What up doe. My name is Eric Williams and I am currently the Senior Staff Attorney for the Economic Equity Practice of Detroit Justice Center. DJC is a nonprofit devoted to addressing the impact and legacy of mass incarceration on returning citizens, their families and communities. My practice group supports grassroots solutions to systemic barriers to safe, vibrant communities in Detroit, addressing issues such as affordable housing, entrepreneurship, and public safety.
That’s my day gig, but my comments here are my own and don’t reflect the views of DJC. (By the way, check out the people I work with. DJC is the coolest workplace on the planet!)
From 2011 to 2017 I served as the director of Wayne State University Law School’s Business and Community Law Clinic as well as the Director of the Wayne Law Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law. Before that, I was in private practice in the New York offices of Nixon Peabody, LLP and Winston & Strawn, LLP.
Despite the NYC stuff, I’m a native Detroiter. My father graduated from Central High and joined the Detroit Police Department after returning from Vietnam. My mom is the most amazing, talented woman I know. My little sister is an actress and singer in NYC and absolutely rocks. I grew up on the Westside (Marlowe near 6 Mile). I went to Cass, UM, and did my graduate work at Cambridge University. After that I moved back to Detroit and worked for Focus: Hope. Eventually I moved to NYC and went to law school. But NYC ain’t home, and here I am.
Since I moved back home, I’ve volunteered as a cooperating attorney with the Michigan ACLU and the Neighborhood Advisory Committee for LCA. I’m a past BMe fellow and a frequent speaker on community economic development and public safety. I also ran for an at-large seat on Detroit City Council. I lost. At the moment I serve on the board of directors for Ponyride and the Lawyers Committee for the Michigan ACLU. Most importantly, I’m the father of 3 great kids and have an absolutely adorable granddaughter.
Sometimes I write here to get things off my chest. Other times I write in the hope of changing someone’s mind or to simply start a conversation.
Stay healthy and keep grinding.