Associate Professor Terri Friedline discusses her research in The Conversation on how postal banking could provide a financial lifeline to the millions of Americans without a bank account.
According to data, 24% of U.S. census tracts have neither a community bank nor a credit union branch, leaving 21 million people "underbanked." The lack of affordable banking creates real hardships that disproportionately hurt low-income Americans and communities of color. Without a bank account, people pay higher fees and interest rates, have a harder time building credit history and are less able to get mortgages and other kinds of loans, writes Friedline.
Clinical Assistant Professor and Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge was quoted in Concentrate on the county’s plans to use taxes from the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry to address racial inequity. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners recently approved a budget amendment that will use all annual revenue from the marijuana excise tax, which is expected to produce $200,000 per year, to create equity-based programming initiatives. Hodge wants this budget amendment to help expand the county’s Racial Equity Office.
“I’d like to see us grow that office to several more staff, so that they’re in the position to work intensely across the county to promote racial justice and equity initiatives,” Hodge said. “Some of that might look like doing trainings, doing audits of departments, providing resources in the community, and making sure that all of the initiatives coming out of every county department are approached through an anti-racism lens.”
ENGAGE Program Manager Fatima Salman, MSW ‘15, was elected president of NASW-Michigan. “I am honored and excited for my new role in this, a time when social workers are needed more than ever,” says Salman. “The effects of the pandemic have magnified the mental health crisis in our nation, the need to destigmatize mental health treatment, and the essential nature of social work practitioners in helping communities heal, deal with loss and be committed to equity and inclusion in all spheres of life. This is THE moment that all of us social workers must step up and deploy micro and macro social workers committed to anti-racist practice and ethics to address our crisis and lead Michigan in mental health recovery.” She will begin her term on July 1.
Professor Trina Shanks discusses with CNN the lasting impact of racial violence from the end of the Civil War through the early 20th century. The Tulsa race massacre, which took place 100 years ago this week, was one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history, and part of a larger pattern of assault. “If Blacks were successful and actually were visibly prosperous, that made them a target. Some of the violence might have been triggered by this economic envy,” said Shanks. She explains that some White Americans thought, “How can we make sure that we reserve these economic benefits and opportunities for the White population and our children and push Blacks out so there can be more for us.”
Professor Rogério M. Pinto spoke with Fox 17 West Michigan about how demonstrations can change public opinion. In the wake of George Floyd’s death last year, there were over 10,000 protests and demonstration events over the summer, 95% of them were peaceful. “Protests are also effective in the sense of changing people’s hearts, not just their opinions but changing how they feel about groups in the population,” said Pinto.
Professor Trina Shanks discusses how public engagement connects U-M, Detroit and local communities. Shanks research focuses on creating solutions, including childhood saving accounts and neighborhood investment programs. After initially researching the “why” in racial income disparity, Shanks learned “I’d really prefer to be part of the conversation about concrete changes that can make a difference in helping people to thrive and improve life chances for all people, particularly those facing economic hardship.”
PhD student and Reverend Charles Williams of Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist Church is featured in a HuffPost article about closing the COVID-19 vaccine race gap. Citing accessibility and hesitancy, Williams thinks it could be a year or more before citywide vaccination rates in Detroit catch up to the rest of the country. “There’s a sincere concern about the care that many of us get when we go to the doctor’s office, end up in the hospital,” Williams said. “You talk to any Black family, we all have the same strategy ― somebody is going to have to be there around the clock, in the room, to stay on top of these nurses and to make sure the doctor comes by, because if we don’t practice that strategy, the system will let our loved one down.”
PhD student Garrett Pace, Associate Professor Shawna Lee, and Professor Andrew Grogan-Kaylor's research was cited in public policy discussions in Colombia, leading to a ban on corporal punishment of children in that country. Colombian legislator Julián Peinado Ramírez shared his memo on Twitter, which references Grogan-Kaylor, Lee and Pace’s 2019 work. The research and ban were also featured on Radio Santa Fe 1070 AM Bogotá.
Lecturer Ayesha Ghazi Edwin’s letter to the editor “Race and ethnicity shouldn’t determine women’s pay” was published in the Detroit News. Edwin discusses Asian American/Pacific Islander women’s Equal Pay Day writing “If we are to close the pay gap, we need to strengthen equal pay laws to allow women to discover and fight against pay discrimination.”
Joe Ryan is a member of a new task force created by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) charged with preventing and eliminating systemic racism in the state's child protection system. He will chair the data subcommittee.
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