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Lorenzo Cultural Center presentations explore how Michigan helped shape – and was shaped by – social change in America

– Wednesday, March 11, 2015 12:00AM

Many of the most important trends in modern U.S. history played themselves out in the streets, workplaces, churches and homes of Michigan. Sometimes Michiganders were at the cutting edge. Other times, they were influenced by changes originating elsewhere.  As part of the Lorenzo Cultural Center’s current program series, 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan, a number of presentations  will look at how Michigan helped shape – and was itself molded by – social change.

  • Detroit: Race Riots, Racial Conflicts, and Efforts to Bridge the Racial Divide, March 14, 1 p.m.: Joe T. Darden and Richard W. Thomas, professors from Michigan State University, explore the episodes of racial conflict in Detroit, along with the equally important occurrences of interracial cooperation by people seeking solutions to the city’s problems.
  • The Employers’ Association of Detroit and the Making of the Motor City, 1902–1952, March 21, 1 p.m.:  Thomas Klug, professor, Marygrove College, discusses the role of the Employers’ Association of Detroit, formed in 1902. The association waged a successful anti-union offensive in the early 1900s, but its vision for labor relations crumbled during the late 1930s as metro Detroit workers poured into unions, forcing employers to adjust.
  • Ethnic Diversity in Michigan, March 26, 11 a.m.: People from every race, religion and part of the world have settled in Michigan, creating a rich diversity among the state’s population. Author Armando Delicato describes how the state continues to celebrate its diverse heritage.
  • A Hanging in Detroit and the Abolishment of Capital Punishment in Michigan, April 9, 11 a.m.:  Attorney and author David Chardavoyne profiles the second and last execution under Michigan law and describes how Michigan became the first state to abolish the death penalty for murder.
  • Dreaming Development: Detroit’s Mid-century Plans and Contemporary Effect, May 7, 11 a.m.: June Manning Thomas, professor, University of Michigan, looks at how sections of Detroit were affected by urban planners who used flawed ideas about urban renewal, but laid the groundwork for rebirth in parts of the city.

The cultural center’s program series, 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan, runs through May 9. All presentations are free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Register by calling 585.445.7348 or online at The cultural center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus, 44575 Garfield Road (at Hall Road), in Clinton Township.

About The Lorenzo Cultural Center
The Lorenzo Cultural Center ( explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment. The cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271,