Co-Sponsorship Funding | Frances & Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund

CEW+ seeks opportunities to partner with U-M faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate student organizations, departments, and other campus units to bring leaders to campus.

The CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund promotes diversity and cultural awareness by bringing women leaders to campus. Visiting leaders who are distinguished scholars and/or practitioners in their fields should spend time interacting with students, faculty, and staff in seminars, presentations, classes, and informal gatherings. Support for visiting leaders from the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund requires that a scheduled event be free and open to the entire University community.

Sydney and Frances LewisSydney and Frances Lewis founded the Best Products Co., Inc. in 1957, in Richmond, Virginia. The catalog retailer started as a mail-order business, but when customers wanted to see the merchandise, the idea of a catalog showroom was born. By 1982, Best Products reached sales of $1 billion and had showrooms throughout the United States. Sydney and Frances took their commercial success and worked to effect change in society through the causes and institutions they supported including CEW+.

Frances Aronson was born in New York and reared in Washington, the daughter of a middle-class family. She studied economics and French at LSA and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1942. She went on to study economics further at Harvard. In 1942, she married Sydney and they had three children, antiwar activist and entrepreneur Sydney Lewis Jr. of Miami Beach, Andrew Marc Lewis of Richmon, and Susan Lewis Butler of Washington. Their son Marc served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Best Products and their daughter served as director of the corporate foundation. Sydney and Frances Lewis were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1987. Sydney passed away on March 12, 1999. He was 79 and had been ill for some time.


  • All proposals submitted for co-sponsorship must include an event that will be free and open to the University community.
  • Proposals must include a complete budget documenting other event collaborators and funding sources.
  • Promotional materials (e.g., press releases, flyers, announcement and event programs, etc.) listing CEW+ as a co-sponsor must be reviewed by CEW+ prior to circulation and distribution.
  • All publicity for events must have the co-sponsorship of the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund listed and include the CEW+ logo.
  • An electronic copy of all promotional materials and the final program created for the event must be submitted to CEW+ along with a final budget within 30 days after the event.

Past examples of co-sponsorships include:

  • Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s: Curator lecture with Alexandra Schwartz (UMMA)
  • Teach-In + 50: End the War Against the Planet (College of Literature, Science and the Arts, LS&A)
  • Women’s Rights in the 21st Century (International Institute)
  • She’s the First Student Organization (Student Affairs)
  • William Trotter Lecture Support (Student Affairs)

Funding Limits

  • Student groups:  Amount being requested (max $2500; $4000 if racial equity is a primary focus):
  • Staff or faculty group:  Amount being requested (max $5000; $7500 if racial equity is a primary focus)
  • U-M Department or Unit:  Amount being requested (max $5000; $7500 if racial equity is a primary focus)

Selection Process

A review committee comprised of CEW+ staff makes the award selections. Preference will be given to those proposals that are most in alignment with CEW+’s mission and the purpose of the Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.

*Only those proposals submitted via the CEW+ online form will be considered.

Co-sponsorship requests must be submitted at least FOUR (4) WEEKS in advance.  Requests for retroactive funding will not be considered.

If you have any further questions, please email [email protected].

Past Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Speakers


Fast Food for Thought

(5-minute videos available to view here)

  • Joseph Stanhope Cialdella, Rackham graduate school, Deep Roots: Potatoes and the History of Growing Food in Detroit
  • Sabina Tomkins, School of Information, What can we tell about sustainability in food product descriptions and reviews?
  • Liz Debetta, CEW+, If You Don’t Eat You Can’t Think: Addressing Food Insecurity through Care
  • Jennifer Blesh, School for Environment and Sustainability, Rethinking Soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture
  • shakara tyler, School for Environment and Sustainability, The Story of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund: Decolonization and Abolition in Practice
  • Andy Jones, School of Public Health, Nutritional Sciences Nudging Michigan Diners Toward Lower Carbon Food Choices
  • John Vandermeer, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Coffee, Capitalism, Colonialism, and Coca Cola
  • Kendrin Sonneville, School of Public Health, Nutritional Sciences, The new AAP Childhood “Obesity” Guidelines: What are they Recommending and at What Cost?


Beginning Farmers and Feeding Community

  • Angela Chalk, Executive Director of Healthy Community Services, American Public Health Climate Health & Equity Advisory Board

Fast Food for Thought

  • Kate Astashkina, Michigan Ross
  • Lesli Hoey, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning 
  • Nancy Love, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Sarah Mills, Ford School of Public Policy
  • Kendrin Sonneville, School of Public Health 

Small Grocer Panel: Supplying Kimchi and Collards during a Global Pandemic

  • Alita Kelly, Grocery store owner

Why Fatphobia? Understanding the Roots and Uses of Anti-fat Bias

  • Savala Nolan, Executive Director, Author

Cultivating a Food System Grounded in Equity: The Role of Healthcare and Healthcare Providers

  • Deanna Belleny Lewis, MPH, RDN, Co-founder of Diversify Dietetics

Conversation with Hi’ilei Hobart on What Shave Ice Teaches us About Refreshment, Race, Colonialism, and Body Politics 

  • Dr. Hi’ilei Hobart, PhD, Author, Professor

How the Other Half Eats: the Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America

  • Dr. Priya Fielding-Singh, PhD, Assistant Professor

The Role of Weight Bias on Health Outcomes

  • Dr. Fatima Cody Standford, MD, MPH, MPA, Physician Scientist, Educator, Policymaker

Freedom, Food, & Fat: Reclaiming our bodies and our world from oppressive weight hierarchies, as part of anti-racism, environmental justice, and more… 

  • Marilyn Wann, Fat activist, Author, Weight Diversity Speaker, Author
  • Chef Fresh Roberson

Food Media, Dudes, and Athletes: What Can They Teach Us about Food Literacy and Liberation? 

  • Emily Contois

Remaking Dinner for Sovereignty and Joy 

  • Winona Bynum
  • Lilly Fink Shapiro
  • Margot Finn

Panel Discussion and Book Launch

  • Marilyn Chin

2022 WCTF Career Conference – Keynote

  • Tamika D. Mallory, Social Justice Leader and Movement Strategist

UMSN Global Health Summer Institute – Chronic Conditions in Women’s Health: Through A Global Lens

  • Dra. Jovita Ortz
  • Dra. Marcela Araya

Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. Founder’s Bal

  • Asia Johnson

ENGAGE Undergraduate Investment Conference

  • Women U-M Business Alums

Take Back the Night Ann Arbor Rally and March

  • Drew Dixon

Diversity and Belonging: Unsung Keyboard Stories

  • Dr. Karen Walwyn

Let Women Choose Her Sphere

  • Valerie Coleman
  • Margaret Brouwer
  • Felicia Sandler


Food Literacy for All with Patricia Escarcega & Leah Douglas

  • Patricia Escárcega, Reporter
  • Leah Douglas, Journalist

Food Literacy for All with Shirley Sherrod & Samina Raja

  • Shirley Sherrod, USDA Rural Development Director
  • Dr. Samina Raja, PhD, Professor, Principal Investigator for the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab
  • Devita Davison

Food Literacy for All with Navina Khanna & Monica Ramirez

  • Monica Ramirez
  • Navina Khanna

Stamps @ Home: A Conversation with Artists from the Exhibition Story, Word, Sound, Sway

  • Yvette Rock, MFA
  • Elizabeth Youngblood, BFA

Partners for Liberation: Researching and Organizing for Educational and Racial Justice

  • Dr. Adrienne Dixon

SHRed Concussions:  Surveillance in High Schools and Community Sport to Reduce Concussions and the Consequences

  • Carolyn Emery, PT, PhD

Take Back the Night – Ann Arbor 

  • Jaclyn Friedman, Writer, Educator, Activist

GirlsUp MRAP Elevate Refugee Women Event

  • Kendall Minor

Women in Leadership Conference

  • Trudy Kortes
  • Erika Low
  • Sarah Fuhrman
  • Elizabeth Mann
  • Christianne Myers
  • Judy A. Kelly
  • Ruth Sedlak

Elevate Spoken Work Events

Stamps @ Home: A Conversation with Artists from the Exhibition

  • Valencia Robin
  • Yvette Rock

Food Literacy for All Courses


CEW+ Advocacy Symposium Kick-off Event: Creating Change through Introspection, Dialogue, and Action – Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund

  • Martha S. Jones, JD, PhD, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, Author, and Historian – 2020
  • Angela D. Dilliard, PhD, Richard A. Meisler Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, Author, Faculty Advisor, Co-PI on the Egalitarian Metropolis project

BLI Speaker Series Compassionate Leadership: Creating a Just, Inclusive, and Mindful Society

  • Mirabai Bush, Senior Fellow

Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assult on Campus

  • Jennifer Hirsch, Professor and Deputy Chair for Doctoral Studies
  • Shamus Khan, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology

Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus

  •  Jennifer Hirsch

Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change and Social Welfare Policy in a Changing World

  • Shannon Lane, PhD

Reflecting on the Past…Reaching toward the Future (Conference on music of the African Diaspora)

  • Kyra Gaunt
  • Aja Burrell Wood
  • Alisha Lola Jones
  • Gayle Murchison

Feminist Futures: Art, Design and Activism Event Series

  • Noura Ballout
  • Nandi Comer
  • Irina Aristarkhova
  • Lucy Lippard
  • Srimoyee Mitra
  • Faith Wilding
  • Holly Hughes
  • Carol Jacobsen
  • Joanne Leonard
  • LeAnn Feilds

Food Literacy for All Courses

We Are Fragmented

  • Amira Hanafi

Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era

  • Elena Gutierrez, UIC
  • Maylei Blackwell, UCLA
  • Virginia Martinez, Chicago attorney, Activist

Decolonizing Academia with Dr. Clelia Rodríguez

  • Clelia O. Rodriguez, PhD

Mari Katayama – Exhibition and Programming

  • Mari Katayama

Women of Color Mixer

  • Regina Strong

Connectivity and Mobility in the Ancient Western Mediterranean

  • Tamar Hodos, PhD

Compassionate Leadership: Creating a Just, Inclusive, and Mindful Society

  • Mirabai Bush

Ann Arbor Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-ton

  • Diana Nucera

Shannon Cohen – Advocacy Symp and WCTF/WOCAP Leadership Training


Global Summer Institute

  • Nthabiseng A. Phaladze, PhD

Art, Ideas, & Politics: Ninth Street Women with author Mary Gabriel

  • Mary Gabriel

U-M Data Visualization Workshop

  • Stephanie Evergreen

Sexual Harasssment: The Law, the Politics and the Movement

  • Catherine A. MacKinnon

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

  • Tiffany Rhynard

Food Literacy for All Lecture Series

  • Mónica Ramírez

Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange Residency I Three Sisters

  •  Carolyn Dunn

Narrating Black Girls’ Lives

  • Saidiya Hartman

Jessica Care Moore: Poetry in Hip Hop Talk and Performance 

  • Jessica Care Moore
  • Ursula Rucker

Women of the Guild: Poetry Talk and Performance 

  • Bayan Founas
  • Mariah S

Culturally Aware Mentor Training Session

National Coming Out Week

Dia de Los Muertos Ball


Ann Navarro Lecture 

  • Ann Navarro

Summer Institute in Global Reproductive Health

Beyond Borders Exhibition

Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda

  • Lilly Tomlin
  • Jane Fonda

Exercising the Eye and Ceal Floyer 

  • Ceal Floyer

Janet Mock- Keynote 

  • Janet Mock


The Spectrum of Advocacy and Activism: Finding Your Voice – Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund & Mullin Welch Fund

  • Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy-winning producer

“Healing Through The Sound of Music” The  Fannie Lou Hamer Story One Woman Play

Arts Engine

Lean in Leadership Summit

International Women’s Day Jin in 

MAASU Spring 2017 Conference 

Traces Event

Marcia Porter Guest Recital

Flint Water Crisis Teach-in


Masterclass with Andrea Parkins and Resonance Concert

“I’mma Do Me” 15-Character One-Woman Play

#BlackActivism: Social Media and Digital Organizing Symposium

The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo

U-M Conference on Nutrition & Iron

Trans Health Activism


U-M Alumna Aimee Cox Returns to Discuss Her New Book “Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship”

  • Aimee Meredith Cox, PhD
  • Kelly Askew, PhD

National Public Radio Journalist Michel Martin

  • Michel Martin, Journalist and NPR correspondent


Alice Walker, Novelist and Human Rights Activist: U-M Zora Neale Hurston Lecture November 5, 2014 

  • Alice Walker, Author, Pulitzer prize and National Book Award-winning – 2014


“The Witches of Gambaga”

  • Yada Badoe, Director, Producer

UMMA Dialogues: Artist Haroon Mirza and Curator Elizabetth Thomas

  • Harooon Mirza
  • Elizabeth Thomas


In Conversation with Chen Limin, Artist Talk and Exhibit Tour

  • Chen Limin, Printmaker


Urban Planning and Design for the American City 

  • Toni L. Griffin, Harvard Graduate

The Washington Catwalk

  • Robin Givhan, Fashion Editor

Growing Hope Through Sustainable Community Gardens

  • Amanda Edmonds, Executive Director

Women in Corporate America

  • Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women
  • Melissa Fisher, Georgetown University


A Conversation with Soledad O’Brien, CNN Special Correspondent

  • Soledad O’Brien, CNN Special Correspondent

U-M Museum of Art UMMA Projects: Lisa Anne Auerbach Lecture and Exhibit

  • Lisa Ann Auerbach


Jane Evelyn Atwood – Too Much Time: Women in Prison (Exhibit)

  • Jane Evelyn Atwood, Author

Institute for Research on Women and Gender Lecture

  • Nina Totenberg, Legal affairs correspondent, National Public Radio


Low Wage Work and Work Organizations: A critical Research and Policy Frontier

  • Anne Ladky, Executive Director
  • Carrie Leana, Professor
  • Amy Wrzesniewski, Associate Professor 


Annu Mathew Exhibit: “Bollywood Satirized”

  • Annu Matthew, Assistant Professor

Artist’s Talk: Annu Matthew “Exploring My Diaspora”

  • Annu Matthew, Assistant Professor

Women and (In)equality in Economics: A Visit with Connie Evans and Anne Ladaky

  • Connie Evans
  • Anne Ladky

For Good or Ill? Affirmative Action for Women

  • Kathy Rodgers, J.D. President, Legal Momentum

“Against Health” Conference

  • Joycelyn Elders, PhD
  • Susan Love, PhD


Gender Differences in Leadership Style 

  • Virginia Ota, PhD, Director

The Search for Status in Contemporary Black Atlantic Popular Culture: Internationalism, Materialism, and Body-Consciousness

  • Ifeoma Nwankwo, Assistant Professor – 2005 

Your Children, Their Peers, and Peer Pressure 

  • Carole Lapidos, MSW, Consultant and Co-Founder  – 2005

Arab Women and Activism in the 21st Century 

  • Nadine Naber, Moderator, Assistant Professor – 2005
  • Anan Amiri, Director – 2005
  • Amal Hassan Fadlallah, Assistant Professor – 2005
  • Huda Karaman, Palestinian activist – 2005
  • Saja Raoof, AMWAJ – 2005
  • May Seikaly, Chair of Near Eastern Studies – 2005

The New Low Dose Hormone Therapies for Women’s Health: Panacea or Health Risk?  

  • Nancy Reame, Rhetaugh Graces Dumas Professor of Nursing

Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II: And if I Perish

  • Rosemary Neidel-Greenless, MSN, RN

Valuing All Families: Marriage and More

  • Stephanie Coontz, Professor of History and Family Studies
  • Nancy Polikoff, Professor of Law
  • Beth Hawkins, Journalist
  • Pamela Smock, Associate Director

Never Kissed A Frog. Never Had To. A Woman’s Guide to Financial Security

  • Barbara Tucker

Dual Career Couples: Balancing the Tasks of Home and Work

  • Gil Ureno, MA LLP

Voice Habits That Can Sabotage a Woman’s Success 

  • Marlena Reigh, Voice Image Specialist; Owner of Radiant Communications

The Power of One: Know Yourself, Change Your World 

  • Maria Fernanda Calleja, MA, Consultant

Annual Shaw Lecture: Jacqui Alexander

  • M. Jacqui Alexander, Professor

Artist’s Talk: Betye Saar, “Extending the Frozen Moment”

  • Betye Saar, Artist


The Faculty You Should Have Had When You Were in School

  • Beverly Geltner, PhD, Chair, Leadership Council, Center for the Education of Women – 2003
  • Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education,  Co-Associate Director, Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social Research – 2003
  • Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni, PhD, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Department of Geological Science – 2003
  • Elizabeth A. Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor Science Education, School of Education,  2001 President Early  Career Award Recipient for Science and Engineering – 2003
  • Susan Juster, PhD, Associate Professor of History – 2003
  • Toni Hoover, PhD, Full Development Team Leader Vice President, Neurosciences and Oncology Therapy Area, Pfizer Global Research and Development – 2003


Kara Walker, Exhibit and Lecture


Bridging Gender Divides: Educational Access, Leadership and Technology Conference

  • Nancy Cantor, Provost
  • Dolores Cross, President
  • Jane Fountain, Associate professor
  • Heidi Hartmann, President
  • Sylvia Hurtado, Director
  • Jacqueline E. Kind, Director
  • Nichole Pinkard, Assistant Professor
  • Rossi Ray-Taylor, Superintendent
  • Kathy Rodgers, President
  • Bernice Sandler, Senior Scholar in Residence

Lorna Simpson Art Exhibit and Lecture

  • Lorna Simpson, American Artist

“Shut Up and Love Me” Karen Finley, Performance and Lecture

  • Karen Finley, Artist