Thompson interviewed a number of guests, including Josh Rivera (MPP ’17), a current Ford School student; Jhordan Wynne, a recent public health graduate; Susan M. Collins, dean of the Ford School; and Kristin Seefeldt, assistant professor of social work.
The topics included the lived experience for black students on campus, U-M’s $85 million investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; the Ford School’s five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion; U-M’s newly announced Poverty Solutions initiative, which will be led by Luke Shaefer; $2.00 a Day, the 2015 book by Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin; Abandoned Families, a forthcoming book by Kristen Seefeldt; and more.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson, who will be the focus of a day-long U-M symposium on the future of civil rights this November, called in to the broadcast. Thompson and Jackson spoke about the Presidential election, which will be a prominent topic during the November 16 symposium, one week after the election concludes.
Collins spoke about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Ford School, and the school’s belief that navigating issues of race and difference is “fundamental to preparing [students] for careers in public service."
Mark Bernstein, chair of U-M’s Board of Regents, closed out the broadcast with a discussion of U-M's recent investments in diversity initiatives and poverty solutions.
“It is our job to demonstrate in the work that we do on campus that we explore difficult, challenging, consequential issues,” he said.
Bankole Thompson is an opinion columnist for The Detroit News, and writes about politics, culture, and social issues. He also writes for ebony.com about urban policy and politics in Michigan.