top of page
Program - 
Michael Lavoie, Partner, Butzel Long 
Terrorism, Coups d’Etat and the Resilience of Democracy

May 13, 2016

Since 2010, Mr. Lavoie has been President of Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF), a national association of former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Burkina Faso since 1967.


Michael J. Lavoie is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Detroit Law School. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta) from 1975-77 where he was a water well digger and project coordinator. After law school, he became a federal prosecutor in Detroit and later joined Butzel Long in private practice. He has been active in a wide variety of community service activities including most recently, service on the Michigan Community Service Commission.


From the time of his Peace Corps service, he has maintained strong relationships with Burkina, resulting in a wide variety of educational, artisan and health care projects and partnerships with Michigan schools, churches, and hospitals.  


The presentation will examine the dramatic, threatening and at times deadly roller coaster of events in Burkina Faso, Africa since 2014. Peace, hope and democracy have survived in Burkina thanks to the proud history of Burkina Faso and its wonderful people along with their profound culture and traditions as exemplified by the Mogho Naba. The king of an 800 year old monarchy, he stands as a role model for peace not only in Burkina, but throughout Africa and beyond.

Discussion - Padma Kuppa, Bharatiya Temple, Troy
                           The Hindu American Story: Promoting Peace

May 20, 2016

Padma Kuppa is a writer, blogger and founding member in 2005 of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, which is the subject of a case study by Harvard’s Pluralism Project.  


She co-founded the Outreach committee of the Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit in 2006, and in 2007, became the first Hindu woman on the board of the interfaith women’s organization WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro Detroit).


Padma currently serves on the Boards of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion and the Hindu American Foundation, where she focuses on inter-religious cooperation.


Her interest in promoting pluralism comes from navigating her multicultural identity in a world divided along religious and racial lines.  

John Clor, Automotive Journalist & Author

Ford’s Mustangs That Never Were – by Design


Dan Carmody, President, Eastern Market Corp

Eastern Market Today and the Future

bottom of page