8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 15, 2004
American Bar president
with social consciousness
By Lucille Vaughan
Daily Staff Reporter
American Bar Association President Dennis Archer
encourages students who want to make a difference in the
world to get involved in public service that will help sup-
port equity and justice.
Archer, a former mayor of Detroit, spoke to a crowd of
more than 100 people yesterday afternoon in the Michi-
gan Union Pendleton Room in a speech titled, "Why Pub-
lic Service Matters."
"I love public service and I love the law," he said. "For
me those two go hand-in-hand."
As president of the bar association, the national pro-
fessional organization of attorneys, Archer said he feels
that he and his colleagues have a commitment to public
service. "Lawyers have a long history as public servants
and public officials and have made a great contribu-
tion," he said.
But Archer insisted that other types of professionals
are equally equipped to seek positive change. "You don't
have to be a lawyer to change the world," he said. "Every-
one has the power to challenge injustice."
Archer also stressed that it is important to maintain a
balanced lifestyle while working in a public service
career. "It's important that you stay connected to your
family and community," he said. "A person with a bal-
anced life makes a better professional and a whole
Archer commended the University's diverse communi-
ty, and said it is vital to students for their success in the
job market. He made the point that people uncomfortable
around different cultures and races will not be successful
in an increasingly global marketplace. "The people I fear
for the most are those who have not experienced diversi-
ty," he said.
Archer served as mayor of Detroit from 1994 to 2001,
during which time he worked on initiatives to develop
business and reform government. He currently practices
law at Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit.
Archer's address was part of the annual Citigroup
Lecture Series, endowed in honor of University alum
and former President Gerald Ford. Rebecca Blank,
dean of the Ford School of Public Policy, said the Citi-
group lecture was an important venue for students and
"The lecture provides opportunities for students to ask
questions and explore ideas," she said. "For all of us, this
afternoon's lecture is a chance to continue learning."
Following his speech, Archer answered questions from
LSA junior Sally Hollister said she was encouraged
by Archer's statement that everyone is able to partici-
pate in public service. "I found it really important that
he said public service can be done in any area of work
because I'm going into the medical field," she said.
Medical School employee Shamar Herron said he com-
pleted an internship with Archer in Detroit. "I worked
with Mr. Archer," he said. "I feel as though he always has
great things to say."
Continued from Page 3A
police and fire departments, along
with other emergency services
responding to a simulated emer-
gency. The money granted to the city
last year has enabled it to better coor-
dinate the joint first response of its
several emergency departments,
Blackwell said. This exercise will
test their ability to work together. For
example, Ann Arbor was able to
standardize its radio technology
throughout the emergency network
so all branches of the network can
communicate when responding to the
"The exercise grant will allow us
to bring all the players (in the emer-
gency network) to the table," Black-
well said. The money that will fund
this exercise and other emergency
management projects will not be
forthcoming until late next month at
The department's website cites ter-
rorism as the primary motivation for
the state grant program. But Black-
well said terrorism is at the bottom
of the list of possible emergencies
Ann Arbor could face. The top three
on the list are emergencies resulting
from weather, hazardous materials
and infrastructure failures.
To safeguard essential services,
Blackwell said he hopes some of this
year's grant money can go toward
emergency generators for electricity-
dependent utilities such as the water
"The main purpose (of the grants)
is to further strengthen the city of
Ann Arbor, to improve its critical
infrastructures," Blackwell said.
"We're prepared for all types of
emergencies, not just terrorist
The grants are awarded on a need
basis. Ann Arbor conducted a threat
assessment, noting all the critical
infrastructures that could be vulnera-
ble to any type of hazard - natural or
manmade, accidental or intentional.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S.
Government created the Department
of Homeland Security to help states
and cities guard against future terror-
ist threats. Ann Arbor's use of the
homeland security grants reflects the
expanded role the new department
The state grant program is due to
come under review in 2006 when the
federal government will decide if the
grants are still necessary.
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231 end-of-the-year party in the Modern Languages Building yesterday.
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