October 2020: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Ford School

October 1, 2020

Updates regarding faculty, staff, and student DEI-related activity at the Ford School

Diversifying what and how we teach

  • Based on a generous gift from Hal and Carol Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust, the Ford School will establish two new professorships that will support research and action that address social and structural injustices. One professorship will broadly advance societal equity and inclusion and the other will address disability rights. 
  • The University of Michigan Regents approved the appointment of professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes, as the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy. Watkins-Hayes was also named as a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.
  • Ford School professor David Thacher’s new report, “The Learning Model of Use-of-Force Reviews,” examines how common use-of-force incident reviews can be used as a learning tool for policing. The paper was published in the August 2020 issue of Law & Social Enquiry.
  • Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program and the Technology Assessment Project released their inaugural report, “Cameras in the Classroom.” Led by Shobita Parthasarathy, professor of public policy and director of STPP, the report asserts that not only is the technology not suited to security purposes, but it also creates a web of serious problems beyond racial discrimination, including normalizing surveillance and eroding privacy, institutionalizing inaccuracy and creating false data on school life, commodifying data and marginalizing nonconforming students.


Promoting an equitable and inclusive climate

DEI Coalition

The Ford School DEI Coalition will convene soon! The 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 and (2) increase communication between students, faculty and staff in regard to DEI activities, achievements and challenges. Stay tuned for more information from 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 Member: Yazier Henry: Robert Hampshire  
  • Staff Members: Trisha Schryer and Molly Kleinman
  • Undergraduate Students: William Ahmad Dobbs, Janani Gandhi
  • Master degree students: Darian Burns, Scott Haeck 
  • Doctoral student: New representative coming fall 2020

New counselor

With support from the Provost’s Office, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) hired a new counselor who will be dedicated to the Ford School and the School of Education. The new counselor’s first day was Monday, September 21. Susan Guindi, director of Student & Academic Services will follow up soon with more details about the counselor and how students will be able to access this valuable resource.

Funding to student organizations

The Ford School is pleased to provide funding to student organizations whose programs and initiatives promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) related values. The purpose of the funding is to encourage student-led programming that advance objectives in the Ford School Diversity Plan. For more information and to access the DEI Funding Request for Student Organizations click here.

Decolonizing International Policy Series

Decolonizing international policy series

The International Policy Student Association is pleased to announce their Decolonizing International Policy Series featuring renowned thought leaders and practitioners of anti-racism and anti-colonization. For more information contact Maggie Barnard at barnarma@umich.edu

Anti-prejudice task force

SAC is proud to announce the first anti-prejudice task force. The task force, guided by a group of Ford School student leaders and the general student body, is the result of a summer filled with conversations around how to be more intentional with DEI programming. For more information contact  Sharanya Pai, SAC DEI Chair at sharanya@umich.edu


Upcoming events

Poverty Solutions Flyer

October 2, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series introduces the key issues regarding the causes and consequences of poverty through a virtual lecture series featuring experts in policy and practice from across the nation. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here. Sign up for reminders here.

The next session, "The Weight of Debt, the Dignity of Debtors" is with Frederick Wherry, Townsend Martin, Class of 1917 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and Director of the Dignity and Debt Network.

October 2, 12:00 PM EST
The Good Neighbor Project with American Friends Service Committee

Sponsored by Policy for the People and American Friends Service Committee, during this workshop Demetrius Titus, the organizer of the GNP will share his story and how you can become a co-mentor to a Michigan prisoner serving a life or indefinite sentence. To join this workshop on October 7th via Zoom, click here


October 7, 12:00 - 12:50 PM EST
Christian Davenport on political conflict (Public Policy and Institutional Discrimination Discussion Series)

The Ford School of Public Policy is proud to announce the Public Policy and Institutional Discrimination Discussion Series. The series, open to students, faculty, and staff, is designed to foster dialogue on important issues of U.S. public policy. Facilitated by faculty discussants, each session focuses on an optional reading and small and large group discussions. Students are encouraged, though not required, to attend as many sessions as possible.

The first session, "Political Conflict” will be facilitated by faculty discussant Christian Davenport, professor of political science, faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research, and professor of public policy by courtesy. RSVP here. For more information on the series visit here.

October 9, 2:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

"Life during COVID-19" with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Michigan Department Health and Human Services and Garlin Gilchrist II, Lt. Governor of Michigan. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here.

October 16, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

"Understanding Communities of Deep Disadvantage" with H. Luke Shaefer, Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Director, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here.

October 23, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

"Behavioral Insights and Parental Decision-Making: A New Framework for Supporting Low Income Families" with Ariel Kalil, Professor, Director of the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy (CHPPP), University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here

October 26, 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST
Arts+Social Change: Building an Anti-Racist World through the Arts (2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit)

Following the launch of the five year DEI Strategic Plan in 2016, U-M began hosting the DEI Summit each year as an opportunity to provide community updates and showcase unit progress. This year’s theme, Arts+Social Change: Building an Anti-Racist World through the Arts, provides a time and space for the campus community to come together to demonstrate a collective commitment to anti-racism that this moment in our history compels. During the fall term Democracy & Debate theme semester, the DEI Summit will focus on the arts as a vehicle for social change and provides an opportunity for curricular integration and connection. For more information visit here.

October 27, 4:00 - 5:00 PM EST
Ford School Community Conversation on Good Trouble

The Ford School is pleased to offer students, faculty, staff and alumni access to watch the documentary film, "John Lewis: Good Trouble," on the life and work of Representative John Lewis. More information on the film is available here. Please sign up by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 9 to get *free* access to watch the film. We will be hosting a Ford School community discussion on the film on Tuesday, October 27 from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. More information is available here. Please email Julia Schwarz, events and outreach manager, at juliasc@umich.edu with questions. 

October 30, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

"Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope" with Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Columnist and author. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here.

November 6, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST
Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions Speaker Series

"Community as Corporation: Talent Retention in Low-Status America" with Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist. The slate of speakers and bios can be found here.


November 12, 12:00 - 12:50 PM EST
Mara Ostfeld on race, media, and political attitudes (Public Policy and Institutional Discrimination Discussion Series)

"Race, Media, and Political Attitudes" with faculty discussant, Mara Cecilia Ostfeld, assistant professor of political science, assistant professor of public policy by courtesy RSVP here. For more information on the series visit here.


Learning and development

The university-wide Democracy & Debate Theme Semester educational initiative seeks to engage students, faculty, and staff on issues of free speech and exchange of ideas, what it means to be a member of a democratic society, and democratic engagement from a global perspective. As part of this initiative, U-M will host the Democracy Café Initiative, which offers resources to the campus community and the general public during and after the theme semester. For more information on this university-wide initiative visit here.


The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of faculty, postdocs, & graduate students from over 450 colleges and universities. NCFDD’s programs and services are designed to help scholars increase research productivity and work-life balance. To activate your FREE membership through U-M, visit here. Once a member, the NCFDD Fall 2020 Webinar Calendar of events is available here

Interested in a Free Racialized Trauma eCourse? For more information visit here.

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching’s fall faculty seminar series has several workshops focused on teaching and learning practices and active learning techniques. 

The AEA Summer Training Program & Scholarship Program promotes diversity by preparing talented undergraduates for doctoral programs in Economics and related disciplines. Hosted at Howard University, students receive eight weeks of intensive training in microeconomics, mathematics, econometrics, and research methods from prominent faculty and economists at the Federal Reserve Board. Students have the opportunity to earn up to 12 college credits, participate in experiential learning, and join inclusive mentoring groups. For more information and to apply, visit here. The anticipated application deadline is January 31, 2021.

Is your student organization interested in an Anti-Racism Peer-Led Teach-In? Offered by Student Life, this peer-led teach-in will engage analytical frameworks for examining systemic cultural, social, economic, and political forces in the community along with individual reflection. To request a teach-in visit here

Difficult challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic often present valuable opportunities for personal and team growth, according to Michigan Ross Professors Sue Ashford, Maxim Sytch, and Lindy Greer. In their recent article 6 Ways a Crisis Can Help You Cultivate a Growth Mindset, featured in Harvard Business Review, they explain six specific ways that leaders can encourage growth during a crisis.

National Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15. This is a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Be curious and get inspired by watching heritage month videos that spotlight “hidden figures.” Sign up to receive future Organizational Learning videos.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time to observe and pay tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation’s economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens. This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Visit The Muse to learn 5 Steps to Disclosing an Invisible Disability at Work.

For more information on U-M DEI Initiatives, visit diversity.umich.edu



The Wolverine Support Network (WSN), is a student organizationsponsored by CAPSwith a mission to create an inclusive and supportive community for all students on campus, undergraduate and graduate. This support network is facilitated through weekly, peer-facilitated groups that promote and address students’ emotional and mental well-being in a confidential and inclusive environment. Interested in joining WSN? Visit here for more information.

SilverCloud Interactive Mental Health Resource is an online, self-guided, interactive mental health resource that provides cognitive behavioral interventions. It is available for faculty, staff, and students and can be accessed 24/7. 

Ford School of Public Policy resources

  • Susan Guindi, Director, Student and Academic Services | sguindi@umich.edu | (734) 615-7408
  • Robert Hampshire, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Policy  | hamp@umich.edu | (734) 615-6975
  • Paula Lantz, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic AffairsProfessor of Public Policy | plantz@umich.edu | (734) 764-8976
  • Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., Diversity, Inclusion, Equity Officer, Lecturer III  | stepsand@umich.edu | (734) 615-4402

Additional campus resources