Attorney General Nessel, County Executive Evans to Discuss Poverty, Criminal Justice Reform Sept. 9

DETROIT, MI. July 26, 2019— The PuLSE Institute (Institute for Public Leadership and Social Equity), Detroit’s non-partisan and independent anti-poverty think tank will hold the third edition in its CEO Forum on Poverty Series on Monday, September 9, 8am at the Colony Club, 2310 Park Ave in downtown Detroit.

The speakers who will take the stage at the Colony Club for the leadership breakfast forum are Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans discussing the need to address poverty and criminal justice reform. The forum moderator is Bankole Thompson, the editor-in-chief of The PuLSE Institute,who is an op-ed columnist at The Detroit News. Doors open at 7 a.m. for breakfast. Tickets to the forum can be obtained here .

The speaker series which is focused exclusively on poverty is the first of its kind in recent Detroit history to feature a diverse range of top industry captains and significant political leaders speaking directly to inequality facing the recovery of Detroit and the region. The poverty conversation which the Institute is driving is coming at a time when Detroit and Wayne County have unacceptable levels of inequality.

“Often, the biggest barrier to personal success is income. That is especially true for the 14.2 percent of Michigan residents currently living in poverty. My co-panelists and I have an opportunity and responsibility to change that,” said Attorney General Nessel. “As I continue to use my office to serve and protect the rights of all our state’s residents, including Michigan’s most vulnerable, groups likeThe PuLSE Institute play a critical role in pushing the conversation of social equity, poverty and inequality issues that stand between our residents, their success and the prosperity of our state.”

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans

Evans, the CEO of Wayne County said the forum could not be more timely.

“ Breaking the cycle of poverty and reforming our criminal justice system go hand in hand, which makes this PuLSE Institute forum a critical and timely conversation,” Evans said. “While Wayne County builds a state of the art criminal justice center, we are taking steps to bolster our public defense office to ensure everyone has access to quality representation and resources to navigate the criminal justice system in a fair and equitable way. Everyone has the right to due process, no matter their ability to pay.”

The Institute’s president and director of research Tina M. Patterson, a former attorney for the Social Security Administration said criminal justice reform should be at the forefront of any effort to combat poverty.

“Poverty and crime are directly correlated and just as closely misunderstood. Too often, we blame individuals for their situations without deep diving into greater societal context, which results in no avenue for recovery or rehabilitation into better circumstances,” Patterson said. “Our panel provides perspectives from powerful positions that have immense influence to promote and implement effective measures and provide much needed relief to those suffering from these dual societal ills.”

C. Paschal Eze, a humanitarian disaster expert and board chair of the Institute, also underscored the significance of the forum.

“It is increasingly apparent that without conscientious and comprehensive criminal justice reform, many, especially in minority communities, will find it almost impossible to overcome hard-charging poverty. And while it would take multi-stakeholder collaborative efforts to achieve such reform, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Wayne County CEO Warren Evans surely have critical roles to play,” Eze said.

For more information about the work of the Institute visit

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