University of Michigan Alumnus and TV Writer Phonz Williams Featured on Detroit 1-8-7 Panel
Phonz Williams, staff writer for the ABC crime drama, Detroit 1-8-7, returned to his hometown as a featured speaker for the panel, “Detroit in Prime Time: The Significance of Detroit 187” on Thursday, November 4 at the University of Michigan Detroit Center. Nearly 200 audience members attended the event that included a reception for Mr. Williams and other program participants.
After graduating from Detroit’s King High School, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, where his teleplay – Vacancy & Gravity – won the Lawrence Kasdan Creative Writing Scholarship. Upon graduation in 2005, he moved to Los Angeles, where he started his career working several grueling assistant jobs before landing a writer’s assistant position on ABC’s The Unusuals.
Four others joined Mr. Williams on the panel – writer/photographer/actvist Kwasi Akwamu and three staff and faculty members from UM-Dearborn. Dr. Ann Lampkin-Williams, Assistant to the Chancellor for Inclusion moderated the panel discussion, while Drs. Paul Draus and Ahmad Rahman served as panelists. A Professor of Sociology, Dr. Draus also serves as the Director of the Public Administration and Public Policy Programs. Dr. Rahman is a Professor of History and Director of African and African American Studies.
As the first program in the UM Detroit Center Hot Topics series, “Detroit in Prime Time” provided a lively forum for an insightful discussion of the image of the city through the lens of mass media.