Summer 2023 Newsletter

Nonprofit Leaders: Apply Now for Grad Student Board Fellows Program

Flexible Application Due Date: Fri, July 14

Are you a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan that is curious about the Board Fellowship program? Graduate student Fellows serve as non-voting board members during the academic year and complete a strategic project that can provide valuable capacity in areas such as strategic plan implementation, sustainability strategies, business plans, and dashboards. Using the virtual information session and information sheet, get an overview for prospective organizations interested in participating during the 2023-24 academic year. Then, apply for this program right away.




What We All Can Learn from Detroit Small Business Owners

The +Impact Studio is a proud partner of Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) +Impact Studio for Local Business. This summer, undergraduate students are developing pivotal solutions for Detroit businesses, and the program has been meeting in the +Impact Studio. In this post, Ross BBA Nikki Ambas reports on what she’s learned so far about entrepreneurs’ insights, class concepts, and working comfortably with ambiguity.


Team Human Podcast on Denaturalizing Power & Collaborative Capitalism

This episode of the Team Human Podcast features Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future; and Jerry Davis, Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration and B+I Faculty Director. Together, they discuss how to change the register from industrial values to collaborative commerce, and how denaturalizing power reveals the constructed landscape.


Ross Open Road a Success in 2023!

This May, three teams (Team “Running on Pancakes”, Team “Soup-a-Stars” and Team “Tetris”) of Michigan Ross MBAs spent the month consulting for social entrepreneurs across the United States about the business challenges they face. These intrepid travelers of Open Road at Ross — powered by Ford — were focused on everything from composting to tea shops. Business+Impact is proud to partner on this program, funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Read all about their journeys and link to photos of the stops along the way.



Detroit 75 Kitchen

Ahmad Nassar was on his way to medical school like many other children of immigrants but his entrepreneurial spirit and devotion to being part of the ongoing revitalization of Detroit compelled him to take a sharp turn in his career.

He decided to earn degrees from multiple universities including an MBA from Ross School of Business before he and his brother started out, and nobody gave them any chance of success. Today, with Mike in the kitchen and Ahmad managing the creative direction and growth strategy, the brothers are well on their way to building the most iconic hospitality brand to ever come out of Detroit.


Where are UM Interns Making an Impact?

This year, Business+Impact’s Summer Fund is financially supporting the summer impact internships of 28 University of Michigan students, and overall we are supporting 44 U-M students in several types of summer experiences.  This funding went to MBAs in the form of the Give-A-Day Fund.  Other summer funding came through General Motors, the Gordon Impact Entrepreneurship Fund, Open Road at Ross (funded by the Ford Motor Foundation), and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project +Impact Studio for Local Business. 

Read more

Find Fall ’23 Impact Courses in the Impact Gateway

The B+I Impact Gateway has a current and accurate listing, not only of Fall ’23 impact courses across the University of Michigan, but highlights from the Winter semester, to give you an idea of what to expect then!  Specialty listings for graduate students and undergrads, and sub-listings of Michigan Ross offerings make this resource valuable to you whether you’re a current or prospective student. Further information on impact degrees & concentrations as well as online course offerings make this resource invaluable.  Learn about all of the impact courses and make your plans now!

See the Impact Gateway Courses

Impact News and Notes

Paul Draus named director of U-M’s Detroit Center

The landmark trial that could determine who pays to rid America’s drinking water of PFAS – featuring Sara Hughes

U-M Health’s food-composting benefits spread across area

U-M expert: Change won’t happen overnight to improve race relations – featuring Jared Wadley

Murals share thoughts of residents in state’s most polluted zip code

Environmental activist returns to Detroit to rally against injustices

The State of Black Detroit is Key to Detroit’s Economy

135 Jefferson corridor small businesses in Detroit are getting tech help in unique program – DNEP

How corporations use greenwashing to convince you they are battling climate change – featuring Tom Lyon

SEAS alumna shares sustainability practices with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Catalysts for racial justice

How to Be an Ally to Colleagues After Violence Against Their Community

REPORT: Collective Remembrance and Detroiters’ Views Toward Racial Inequity

New poverty research could bring more clarity to charter school comparisons – featuring Jennifer Erb-Downward

U-M’s renewable energy zoning initiative expands to six states

How Unnecessary Paper Packaging Creates the Illusion of Sustainability – featuring Aradhna Krishna

LSA senior sees intersection of business, climate change as key

Taubman grad to study Mexico City sustainability

The list of things to warn Black children about keeps getting longer – featuring Alford Young Jr.

Innovation fund aids campus sustainability projects


Image of Impact Gateway homepage.

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


At the University:


Host a Student Project

Register Now!

Organizations from all industries and sectors are invited to propose information-based projects for students to work on through capstone projects, client-based courses, and programs. Most courses and programs occur during the academic school year, September through December or January through April. 

Register your Project Idea


Planet Blue Student Leaders

Apply Now!

Planet Blue Student Leaders (PBSLs) work part-time in Student Life as peer educators to promote sustainable living behaviors. These positions will start remotely in mid-August and begin with in-person activities in Ann Arbor the week of August 28. To be considered for this position, candidates must be able to attend weekly team meetings in-person on Fridays 11am-1pm in West Quadrangle for the full academic year. Compensation starts at $15 per hour.

More Info


Reimagining Justice: A Conversation on Police Brutality with Jessica Jaglois and Rochelle Riley

Fri, June 23 @ 6:30 pm
State Theatre
233 S. State St., Ann Arbor

The Ford School is a proud supporter of this important discussion hosted by the Michigan Theater on the complicated issue of race and policing in the United States, featuring New York Times Contributor Jessica Jaglois, and Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit, Rochelle Riley. Free and open to the public,

Reservations Recommended


Racial Justice Fellows

Apply by
Fri, June 30

The Center for Racial Justice invites you to submit a letter of interest to join our annual cohort of Visiting Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year. The Visiting Fellows Program, the signature initiative of the Center for Racial Justice, represents a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with a diverse array of policy thinkers to advance racial justice. Fellows receive a funded 9-month non-residential fellowship with an annual stipend of $50,000, as well as $10,000 in project and travel expenses and graduate assistants.

More Info


Concert of Colors

July 21-23
DIA Museum South Lawn

Join us for the 31st Annual Concert of Colors, hosted by the Detroit Institute of Arts in Midtown Detroit. Bring the entire family to enjoy the live music performances from the various cultures that thrive in Metro Detroit and it’s free admission.  Visit our Wolverine Outdoor Stage on the DIA South Lawn, from July 21-23, and join our live stream with the singer-songwriter from Detroit, Isis Damil, as our hostess. Enjoy music and all of the flavors that Detroit brings.

More Info

In the Impact Community:


Upswell Pop-Up: Centering Equality in Systems Change

Tues, June 20 @ 1-4:30 pm ET

The June Pop-Up will focus on how we as changemakers can collaborate and mobilize through systems change, advocacy, movement building, bridging and storytelling to create real lasting change. In addition to a Main Stage conversation and workshops, we’ll close out the Pop-Up by getting your feedback in the Upswell Exchange. 

Register Here

Centering Justice Unplugged!

Fri, June 23 @10 am – 2 pm
Ypsilanti Freighthouse

For the first time since launching amid the height of Covid-19, Centering Justice is going LIVE. Centering Justice has always had a tradition of being a space for revolutionary thinkers, dreamers, and creators. At this Unplugged event, speakers and participants will gather together to connect ideas with practices, art with life, and fun with fellowship.  Centering Justice is a BIPOC-centered gathering focusing on racial equity issues, their complexities, and ways to engage in joyful resistance.

Register Here

Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Healing Hearts Family 5K

Sat, June 24 @ 9 am
Thomas Reuters
6300 Interfirst Dr., Ann Arbor

Raise awareness of and support for grieving children, teens and their families who are grieving in Ann Arbor, and the surrounding southeast Michigan area. All are invited to participate in this family-friendly event to honor, celebrate and remember a special person who has died. This event is an opportunity to put “one foot in front of the other” to help fund our peer grief support programs and ensure they remain free to all who are in need of our services.

Register Here

Public Allies

Apply Now

Public Allies Metro Detroit is a program of the U of M-Dearborn, and a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. The program is made possible through funding of the Corporation for National and the Community Service and Michigan Community Service Commission. Apply now for fall opportunities.

Application Info

D-Prize Startup Grants

Final Deadline: Sun, June 25 @ 11:59 pm PT

Can you design a new business or NGO that delivers a proven poverty intervention at scale? Submit your design for a new organization that solves one of our Distribution Challenges below. We will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch their new organization wherever extreme poverty exists. Subject areas include Health, Water, Education, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Public Services.

More Info

What Happens If You Get Caught With a Fake ID at a Bar?