Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design
Larry M. Gant’s current work focuses on neighborhood-level change efforts in the Detroit and surrounding metropolitan areas. The co-operative work incorporates strategies and tactics inspired by collaborations with research colleagues sharing historical, social and political lessons learned from medieval postwar and postindustrial cities including Berlin, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Krakow, and Warsaw. Particular practice interests include the continued reinvention and recreation of legacy spaces within these cities, lessons learned from the EU's experience of mass migrations between 2015 to date, community resident survival and growth in resisting and transforming structured gentrification initiatives, and implications of continuing debate regarding current and future representations of conflict memorials, and their legacies and histories for Detroit’s historical landscape.
Gant’s neighborhood-based prevention and promotion related work and research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and numerous private foundations.
Eljonna Williams (she/her) is a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Social Work concentrating in Community Change. She is a proud Wolverine, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Heath from the University of Michigan.
She has a passion for social change work and hopes to gain a more in-depth understanding of Community Engagement through her internship with the DEI Office. Currently, her passions include racial equity issues around medical debt, access to quality care, and education for communities of color. Additionally, Eljonna has worked with an array of individuals both globally and locally around Community Empowerment.
Megan Leys (she/her pronouns) is a Master of Social Work candidate with a practice method in Community Change, and is a part of the National Community Scholars Program. She received her bachelor's in Youth Studies through the University of Minnesota. Megan has worked in a variety of settings with young people and families in both urban and rural communities throughout the United States. Megan is passionate about community capacity building, decolonizing research and education, and dedicated to working collaboratively to create a more equitable society.