U-M leadership, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students will gather again June 4 to reflect on the progress that has been made and the many problems that still plague the world related to racism, violence, and inequality.

The hour-long discussion, from 1-2 p.m., comes nearly one year after the original Crucial Conversations for Societal Change event.


Moderated by Katrina Wade-Golden, deputy chief diversity officer, the panel will include President Mark Schlissel, Eddie Washington Jr., executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security, and representatives from the graduate and undergraduate student communities.

“As members of a public university community, we must engage around the many urgent issues that are causing harm and taking too many lives in our nation,” Schlissel said. “I urge everyone at U-M to ask what they can do to help create a more just world, as we engage in the crucial conversations needed to change our society for the better.”

New this year, Vice President for Research Rebecca Cunningham will join the panel to offer perspectives on the university’s ongoing firearm injury prevention research.

“Firearm injuries lead to more than 100 deaths per day across the United States, and this public health crisis is growing more intense every year,” said Cunningham, the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine. “Much more can be done to address this problem, which is why teams across the University of Michigan are working together to generate new knowledge and advance innovative solutions that ultimately reduce firearm injury.”

Also participating will be Earl Lewis, Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies and Public Policy, director of the Center for Social Solutions, and professor of history, of Afroamerican and African studies and of public policy. Lewis co-chairs the Advancing Public Safety at the University of Michigan Task Force.

Born out of a need to address rising societal tensions and facilitate transparent dialogue evaluating U-M’s own campus climate and concerns following the death of George Floyd, the May 6, 2020, Crucial Conversations for Societal Change event was attended by nearly 5,000 live participants. The constructive conversation allowed for authentic discussion about race, law enforcement, protest and reform through the lens of education and scholarship.

Advance registration for the event is not required. However attendees may submit questions for the panel ahead of time.

This article originally appeared in the May 19, 2021 edition of The University Record