Spotlights, spring 2024

April 24, 2024

A prescription for equity

As the first city-wide experiment of its kind, Rx Kids provides cash payments for new parents—and new promise for eradicating early childhood poverty. Flint's high child poverty rates came into focus nearly 10 years ago when policy failures created a catastrophic water crisis. Pictured at the January launch: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Rx Kids co-directors Luke Shaefer and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

Julian Brave Noisecat and co-director Emily Kassie receive awards at the Sundance Film Festival
(Left to right) Julian Brave Noisecat and Emily Kassie, Photo credit: Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune

Sundance win

Center for Racial Justice Fellow Julian Brave Noisecat and co-director Emily Kassie received the Director’s Award for U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival for their film Sugarcane, about an investigation into atrocities at an Indian residential school and the resilience of the survivors and their community. Disney announced that National Geographic acquired the rights for theatrical and Disney+ release.


Photo of Yazier Henry and Susan D. Page hosting a dinner conversation with students
Yazier Henry and Susan D. Page hosted a dinner conversation with students on the topic, Challenges in Understanding the Root Causes of Conflict, Photo credit: Daniel Rivkin

Middle East response

The brutal violence in the Middle East feels painfully personal for many at Michigan, a university with a campus in the Arab-American hub of Dearborn as well as a proud legacy as a destination for generations of Jewish students.

The Ford School exists to prepare students to lead in difficult times such as this—to help them become more confident speaking and listening across differences and to help them grow into policy leaders who can find common ground and see the humanity in others. Over the fall and winter, we’ve focused our Middle East-related programming on small gatherings, such as group office hours and policy conversation dinners, where students have learned from our faculty about some of the critical policy issues embedded in this crisis, such as humanitarian law, security, peacebuilding, and identifying the root causes of conflicts.

In addition, our leadership team has hosted a series of private conversations with and among a small group of undergraduate student leaders who come from very different perspectives on the crisis in the Middle East. Those conversations have focused on support for the students, dialogue and understanding across painful differences, and strengthening our school community.

Our faculty have come together to share successes and challenges around classroom climate, facilitating conversations across differences, and supporting students who are struggling at this difficult time.

On April 3, experts Aaron David Miller and Hussein Ibish will visit the Ford School for a substantive policy discussion on the conflict, including the U.S. role. The event will be livestreamed, and the in-room audience will consist of Ford School students, faculty, and staff.

Photo of Cindy Bank and students walking outdoors

Democracy in action

Students, faculty, and staff walked together to a satellite clerk’s office to cast their votes in
Michigan’s primary election. The event was co-organized with the student-led group Turn Up Turnout.



Photo of Michael Barr and students during the annual Garmlich Showcase
Michael Barr (third from left) and student presenters at the Gramlich Showcase

Fed vice chair joins Gramlich Showcase

Former dean Michael S. Barr was a very special guest at the annual Gramlich Showcase of Student Work. The previous day, Barr spoke on banking regulation and other Fed topics at a public event at the Ford School.




Photo of Michael Fuller, Anna Pomper, and Dominique Baeta posing in front of bookshelf
(Left to right) Michael Fuller, Anna Pomper, and Dominique Baeta, Photo credit: Madison Brow

The Big Gay Shelf

Out In Public members Michael Fuller (MPP/MBA ’25), Anna Pomper (MPP ’24), and Dominique Baeta (MPP ’24) show off the new addition their organization made to the student lounge.





More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted spring 2024 edition of State & Hill. Click here to return to the spring 2024 S&H homepage.

More news from the Ford School