DEI December Update

December 9, 2018


MLK Jr. Symposium Memorial Keynote Lecture
This year’s U-M MLK Jr. Symposium features two speakers, Tim Wise, author and scholar, and Julia Putnam, Detroit principal and writer.
Monday, January 21 | 10:00 - 11:30 AM | Hill Auditorium 825 N. University Avenue

One Family’s Story: People, Policy, & the Politics of Deportation
This Ford School MLK Jr. Symposium event includes a strolling lunch and viewing of Deported: An American Division followed by a panel discussion.
Monday, January 21 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM | Weill Hall Great Hall/Annenberg Auditorium


Diversifying Who We Are:
Ford School faculty have implemented new policies that require the following:

  • All members of search committees for new faculty members will complete the U-M Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (or STRIDE) training.
  • All applicants for our faculty positions will submit, along with their other materials, a “diversity statement” in which they describe how they will contribute to the Ford School’s DEI strategic plan and goals.

The Ford School is an inaugural member of the Public Affairs Diversity Alliance, which is a consortium schools of public affairs and public policy committed to improving faculty diversity in the fields of public administration, public policy and criminal justice. The Alliance connects schools that share a commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of qualified and talented individuals. Alliance activities, including mentoring and joint meetings/conferences, will focus on both post-doctoral fellows and PhD students at participating schools.

Diversifying What and How We Teach:
Faculty have reviewed and discussed Ford School results of the most recent campus climate survey, and also often discuss DEI-related issues related to the curriculum and teaching in degree program committee meetings and full faculty meetings. For example, in the fall of 2018, two sessions focused on DEI issues related to teaching were held for Ford School faculty. This included a session in which faculty received training regarding Critical Race Theory and examples of frameworks and approaches to defining and discussing race, ethnicity, racism and discrimination in the classroom.

New Ford School DEI Coalition
Elections were held early fall, 2018 for the new Ford School DEI coalition, a group comprised of faculty, staff and students. The overall purpose of the DEI Coalition is:

  1. To have an identified set of people within the Ford School to whom members of the Ford School community can share ideas, feedback and concerns regarding diversity, equity and inclusion
  2. To increase communication between students, faculty and staff in regard to DEI activities, achievements and challenges.

The Coalition had its inaugural meeting in November, so stay tuned for more information about this group. Coalition members include:

DEI Officer — Chair, Stephanie Sanders
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs — Ex Officio, Paula Lantz
Director of Student Services — Ex Officio, Susan Guindi
Faculty members — Robert Hampshire, Yazier Henry
Staff members — Courtney Villa, Nick Pfost
Undergraduate students — Riyah Basha, Priya Choezom
Master degree students — Selene Ceja, Akin Olumoroti
Doctoral student — Matthew Alemu


  • Support for Ford School Student Organizations. There is available support for Ford School student organizations whose programming align with and advance DEI goals. The Y3 DEI plan is located on our website. As student organizations plan and implement winter initiatives/programs, please submit all budget requests to Paula Lantz ([email protected]) and Stephanie Sanders ([email protected]). All submitted request should include an event description, budget and expected funds raised from other sources.
  • The Student Academic Affairs (SAA) Office has books on DEI-related topics that are available for you to borrow! Books are available on a variety of topics, including bias, race, gender, sexuality, immigration, religion, disability, and class.
    Please view the list of books that are available on the Psych DEI Library webpage.



December 2018 Student Spotlight

Members of our community were asked to share an influential experience that connects to their Public Policy major or minor, work experience or research. This month’s student spotlight is Avril Prakash.

Degree Program: MPP Public Policy 2020
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Affiliations: Alternatives for Girls Board Fellow 2018-2019; Ford Masters Program Committee 2018-2020; Rackham Graduate School Dean’s Office Program Evaluation Clerk; Graduate/Professional Student DEI Student Advisory Board Member 2018-2020


“Initially, I felt very confident that re-entering academia would be a smooth transition, but it wasn’t until midway through the semester when the realities of taking a heavy course-load combined with being in an unfamiliar place and away from my network, that I realized I was stressed. As young professionals, we’ve been taught to hit deadlines and ask for more chances to show off our potential, but we forget that the workplace affords us the ability to leave at COB and have a weekend to escape and pursue our interests. In graduate school, the lines blur, since everyone is in similar classes, studying takes over your free time, and weekends become devoted to catching or keeping up. It’s imperative for my classmates to know that you can, and should, take a breath. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. The truth is we’re all struggling, succeeding, and stumbling on this journey together.”

What do you wish to share with the broad Ford School Community?

“I’d encourage more people to check in with each other to see how things are going. I’ve been lucky enough to foster strong friendships with people who notice when I’m not at the gym or miss a class with them, and use those indicators to see how I’m doing. I’m grateful for the community we’ve worked so hard to create and want to extend that congeniality to everyone, even those outside our typical social circles.”

  • Produced by Michigan Creative, the 2018 DEI Summit Recap Video captures student, faculty and staff voices while highlighting the DEI Summit central events and a sampling of unit events.
  • Visit the Year Two DEI Summit web page! The webpage features the DEI Summit Community Assembly video in four installments along with multiple photo galleries of DEI Summit events. From the DEI Summit web page you can navigate to the DEI Progress Report and other DEI Strategic Plan web pages.
  • Continue to check out the DEI Google Calendar for events and resources!
  • For more information on U-M DEI Initiatives visit


Ford School of Public Policy

  • Susan Guindi, Director, Student and Academic Services
    [email protected] | (734) 615-7408
  • Paula Lantz, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor of Public Policy
    [email protected] | (734) 764-8976
  • Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., Diversity, Inclusion, Equity Officer/Lecturer III
    [email protected] | (734) 615-4402

Campus Resources

Got news?
Do you know of an upcoming DEI related event that may be of interest to others? Send your news updates to [email protected] or call (734) 615-4402.

Thank you for supporting our DEI mission.

Best wishes,

Stephanie Sanders
Diversity Officer/Lecturer III