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Former Nike Designer Working to Reopen Michigan's Only HBCU

Former Nike Designer Working to Reopen Michigan
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on October 19, 2021

Former Nike and Air Jordan designer Dr. D'Wayne Edwards is looking to reopen The Lewis College of Business in Detroit, Michigan.

The institution was founded in 1928 by Black woman Dr. Violet. T. Lewis in Indiana. The school was created to serve as a secretarial school for Black women, and after relocating to Detriot in 1939, it remained open in the city for 75 years before closing its doors in 2013.

Fast forward to 2021, Dr. D'wayne Edwards, along with the support of major retailers like Target the Gilbert Family Foundation, is working to reopen the doors.

"82 years later, and 14 years since it lost its accreditation as HBCU, I am honored to be resurrecting Violet T. Lewis's legacy in Detroit," Dr. Edwards said in a press release about his efforts.



According to Edwards, he is looking to revamp the Lewis College of Business and turn it into the PENSOLE Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC), named after PENSOLE, his footwear design academy in Oregon.

PLC has to request approval from the Michigan Department of Education and has to be approved by the state legislature before opening and operating as an official institution. Fortunately, the school's resurrection effort has full support from the Mayor of Detriot, Mike Duggan.

"As a predominantly Black city, Detroit should have an operating Historically Black College. Not having one has been a hole in our educational landscape for too long," said Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement. "To have the first HBCU anywhere to reopen happen in Detroit would be a tremendous demonstration of how our city is coming back as a city of opportunity for people of color."

We are so excited to hear that Michigan's only HBCU is making a comeback, and we look forward to being updated on the progress!
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