Professor Joe Ryan was quoted in the Michigan Chronicle about new protocols set by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as part of their Keep Kids Safe Action Agenda.
“MDHHS demonstrates a strong commitment to data-driven decisions to help keep children safe and guide the development of services for families,” he said. “Department actions such as increasing the number of family resource centers that provide critical services to vulnerable families and expanding home visiting programs are examples of efforts that are evidence-based and designed to strengthen families and help protect children in Michigan.”
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with Michigan Advance about Rx Kids, a new program in Flint, Michigan, which will work to improve residents’ health by alleviating poverty in the state’s poorest city. The program, which is likely to begin in 2024, specifically focuses on maternal and infant health outcomes at a community level; every Flint resident who is pregnant will be eligible to receive direct cash payments during their pregnancy and throughout the first year of their child’s life. RxKids is a collaboration between Michigan State University and University of Michigan. Shaefer, who is the director of U-M’s Poverty Solutions, is working on the program’s launch.
“This is something where Flint becomes a leader for the nation; that’s a really powerful thing,” Shaefer said. “We’ve already spent time at the White House, at the U.S. Capitol, in Lansing, and I’ve never had a project like this where people get this happy,” Shaefer said. “I’ve been working in poverty for a long time, and I think the design of this and values imbued in it are fundamentally different than other efforts.”
Shaefer also discussed the program with WKAR, Vigourtimes and Yahoo! News.
Field Faculty Yatesha Robinson has been selected as a 2023 Michigan Road Scholar. The annual Michigan Road Scholar Tour is a five-day traveling seminar through the state of Michigan for U-M faculty. The tour provides a unique opportunity for faculty to learn more about the state’s economy, government, geography, educational systems, history and the diverse communities and cultures. The experience encourages public service and collaboration for the benefit of all Michiganders. This year’s tour takes place during the first week of May.
MSW student Kevin Nguyen has been appointed to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As the only student and youngest commissioner to ever serve on MAPAAC, I am humbled and honored to represent the growing APIA population in Michigan.” ENGAGE Program Manager and Lecturer Ayesha Ghazi Edwin serves as chair of the commission.
ENGAGE Program Manager and Ann Arbor City Council Member Ayesha Ghazi Edwin, MSW ’10, worked with fellow City Council Member Linh Song, MSW ’04 and the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MI) to officially proclaim March as Social Work Month in the city of Ann Arbor. “We have so many great social workers improving our society everyday, and serving at various levels of government — from local, to county, to state level and beyond,” said Ghazi Edwin. “Many of us were trained at U-M’s School of Social Work and carry our teachings into communities to improve society and create change.” Dean Beth Angell and Duane Briejak, MSW ’12 and executive director of NASW-MI, were also in attendance for the proclamation at the Ann Arbor City Council meeting on March 20, 2023.
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with the Michigan Advance about the “dark times” Michigan is facing given the recent cuts in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. “I want to stress how incredibly successful the expansion of the safety net was during the COVID crisis — the expansion of SNAP, extended unemployment insurance, the expanded child tax credit, as well as rental assistance,” he said, "...it really saved millions of families across the country, and many, many families here in Michigan, from the types of hardships I expected when we started COVID."
Associate Research Scientist Roland Zullo discussed Michigan’s right-to-work law with WEMU. “Repealing right-to-work certainly helps the labor movement on a couple of levels. But the main one,” said Zullo “is that it shows that labor has regained a little bit of political power in this state.”
Dean Emerita Paula Allen-Meares spoke with public radio station WNIJ about an initiative in Rockford, Illinois using poetry to increase health awareness. The six-part video program was created in partnership with the University of Illinois in Chicago, of which Allen-Meares is chancellor emerita.
Allen-Meares has a long history of using the arts as an avenue to advance social work. During her tenure at the School of Social Work, she established the School’s groundbreaking and influential art collection.
Lecturer Trevor Bechtel, PhD ‘08, spoke with Michigan Radio’s Stateside about how the prevalence of guns in our society affect police interactions. Bechtel is also the Student Engagement & Strategic Projects Manager at U-M’s Poverty Solutions and is a co-author of their recent report examining the use of force by law enforcement.
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with Michigan Radio about a new report from U-M’s Poverty Solutions, which shows that U.S. police officers kill more people in days than police in other countries kill in years. “This is one place where, if we’re trying to see things from the perspective of police … that fear, that vigilance really of anyone and everyone that they encounter may have a gun does look like it drives more police shootings,” he said. Shaefer is Poverty Solutions’ faculty director and one of the authors of the report.
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