CEW+ Advocacy Symposium: Redefining Leadership
Registration open now!
Join CEW+ for its annual fall symposium focused on redefining leadership. The 2019 Symposium includes a diverse group of scholars, community practitioners and international activists who embody leadership in varied ways as they advocate for change. This year Joy DeGruy and Stephanie Land will kick off the Symposium during the Mullin Welch Lecture where they will discuss how nontraditional leadership strategies can enhance advocacy work with a focus on self-care, resilience, and systemic change.
This working symposium is free and open to all activists, advocates, and allies from all U-M campuses (students, staff, faculty) as well as the local community.
The CEW+ Advocacy Symposium is organized in partnership with Barger Leadership Institute, Nicola’s Books, and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, with funding from CEW+’s Frances & Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and the CEW+ Mullin Welch Fund.
Mullin Welch Lecture Keynote Speakers
Joy DeGruy, MSW, PhD, holds a masters’ degree in social work and clinical psychology as well as a doctorate in social work research and is an assistant professor at Portland State University. With more than 20 years of practical experience as a professional and trainer in the field of social work, DeGruy provides specialized clinical work in areas of mental health and ecological resilience. Dr. DeGruy authored the book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Enduring Legacy of Injury and Healing, which addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African descendants in the Americas which has resulted in multigenerational maladaptive behaviors, which originated as survival strategies. Her thesis lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained from past traumas to heal.
Stephanie Land grew up in a middle-class household but a car accident at age 16 lead to her having PTSD. As a young adult, she became a single mother struggling financially to care for her daughter and going to college while trying to escape an abusive relationship. She cleaned houses and went on welfare to cover necessary expenses which later informed her writing on the issues of poverty and public policy. After years on public assistance programs, she finally completed her BA in English & Creative Writing in 2014 and officially ended her dependence on food stamps in 2016. She is currently a fellow for the Center for Community Change and the Economic Hardship Program. Land’s debut book, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive was released in early 2019, debuting at #3 on The New York Times Best Seller list. In this account, Stephanie shares her frustrations navigating government assistance programs that are more hindrance than a help to the working poor.
Michigan League Concourse & Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Samer M. Ali, PhD is an associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic and Islamic Culture) and the director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies. Dr. Ali also serves as the faculty advisor for the Islamaphobia Working Group (IWG), which was convened to address the recent increase in ant-Arab and Anti-Muslim sentiment internationally and to create a safe and inclusive campus environment for Arab, Muslim and MENA students. His publications have appeared in several academic journals including The Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies and he has received numerous awards including a Fulbright for his research.
Amber Arellano, MPP is the founding executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest where she has overseen public policy, external relations and operations divisions of the organization since 2010, Today Ed Trust-Midwest is widely recognized as a leading voice for non-partisan data, research and policy expertise and under her leadership, has led a cross-sector development initiative of Michigan’s first statewide educator support and evaluation system. A veteran journalist, Arellano has earned national awards for her influential work on developing public engagement campaigns on behalf of Michigan’s vulnerable students. Arellano is a 2017-19 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist.
Steven Bodei, MA serves as the Associate Director of Student Life Leadership Education. M-LEAD is an integrative leadership education model that is purposeful, collaborative, values-based, and oriented toward social change. This approach for student life uses a collective impact framework to align and amplify the extensive leadership education efforts across StudentLife and the broader institution. Previous to working in this role Steve worked in student leadership development in various roles within the office Residence Education in University Housing at U of M.
Jacqueline Bowman, PhD became the first Staff Ombudsperson at the University of Michigan in December 2018 after serving as the Lead Counselor and Program Specialist at the U-M Center for the Education of Women (CEW+). Dr. Bowman received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology degree from the University of Michigan. Since then she has served in multiple leadership roles, including as University Ombudsperson and Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Bowman is committed to providing confidential assistance to staff, while advocating for fairness, supporting diversity, and providing services that promote an inclusive and equitable workplace environment.
Shannon Cohen, MA, founder and principal of Shannon Cohen, Inc., is an award-winning industry leader and sought-after strategist, innovator, and inspirational leader. A W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship alumnus and Encore Innovation Fellow alumnus of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Shannon is also an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University where she is passionate about empowering emerging and existing leaders to be transformative in the communities they serve. Shannon authored ‘Tough Skin, Soft Heart’. Tough Skin, a handbook designed to equip overextended leaders which strategies to navigate the emotional, mental, and physical strain that often accompanies a life committed to advocacy work.
Patricia Coleman-Burns, PhD, assistant professor emerita of Nursing and Black Studies, has focused her career and personal life on educational and health disparities in the nursing social justice in patient-centered care and providers’ behaviors; Black ideology; and the Colored Women’s Club Movement. A long-time advocate for the right of all persons to be free from gender oppression, sexism, racism, and violence. she currently serves on the board of Safehouse Center on domestic violence and sexual assault, and the U-M Women of Color in the Academy steering committee. Her research has evolved from rhetorical studies of radical and revolutionary social movements to a focus on racial identity in the reduction of health disparities through social justice and social determinants of health perspective that examines workforce diversity, the education of underrepresented persons, efficacious research and community impact.
Dessa Cosma, MA is the founding director of Detroit Disability Power a nonprofit organization which organizes people with disabilities around issues that impact their lives, while dismantling ableism in the institutions & social justice movements. She is committed to bridging the gap between disability inclusion work and other social justice efforts in order to build big, powerful movements that dismantle interlocking systems of oppression. Cosma is a long-time social justice organizer, fortunate to spend her career working for reproductive, racial, LGBTQ, economic and disability justice. Cosma is a 2017-19 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist.
Andrea B. Darden, Darden Wealth Group, has been studying financial management for most of her life. At 12 she was providing stocks reports for her family. In college, she sold oil and gas contracts. After graduating from college, she was the securities coordinator nationally for Capital Resource Group out of Longwood, Florida. Andrea came back to Michigan for a position with Charles Schwab as a Vice President and Financial Consultant. At the age of 28, she left Charles Schwab to become an independent advisor. By the age of 32, she was a partner with Chisholm & Dames/Darden Investment Advisors. In 2018, Andrea founded her firm, Darden Wealth Group.
Sara Fitzgerald is retired after a career that included 15 years as an editor, author, and new media developer for The Washington Post and as a principal in a consulting firm created in 1987 to help schools and libraries take advantage of a new federal program to get them connected to the internet. She is the author of several well-known books and her novel, Elly Peterson: “Mother” of the Moderates, was recognized as a 2012 Michigan Book of the Year by the Library of Michigan and with a State History Award by the Historical Society of Michigan. Her next book, about the successful sex discrimination complaint that was filed against the University in 1970, is scheduled to be published in fall 2020 by the University of Michigan Press. She has worked on redistricting reform with both the League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Virginia, and currently serves on the board of directors of the media justice ministry of the United Church of Christ denomination.
Maya Goldman is the 2019 editor in chief of The Michigan Daily. Maya joined the paper as a news reporter during the first week of her freshman year and went on to become a news editor and podcast producer before taking on The Daily’s top position last winter. Maya, now a senior, studies anthropology and writing at the University of Michigan. She currently spends most of her time on campus in the Student Publications Building where she lives out her passion for telling stories and providing others with the platform and skills to do the same.
Michelle Hannosh is a full professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures. Her areas of interest span a wide range of the literature, art, and culture of nineteenth-century France: poetry, the novel, and autobiography; art criticism, aesthetics, and the relations between the arts; the city, Walter Benjamin, and the history of modernity; the representation of history; parody, caricature and the comic; painting and early photography; Romanticism, Realism, and Decadence; the Mediterranean. Hannoosh also serves as one of the faculty ombuds.
Fatema Haque, MA, has been designing curriculum, teaching and managing programs in higher education settings for nearly a decade. Previously, she was faculty and Dean of Students at the Asian University for Women, an international, liberal arts university in Chittagong, Bangladesh, dedicated to serving low-income students from all across Asia. At the University of Michigan, she has worked at the Ginsberg Center, Community-Engaged Academic Learning and the Medical School. Currently, she serves as the Academic Program Manager at the Barger Leadership Institute and prepares student leaders to peer-facilitate a project-based leadership course. She is passionate about facilitating learning that encourages self- and critical-reflection, learning that encourages students to understand their stories, privileges, values, and internalized scripts so that they can lead themselves and others effectively and equitably. As a queer, immigrant and first-generation college graduate who grew up in a single-parent, low-SES household, Fatema considers herself to be a nontraditional U-M graduate.
Mya Haynes is a University of Michigan alumna with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and is continuing her education at U-M to obtain her Master’s in Higher Education Public Policy. She holds strongly to her identities as a Black woman and first-generation college student and has previously conducted research focusing on both groups of students on campus. Throughout her undergraduate career, Mya has had the pleasure of working with several organizations including the Barger Leadership Institute (BLI), Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), and the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI). As an undergraduate student, Mya became increasingly aware of the unique challenges that she and other underrepresented minority students faced throughout their college experiences. Mya is invested in promoting a higher ed community that seeks to address these challenges and support students throughout their college journeys. Mya currently works as the Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives for the Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP).
Colette Hemker is the University of Michigan Athletic Department Assistant Director of Leadership Development and Community Engagement. She works to develop altruistic and community-minded student-athletes who actively engage in solving problems and serving others through mutually beneficial community engagement initiatives. Before starting with the University full-time in October of 2018, Colette worked 8.5 years with the Ann Arbor YMCA as the Coordinator of Youth Sport and Outreach Programs then as the Director of Youth Community Programs where she assessed community needs and then designed, implemented, and evaluated year-round youth and family programming at 26 sites across Washtenaw County. She increased opportunity for 800+ individuals annually to become their best selves through increased physical activity, nutrition education and character development. She also identified and engaged over 40 like-minded community leaders to enhance program outcomes across the Ann Arbor Y service area through community partnerships and collaboration. Colette graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management in 2010. As a student, she was on the Women’s Novice Rowing Team and interned with both the Wrestling and Football teams.
Dorine Lawrence-Hughes currently serves as an Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts. In this role, she helps to facilitate curricular and co-curricular initiatives for effective teaching and learning. Her research focuses on communication and leadership and she is instrumental in supporting and developing women for leadership in higher education. Prior to her role at Michigan, Lawrence-Hughes was a Clinical Associate Professor and an administrator at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Lawrence-Hughes earned a B.A. in politics from Whitman College, an M.A. from California State University, Northridge in communication, a J.D. from USC and an Ed.D. from UCLA.
Thomas (Tom) Lehker, MA, is the University Student Ombudsperson. He has worked in higher education for over 20 years, primarily at the University of Michigan providing leadership in the areas of student affairs, undergraduate career services, graduate student services, and ombuds work.
Wai Wai Nu, JD is an international and award-winning Burmese activist who is working for human rights and women’s equality for the Rohingya people in her home country of Myanmar. Nu was a political prisoner for seven years under the Burmese military government and emerged to serve as a national – and international – voice for Burma’s human rights and democracy movement. She is the director and founder of the Woman Peace Network and is in the process of developing a new international NGO called Inclusive Futures. Wai Wai has been selected as a Columbia University 2019-2020 Obama Foundation Scholars Program. Wai Wai is a 2019 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist.
Robert Ortega, PhD, associate professor of social work, focuses his research on relationship development, group work practice, treatment interventions and service utilization, particularly in the areas of mental health and child welfare. Dr. Ortega has published in the areas of social justice in group work practice, child welfare permanency planning and culturally responsive practice. He is the recipient of multiple national awards including the 2013 Recent Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education awarded by the Council on Social Work Education, and the 2015 Outstanding Service and Advancement of Cultural Competency in Child Maltreatment Prevention and Intervention Award, by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
Danyelle Reynolds is the assistant director for student learning and leadership at the U-M Edward Ginsberg Center. She manages leadership development opportunities for students and student organizations in order to advance their learning and organizational goals while meeting community-defined needs. Recently, she represented the Ginsberg Center on a team that collaborated to create a new massive online open course (MOOC) entitled Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change. In her work, research, and community involvement, Danyelle works to challenge traditional notions of who can be a leader and who can create sustainable change in their communities. She remains passionate about racial justice and, leadership development. Danyelle earned two BA degrees in History and Sociology from the University of Georgia and a MA degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs from The Ohio State University.
Mary Schlitt, MPA is the assistant director for the Barger Leadership Institute. As an LSA undergrad at the University of Michigan, Mary discovered both her capacity for leadership and love for the nonprofit sector during a sweltering internship managing logistics and volunteers at the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. With fire in her belly, she took on fundraising and marketing roles to advance the missions of the Girl Scout Council of Minneapolis and Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. As chief development officer at Food Gatherers, she created strategic partnerships to transition signature food drive events into fundraisers, secured the largest grant in the organization’s history and, as part of a funny and fierce leadership team, managed the day-to-day operations of this essential hunger-relief organization. Mary returned to the University of Michigan and the Barger Leadership Institute in 2017 to generate new partnerships and leadership learning opportunities for undergraduates. Mary is a mother to twin dragons and a budding presidential candidate, she holds a master of public administration and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Michigan.
Nikki Sunstrum is the Director of Social Media and Public Engagement at the U-M. As an internationally recognized public speaker and advocate of strategic online communications, Nikki is responsible for developing innovative solutions to leverage and advance interactive communications at one of the world’s top universities. Leading the University of Michigan’s social communications office (#UMSocial) and the strategic oversight of the President’s Public Engagement and Impact Initiative, her duties include the overarching coordination and leadership of a unified brand presence, standards and policy implementation, consultation, facilitation, and training. These efforts, along with the university Social Integrity project, each aim to ensure that all online communications provide additional value to university stakeholders, while mitigating institutional risk, elevating brand perception, and educating users of all ages, around the globe, of the lasting impact of these critical tools. Prior to assuming her current role, Sunstrum developed and coordinated the State of Michigan’s statewide social media footprint: reinventing constituent engagement, elevating transparency, and establishing Michigan as a trailblazer and leader for government social communications. Sunstrum possesses a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s degree from Aquinas College.
Marie Ting, PhD serves as the associate director for the U-M National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID). She provides general oversight for the daily operations of the unit, including project compliance with university policies, budget development, and personnel management. Marie assists the director in strategic planning and works to develop, nurture and maintain local and national program. Dr. Ting assists in the development of an engaged learning environment for center professional and student staff, fostering an environment that is conducive to both professional and personal growth.
Deborah Willis, PhD is a Program Manager for Professional and Academic Development at the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School and produces a wide array of innovative professional development programs to engage and enrich a highly diverse academic community. She developed and currently leads the Rackham Professional Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program which aims to expand DEI competencies while fostering an inclusive environment. Throughout her career, Dr. Willis has been committed to providing leadership, vision, and advocacy for students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and staff, in the areas of professional development, career advancement, leadership and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is a now regular columnist for Inside Higher Ed’s graduate student professional advice column, “Carpe Careers.” Dr. Willis holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan.
Session #1 – Coping and Resilience While Conducting Advocacy Work, Joy Degruy, PhD
Advocates and other helping professionals experience high levels of work-related stress and burn-out, contributing to psychological and physiological health problems. This seminar examines the historical and ecological events and policies that lead to contemporary social problems and inequities, and discusses how we can use the strengths we have gained from these past hurts to heal ourselves. Dr. DeGruy also incorporates the four major competencies associated with resilience (emotional intelligence, reflective ability, empathy, and social competence) into a training curriculum designed to inform your advocacy practice.
Session #2 – Advocating for Yourself: A Nontraditional Student’s Story of Perseverance, Stephanie Land, BA, Poverty Solutions
This book talk highlights one woman’s struggle to escape an abusive relationship and elevate herself out of poverty in a socioeconomic system that seems to penalize the working poor instead of helping them. Stephanie Land cleaned houses and cared for her daughter while studying to attain her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Montana. Now a writing fellow at the Center for Community Change and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Land shares her courageous story of perseverance and transformation while navigating a broken system of government assistance, and how she has transitioned into an activist role to change the stigma surrounding people in poverty, especially single mothers.
Session #3 – Diverse Voices, Sex Discrimination, and the Role of Media in Advocacy: Sara Fitzgerald, 1972-73 Michigan Daily Editor, Maya Goldman, 2019 Michigan Daily Editor, and Nikki Sunstrum, U-M Director of Social Media and Public Engagement (Moderator: Dorine Lawrence-Hughes, JD, EdD)
Join us for an exciting inter-generational conversation about women leaders in news and media. In 1972-73, Sara Fitzgerald became The Michigan Daily’s first female Editor-in-Chief while at the same time U-M women students and staff were organizing to address sexual discrimination on campus. Fitzgerald, in conversation with Maya Goldman, the current female Michigan Daily Editor-in-Chief, and Nikki Sunstrum, the Director of Social Media and Public Engagement at U-M, will recount how those women utilized Michigan media outlets and enlisted the support of the federal government in order to address inequities in higher education. This workshop will be an interactive discussion that will review critical thinking skills and practical strategies to evaluate news and media content.
Session #4 Applying Advocacy Methods, Tools and Practices – Wai Wai Nu, JD
Advocacy methodology is dependent on several factors: target audience, messaging and resources, in addition to the cultural and socioeconomic context of the cause. This session will focus on identifying best practices and advocacy methods for creating a nonprofit organization. The presenter, Wai Wai Nu, the 2019 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, will use her new international NGO as a case study to distill the process for developing a strategic campaign that incorporates change theory, mission scope, stakeholder recruitment, a communication/marketing plan and program evaluation.
Session #5 – How Political Climate Can Drive Advocacy – Amber Arellano, MPP, and Dessa Cosma, MA
The 2018 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activists will discuss their current research projects and share how the turbulent political climate has impacted the focus of their advocacy work. Amber Arellano will discuss her efforts to bring proven best practices from leading education states to Michigan’s educational systems. The second half of this session will feature a presentation by Dessa Cosma on her findings regarding voting rights and accessibility at polling stations.
Session #6 – Redefining Leadership by Believing and Investing In the Possibility of YOU, Shannen Cohen, MA
Shannon Cohen, author of Tough Skin, Soft Heart will offer a session that will empower today’s overextended leader to unpack and navigate the emotional, mental and physical strain that often accompanies a life committed to being a difference-maker. Join us for a discussion that will highlight the crucial connection between emotional intelligence and leadership and will offer individual and systems-level self-care strategies for collegiate professionals.
Session #7 – Role of the Ombuds in Promoting Self Advocacy (Panel) – Jacqueline Bowman, PhD; Michele Hannoosh, PhD; Thomas Lehker, MP; and Robert Ortega, PhD
The University Ombuds assists individuals and/or groups within an organization to resolve conflicts focused primarily on the fair and equitable application of University policies, procedures, and practices. University Ombuds help visitors define their concern(s), understand them from different perspectives, and explore options to resolve or manage them. During this process, the Ombuds also helps to identify resources to help visitors navigate issues independently and develop important capacity-building skills. Come hear the University Ombuds discuss their role in supporting all members of the University community.
Session #8 – Non-traditional Forms of Leadership (Panel) – Panelists: Andrea Darden, BBA; Samer M. Ali, PhD; Mya Haynes; Patricia Coleman Burns, PhD; and Marie Ting, PhD
Non-traditional leaders often arise as advocates and catalysts, leading grassroots efforts in response to issues and needs in overlooked communities and working outside the confines of formal structures. A community of practice leaders will discuss the common traits of non-traditional leadership styles and why the use of this practice is effective in campus and community advocacy work.
Session #9 Developing Leadership: Leadership Practitioners at Michigan (Panel) – Barger Leadership Institute – Panelists: Steven Bodei, MA, M-LEAD; Fatema Haque, MA, BLI; Colette Hemker, Michigan Athletics Deborah Willis, PhD, Rackham Graduate School. Moderator, Mary Schlitt, MPA BLI
How do you define leadership? Students at Michigan don’t have to search far to find leadership programming on campus. But who is leading these efforts? How are they creating access for non-traditional students and redefining leadership for all future leaders? The Michigan Leadership Collaborative (MLC) is a growing community, currently consisting of 13 colleges and co-curricular units dedicated to advancing leadership learning and removing institutional barriers for students who are intentionally trying to develop and progress as leaders. In this session, a panel of four leadership practitioners from the MLC will share their program highlights, successes and challenges in working with undergraduate and graduate students and offer their respective approaches to leadership.
- Mary Schlitt, Assistant Director of the Barger Leadership Institute
- Colette Hemker, Assistant Director of Leadership Development and Community Engagement, Michigan Athletics
- Deborah Willis, Academic Program Manager for Professional and Academic Development, Rackham Graduate School
- Fatema Haque, Academic Program Manager, Barger Leadership Institute
- Steven Bodei, Associate Director, Leadership Education, Student Life MLead
Parking is available on Central Campus at the Palmer Commons structure located east of the League, off Washtenaw Avenue & Palmer Drive. Parkers should pull a parking ticket upon entering the structure and pay the cashier upon exiting. The parking rate at the Palmer structure is $0.75 per half-hour. Click here for directions to the Palmer Commons parking structure, along with maps.
Blue & Gold AVI Parking is also available in the Fletcher Street parking structure (next to the Power Center and University Health Services) and in the Thayer Street structure across from the Modern Languages Building (MLB). Please arrive early because these parking structures will fill up quickly.
State Street Commuter Lot: Conference participants are also encouraged to use the free State Street Commuter Lot (bottom of map highlighted in purple) and take the AATA 36 bus which will bring you directly to Hill Auditorium and the Michigan League. Please allow an extra 15-20 minutes for travel time. The AATA buses are free to U-M personnel with an active MCard.
This Symposium is made possible through the generous support of CEW+’s Frances & Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and the CEW+ Mullin Welch Fund. CEW+ would also like to thank the following supporters of this event:
Barger Leadership Institute (BLI) is a student-powered, faculty-guided community dedicated to developing leadership learning through engaged liberal arts education. Students face complex, global problems which require collaborations that span competing interests, sectors, and nations. BLI helps prepare future leaders to face these 21st-century demands by uniting world-class scholarship, passionate undergraduates, and dedicated alumni in diverse experiences that reach beyond the conventional classroom.
Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan is a multidisciplinary initiative to inform, seek out, and test new models and strategies for preventing and alleviating poverty. Poverty Solutions includes faculty and staff from various schools and colleges and builds upon strong community partnerships to provide new engaged learning opportunities for U-M students.