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Current Award Winners

The School of Social Work's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) established the DEI Impact Awards to recognize individuals or groups in the School who have made significant contributions in advancing DEI in the School or in the community. This year the office recognizes MSW student Brandon Bond, MSW student Kiante McKinley, Assistant Professor Odessa Gonzalez Benson, ENGAGE: DETROIT Program Manager and Lecturer Ayesha Ghazi Edwin, and the team of Joyce Lee, PhD '21 Social Work/Psychology, MSW student Emily Ku and Maggie Chen, MSW '15.

Student 2021 Impact Award

Brandon Bond
MSW/MPH Student

Kiante McKinley
MSW Student

“I am very appreciative of this award and grateful that it will be a stepping stone towards my true reward of global justice, accountability and mass liberation!” - Brandon Bond

“Wow! I'm beyond grateful to have been chosen for the 2021 DEI Impact Award! I will continue down the path in contributing to developing a more equitable, caring and socially just society! Lastly, I would like to leave you all with a quote said by our 44th President —Barack Obama 'Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek'.” - Kiante McKinley

Faculty 2021 Impact Award

Odessa Gonzalez Benson
Assistant Professor of Social Work

“I am moved and humbled that conversations and co-learning with students and in classrooms are part of students' individual journeys towards transformative social work practice — as we look deeply at historical, epistemic and systemic injustice/violence, we also pursue forward with imagination, innovation and resolution.” - Odessa Gonzalez Benson

Staff 2021 Impact Award

Ayesha Ghazi Edwin
Association to the School: ENGAGE: DETROIT Program Manager and Lecturer

“I'm honored to win this award. My work has been so inspired by our students' commitment to social justice and to always speak up for what is right. This award will continue to inspire me to be inclusive in my teaching and work with students, the community and others.” - Ayesha Ghazi Edwin

Team 2021 Impact Award

Creators of their children's book, “Young, Proud, and Sung-jee.”

Joyce Lee, PhD '21, Social Work/Psychology

Emily Ku, MSW '21

Maggie Chen, MSW '15

“I feel extremely honored that my team and I have been selected for the 2021 DEI Impact Award from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. This award affirms and strengthens our efforts to support children, families and communities to fight against anti-Asian racism, violence, xenophobia, and more broadly, White supremacy. We hope to continue to use our creative work to amplify social justice issues pertinent to Asian American and Pacific Islanders and other people of color and thus contribute to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community at the University of Michigan and beyond. Thank you so much for this award.” - Joyce Y. Lee

“What a privilege and honor it is to be receiving the DEI Impact Award from the School of Social Work for 'Young, Proud, and Sung-jee.' The spirit of the book aims to create meaningful discourse that equips parents to have the necessary tools to educate their kids on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sung-jee's story is a reflection of the experiences that many Asian Pacific Islander children face. It means a great deal for the school to support storytelling that traces the Asian American experience and to recognize the important and needed dialogue across generations.” - Emily Ku

“I am incredibly grateful to the University of Michigan School of Social Work for selecting the creators of 'Young, Proud, and Sung-jee' for a 2021 DEI Impact Award. The process of sharing our children's book as an educational resource wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of community members who have poured their energy into creating translations. Receiving this award is truly a reflection of the power of diverse, equitable and inclusive communities. We are committed to continuing the work of developing a more socially just world!” - Maggie Chen

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