International Policy Center Home Page

Farley in Michigan Daily op-ed: Recognizing U-M diversity during upcoming bicentennial

October 31, 2016

Reynolds Farley, in an op-ed for the Michigan Daily, calls on U-M bicentennial planners to recognize and promote diversity around campus through historical markers.

Noting that many buildings on campus are named after white men of European origin, Farley argues that “[a]s the University celebrates both diversity and its bicentennial, consideration might be given to commemorating women, minorities and those who promoted equitable opportunities.”

Farley details a dozen U-M leaders, most of them alumni, who might be recognized, including:

  • Amanda Sanford, the first female graduate of the medical school;
  • Sarah Wertman, the first woman in the U.S. “to both earn a legal degree and be admitted to the bar in Michigan”;
  • Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who signed Jackie Robinson in 1947, breaking the color barrier in baseball;
  • Jesse Owens, who became an African-American Olympic hero in Berlin in 1936; and
  • Raoul Wallenberg, a 1930s student who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.

Reynolds Farley is the Dudley Duncan Professor Emeritus of Sociology and a research scientist at the Population Studies Center. Farley teaches the Ford School's popular "History and Future of Detroit" class each semester.