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DEI January Update

January 1, 2019


Opening: Deported: An American Division
Tuesday, January 15 | 4:00 - 6:00 PM | Weill Hall Great Hall
A display of Rachel Woolf’s documentary photography capturing Lourdes Salazar Bautista and her family’s experience of deportation. An accompanying interpretive exhibit designed by Stamps faculty Hannah Smotrich will add policy, political, and historical context for the photographs. The exhibit will be on display through January 31.

Critical Race Theory Discussion Series
With Faculty Discussant David Thacher
Friday, January 18 | 11:45 am - 12:50 pm | 1120 Weill Hall | Annenberg Auditorium
David Thacher, associate professor of Public Policy and associate professor of urban planning from the Ford School of Public Policy, will facilitate the fourth installation of the Critical Race Theory Discussion Series on “Civil Rights and Mass Incarceration”. For more information visit this page. Lunch will be served!

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

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


Policy Talk: Gun Violence in the United States: 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:
Recently, the Ford School Professional Development Committee announced an inaugural leadership series for staff that explores Lessons in Leadership. The primary goal of the series is to:

  • Encourage staff to think about themselves as leaders and infuse leadership skills into the cadence of every day work.
  • Provide an opportunity for staff to interact with senior officials, both within and external to the University to learn from their experiences.
  • Encourage experienced staff to help mentor the next generation of staff.
  • Educate staff on different types of leadership and help you identify which role may play to your unique strengths.
  • Help staff nurture the leadership skills of our students.

Dean Michael Barr led the first session on December 18th where he shared lessons learned in the various leadership positions he has held.

Reflection Space
On December 12, the Ford School announced the addition of a Reflection Space. The Reflection Space was designed to support an inclusive environment and is available for silent/quiet individual reflection, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

The space is located in Weill Hall on the 5th-floor hallway that runs east-west from the main staircase and is available for use by Ford School faculty, staff, and students.

Space Use Guidelines:

  • Usage is limited to 20-minutes. Please adhere to the time limit so other individuals can utilize the space as needed.
  • Be mindful of how you use the space for reflection, meditation, prayer, etc… purposes. The space is designed for quiet use only.
  • The space can be used by individuals who wish to engage in structured or unstructured reflection.
  • Users should return the space to the original set up.
  • Room furnishings must remain in the space. Do not remove any items from the space.
  • No organized services are permitted in the space.
  • Sleeping or studying is not permitted in the space.
  • Use of electronic devices (e.g., computers, cell phone, tablets, etc…) should be limited to support quiet reflection. If used, the volume of headphones should be low enough to avoid disturbing others in the space.
  • No food or beverages are permitted in the space.
  • No candles, incense burning or other smoke, fume, fragrance or flame-inducing elements are allowed.

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 will have its first winter meeting January 16th 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


  • The third annual National Day of Racial Healing is only a few weeks away—on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. This is a day to gather, learn together and celebrate our common humanity. Visionary Ava DuVernay—who recently joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Solidarity Council on Racial Equity—is curating an experience for the National Day of Racial Healing to inspire and amplify conversations and action across the country. The livestreamed event will be an intimate and inclusive gathering of activists and leaders who will honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant. Mark your calendars and tune in on Jan. 22, 2019 beginning at 1:00 PM PT/4:00 PM EST!
  • 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 ( and Stephanie Sanders ( 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:



Image removed. 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 Sruthi Naraharisette.

Degree Program: Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Social Work (MSW), 2018
Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Affiliations: Students of Color in Public Policy, Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, Poverty Solutions


“Before arriving at the Ford School, I’m not sure I entirely understood the sentiment that if you have a goal, then the number of resources connected to the Ford School can get you there. Once the chaos of being back in school subsided at the end of the first year of the program, I began to recognize this to be absolutely true. My personal life circumstances have taught me not to dream big, but to dream practically. However, upon coming to the Ford School and with the support of many here, I was able to take several steps to break these internal barriers and have been in awe of the number of people that have been willing to support my vision for serving others and creating change.”

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

“To our beloved Ford School Community, as I reflect on my time at the Ford School, I am reminded that it is possible to both love and adore a community and point out its flaws in efforts to support future growth and improvement. To have one does not mean we should abandon the other. I share this is the spirit of the state of our world, this country, the lands that have raised me, and our Ford School Community itself. I have enjoyed my time at the Ford School in many ways, and I hope to see future Fordies carry on the legacy of using their love for this community to advocate for better policies, transparency, and accountability within the Ford School for the promise of bettering our community and moving it forward in years to come.”


Ford School of Public Policy

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

Thank you for supporting our DEI mission.

Best wishes,

Image removed.
Stephanie Sanders
Diversity Officer/Lecturer III