On Wednesday, December 11, prominent leaders and thinkers in diversity and inclusion will join the Center for Social Solutions for a panel discussion at the Rackham Graduate School amphitheatre. Focusing primarily on the center’s Our Compelling Interests book series, the panelists will explore diversity’s implications for a prosperous democratic society.

“The University of Michigan has made an institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Alford Young, Jr., associate director of the center. “This panel is an opportunity to pursue that commitment in a way that informs about how such concepts can be incorporated into campus life and into our broader community.”

The panel will include the series’ co-editor and Rutgers University chancellor Nancy Cantor, Interfaith Youth Core vice president Tony Banout, and Scott Page, John Seely Brown Distinguished University Professor of Complexity, Social Science, and Management at the University of Michigan. Gary Orfield—Distinguished Research Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California—and New York University professor and Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity Stella Flores will also join the conversation. This panel represents the authors from each of our three volumes, in addition to our upcoming publications. Together, they offer a multi-faceted perspective of diversity and its application to various aspects of our lives.  

Immediately following the discussion, there will be a unique opportunity to speak to the panelists at a reception in the East Conference Room of the building.

“Our institutions, politics, neighborhoods, schools, and communities have become about identities. And while there is power in affinity and in solidarity, we cannot let all that is different separate us,” remarks Zoey Horowitz, the center’s projects assistant.  

Nancy Cantor also weighs in. “Diversity is a huge benefit—a huge opportunity—and, in fact, a compelling interest. People from very different walks of life come together to think about the importance of diversity.”   

“Across all of our individual identities, there are many interests we have in common,” Horowitz recognizes. “When we are able to celebrate identity, but come together to support collective interests, that is when are our most powerful, empathetic, and effective.”