Exploring Women’s History Month with U-M Experts 

This special series of Michigan Minds features University of Michigan faculty leading research on the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing social disparities in health, the history of Black girlhood and the history of Black motherhood during the 19th century, and supporting the needs of women and underserved individuals.

Learn more and tune in to each episode below:

Advancing health policy research and reducing social disparities in health

Paula Lantz is the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and is currently engaged in research regarding abortion policy, housing policy, and how COVID-19 continues to exacerbate existing social, economic, and health inequities in the United States. In this episode, she discusses the social determinants of declining birth rates, the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing social disparities in health, and the particular importance of recognizing Women’s History Month in 2023. 

“I think Women’s History Month is a time where we all should do a bit more reflection about the ever-changing and tenuous nature of gender-based violence and discrimination in the world, and the important role that public policy reform and the legal codification of rights for all people—the important role that that change plays in historical change.”

Exploring the history of Black girlhood

LaKisha Michelle Simmons is a historian of African American gender history, and an Associate Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Simmons joins Michigan Minds to talk about her research specializing in Black girlhood, history of the family, history of sexuality, and southern history in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

“I sort of became a quilter and looked for any scraps of Black girls’ lives and what they left behind in order to reconstruct their worlds and thoughts and feelings during that time. And so I found them hiding almost in plain sight—whether that was in newspaper articles, or in police records, or in social workers’ records who were working at after school programs, or finding poems that they had written.”

Navigating Circumstantial Barriers through U-M’s Center for the Education of Women+

As Director of the University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women+ (CEW+), Tiffany Marra joins Michigan Minds to discuss creating systemic change to diversify enrollment and how the CEW+ supports the U-M community, and shares stories to explore during Women’s History Month.

“We know the people who have been publicized, whose stories are broadly told, but there are often hidden stories behind that and that too is really interesting.”

This series is ongoing throughout March 2023. Subscribe to Michigan Minds for more episodes.