Visiting Social Activist Program


Apply Now for a VSA Fellowship! 
Jump to An Overview of the Program

When Women Succeed, America Succeeds:
Why We Need a Women's Economic Agenda 

Featuring Nancy Duff Campbell,
Co-President, National Women's Law Center and 2014 Visiting Social Activist
Please join us on
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 4:00-5:30pm
for this presentation, followed by a reception at:
Rackham Graduate School, 4th Floor Amphitheatre
915 E. Washington, Ann Arbor, MI
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Education of Women, Social Work Learning Community on Poverty and Inequality, Rackham Office of Graduate Student Success, LS&A Women's Studies, Law School and Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Register Now!


An Overview of the Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist Program

Each year, the Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (VSA) Program brings to CEW a social justice activist whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues. One goal of the program is to build the capacity and effectiveness of social activists. This is accomplished by giving the VSA time, space and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.

A four-week stay in Ann Arbor, Michigan, gives the selected activist time for reflection, research, planning and writing related to her area of activism. A $10,000 stipend, housing and travel expenses are paid by the program. Each VSA is required to create a product that will advance the future work of the VSA and potentially benefit other activists. This product may be a report, plan of action, communication strategy, training tool or other item relevant to the activist’s work.

Connections between Visiting Social Activists and people in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids have a positive and synergistic effect on all. Nationally prominent activists draw visitors to U-M who might not otherwise come, demonstrating the university's commitment to serve the community.  These visitors, as well as U-M students, faculty and staff are able to learn from and be inspired by activists who are working to improve women’s lives. Interactions with VSAs nurture a “scholar-activist” mindset that can improve the quality of work done in academia as well as in social justice organizations.

VSA Mistinguette Smith Presents Thought-Provoking History to
Professor Liz Cole's Women's Studies Class
through Her "Black Land:  Women's Voices" Presentation

VSA Mistinguette Smith Presents to Intro to Women's Studies Class    


                                                              Student/Faculty/Staff Discussion of Ms. Smith's "Black Land" Topic



The VSA program is made possible through a generous gift from UM alumna Twink Frey and her husband James McKay. Learn more about the process for nominating or applying to become a Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist.