Goldman Sachs Foundation invests in Ford School’s Center for Racial Justice

March 7, 2022

As part of its One Million Black Women (OMBW) initiative, Goldman Sachs becomes the inaugural funder of the Ford School’s Center for Racial Justice Visiting Fellows Program. 

The investment will fund one visiting fellow for the 2022-2023 academic year, whose work offers opportunities to advance conversations at the intersection of race and public policy.  

The Center for Racial Justice Visiting Fellows Program will offer social justice leaders, activists, artists, advocates, and scholars a prestigious, highly competitive fellowship designed to recognize their transformative work to date and provide opportunities to advance their future endeavors. Visiting fellows will be selected through a process beginning in spring 2022. This process will be informed by an advisory board composed of University of Michigan faculty and staff members, as well as external participants from the public, for-profit, and non-profit sectors.

“At the center, we believe that fostering deep relationships between scholars, students, and changemakers committed to racial justice generates some of the best ideas for advancing racial equity,” Celeste Watkins-Hayes, director of the Center for Racial Justice, said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Goldman Sachs Foundation for their generous investment in this vision. Strong partnerships between business and academia have the potential to create powerful change.” 

Visiting fellows will be given the time, space, and resources to create and produce catalyst projects that have clear potential to inform public debate, policy development, and scholarly analysis. This inaugural fellow’s catalyst project will broadly align with the One Million Black Women goal of helping to improve the experiences and outcomes of Black women in the area of healthcare, education, housing, work/wages, financial health, access to capital, or digital connectivity. 

The visiting fellow will also meaningfully engage with University of Michigan faculty and students during the fellowship period. 

“I am so proud of the progress made by the dynamic Celeste Watkins-Hayes in leading the Center for Racial Justice,” said Michael S. Barr, dean of the Ford School. “We look forward to welcoming an outstanding visiting fellow into our Ford School community in fall 2022!”

“We are proud to lift up the brilliant work of organizations positively impacting Black women and girls,” said Asahi Pompey, global head of the Office of Corporate Engagement and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, in a statement. “The systemic gender and racial biases black women have faced won’t be reversed overnight, but with continued investment, coordination, and focus, we have good reasons to be optimistic.”

Read the Goldman Sachs press release here.

About the Center for Racial Justice

The Center for Racial Justice is an innovative and cross-disciplinary hub in which social justice changemakers, scholars, and students work collaboratively to develop new tools and strategies in the pursuit of racial justice, resulting in better policy solutions and the cultivation of the next generation of high-impact leaders and thinkers. Housed at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, our center brings changemakers—organizational leaders, activists, artists, policy advocates, and policy makers—in direct and sustained conversation with some of the top scholars and students working at the intersection of race and public policy. The Center for Racial Justice receives generous funding from the Ford School of Public Policy and the provost of the University of Michigan.

About the One Million Black Women Initiative

In partnership with Black-women-led organizations, financial institutions, and other partners, Goldman Sachs has committed $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next decade to address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The initiative, One Million Black Women, is named for and guided by the goal of impacting the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030.

The 17 new investments, partnerships, and grants made in 2022 reflect One Million Black Women’s ongoing commitment to invest in the core pillars of healthcare, job creation and workforce development, education, affordable housing, digital connectivity, financial health, and access to capital that impact Black women at every stage in their lives. Many of the organizations were identified through the more than 50 One Million Black Women listening sessions held with nearly 20,000 Black women from around the country, and the One Million Black Women Advisory Council