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Christian Davenport named to new Raoul Wallenberg Institute executive committee

July 9, 2024

 

Ford School professor Christian Davenport is among eight faculty and staff leaders from across the University of Michigan to be appointed to its new Raoul Wallenberg Institute executive committee.

Jeffrey Veidlinger, the Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies, has been appointed the inaugural director.

The institute will study hatred directed against religious and ethnic communities, foster cross-cultural understanding and seek to elevate civil discourse. Through teaching, research and public engagement, the institute will develop strategies to combat antisemitism, divisiveness and discrimination.

It is named after Wallenberg, a Swedish humanitarian and U-M alumnus whose efforts on behalf of the U.S. War Refugee Board to rescue European Jews during the Holocaust saved nearly 20,000 lives. He is one of eight people to be named an honorary U.S. citizen, and his legacy is recognized at U-M through the Wallenberg Medal and Lecture and the Wallenberg Fellowship.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that the Wallenberg family has agreed to have this new institute named in Raoul’s honor,” said Anne Curzan, dean of LSA, where the institute will be housed. “His values of empathy, tolerance and leadership are as inspirational and important today as they were during his lifetime.

The institute’s executive committee members are:

  • Tabbye Chavous, chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion; professor of psychology in LSA; and professor of education in the Marsal Family School of Education.
  • Christian Davenport, Mary Ann and Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Professor for the Study of Human Understanding and professor of political science in LSA; and professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
  • Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work, professor of social work and director of the Jewish Communal Leadership Program in the School of Social Work; and professor of Judaic studies in LSA.
  • Mostafa Hussein, assistant professor of Judaic studies in LSA.
  • Matthew Kaplan, executive director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.
  • Steven Ratner, Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law in the Law School, and director of the Donia Human Rights Center in LSA’s International Institute.
  • Melanie S. Tanielian, associate professor of history and director of the Program in International and Comparative Studies in LSA.
  • Geneviève Zubrzycki, William H. Sewell Jr. Collegiate Professor of Sociology, professor of sociology in LSA, and director of the International Institute’s Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, the Copernicus Center for Polish Studies and the Center for European Studies.

The director and executive committee members are some of the leading scholars and experts in antisemitism, Jewish studies, Middle East studies, Muslim-Jewish relations, genocide, human rights, ethnic and racial violence, and educational development.

The director and executive committee members are some of the leading scholars and experts in antisemitism, Jewish studies, Middle East studies, Muslim-Jewish relations, genocide, human rights, ethnic and racial violence, and educational development.

Excerpts from a story written by Brittany Smith in the University Record. Read the full story here.