DEI February Update

February 1, 2019


Critical Race Theory Discussion Series
With Faculty Discussant Margaret Hicken
Friday, February 1 | 11:45 AM - 12:50 PM | 1110 Weill Hall | Betty Classroom
Margaret Hicken, research assistant professor in the survey Research center, Institute for Social Research, will facilitate the fifth installation of the Critical Race Theory Discussion Series on "Measuring Racism and Neighborhood Effects." For more information visit: Critical Race Theory. Lunch will be served!

Policy Talk: Gun Violence in the U.S.: Competing Frames and Policy Tensions
Monday, February 4 | 4:00 - 5:30 PM | 1120 Weill Hall | Annenberg Auditorium
Of all developed nations, the U.S. has - by far - the highest rates of gun ownership and gun violence. In a single week, the U.S. experiences on average over 1,200 gun-related incidents, including accidents, suicides, homicides and mass shootings. Many competing lenses or frames are used in policy debates regarding the multi-faceted problem of gun violence, lenses that invoke perspectives on crime, race, mental health, immigration and other contentious issues.

The Ford School of Public Policy will be hosting a Policy Talk event with a diverse panel of national experts on the divisive topic of gun violence and public policy on February 4 from 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Panelists include:

Jane Coaston, Journalist and Writer
Senior Politics Reporter at VOX

Rebecca Cunningham, MD
Professor, Emergency Medicine
Director, Injury Prevention Center
University of Michigan

Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD,
Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health, and Society
Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society
Professor of Psychiatry
Vanderbilt University

This event is sponsored by the Gilbert S. Omenn and Martha A. Darling Health Policy Fund.


Promoting an Equitable and Inclusive Climate:
New Ford School DEI Coalition
The DEI Coalition met on January 16. Members discussed the Coalition charge and focused the lion's share of the meeting reviewing Ford School related DEI activities and identifying areas of improvements and new activities. The next Coalition meeting is February 21. Stay tuned for more updates!


  • February is Black History Month. This is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event is the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson as well as other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

    Organizational Learning released a new series of online videos to help celebrate the diversity of the U-M community. The “heritage month” videos celebrate occurrences such as Black History Month during February, Women’s History Month in March, and LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. To see the showcase of videos that spotlight “hidden figures” visit Organizational Learning website.
  • This year's MLK Symposium focused on the theme "Unravel" and featured speakers Julia Putnam and Tim Wise, who discussed ways we can begin to unravel systems of injustice. You can view the keynote in its entirety here.
  • 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 Center for Research on Learning & Teaching has announced its Winter 2019 Seminar Series. Sessions offer an opportunity to reflect on teaching and learning practices, practice active learning techniques, and exchange supportive feedback. Session that may be of interest include:



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 Kelia Washington.

Degree: MA in Higher Education 2019; MPP 2019
Hometown: Tullahoma, TN (It's close to Bonnaroo).
Affiliations: Students of Color in Public Policy (Marketing Chair); Master Program Committee (Student Representative)


“Has anyone told you that the policy issue you have decided to dedicate your life’s work could be worse off in the end? That all of the energy that you’ve dedicated to solving a problem didn’t actually get solved and that some opposing force led the problem to be worse? I was today-years-old when I was told these words. Honestly, it was a bit jarring. Here I am sitting in this expensive institution hoping to impact the world in some way, and the thought had never crossed my mind that it was even possible that I wouldn’t be successful. My mind was blown! Despite how quickly this reality check threw me off balance, it just as quickly grounded me. I was forced to re-evaluate my motivations for pursuing a policy degree. Given that I could fail, was I still willing to devote so much energy to this issue?”

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

“My 'parting words' would be to encourage each other. This sounds simple and probably naive upon initial read. However, I would argue that this is probably one of the most difficult and important things to do. We have tasked ourselves with understanding and tackling the world’s problems. Being constantly hit with problems can negatively impact our mental and physical well-being. Being that encouraging force could make all the difference.”


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