5th Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium: Accessing & Navigating Systems
Join CEW+ virtually for its annual fall advocacy symposium themed Accessing & Navigating Systems. This event is free and open to all activists, advocates, and allies.
This year’s symposium will feature:
- – opening remarks on Advocating for Your Financial Future by Christina R. Cutlip, PhD, Senior Managing Director, Head of Client Engagement and National Advocacy at TIAA. Dr. Cutlip is the head of the Client Engagement & National Advocacy team, which is responsible for expanding relationships with industry and government associations, while also focusing on client engagement.
- – the Mullin Welch Lecture given by C. Nicole Mason, PhD, who currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women. Dr. Mason is a political scientist and intersectional scholar with a focus on economic security, racial equity, and women’s leadership. Mason will share her pathway into advocacy work and how she approaches policy and social change with consideration for the intersectional impact of race, class, and gender. Registrants will receive a PDF copy of Mason’s publication Leading at the Intersections: An Introduction to the Intersectional Approach Model for Policy & Social Change. The keynote will be facilitated by Catherine Hadley, a senior majoring in Political Science and U-M’s 28th Truman Scholar.
- – the awarding of the 2021 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change. Awardees include faculty, staff, and students (either an individual or a group) whose sustained efforts have resulted in greater equity with regard to gender, race, class, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Awardees will participate in a panel discussion titled, Amplifying Narratives and Engaging Communities to Create Systemic Change.
- – a capstone presentation by outgoing CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist Dessa Cosma, MA, founder of Detroit Disability Power. Cosma will discuss her ongoing work to advocate for voting rights, emphasizing the importance of building the political power of the disability community. Cosma says, “I wish that more people understood that disabled people are a constituency of voters.” Although their needs and political affiliations are diverse, Cosma states, disabled people share common challenges that can be addressed through the political process.
- – the announcement of the 2022 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, Theresa Anderson, MPP, PhD. Dr. Theresa Anderson is a senior researcher at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy organization located in Washington, DC. Dr. Anderson has led teams for over 10 years conducting mixed-methods research on important policy issues with the goals of reducing social inequity and promoting social justice. She is building a body of work on parenting students to inform policies that help support family wellbeing as parents pursue and achieve their education goals.
Advocating for Your Financial Future
Christina R. Cutlip, PhD, Senior Managing Director, Head of Client Engagement and National Advocacy, TIAA
Christina Cutlip is a Senior Managing Director for the Institutional Financial Services division of TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. She is the head of the Client Engagement & National Advocacy team, which is responsible for expanding relationships with industry and government associations, while also focusing on client engagement.
In 2011, Christina was recognized as TIAA’s Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother magazine and received an Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2016 from The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) State Fund Network for her contributions to higher education. She was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to the Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council for a three-year term from 2013-2016. Christina is on the board of The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and chairs the board of Almasi Collaborative Arts, a non-profit organization that strives to create and facilitate artistic collaborations between African and American artists and American artistic institutions. She serves on the board of retirement healthcare provider Emeriti, the Board of Trustees for Grinnell College, and on the advisory councils of WISER and ERIC.
Christina earned a B.A. in Economics from Grinnell College, an MBA from Regis University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. As a FINRA registered representative and principal, she holds Series 7, 24, and 51 licenses while maintaining accident, health, life, and variable annuity licenses. Additionally, Christina has obtained the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) professional designation.
Advocating for Your Financial Future: Navigating financial matters can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In this interactive presentation, Christina Cutlip of TIAA will describe what she does and what you can do right now to boost your financial wellness, advocate for your financial future, and help your family or others in your community take good care of themselves.
2021 Mullin Welch Lecture
The Mullin Welch Lecture is named for Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch. Growing up in El Paso in the 1920s, Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin confounded many around her. She was a bright, tough, energetic personality who thrived on challenging the expectations set forth for a well-bred woman of that era.
In the Journalism Department at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth was part of the late Depression, pre-World War II culture, which inspired her wide-ranging interests in the arts, literature, politics, and the theater. She was the rare woman in the intellectual and artistic circle that included Arthur Miller, Mike Wallace, and Jerome Wiesner. In 1939, her parents’ graduation gift bespoke their ambivalence about their daughter’s future–she received tuition to both a prestigious writing seminar and a secretarial course. But Elizabeth wasn’t interested. Finished with schooling, she entered the world of work, first at a Detroit radio station, and then in New York at the Ladies Home Journal. Later in her career, Elizabeth rose through the ranks of a major department store chain to become one of the few women comptrollers nationwide. She was the office manager of the Plays and Players theater group and welcomed actors and playwrights to her home in a historic section of Philadelphia where she lived with her husband Charles Welch, a professor of history. She also created jewelry and collected and sold fine antiques.
Elizabeth passed away in 1974. The Mullin Welch Lecture Series was established in 1989 by her sisters, the late Marjorie Jackson and Frances Daseler, in Elizabeth’s memory, bringing to campus lecturers who exemplify her characteristics: creativity, strength of character, and expansive vision.
CEW+ thanks the families of Marjorie Jackson and Frances Daseler for making this lecture series possible.
2021 Mullin Welch Lecture: C. Nicole Mason, PhD
Recently named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Having stepped into the role in November 2019, Dr. Mason is the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside-the-Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so
As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Dr. C. Nicole Mason brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For the past two decades, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color; and racial equity. Prior to IWPR, Dr. Mason was the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the nation’s only research and policy center focused on women of color at a nationally ranked school of public administration. She is also an inaugural Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
At the start of the pandemic, she coined the term she-cession to describe the disproportionate impact of the employment and income losses on women. Dr. Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on women, poverty, and economic security. Her writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, the Progressive, ESSENCE, Bustle, BIG THINK, Miami Herald, Democracy Now, and numerous NPR affiliates, among others.
Catherine Hadley is a rising senior studying Political Science at the University of Michigan. In 2021, she became a Truman Scholar and received the Rosalie Ginsberg Dedicated Community Service Award. Catherine founded BirthSafe.org, a maternal health-specific review website. In September 2020, her group, Hungry For Justice MI, helped get SB 1006 passed, which removed the felony ban for SNAP in Michigan. She interned with the Michigan Women’s Commission. She then interned at the Patriotic Millionaires as a Junior Associate. She was promoted to Special Assistant to the President, working on the campaign to raise the federal minimum wage floor and a multi-organizational campaign for an international wealth tax. This fall, she is interning with the executive office of the lieutenant governor, Garlin Gilchrist. Catherine is a mother of two toddlers, an activist, and an advocate.
2021-22 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award
2021-22 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change
In 2018, CEW+ established the Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change in honor of Carol Hollenshead’s 20-year tenure as executive director of the Center. These awards are presented at the Symposium, along with a pre-recorded lightning talk. Throughout this academic year, each awardee will lead a 90-minute workshop during the course of the academic year as a part of the year-long Symposium activities. The intent of Inspire workshops is to highlight the authentic journeys of social change leaders, spotlighting them as role models for others aspiring to work towards social change. After a brief meditation practice, the 2021-22 awardees will have a panel discussion about Amplifying Narratives and Engaging Communities to Create Systemic Change.
2021-22 Award Recipients
Three University faculty members, one student-led group, and one staff-led group will receive the 2021 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change.
Kristi Gamarel is the John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education in the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on addressing health inequities experienced by LGBTQ+ communities. She is a founding member of the “Love Her Collective,” which is a community-academic partnership between the Trans Sistas of Color Project (TSoCP) with the expressed mission of holistically addressing the health needs of transgender women of color in Detroit, Michigan.
Lightning Talk: The Love Her Collective: A community-academic partnership to work towards inequity with and for trans women of color in Detroit
VIEW INSPIRE LIGHTNING TALK HERE
This talk will introduce the Love Her Collective, which is a community-academic partnership with the Trans Sistas of Color Project. The Love Her Collective team members will describe our partnership and ongoing research and advocacy efforts designed to work towards health equity with and for transgender women of color in Detroit, Michigan.
Nicolai Lehnert obtained a Diploma in Chemistry in 1995 from the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany. He then moved to the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany, where he received his Ph.D. in 1999 under the supervision of Priv.-Doz. Dr. F. Tuczek and Prof. P. Gütlich. From 1999 to 2001 he conducted postdoctoral research with Prof. E. I. Solomon at Stanford University. He then moved back to Germany for his Habilitation, which he received in 2006 from the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany, working with Prof. F. Tuczek. In 2006 he accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan. His work is focused on the coordination chemistry of nitric oxide as it pertains to biological systems, in particular NO reductases, but also heme proteins and biocatalysis. In 2013 he formed a partnership with Cass Technical High School in Detroit to provide summer internships to Cass students to perform full-time research for seven weeks in a chemistry laboratory at the University of Michigan (the UM Detroit Research Internship Summer Experience, D-RISE).
Lightning Talk: D-RISE: Encouraging and Growing STEM Participation
VIEW INSPIRE LIGHTNING TALK HERE
In 2013, Lehnert formed a partnership with Cass Tech in Detroit to provide summer internships to high school students from Cass Tech to perform full-time research for 7 weeks in a chemistry laboratory at the University of Michigan (the UM Detroit Research Internship Summer Experience, D-RISE). The goal of this program is to increase underrepresented minority participation in the sciences by motivating the participating students to attend college and work in STEM areas. The most important hallmark of D-RISE is that the high school students do not just observe their graduate students and/or postdoctoral mentors in the laboratory, but the high school students perform full-time hands-on research for 40 hours per week on projects that are directly related to their mentors‘ research projects. In this way, the participating high school students obtain a real research experience, and they are in fact able to produce enough results from their own work to fill full-size research posters at the end of the project. The second important hallmark of the program is the fact that the students actually stay on campus during the week (Mon. – Fri.), giving them a real college experience, and providing them with the opportunity to explore campus life (supervised by a chaperone) and to interact with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty “after hours”, and in this way, to build lasting relationships with their mentors.
Marilee A. Benore is a Professor of Biochemistry and Biology in the Natural Sciences Department at the University of Michigan Dearborn. She teaches biochemistry courses as well as those that intersect science, equity, and inclusion. She is active in the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, serving as National Director of the student chapters, and is a member of the Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee. She is co-author of a popular lab manual. Her lab investigates vitamin transport using Riboflavin Binding Protein (RBP) in the hen as a model, and with collaborators is developing an assay to measure riboflavin in at-risk populations. In addition to lab work, she seeks to understand the persistence of women in STEM via oral histories and surveys. She has won awards for mentoring and is co-chair of the UM Academic Women’s Caucus Sarah Goddard Power Award Committee. She was director of the UM-Dearborn Women in Learning and Leadership and has been selected as an Arden Interdisciplinary Scholar. More information is available at umdearborn.edu/users/marilee.
Lightning Talk: STEM Women- the stories and the paths that illustrate the journey to a STEM career
VIEW INSPIRE LIGHTNING TALK HERE
As a scientist, Benore has found many ways of supporting girls and women in achieving success. She loved the interactions, the joy, the spontaneity, and how they could mentor and build confidence in young women. Benore attended a small catholic college and chose as a focus area to be immersed in a world of women dedicated to change through action. As a chemist in industry, she experienced demoralizing sexual harassment, impacting her decision to earn a PhD and make a difference in academics. After being awarded the Sarah Goddard Power award in 2004 she became active and co-chaired the awards for many years with the AWC and in partnership with CEW+. It is enormously important to share the stories of the awardees. Benore realized that she no longer wanted to focus on obstructions but explore the successful traits, experiences, and choices of women in STEM. This is a global issue, and the stories as oral history are potent in understanding resilience and success. Some people require a roadmap, and some just need roadside assistance. She wishes to share the stories to support others on their journeys to success.
Developing Future Biologists (DFB) is an educational outreach organization led by graduate students and postdocs at the University of Michigan. Its mission is to ensure that the next generation of biologists, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status, can learn the core concepts of developmental biology and are made aware of the vast opportunities that exist to pursue a career in the sciences. DFB organizes a week-long summer short course aimed at teaching undergraduate students fundamental concepts in developmental biology in a small class setting with close instructor-student mentorship. Throughout the week students attend interactive lectures, hands-on lab sections, and professional development workshops. More information is available at developingfuturebiologists.com.
Lightning Talk: Developing Future Biologists: Removing barriers for students from underserved populations who wish to pursue careers in biomedical research.
VIEW INSPIRE LIGHTNING TALK HERE
Obtaining a biomedical research career is particularly challenging for underserved populations who face disadvantages including financial and travel limitations, and insufficient mentorship and networking. This lightning talk focuses on the impact that our lab-intensive short course has on success rates for underserved students, and strategies that we have employed to further promote the careers of these students. Developing Future Biologists (DFB), hosts a week-long immersive developmental biology short course to expose underserved undergraduates to numerous model organisms, professional development workshops, and panels, and ultimately to inspire them to pursue a biomedical career. We recently expanded our reach to include virtual conference awards, TA fellowships and paid summer research internships. Many of our student alumni have been accepted into post-baccalaureate, graduate, and professional programs. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in biomedicine and believe programs like DFB are excellent stepping stones for propelling underserved undergraduates into biomedical research careers.
Caitlin Taylor (she/her) and Rikki Morrow-Spitzer (she/her) both currently serve as staff for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where they both received their degrees in music. In 2018, they helped establish the Faculty and Staff Allies Network for Sexual Misconduct, and in 2020 released the Sexual Misconduct Toolkit: a Guide for Faculty and Staff in the Performing Arts, which is now being used as a model across campus. They are both passionate about creating and evaluating programs, policies, and practices for greater equity and inclusion. More information is available at smtd.umich.edu/about/faculty-profiles/caitlin-taylor and smtd.umich.edu/about/faculty-profiles/rikki-morrow-spitzer.
Lightning Talk: Addressing the Reality: A Journey of Creating a Community that is Free from Sexual Harassment and Misconduct
VIEW INSPIRE LIGHTNING TALK HERE
As staff at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, we have been part of a community that has struggled on a very public forum from allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment over the past four years. As alumnae of the institution, we grappled deeply with the pain that our community has suffered, and have worked to begin shifting the culture to one that is equitable and inclusive, free from sexual harassment and misconduct. Specifically, we are working towards a culture of transparency, support, and accountability. Our lightning talk will outline the painful reality we found ourselves in, and the steps we have taken to reach our goals. This includes establishing a support network for faculty and staff, re-evaluating policies and processes, creating resources that are specific to our community, and building partnerships across campus for informed and long-term change.
Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist
The Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (TFVSA) 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 TFVSA time, space, and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.
The TFVSA program gives the selected TFVSA time for reflection, research, planning, and writing related to the area of activism. Each TFVSA is required to work on a project that will advance the future work of the TFVSA and potentially benefit other activists.
Dessa Cosma, MA
2017-21 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist
The Intersectional, Multi-Generational Fight for Voting Rights
Dessa Cosma grew up in the Deep South, splitting her time between New Orleans, LA, and Augusta, GA. She’s been a social justice activist for as long as she can remember, starting her environmental, LGBTQ, and reproductive justice efforts in high school. She attended the University of Georgia and earned bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs, Women’s Studies, and Anthropology. After graduation, Dessa moved to Detroit to work as the Senior Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan.
In 2014, Dessa graduated with a Masters in Social Justice from Marygrove College. At that time, she was the Michigan Program Director for the Center for Progressive Leadership, training hundreds of activists, candidates, and campaign managers across the state. She then became the Executive Director of the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan, which she helped to start in collaboration with some of Detroit’s most dedicated economic and racial justice champions. Since 2017, Dessa has been a facilitator with Allies for Change, which provides anti-oppression education, training, and resources for individuals and organizations committed to social change. She was a University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist from 2017-2021 and is a founding design team member of the Transforming Power Fund.
In 2018, Dessa started Detroit Disability Power to grow the organizing power of the disability community and to continue bridging the gap between the disability community and larger social justice movements. She has particular interest in disability-focused political work that is grounded in anti-racism and economic justice. Click here to read more about Dessa.
During Dessa’s time as a Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, she came to the University of Michigan Museum of Art in January 2020 to discuss the Japanese artist Mari Katayama, whose work was on display at UMMA, click here to read about the event.
- To hear Dessa speak about her work, please click here.
- Click here to read the PDF version of “The Intersectional, Multi-Generational Fight for Voting Rights”
- Click here to read a more screen reader-friendly version of the final report titled “The Intersectional, Multi-Generational Fight for Voting Rights”
- Click here to see Dessa’s July 2021 interview with MSNBC about the dangers of the GOP’s voting restrictions
Theresa Anderson, MPP, PhD
2022 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist
Student-Parents at the Center: How Systems and Policies Affect Student-Parent Families in Michigan
Dr. Theresa Anderson is a senior researcher at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy organization located in Washington, DC. Dr. Anderson has led teams for over 10 years conducting mixed-methods research on important policy issues with the goals of reducing social inequity and promoting social justice. She is building a body of work on parenting students to inform policies that help support family wellbeing as parents pursue and achieve their education goals. She earned her MPP and PhD from George Washington University and is an Ann Arbor native.
Dr. Anderson will examine how resources, supports, and policies in areas like higher education, the social safety net, tax policy, child care, the labor market, and PK-12 education account for and serve Michigan families in which a parent is pursuing a college degree. From this work, she will provide insights on policy and practice changes that would make it easier for student-parents in the state and specifically in the U-M system to meet their education goals.
The CEW+ Advocacy Symposium is made possible with support from TIAA, our platinum corporate sponsor, and with funding from CEW+’s Mullin Welch Lecture endowment.
The CEW Mullin Welch Series was established in 1989 by Frances Daseler and Marjorie Jackson in memory of their sister Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch. This fund brings to campus outstanding women who exemplify Elizabeth’s characteristics: creativity, strength of character, and expansive vision.