A Patriot Week Event would not be complete without a speaker to make an inspiring and informative presentation to your audience, here, you can request a speaker to come to your Patriot Week event and speak on a specific topic. Each speaker has his or her own area of expertise. Simply choose a speaker that meets your criteria, contact them, and set up a date and time for them to present to your audience.
JUDGE MICHAEL WARREN
Hon. Michael Warren has served on the Oakland County Circuit Court since his appointment by Governor John Engler in 2002. A former member of the State Board of Education, he has written and spoken extensively on American history, civics, education, constitutional law and other legal matters, including his book, America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History (). He and his then10 year old daughter Leah co-founded Patriot Week in 2009.
Speaking Subjects: All Patriot Week Themes
JUDGE CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
Judge Murray has been a judge on the Court of Appeals since 2002. He is currently Chief Judge Pro Tem, a position he also held from 2008-2009. Previously, he served as a judge on the Wayne Circuit Court, as Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor John M. Engler, and as an attorney in private practice.Judge Murray currently serves on the Board of Law Examiners and is chair of the Board of Advisors for the Michigan Lawyers Division of the Federalist Society. He is also a member of the Detroit Bar Inns of Court. Judge Murray was formerly the chairman of the State Board of Ethics, previously served as a member of the Local Government Claims Review Board, the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions, and was on the board of directors for the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and the Catholic Lawyers Society. Judge Murray graduated from Hillsdale College and received his law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law.
Speaking Subjects: Constitution (including Bill of Rights), Supreme Court and the judiciary in general.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM WAGNER
Professor William Wagner is President of Salt & Light Global. He also holds the academic rank of Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Law and Constitutional Governance). A frequent speaker at world conferences, Professor Wagner has a special interest in the protection of free expression, the free exercise of religious conscience, and good governance under the rule of law.
Professor Wagner previously served in the United States Court as a Federal Judge. Prior to his appointment on the federal bench, he served as a legal advisor and the chief American diplomat for the Department of Justice at an American Embassy in Africa. There, he led a diplomatic mission charged with strengthening good governance and rule of law.
Speaking Subjects: Free Expression, Free Exercise of Religious Conscience, Good Governance Under the Rule of Law
DR. JAKE JACOBS
Besides being a US History Instructor Dr. Jacobs is a Professional speaker who speaks at Young American for Freedom Reagan Ranch Center and at various High School's and College's throughout America. He also presently writes and narrates Freedom Project Academy's ONE NATION.
Speaking Subjects: Constitutional Limited Government, The Judeo-Christian Foundation of Our Nation, Lincoln's Constitutional World View, The Greatness of Our Founders, World War II & Christianity, Why We Are A Constitutional Federal Republic Under God, From Thomas Jefferson to Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King's Dream of Equality For All
PROFESSOR ROY FINKENBINE
Roy E. Finkenbine is professor of history and co-chair for the History Department. He teaches courses in African American history, modern Africa, slave resistance, the Civil War era, and the Underground Railroad, and serves as Director of the Black Abolitionist Archive. He received a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in 1982 and joined the Detroit Mercy faculty in 1996. While on the editorial staff of the Black Abolitionist Papers Project at Florida State University in the 1980s and 1990s, he coedited the five-volume Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865 (1985-1992) and Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation (1993). He is also the author of Sources of the African-American Past (1st ed., 1997; 2nd ed., 2004), as well as a dozen articles and book chapters on the black abolitionists and the Underground Railroad. He has consulted on museum exhibits, documentary films, and television programs on aspects of African American history. His work has been mentioned in Time, Atlantic, the Washington Post, and USA Today, as well as on NPR.
Speaking Subjects: Frederick Douglass at 200, Seeking Life, Liberty, and Happiness on the Underground Railroad
Reginald Turner is a highly accomplished litigator, government affairs advocate and strategic advisor. He is a member of Clark Hill’s Executive Committee, Government Policy Group, and Labor and Employment Practice Group. Reginald is named in the peer review guides Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers®, as well as the Michigan Chronicle Power 50, DBusiness Top Lawyers, Crain’s Detroit Business Power Lawyers and Crain’s Most Connected. He has been identified by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and Best Lawyers as a Lawyer of the Year.
Speaking Subjects: Bill of Rights, Abraham Lincoln, Equality, Judicial Review, and Separation of Powers
PROFESSOR JOHN TODD
John Robert Todd is professor of Political Science at Rochester College where he teaches introduction to the American Legal System, Criminal Law and Procedure, National Government, Substantive Criminal Law, American Constitutional Law, Business Law, Legal Research, and U.S. in the Modern World. He is a member of both the Michigan and Federal Bar Association, the Federalist Society, and twice named Rochester College Faculty Member of the Year. Additionally, Professor Todd is a Vietnam Veteran and cancer survivor. He has spoken at numerous Patriot Week Programs and is a versatile speaker prepared to create a presentation to fit the program.
Speaking Subjects: Declaration of Independence, Framing of the Constitution, Marbury V. Madison, The Vietnam War
ERIN E. MERSINO
Erin Elizabeth Mersino is an accomplished attorney who practices in our nation’s highest courts to protect our First Amendment freedoms with a special focus on the protection of our religious freedom and freedom of speech.
Erin authored numerous briefs before the United States Supreme Court, both as a party and as amicus curiae – and has won! She also litigated several cases before the United States Court of Appeals, and worked on some of the most influential cases in recent time, including the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act under the commerce clause and the legality of the HHS Mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Erin obtained the second injunction in the nation against the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate.
Erin has appeared on several national television programs, including Fox and Friends, On the Record with Greta VanSusteren, and a Kelly File Special: Who is teaching our kids? Erin enjoys writing and her work has been published in USA Today, Politico Magazine, National Right to Life News, and American Thinker. Erin won the 2013 Defender of the Faith Award from Legatus.
Speaking Subjects: Religious Liberty, Free Speech and Press, Rule of Law, and constitutional litigation.
HON. MICHAEL MCKAY
The Honorable Michael McKay began his career in service as a Michigan State Trooper. When two serious on-duty injuries ended his 10-year career with the State Police, he entered the Michigan State University College of Law where he graduated with honors. After earning his law degree, Judge McKay began his legal career with the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office before eventually joining the Prosecutor’s Office for Van Buren County. As a prosecutor, he handled cases and trials ranging from drunk driving and assault to embezzlement and murder. He was also assigned to both the Drug Treatment Court and the Mental Health Recovery Courts. Judge McKay was elected to the Van Buren Michigan District Court East bench in 2016. He serves as a member of the Van Buren County Community Corrections Advisory Board and is the current Vice-President of the Van Buren County Bar Association. Judge McKay also presides over the Men’s Drug Treatment Court.
Chuck Moss teaches Political Science at Oakland University as an adjunct Professor. He served as State Representative for the 40th District in the Michigan House, as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Before serving in the legislature, Chuck was an Oakland County Commissioner, Birmingham City Commissioner, and Mayor. He also served as Chairman of the Oakland County Public Transit Authority, on the SEMCOG Executive Board, and the Michigan Association of Counties Board. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and TV.
Topics: Federalism, local and state government, First Amendment, Bill of Rights, Rule of Law, civics and the Constitution
Leah Warren is a co-founder of Patriot Week and board member of the Patriot Week foundation. She is currently a student at Wayne State University in the Med-Direct program pursuing a major in history with honors and a minor in public health. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Michigan Humane Society and at the Detroit Film Theatre.
Topics: Civic Engagement for Kids, How to be patriotic throughout the year, 9/11 Remembrance
HON. CHRIS YATES
Judge Yates took the bench on April 22, 2008. He received his BA from Kalamazoo College and his JD and MBA from the University of Illinois. Before taking the bench, Judge Yates served as a law clerk to a federal trial judge and a federal court of appeals judge, then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, then in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as the Chief Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Michigan. Most recently, he worked in private practice as a partner in two Grand Rapids law firms, Willey, Chamberlain & Yates and then Yates, LaGrand & Denenfeld. Judge Yates is assigned to the Court’s Specialized Business Docket.
Topics: Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Law.