More than two-dozen faculty, staff, and students shared comments and ideas for making the University of Michigan more diverse, equitable, and inclusive at a community assembly with U-M President Mark Schlissel on Tuesday.
The comments — both supportive and critical — will provide insight as U-M continues a yearlong effort to create a comprehensive, University-wide plan to address diversity issues.
Each of the University's schools and colleges is working on its own plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Ford School launched its effort in October with an all-out campaign to collect input from all of the school's faculty, staff, and students.
The Ford School's work highlights the view that an ability to grapple with challenging issues—around race, around gender, around all types of difference—should be a key part of the professional education we offer to policy students.
Here are just a few of the ways in which our students, faculty, and staff engaged with and advanced these issues in 2015:
- The Ford School’s Education Policy Initiative has informed an innovative pilot scholarship—the HAIL Scholarship—designed to enhance diversity at the University of Michigan.
- For more than three decades, the Ford School has offered a free summer institute designed to prepare students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in policy circles for graduate study in public policy. Launched with support from the Sloan Foundation, the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program aims to diversify public service leadership.
- This May, Ford School Dean Susan M. Collins concluded a two-year term as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) and will now lead a new diversity task force for APSIA member schools.
- "Walking the Line of Blackness," a 20-minute video created by and featuring graduate students from the Ford School, focuses on direct, personal experiences with racism. The intent? To contribute to the national discourse about race, here and throughout academia.
- Daniel Geary, the author of Beyond Civil Rights: The Moynihan Report and its Legacy (University of Pennsylvania Press, June 2015), spoke at the Ford School this spring on the relationship between the Moynihan Report and the civil rights movement.
- Women and Gender in Public Policy, a student organization at the Ford School, hosted five of Michigan’s leading female policymakers for a discussion on increasing women’s representation at all levels of government, the critical skills women bring to the policymaking process, and the unique challenges women face when running for and holding elected office.
- Ruth Browne (MPP/MPH ’83), CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health and a Towlsey Foundation Policymaker in Residence, spoke about the work her organization has undertaken to promote community empowerment and better health outcomes for under-served urban populations.
- As part of the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, the Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies presented a screening of American Denial, a film about Nobel Laureate Gunner Myrdal’s inquiry into the U.S. racial psyche, followed by a discussion with producer/director Llewellyn Smith.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor and writer for The Atlantic, spoke to 1,100 guests at Rackham Auditorium about anti-black racism and the case for reparations in America during his talk, “A deeper black: Race in America.”
- The Ford School’s Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies was pleased to co-sponsor the panel discussion, “Policing black bodies: A dialogue on poverty, police brutality, and the way out” on January 19.
- Professor Sara Soderstrom and her team discussed their unique research and the survey, observational, and archival data they collected about inclusion and social identity at Michigan in order to better understand the nature of inclusion at the University and the role that U-M and other organizations can play.
- The Ford School’s Diversity Student Coalition (DiSC) hosted the 2015 Diversity Summit, “Framing the issue: How perspectives influence policy,” an interactive policy simulation and discussion about the influence of unconscious perception and conscious framing in policymaking.