Assistant Professor Fernanda Cross spoke with WEMU about the Latinx Teen Empowerment Group at Ypsilanti Community High School. Cross’ research focusing on Latinx immigrants in southeast Michigan lead to the program, which provides small group therapy in Spanish to support mental health and create community. The digital news magazine Concentrate has a companion story to the radio conversation.
“I'm a Latinx immigrant like them. And I know how much support our community needs, and I know all of our strengths. I know what we're capable of,” said Cross. “If we are able to support the kids, they would be able to accomplish so much more and really be able to demonstrate their strength and just have a better experience — better outcome — for their lives.”
Professors Shawna Lee and Andy Grogan-Kaylor have been awarded a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for the Global Families project. Their project will use data from over 520,000 families in 57 low- and middle-income countries to examine the similarities and differences in parenting and child development, and the effects of social factors, including parental physical abuse and violent norms and crimes, worldwide.
"We are thrilled that the grant provides us with the opportunity to look at the relationship of gender inequality, parenting and child development in a large number of countries worldwide, and that the grant also gives us an opportunity to carry out this project working with undergraduate students at UM-Flint," said Grogan-Kaylor.
Professor Luke Shaefer was quoted in a New York Times op-ed which examines how quick action from the government at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shortest recession on record. “This is the best, most successful response to an economic crisis that we have ever mounted, and it is not even close,” said Shaefer.
Professor William Elliott III had an in-depth discussion with CBS News Detroit about President Biden’s new student loan forgiveness program. “For those who have received a degree and come out with debt, this is going to strengthen the return on the degree,” he said. “The money they are making from having gone to college will benefit them far more by not having all this debt on them for really years and years — decades even.”
Elliott also spoke with The Guardian about how student loan debt can affect and delay financial decisions such as owning a home, getting married and starting a family. “You’re not going to achieve a sense of the American dream at a period of your life when it means a lot,” said Elliott.
In 2018, ENGAGE launched the Small Grants Program to encourage faculty to build partnerships with Detroit community-based organizations and to support resident-led efforts to strengthen Detroit neighborhoods. These awards are supported by the Office of the Provost and are part of the School of Social Work’s strategic effort to connect Detroit engagement efforts and increase impact in the city. ENGAGE partners with the Ford School’s Detroit Urban Research Center in the administration of the small grants program.
Here are this year’s grant recipients:
1) It's not just me! Black young adults' views of what it takes to live on the right side of the law: An intersectional-CBPR study
Faculty Member: Associate Professor Camille Quinn (Michael Kloc, research assistant)
Community Partner: Rai LaNier, Executive Director, MI Liberation
2) Neighborhood Initiatives Examining Organizational Impact: A Quality Team Project
Faculty Member: Associate Professor Katie Richards-Shuster
Community Partner: Alexandra Bolin, Impact and Improvement Coordinator, United Project
3) Community-led Storytelling in Detroit
Faculty Member: Lecturer Maureen Okasinski
Community Partner: Erik Howard, Executive Director, Inside Southwest Detroit
4) D-Boy Dads: Exploring Fatherhood in Detroit
Faculty Member: Professor Rich Tolman
Community Partners: Sam Donald, Director Detroit Musix; Marcus Hille, Parent Think Tank; Willie Bell, Director: Family Assistance for Renaissance Men; John Miles, Children’s Center, Fatherhood Coordinator; Bomani Gray: Metro Detroit Father Policy Group
Assistant Professor Rebeccah Sokol spoke with multiple news outlets about a recent study that showed teens who have been exposed to violence have a significantly higher rate of carrying firearms. Sokol said “This study highlights the importance of identifying the unique circumstances that link these two different types of exposure to violence to youth carrying firearms. By doing so, we can better understand why young people feel the need to own a firearm, provide intervention support and strategies, and reduce firearm injuries in youth,”
The study was a collaboration between the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, where Sokol is the training and education core co-director, and the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens Consortium.
Associate Professor Kristin Seefeldt spoke to the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Michigan about Ann Arbor joining the growing list of cities across the nation exploring a guaranteed basic income program. Seefeldt will oversee the pilot program which will provide 100 income-eligible entrepreneurs with $525 a month for 24 months. “It could be someone who actually has established a small business that’s actively operating to someone who occasionally does yard work and mows lawns for neighbors … we’re really casting a broad net when we talk about … entrepreneurial activity,” said Seefeldt.
Clinical Assistant Professor Justin Hodge was interviewed by CBS Detroit where he discussed health equity and the practices around the sale of flavored tobacco products across the state. “We know that 21% of teens in Michigan have reported e-cigarette use, and a study with the FDA has shown that 40% of retailers have sold cigarettes to minors,” said Hodge.
Professor Trina Shanks’ research on the long-term implications of the Homestead Act was cited by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her dissent of last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions.
Assistant Professor Rebeccah Sokol was quoted in a New York Times article exploring the rise in gun ownership in American families. Sokol’s research shows that families with teenagers who kept one firearm loaded and unlocked were more likely to buy another firearm during the pandemic than those who kept guns stored. These households are particularly vulnerable to gun injuries, she said. “Teens have some of the highest rates of firearm fatal and nonfatal injuries.”
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