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• Register for the conference>

• A list of members of the CID Steering Committee>

• More about diversity at Michigan>

Futuring Diversity Conference May 17-18
National leaders, campus participants to shape role of new center

Organizers of the "Futuring Diversity Conference" May 17-18 expect to come away from the event with a framework for the direction of the University's new national Center for Institutional Diversity (CID). To that end, members of the CID Steering Committee have invited some of the nation's top leaders to campus to address diversity in: global relationships, the workplace and marketplace, community engagement, health, the arts, and K-12 and higher education.

"The proposed national diversity center will take Michigan's longstanding, proven commitment to diversity to a higher level," says Lester Monts, senior vice provost and counselor to the president for the arts, diversity and undergraduate affairs. "The alliances with corporate and institutional entities that helped us prevail at the U.S. Supreme Court were just the beginning of our work together. This conference now invites leaders from a variety of social networks to advise us about the most pressing diversity challenges in our nation—and about how the center can best harness Michigan's power of research, and collaborate with other social institutions to address those challenges."

During the conference, Richard C. Atkinson, emeritus president of the University of California system (U.C.), will give the keynote address as the 3rd annual Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lecturer on Intellectual Diversity. Atkinson is credited with creating a number of innovative approaches to admissions and outreach following the outlaw of affirmative action in California as a result of Proposition 209. During his tenure he is said to have increased access for a diverse population to the system's 10 universities; accelerated U.C.'s contributions to the state's economy; and led a successful challenge resulting in changes to the way students are tested for the SAT 1 exam.

Members of the University community are encouraged to take part in the event to be held at the Michigan League. Special guests and conference participants will come together in a number of large and small group sessions to address the key topic areas. Pre-registration is required so that participants can choose a topic of interest, and prepare ahead of time by reading a concept paper and other materials that will guide each discussion.

University faculty will moderate the discussions. The invited guests and University participants by topic area, include:

Global Relationships

The concept paper author is Lamin Sanneh, professor of missions and world Christianity, Yale Divinity School. Panelists include: Veena Das, professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University and Linda Lim, incoming director of the U-M Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The moderator will be David William Cohen, director of the Program in Anthropology and History.

Workplace & Marketplace

Presenters are: John Sibley Butler, director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Innovation and Creativity at the University of Texas at Austin, and Ann Akiko Kusumoto, president of A. A. Kusumoto, Inc. Panelists include: Andy Imparato, president, American Association of People with Disabilities; Elizabeth Bunn, secretary-treasurer of the UAW; and Allan Gilmour, former vice chairman, Ford Motor Company. The moderator will be Lynn Perry Wooten, professor of corporate strategy and international business.

Community Engagement

The concept paper author is June Manning Thomas, professor of urban planning at Michigan State University. Panelists are: Hassan Jaber, associate executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services; Carol Goss, CEO of the Skillman Foundation; and Ann Lin, U-M professor of public policy. The moderator will be Barry Checkoway, professor of social work and urban planning.


The concept paper author is Camara Jones, research director on social determinants of health, Centers for Disease Control. Panelists are: Rick Haverkate, director of health services, Inter Tribal Council of Michigan, and Elisabeth Gruskin, research scientist in the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The moderator will be Antonia Villarruel, professor of nursing.


The concept paper author is Gerard Behague, professor of music, University of Texas at Austin.

Panelists include: Dudley Cocke, director, Roadside Theater /Appalshop; Thylias Moss, poet and professor of English at U-M; and James Steward, director, U-M Museum of Art. The moderator will be Tobin Siebers, professor of English.

K-12 Education

The concept paper author is Chauncey Veatch, the 2002-03 National Teacher of the Year. Panelists are: Kenji Hakuta, dean of School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, University of California, Merced, and specialist in K-12 bilingual education; Beverley Geltner, superintendent of Southfield, Mich., public schools; and Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The moderator will be John Burkhardt, professor of education.

Higher Education

The concept paper author is Daria Roithmayr, professor of law at the University of Illinois. Panelists include: Carol Schneider, president, Association of American Colleges & Universities; Gerald Gipp, executive director, American Indian Higher Education Consortium; and Lee Knefelkamp, professor of higher education, Columbia Teachers College. The moderator will be Pat Gurin, professor emerita of psychology and women's studies.

The conference, which is supported by the Ford Foundation, also will feature a number of artists from the University and Ann Arbor community including: Gayathri Arumugham, traditional Bharatha Natyam dancer and artist-in-residence at the International Institute; Linda Gregerson, poet and professor of English; Jeremy Kittel, Celtic fiddler and alumnus of the School of Music; Moss, poet and professor of English; Roger Chard, baritone soloist and attorney from Ann Arbor; and the Ypsilanti High School Concert Choir.

"Given the national import of this initiative, we are especially pleased that some of the most accomplished professors and deans on this campus have participated in the planning process for the center and the conference," Monts says. "We remain grateful for President Coleman's support of this endeavor, and we are delighted to team up once again with the Ford Foundation on issues of diversity."

To register for the conference, go to: For a list of members of the CID Steering Committee, see: To learn more about diversity at Michigan, go to:

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