April 2021: Diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Ford School

April 1, 2021

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

Diversifying what and how we teach

DEI April 2021

The Ford School launched a new predoctoral program — in partnership with a consortium of leading policy schools — that seeks to expand and broaden research fellowship and faculty mentorship opportunities for public policy master’s degree graduates. The program seeks to build a more diverse pipeline for doctoral programs and future policy school faculty members. To learn more, read the full article here.

“Why are Blacks disproportionately infected and dying from COVID-19? And, what are the broader COVID-19 related challenges for Black families and communities?" So begins a Brookings report co-written by Ford School PhD candidate Lydia Wileden which looks at some of the factors. To learn more read the full article here.

Ford School expert tells lawmakers: Equity needs to go hand-in-hand with innovation in energy, climate. That's the message Ford School professor and director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program Shobita Parthasarathy brought to federal lawmakers, when she testified before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies. To learn more read her interview here.

Betsey Stevenson tapped for analysis on deficit spending, disparate effect of the “shecession” and the divorce rate. She also thinks Congress must act to build the on-ramps moms will need to get back to work. To learn more, read the full article here.


Promoting an equitable and inclusive climate

The final DEI Coalition meeting is on April 16. During the March 19 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Coalition meeting members began preliminary discussions regarding equity for in-person courses and co-curricular activities offered in the fall semester. Members raised equity concerns and discussed how these concerns may be addressed. Members also received the following updates on the progress being made regarding DEI pillars:

Diversifying who we are

Ford School Human Resources Officer, Doug Bunce presented recommendations for improving staff diversity through recruitment and hiring efforts.

As part of the University of Michigan’s Anti-Racism Faculty Hiring Initiative, a faculty committee selected the Ford School’s Racial Justice in Technology proposal, submitted in partnership with the School of Information and the Stamps School of Art and Design. Faculty recruitment will begin immediately.

The Ford School launched a new predoctoral program as part of the school’s pipeline strategies to expand opportunities in academic research in public policy for those who too often are underrepresented in the field. This pilot program was developed in partnership with other top policy schools: Wagner, Harris, and Goldman. Current graduate students and recent graduates are among those eligible to apply. Applications are due by April 10. Full details are here.

Promoting an equitable and inclusive climate

New professional development opportunities are available to staff and students this semester.

  • A two part series, Leveling up to Challenge Institutional Inequity, is available to all staff. Topics focused on “Levels of Racism” and the psychology of “Race Talk.”
  • All Ford School students are invited to participate in the “Anti-Racism: The Root and Stem” workshop, offered in partnership with the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI).

The Ford School staff and student organizations continue to search for creative ways to build community and promote an equitable and inclusive climate.

  • The Community Building Committee hosted “Cocoa with the Deans” and a Ford School Mixer.
  • Ford School staff participated in a two part series, Leveling Up to Challenge Institutional Inequity. DeAndre Calvert, and Stephanie Sanders served as co-discussants.
  • Out in Public
    Out in Public and the Domestic Policy Corps hosted a student-led discussion about how the Equality Act could affect the LGBTQ+ community.
  • International Policy Students Association, the School of Public Health, the Department of Epidemiology, and the Donia Human Rights Center co-sponsored a human rights film series. Free streaming of the films included, The Disappeared: A Human Rights Film Series.
  • As a part of Women's History Month, Women and Gender in Public Policy (WGPP) celebrated International Women’s History Day. WGPP shared resources (i.e., events, books, businesses to support) and invited members of the Ford School community to share thoughts and respond to prompts on their Jamboard.


Upcoming events

University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor Lecture: Susan Dynarski

April 1, 3:30–5:00 p.m. ET 

Please join the National Center for Institutional Diversity for a virtual lecture as they honor and celebrate The University Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship awardee, Sue Dynarski. The lecture will focus on Understanding the Effect of the HAIL Scholarship on Student Decisions. For more information and to RSVP visit here.

Food Justice in AA and Pi Communities

Food Justice in AA&PI Communities

April 2, 7:00–8:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored by MESA, this event discusses food justice in AA+PI communities,culturally relevant foods, chronic health issues, and our cultural histories rooted in food production in the United States. Register to attend the event here.

How the Measurement and Meaning of Family Structure Shape Research on Young Adult Racial Inequality

April 5, 12:00–1:30 p.m. ET

At the population level, Black and White youth in the United States enter adulthood after a lifetime of divergent family structure experiences. This discussion features Ford School alumni and Harvard postdoctoral fellow and incoming assistant professor of Sociology, Christina Cross. To learn more about the event and to register visit here.

The fight for women's legal rights today

April 7, 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

With the announcement of the Biden administration's creation of the White House Gender Policy Council, which will guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, gender equality is firmly on the policy agenda.

Join Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, who will give her perspective on how these goals will translate to social justice in the legal realm and how to make the law more equitable in this moment. To learn more about the event and to register visit here.

The evolving role of banks in addressing opportunity ladders for the historically underserved

April 8, 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

Margaret Anadu, Global Head of Investment Banking Services at Goldman Sachs, will discuss how banks can help create opportunity for underserved communities, in conversation with Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence William Bynum. To learn more about the event and to register visit here.

Calling In the Calling Out Culture

April 12, 3:00–4:30 p.m. ET

This presentation will focus on challenging the Call Out culture of social justice movements and academic spaces in order to build a united human rights movement. For more information and to register for the event visit here.

For more DEI-related campus-wide events visit here.


Learning and development

Learning and Development 2021

Please visit LSA’s updated Inclusive Teaching website. The Inclusive Teaching website, developed by the LSA Committee on Inclusive Pedagogies, includes curated materials to help instructors and staff think about the creation of intentionally inclusive syllabi, pedagogy, and course content. It includes classroom exercises, videos from faculty and students, recommended readings, and more to help build capacity to create inclusive classroom spaces. Special pages highlight resources for online, STEM, and large courses.

In this CRLT post, Promoting the success of students who are parents, partners from the Student Parent Excellence Committee offer key insights into the experiences of student parents and strategies that can be applied in the classroom to support their excellence. To learn more about this cross-campus committee, please visit here.