Racial justice

Our faculty think, speak out, and teach about structural inequality–about differential outcomes and experiences for Black people and other marginalized populations in education, policing, health, economics, finance, and other key systems. 

Racism is an urgent issue in America, with police violence and the powerful Black Lives Matter protest movements front and center in our minds; the issue is urgent and current, and yet it’s also far from new. Racist violence and inequality in our systems, in the U.S. and abroad, are the result of centuries of laws, policies, and institutions that have entrenched and enforced white supremacy. 

Ford School faculty help lay those structures bare, through the overlapping lenses of sociology, history, economics, political science, and more. 

Ford School students are campus leaders in the work for racial justice. They know how to build coalitions, analyze power structures, and advocate for their positions. When they graduate, many of them dedicate their careers to making public policies that shape more just, peaceful communities.

Anti-racist practice starts within our own walls. The Ford School is deeply committed to making our own community more inclusive: learn more about our strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Together, our community is committed to using the tools of public policy for good—to building structures and institutions that are just for all.

Faculty expert

Ann Lin on DACA decision: "The law is higher than the president."

The Supreme Court ruled June 18 that the Trump administration could not shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Read more about "Ann Lin on DACA decision: "The law is higher than the president.""
Research insights

Christina Cross (PhD '19) looks at dynamics among family structure, inequality, and policy.

Her dissertation, “The Color, Class, and Context of Family Structure and its Association with Children’s Educational Performance”, was been awarded the ASA 2020 Dissertation Award.
Read more about "Christina Cross (PhD '19) looks at dynamics among family structure, inequality, and policy."
Research insights

Paula Lantz's new paper calls for bold policy action to reduce coronavirus inequities

The paper finds the inequities emerging in the COVID-19 pandemic are not simply due to race or socioeconomic status. Rather, decades of marginalization and structural disadvantage mean that communities of color and other marginalized populations are more at risk for exposure to the virus and also have borne the brunt of the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
Read more about "Paula Lantz's new paper calls for bold policy action to reduce coronavirus inequities"
Faculty expert

Yazier Henry reflects on South Africa's violent, lingering landscape of inequality

He has written and published on the political economy of social voice, memory, trauma, identity, peace processes, Truth Commissions, international transitional justice and international humanitarian law.
Read more about "Yazier Henry reflects on South Africa's violent, lingering landscape of inequality"
Engaging community

Students support local organizations to improve equity

This summer, Ford School research centers deployed the COVID-19 Consulting Corps to support local governments and nonprofits with data-gathering and operational insight as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Teams of Ford School students worked with agencies in Washtenaw County to enhance business and support networks in Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Read more about "Students support local organizations to improve equity"

Christian Davenport on what 'defund the policy' really means. Vox Media, June 2020  

Remote video URL

 

Our community

A Ford School conversation with alumni about Black Lives Matter

150 alumni, current students, faculty, and staff around the world joined together for a discussion to better understand and take action on issues of racial justice.
Read more about "A Ford School conversation with alumni about Black Lives Matter"
Student experience

Susan Rice meets with students on MLK Day

Following her public event at the Ford School, Rice sat down with 20 students from the Ford School’s identity-based student organizations to discuss her career, leadership, and how to succeed in the federal workspace as a member of a minority identity group.
Read more about "Susan Rice meets with students on MLK Day"
Faculty expert

Some Detroit suburbs reckon with history as anti-Black 'sundown towns'

Reynolds Farley says through a massive effort, through violence and/or public policy, many Detroit border cities worked to remain all-white and keep Black people out.
Read more about "Some Detroit suburbs reckon with history as anti-Black 'sundown towns'"
Alumni impact

Menna Demessie (PhD '10) advances underserved communities

“Data matters, and we actually have really good data that shows us why race continues to be a strong predictor of outcomes in education, employment, access to healthcare, and the list goes on.” Dr. Demessie is the vice president of policy research and analysis at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
Read more about "Menna Demessie (PhD '10) advances underserved communities"
Our community

Student organizations stand in solidarity with Black lives

Eight Ford School student organizations released statements of solidarity with the Black community and the movements for Black lives. They are shared unedited.
Read more about "Student organizations stand in solidarity with Black lives"
Alumni impact

Jessica Gillooly (PhD '19) calls for better 911 operator training to assess risk

Jessica Gillooly (PhD '19) calls for better 911 operator training to prevent police from killing Black people. Her new paper, published in Criminology and Public Policy, suggests uncertainty may reduce the overestimation or underestimation of incidents and improve future police encounters with the public.
Read more about "Jessica Gillooly (PhD '19) calls for better 911 operator training to assess risk"

Ford School community commemoration of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and others

Kaltura Video
Ford School Community Commemoration