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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Jul 26 / Matthew Lockwood

Media digs New Michigan Media Conference

Last week Wayne State hosted a conference on campus about the role immigration can play in revitalizing Michigan’s economy. Approximately 500 people attended the conference which included a panel “Can Immigrants Save Detroit?” with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg via video teleconference, former Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos, and Detroit City Councilman Ken Cockrel, Jr.

During the keynote session, WSU President Allan Gilmour talked about how it makes no sense that Michigan universities educate thousands of foreign students that must leave the country after graduating because of unfriendly U.S. immigration policies. President Gilmour then introduced Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who spoke about how immigration was key to Michigan’s past successes and how it can be again.

The topic of immigration can be a divisive issue, but Wayne State was the ideal location to discuss the topic. What better place than a diverse University that’s playing a key role in economic development to debate this issue? The conference had a feeling of energy and importance, and I was glad that it was held at Wayne State.

Congratulations to Hayg Oshagan, Ph.D.,  associate professor of communications and the founder of New Michigan Media (a network of ethnic and minority media throughout the state), for organizing the event with partners from Global Detroit.

In addition to moving the discussion forward on an important topic, the conference garnered broad media coverage for Wayne State. Articles about the conference  quoting President Gilmour ran in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Canadian Business and dozens of other media outlets around Michigan. A TV crew from Dan Rather Reports was also there and will air footage from the conference during a piece on immigration this fall.

A goal of the conference organizers is to eventually position Detroit and Michigan as the most welcoming city and state in the country. Based on feedback from media and other conference attendees, Wayne State already holds that distinction for universities.

 

 

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