotel

1:25 p.m.
Keynote Address: The Power of Placemaking
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Mark Wallace, President and CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

1:45 p.m.
Power Perspective: Champion of Civility
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Misha Stallworth, Board Secretary, Detroit Public Schools Community District
Sponsor: Grand Valley State University

1:50 p.m.
Refreshment Break
Location: Detroit Experience Hall
Sponsor: ITC

2:20 p.m.
Power Perspective: Champion of Civility
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Lisa LunsfordCEO and Co-founder, Global Strategic Supply Solutions
Sponsor: Grand Valley State University

2:25 p.m.
What’s Driving Incivility? Traditional and Social Media’s Impact
Location: Sound Board

In an age of 24-hour news cycles, the line between straight news and commentary is often blurred, both by traditional media outlets and newsmakers who only appear on the friendliest platforms when communicating their message. During a one-on-one conversation, Detroit’s most respected journalists will provide their perspective on media’s role in provoking incivility among audiences, what constitutes the proper presentation of news, and the role of journalism to inform rather than incite. Following the discussion, they will be joined on stage by social media experts, who will offer insight on the importance of accountability online as it pertains to protecting your personal and professional brand.

Session Leaders:
Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor, The Detroit News
Stephen Henderson, Host, Detroit Public Television and WDET 101.9 FM

Mike Brownfield,
Director, Communications, Goldwater Institute
Kerry Doman, 
Founder and CEO, After 5 Detroit
LaRon Johnson, 
Business Leader, LinkedIn Detroit
Debra Williams, 
Executive Vice President, Right Management

Sponsor: DTE Energy Foundation

3:10 p.m.
Power Perspective: Champion of Civility
Location: Sound Board
Speaker: Philip Kafka, President, Prince Concepts

Sponsor: Grand Valley State University

3:15 p.m.
National Civility: Perspectives From Bipartisan Leaders
Location: Sound Board

Civility in national politics – or lack thereof – has become apparent in recent years as evidenced by rampant negative campaign ads and heated, partisan fighting from the Oval Office to the floor of Congress and beyond. This session will feature two of Michigan’s leading lawmakers who are known for producing bipartisan results through mutual respect and collaboration, for a discussion on civility at the highest levels of government. The discussion will explore where civility still exists in U.S. government, opportunities to restore civility for better decision-making in Washington, and how disagreeing without being disagreeable is key to moving the country forward.

Debbie Dingell,
U.S. Representative (D-MI 12)
Fred Upton,
U.S. Representative (R-MI 6)
Interviewer: Christy McDonald,
Anchor, Detroit Public Television
Sponsor: Delta Air Lines

3:45 p.m.
Reception and Detroit’s Last Word
Location: Detroit Experience Hall

New to the Conference, Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson will moderate three dynamic and interactive 10-minute segments featuring differing perspectives on civility, what is driving incivility and how Detroiters can make a difference

Regional Transit
John Paul Rea, Director, Planning and Economic Development, Macomb County
Brad Williams, Vice President, Government Relations, Detroit Regional Chamber

Future Leaders’ Perspective
Dannis Mitchell, Diversity Manager, Barton Marlow Company
Jasmin DeForrest, Director, Sponsorship and Special Projects, Quicken Loans

Community Engagement
Jason Hall, Co-founder, Slow Roll Detroit
Jeanette Pierce, Executive Director, Detroit Experience Factory

Sponsor: Wayne County Community College District