By Leslie Lynn Smith
This past week, we celebrated the inauguration of Wayne State University’s 12th president, Dr. M. Roy Wilson. It was a glorious event filled with timeless traditions: the march of attendants, the wonderful sounds of the chamber winds filling the space, recognition of dignitaries, the presentation of the presidential chain and, of course, speeches. Speeches by elected officials, academic officials, students, honored guests and the new president himself.
The afternoon was filled with immeasurable enthusiasm. Dr. Wilson concluded the ceremony with an extraordinary speech and put a fine point on the hopeful message of the day.
He talked about access and opportunity. He talked about equity and inclusion. He talked about one Detroit. One Detroit not resigned to accept “either/or” outcomes. One Detroit demanding access and opportunity for all of its citizens. One Detroit committed to its shared future.
He challenged us to work together to create one Detroit that does not have to choose a vibrant core over safe and thriving neighborhoods. One Detroit that does not have to abandon its commitment to restoring an inclusive, expanding middle-class economy in the neighborhoods while developing a burgeoning technology-based economy in its most active business districts. One Detroit that does not have to live in isolation from its downtown or live in physical or emotional separation from one another.
In short, he painted a picture of the Detroit we all imagine. A Detroit for all people: old and young, black and white, American and foreign-born. A Detroit where we live in fellowship and community, supporting one another. One Detroit. Our Detroit.
We wake up every day at TechTown wanting to lock arms with our fellow Detroiters and march, with purpose and intent, toward that Detroit. The Detroit that Dr. Wilson reminded us about on a sunny afternoon filled with hope and promise.
We hope you’ll join us.