- All News
- Search News
- BLI announces a new Access Opportunity
- Barger Leadership Institute is moving!
- BLI Announces New Partnership with The London Idea
- Former Jet Blue CEO donates $10 million to Barger Leadership Institute
- BLI Hires a New Assistant Director
- BLI to Co-Host ‘Extreme by Design’ Film Screening, Discussion
- BLI awards Small Grant for Halfway Hijabi event
- BLI Launches New Capstone Experience
- BLI Launches New Fellows Program Structure
- Keep Calm and Lead On
- BLI Fellow Wins Wolverine Tank Pitch Contest
- BLI Congratulates Mya Haynes
- BLI Alumni Receive 2015-2016 Fulbright Honor
- The 2018 London Ideas Project is Announced
- Congrats to BLI partner Sandra Levitsky for being awarded the Golden Apple!
- Congrats to BLI Fellow and Peer Facilitator Elisabeth Benham
- Tales of Leadership: The Advanced Fellows Journey
- Welcome to the 2018 Capstone Cohort!
- BLI welcomes new director!
- BLI Across the Pond
- BLI Hosts Voting Guru Nancy Thomas
- Ram Mahalingam's award winning film to be screened at two film festivals.
- The Capstone Experience with the Migrant Education Initiative
- The Mindful Leader - Becoming an Engaged Leader
- A Weekend of Mindful Leadership
- Introducing the 2019 Capstone Teams
- The Peer Facilitator Experience
- Dinners with...
- BLI Students Start Small and Dream Big in Detroit
- From Freshman to Senior Year -- Four Years of Leadership Learning
- BLI Speaker Series: Food For Thought
- BLI Director, Ram Mahalingam featured in the Record
- Capstone Bootcamp 2019
- In a Distracted World, Solitude is Practice for Tomorrow’s Leaders
- A Conversation on Mindfulness, Bias and Racial Justice — a podcast with Ram Mahalingam
- The Mindful Leaders Retreat — Laying a Foundation
- Being a good leader is knowing when to practice gratitude
- Channeling Mindfulness
- Compassionate Leadership: Creating a Just, Inclusive and Mindful Society with Mirabai Bush
- Dinners With...
- Announcing Capstone 2020 Teams!
- Meet our 2020 Leadership Lab Teams!
- Leading Mindfully
- A Senior's Reflection on Peer Facilitating
- Expect Challenges
- Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
- From Leadership Lab, to Peer Facilitator, to Program Assistant
- Project Healthy Schools Global
- Learning to be an Effective Leader
- Leading Life with Dignity: A Challenge of Our Time
- Pause, Reflect, and Create
- What's Happening in the Lab?
- Capstone 3D Virtual Gallery
- Announcing the Break Away Podcast!
- BLI Advanced Fellow featured in M-LEAD's Leadership Lens Series!
- Two BLI Advanced Fellows Receive the Renowned MLK Spirit Award
- Stand Against Asian Violence
- BLI Hosts Alumni Panel
- Announcing the BLI's 2021 Capstone Cohort
- BLI Offers COVID-19 Hardship Grants
- ALA 175: Foundations in Leadership
- The Peer Facilitator Leadership Experience
- What's Happening in the Lab
- Capstone Boot Camp 2021
- Mindful Leader Reflection
- Learning to Lead with Compassion: A Mindful Leadership Retreat
- Okanagan Charter
- Foundations in Leadership, a Peer Facilitator Perspective
- Heart-Centered Leadership with Rebecca Irby
- Announcing the 2022 Leadership Certificate Cohort!
- Welcome the 2021-22 Mindful Leader Fellowship cohort!
- BLI Peace Leadership Retreat in Detroit
- BLI director awarded the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award
- Seithur Sanitation Initiative receives the MLK Spirit Award
- The Michigan Difference Student Leadership Awards
- Feedback is Love
- Deepening the Foundations for Equity and Renewal
- Creating Leaders – Being a Peer Facilitator at the BLI
- M-LEAD Leadership Lens Feature: Kaitlyn Colyer
- M-LEAD Leadership Lens Feature: Mya Harris
- What's Happening in the Lab
- The Leadership Certificate at the University of Michigan: Cohort 1
- Color of Care Reflection
- Mindful Leader Retreat Recap
- Archived News
- All Events
Seven faculty members have received 2022 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Awards, and another was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, for their contributions to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse University of Michigan community.
Established in 1996, the annual award is given by the Office of the Provost in honor of Harold Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work.
This year’s recipients are:
- Jonathan Ford Finks, Medical School.
- Gary Freed, School of Public Health.
- Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, College of Engineering.
- Ramaswami Mahalingam, LSA.
- Damani James Partridge, LSA.
- Charles Ransom, University Library.
- Sara Soderstrom, LSA, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, School for Environment and Sustainability.
Mahalingam, professor of psychology and women’s studies and director of the Barger Leadership Institute in LSA, studies how certain lines of work are devalued, and their workers marginalized.
For more than 25 years, Mahalingam has investigated the production, perpetuation, and consequences of social marginality in many cultural contexts. He investigates fundamental questions in inequality and social justice, taking an intersectional approach. He is one of very few psychologists to study these issues of diversity and identities in different countries with very different cultural norms and hierarchies (India and the United States). In both countries, he examines issues of power and discrimination t various intersections of caste, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.
Mahalingam’s work has always focused on social justice, and currently, his scholarship has focused on using mindfulness to address social injustice. This is an extreme, innovative scholarly approach. His research explores how a lack of “privilege awareness” and prejudice could potentially undermine one's capacity to be compassionate. In short, Dr. Mahalongam identified a specific psychological process to promote inclusiveness in the face of discrimination and inequality.
His focus on equity and social justice is also embodied in his teaching. To examine parallels between race and caste, Mahalingam took African American students to India as part of the Global Intercultural Experiences for Undergraduates (GIEU) program to meet with Dalit women activists and explore the lived experiences of caste, race, class, and gender. In a second GIEU program, he took students to India to explore how Indian women negotiate and strive to empower themselves through mediation, challenging patriarchal norms in unique ways.
He currently serves as director of the Barger Leadership Institute (BLI). He redesigned the entire curriculum for BLI, aligning all the programs in a coherent DEI and social justice framework. Under Dr. Mahalingam's leadership, BLI created robust anti-racist and inclusive classroom training for student facilitators. Since Dr. Mahaliongam became director of the BLI, it has substantially increased the recruitment of URM students, which is the result of his continued efforts to hire a diverse body of student employees for our outreach teams and targeted partnerships.
Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Chair of the Department of Psychology states, “Dr. Mahalingam is an enthusiastic leader committed t0 diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a first-generation graduate hailing from a backward caste and class, he is committed to breaking the invisibilities of the marginalized student experiences.”
Mahalingam recently was invited to address the lack of diversity in higher education at a conference sponsored by Brown University, and he was invited to present at the Ambedkar International conference in Bangalore, India.
Content reproduced from an article originally printed in the University Record by Lauren Love, and the event program from the event honoring the awardees on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.