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Larry Gant

Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design

Larry M. Gant’s current work focuses on neighborhood-level change efforts in the Detroit and surrounding metropolitan areas. The co-operative work incorporates strategies and tactics inspired by collaborations with research colleagues sharing historical, social and political lessons learned from medieval postwar and postindustrial cities including Berlin, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Krakow, and Warsaw. Particular practice interests include the continued reinvention and recreation of legacy spaces within these cities, lessons learned from the EU's experience of mass migrations between 2015 to date, community resident survival and growth in resisting and transforming structured gentrification initiatives, and implications of continuing debate regarding current and future representations of conflict memorials, and their legacies and histories for Detroit’s historical landscape.

Gant’s neighborhood-based prevention and promotion related work and research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and numerous private foundations.

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Lauren Davis

Assistant Director of SSW DEI Program

Lauren Davis (she/hers), MSW ‘07 has been working with the School of Social Work since 2008. She is currently the Assistant Director of the School of Social Work’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is responsible for the implementation of the School's DE&I strategic plan. She also is a field instructor for MSW students in the DEI Office. She has worked in higher education for more than ten years in advising, academic support, admissions, recruitment, and helping students navigate wellness concerns. Her passion is for creating inclusive learning environments where students can thrive academically, personally and professionally.

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Yamani Vinson

Graduate Student Staff Assistant

Yamani Rikia Vinson (she/her) is a second-year Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) Candidate at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. She earned her BS in Psychology from Michigan State University in 2019 and is an alum of the University of Michigan's Summer Enrichment Program. Currently, Yamani is working as the Educational Program Coordinator for the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health and for the COVID-19 Coping Study as the Director of Communication. At the School of Public Health, Yamani is known for her development of the Social Epidemiology Certificate Program, and her role as President of the Michigan Healthcare Executive Student Association. She also planned the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshop series: "If You Really Knew Me." Yamani is passionate about intersectionality, anti-racism work, and health equity.

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Megan Leys

MSW Intern

Megan Leys (she/her pronouns) is a Master of Social Work candidate with a practice method in Community Change, and is a part of the National Community Scholars Program. She received her bachelor's in Youth Studies through the University of Minnesota. Megan has worked in a variety of settings with young people and families in both urban and rural communities throughout the United States. Megan is passionate about community capacity building, decolonizing research and education, and dedicated to working collaboratively to create a more equitable society.

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Brianna Suggs

MSW Intern

Brianna Suggs (she/her pronouns), is a Master of Social Work student with a practice method in Community Organizing, practice area in Community and Social Systems, along with Social Policy and Evaluation minor. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education with a degree in Community Engagement and Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2019. Brianna has previously done research regarding the evaluation of youth caregivers in policies and programs, which has nurtured her research interests regarding marginalized youth, family, and institutional dynamics affecting their quality of life. Brianna is also interested in exploring ways the DEI office can help facilitate creating opportunities where all perspectives can be conveyed and supported.

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