The Diversity Committee of the U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan is pleased to host Godfrey Dillard on March 28, 2018 to speak about his experience as an African-American civil rights activist. Mr. Dillard is an all-state basketball player from Detroit, Michigan who was the second of two African-American players signed by Coach Roy Skinner to integrate the Vanderbilt University’s basketball team in Nashville, Tennessee. In joining the Vanderbilt Commodores, Mr. Dillard became one of the first African-American players in the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA.
As a point guard, Mr. Dillard was known for his aggressive style of play by “pushing the ball up the court”. His style of play continued off the court too, as Mr. Dillard was a leader in pushing the boundaries of diversity and social change at Vanderbilt University, such as starting the first African-American newspaper at Vanderbilt. As a result of the discrimination he endured at Vanderbilt, Mr. Dillard left in his junior year to complete his education at Eastern Michigan University. He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan to become a civil rights lawyer.
The New York Times bestseller book by Andrew Maraniss, “Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South”, details the experiences of Mr. Dillard and his fellow teammate Perry Wallace.
We hope you will attend the event to hear from this advocate for social change.
Where: Detroit Room (115), Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
When: March 28, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Focusing on the Future