News Briefs
The Detroit Equity Report, Inc. partners with WSU to improve racial equity in business
Bishop Edgar L. Vann Portrait
The founders of the Detroit Equity Report, Inc., an initiative first envisioned several years ago by Bishop Edgar L. Vann, recently announced that Wayne State University will add its academic expertise to the burgeoning social justice program, which aims to help metro Detroit businesses foster greater racial equity in their ranks.

The Detroit Equity Report seeks to gather data from companies in the metro Detroit region about the levels of diversity throughout their organizations, including the C-suites and governance levels. This data will be used by the organizations to help promote the empowerment and advancement of African Americans and other people of color in corporate America. The collaborative effort is also backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and others.

“I am thrilled to have Wayne State University bring its analytical expertise to this endeavor,” said Vann, senior pastor of Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit. “Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson, a man of integrity and passionate commitment to social justice, immediately assembled a high-level team of academic experts to join us in this mission. We are particularly gratified that Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, will lead the Wayne State team. I have no doubt Damon Keith would be in full support of these efforts.”

In addition to providing academic and analytical support, WSU will help raise funds to support the project.

The collaboration marks the next phase for the Detroit Equity Report, which was established three years ago by Vann as a way of understanding and ameliorating racial inequity in business. Attorney Bertram L. Marks joined with Vann in the early stages of the development and formation of the Detroit Equity Report. Marks was the principal architect of creating the legal structure of the nonprofit corporation, and he remains as an officer and chief legal counsel to the organization.

“This effort didn’t begin with the brutal killing of George Floyd, though that terrible event once again underscores the need for immediate change,” said Vann. “We have been working toward this for several years and partnering with Wayne State is the next natural phase.”

Wayne State University, ACCESS, Ford coalition expands mobile COVID-19 testing; effort tests more than 10,000
Wayne State University Physician Group expanded its mobile COVID-19 testing effort
The coalition of Wayne State University, ACCESS, Ford Motor Co. and the Wayne State University Physician Group expanded its mobile COVID-19 testing effort, increasing the number of test vehicles in the fleet, expanding its area of operation as well as the types of tests available, and opening the program to local communities in need.

Since launching in mid-April, the initiative has tested more than 10,000 people throughout the state of Michigan, including first responders, health care workers, police officers and firefighters. Additionally, many individuals have also been tested multiple times to ensure they remain healthy and virus-free.

Ford and its in-house incubator Ford X have provided four Ford Transits — each fully equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing — as mobile screening units to conduct and support testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. This includes a Transit that’s been upfitted to provide a better environment for health care workers, with built-in features such as drop-down tables, additional power sources, centrifuges for blood draws, refrigeration and more protective equipment

Stephanie Williams appointed director of WSU Press
Stephanie Williams Portrait
Stephanie Williams has been appointed director of Wayne State University Press, effective August 2020.

Williams served as director at Ohio University Press and replaces Kathryn Wildfong, who recently returned from retirement to serve a five-month term as the interim director of the press.

Williams began her publishing career as a promotions assistant at Pelican Publishing Company, followed by marketing management roles at the University Press of Florida, the University of Missouri Press and the University Press of Kentucky.

She is an Association of University Presses board member and serves on several of the organization’s committees, including the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee; the Annual Meeting Program Committee; and the Intellectual Property and Copyright Committee.