The Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) — a strategic space for U-M community engagement on research and scholarship on anti-racism — has named five faculty from across the University as Research and Community Impact Fellows. Inaugural fellows were selected due to their established track record of research and relationships with community partners on work that challenges systemic racism.

“U-M scholars play a critical role in building and maintaining partnerships with local and national communities to address pressing racial issues in our society,” says Tabbye Chavous, director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity. “This exceptional group of scholars are recognized for their innovative scholarship, along with innovative approaches, skills, and competencies for meaningfully partnering with communities throughout the research cycle to make impacts towards more equitable communities and society.”

The fellows will showcase their research and scholarship in a panel hosted by Provost Susan Collins on January 25 entitled, "Anti-racist and community-centered research approaches for a more just and equitable society." The panel discussion kicks off an event series beginning Winter 2022 in which each fellow will lead a conversation about their research and scholarship.


Melissa Borja is an assistant professor and a core faculty member in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies in the Department of American Culture. Dr. Borja researches migration, religion, politics, race, and ethnicity in the United States and the Pacific World. She has been a national leader in work on anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic as the lead investigator of the Virulent Hate Project and an affiliated researcher with the Stop AAPI Hate movement.

Charles H.F. Davis III is an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, principal investigator of the #PoliceFreeCampus Project, and founding director of Campus Abolition Research Lab, an interdisciplinary research incubator focused on leveraging data and critical analyses toward dismantling carceral university approaches and reimagining postsecondary education as a life-affirming institution.

William Lopez is a clinical assistant professor of public health. He is the author of the award winning book, Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and teaches courses on the fundamentals of public health, including the health impacts of law enforcement violence. Through engagements with undergraduate student groups and graphic artists, Dr. Lopez is also working to develop high school discussion guides for books authored by faculty of color.

Deborah Rivas-Drake is a professor of psychology and Stephanie J. Rowley Professor of Education. Dr. Rivas-Drake examines how school, peer, and family settings impact how adolescents navigate racism, xenophobia, and identity, and the implications for these youths' academic, socioemotional, and civic development. Along with many high impact journal publications, she is author of the award winning book, Below the Surface: Talking with Teens about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity (Princeton University Press, 2019).

Celeste Watkins-Hayes is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, professor of sociology, and founding director of the Center for Racial Justice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Dr. Watkins-Hayes is a nationally-recognized scholar and expert on HIV/AIDS; social policy and safety nets; and race, class, and gender. She is the author of the award winning book, Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality (University of California Press, 2019), an examination of the decades-long transformation of the AIDS epidemic told through the voices of over two hundred female AIDS activists, policy officials, advocates, and women living with HIV/AIDS who have been on the front lines of this fight.


More information on the 2022 event series featuring these fellows is available on the ARC events page.