Archive | Monthly Gathering

October Monthly Gathering – President Trump, Our 18th Century Constitution, Congress, and The Two-Party Political System

How does the 18th-century language of our Constitution play out against the language of Donald Trump’s Twitter account? This interactive presentation will discuss the constitutional structure of the American government, and the powers of Congress and the President under that system. We will also discuss the impact of the two-party political system on that constitutional structure. Emphasis will be placed on the current constitutional and political situation in light of the Trump Presidency and the divided Congress.

Our guest speaker Robert A. Sedler, is a distinguished professor of law at Wayne State University, where he teaches the courses in Constitutional Law and Conflict of Laws. Prior to coming to Wayne State in 1977, he was Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky. Professor Sedler received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif, an honor society for law school graduates.  In 2005, he was elected to the Wayne State University Academy of Scholars, which is the highest recognition bestowed upon faculty members by their colleagues. He served as President of the Academy during the 2007-2008 academic year. In April 2019, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel appointed Sedler a special assistant attorney general. 

Professor Sedler has litigated a large number of civil rights and civil liberties cases in Michigan, Kentucky and elsewhere, mostly as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. He was also one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the landmark case of DeBoer v. Snyder, which was a part of the United States Supreme Court decision recognizing a constitutional right to marry for same sex couples.

The program takes place on Saturday, October 19th, at
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield.
23925 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 6:30pm. The program begins at 7:00pm. Please note the new starting time!
Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Hwy., in Farmington Hills, Just East of Middlebelt Rd.

Continue Reading

September Monthly Gathering – Illicit Drug Use, the Opioid Crisis, and the DEA

The high availability and corresponding demand leading to the misuse of illicit and prescription drugs, including opioids is a crisis without geographic, demographic, or socioeconomic boundaries. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is responsible for conducting investigations and collecting intelligence related to the importation, distribution, and abuse of controlled substances. This presentation will provide an overview of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and introduce the DEA as a community resource for drug education information.  DEA Community Outreach Specialist Richard Isaacson will detail the current opioid epidemic afflicting the U.S., including fentanyl related issues. Other drug issues to be covered will include prescription drugs (other than opioids), growth in cocaine use, marijuana / THC current events, and vaping / Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). 

Rich Isaacson graduated from Michigan State University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Isaacson was hired by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and graduated from the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 1991. Upon graduation, Special Agent (S/A) Isaacson was assigned to the Detroit Field Division where he served in a variety of enforcement capacities, including the Mobile Enforcement Team and the RedRum Homicide Task Force.

Mr. Isaacson was appointed as DEA Detroit’s Demand Reduction Coordinator (DRC) in 2000. As the DRC, S/A Isaacson was responsible for overseeing all drug prevention activities conducted by the DEA in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. In 2005, Isaacson was awarded the PRIDE Youth Programs, National Drug Enforcement Agent of the Year Award, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2007, Isaacson was assigned to serve as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Detroit Field Division, responsible for coordinating all of DEA’s media and public relations in the three state region. He remained in that position until retiring in December of 2017.

In 2018, Isaacson began his tenure as a Community Outreach Specialist, focusing on raising awareness to the dangers of substance abuse. He is contracted to do that work under the guidance of the DEA, working out of the Detroit Field Division.

The program takes place on Saturday, September 21th, at
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield.
23925 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 6:30pm. The program begins at 7:00pm. Please note the new starting time!
Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Hwy., in Farmington Hills, Just East of Middlebelt Rd.

Continue Reading

August Monthly Gathering – Faygo, The Flavor of Detroit

The Faygo story is not only the history of a company that has forged a bond with a city and its residents for more than a century, but a reflection of the spirit and history of Detroit itself. The story of Faygo, Detroit’s beloved soda pop, begins over a hundred years ago with two Russian immigrant brothers who were looking to get out of the baking business. Starting with little more than pots, pails, hoses, and a one-horse wagon, Ben and Perry Feigenson launched their business in the middle of the 1907 global financial meltdown. Through recessions and the Great Depression, wartime politics, the rise and fall of Detroit’s population, and the never-ending challenges to the industry, the Feigensons persisted.

Joe Grimm, author of the “The Faygo Book”, will share the values that made Faygo an integral part of communities across Michigan. “The Faygo Book” is the story of a pop, a people, and a place. These stories and facts will tickle the taste buds and memories of Detroiters and Faygo lovers everywhere, with a few award-winning TV commercials thrown in. “The Faygo Book” is a 2019 Michigan Notable Book. Stay sharp because there WILL be a pop quiz. Why, we might even have a sing-along.

Mr. Grimm says he wrote “The Faygo Book” after building up a tremendous thirst on his previous book, “Coney Detroit.” Both are published by Wayne State University Press. Grimm, a lifelong Detroit area resident, is a journalism professor at Michigan State University. With his students or by himself, he has published more than 20 books. One MSU student gave Grimm the contact for high school English teacher Susie Feigenson, granddaughter of Ben, one of Faygo’s founding brothers. She was key to writing and illustrating the book. Grimm’s favorite Faygo flavor is Rock & Rye.

The program takes place on Saturday, August 17th, at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield. Doors open at 5pm. The program begins at 6pm. Please note the new starting time! Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Hwy., in Farmington Hills, Just East of Middlebelt Rd.

The program takes place on Saturday, August 17th, at
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield
23925 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 5pm. The program begins at 6pm. Please note the new starting time!
Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Hwy., in Farmington Hills, Just East of Middlebelt Rd.

Continue Reading

June Monthly Gathering – Secret Detroit (Shhhhh!): A visit with the Motor City’s weird, wonderful, and obscure

There is another Detroit, one you may not be familiar with. There are wonderful and mysterious places to see around the city; Unique destinations that only Detroit could have. This presentation is a love letter to the city, that explores and investigate things that are odd, unexpected and extraordinary. Author Karen Dybis, by showcasing the city’s most unusual, will also provide insights on what went right and what went wrong during Detroit’s more than 300 years of history, as well as a really fun way to see all that the Motor City has to offer. With stories and tall tales, this presentation is a must for all current and wanna-be urban explorers and history buffs.

Karen Dybis is a metro Detroit reporter with more than 20 years of experience working at newspapers, freelancing for magazines and offering coverage of the growing Detroit renaissance for national publications. She is the author of four local-history books, including “Secret Detroit,” “The Witch of Delray,” “Better Made in Michigan,” and “The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In,” She is working on her fifth book, a work of fiction, set in 1920s Detroit. 

The program takes place on Saturday, June 15th, at
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield.
23925 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 5pm. The program begins at 6pm. Please note the new starting time!
Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Hwy., in Farmington Hills, Just East of Middlebelt Rd.

Continue Reading

May Monthly Gathering – How to Put a Man on the Moon!

In a speech he delivered on September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy, characterized outer space as “a new frontier”, and declared “We choose to go to the Moon…” His words gave rise to what became Project Apollo, one of the most remarkable endeavors of human history. The project resulted in landing the first humans on the Moon, on July 20, 1969, followed by four subsequent lunar landings, the last of which occurring in 1972. Despite these impressive achievements, NASA’s major projects following Apollo, most notably the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, failed to capture the public imagination the way the Apollo Project did.

Joining us on May 18th, to help gain a better understanding of Project Apollo, will be Clifford Marko. Cliff started his career in journalism and covered the US space program from Project Apollo, and on from there. Cliff has enjoyed a multidimensional professional life as an Attorney, Corporate Counsel, President/CEO and radio/TV producer, reporter, and on-air host.

The program takes place on Saturday, May 18th, at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield. 23925 Northwestern Hwy Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 5pm. The program begins at 6pm. Please note the new starting time! Following the presentation, join us for dinner at Fishbone’s Cafe, located on the North side of Northwestern, 1500 feet North of 12 Mile, to socialize. The address is: 29244 Northwestern Hwy, in Southfield.

Continue Reading