Stephanie Gray Chang
Master of Social Work & Master of Public Policy 2014
When Stephanie Chang completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, she moved to Detroit to serve as an assistant to Asian-American civil rights icon Grace Lee Boggs. Over the next decade, she worked in Detroit with a host of community organizations and progressive causes, taking on issues such as affirmative action, voting rights and immigrants' rights. The social justice aspect of her work inspired Chang to continue her studies at U-M. Chang returned to U-M to pursue a dual degree in social work and public policy. She developed theoretical skills to complement the experience she gained in practice. "The dual degree program allowed me to pursue my areas of interest with an outstanding faculty," Chang said.
Her social work field placement was in Detroit Mayor Bing's office. She assisted in creating new initiatives for the Detroit Police Department. While finishing her graduate degrees, Chang was encouraged to run for office by friends and community leaders. Chang's motivation, she says, was personal. "My husband and I plan to start our family here in Detroit," said Chang. "So I want to fight for a future that includes excellent education for every child, safe neighborhoods, a fair justice system, and a safety net to make sure everyone has a chance to thrive."
In November 2014, Chang was elected State Representative for Michigan's 6th House District. Chang is connecting residents with services to solve conflicts such as fixing utility bill issues, making sure residents receive their DHS benefits, and providing free tax preparation with the Accounting Aid Society.
Chang currently serves on the House Criminal Justice, Education, and Judiciary committees. She is the co-founder and past president of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan and served as a mentor with the Detroit Asian Youth Project.