POSTPONED-Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere

**Due to the COVID-19 situation, this event has been canceled.  We are working to reschedule for a future date or deliver this content in a different format. Check this page or follow @fordschool(link is external) on Twitter for updates. Learn more here about the University of Michigan’s new university-wide measures regarding classes and events.**

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

This event will be livestreamed. Check back here right before the event for viewing details.


A conversation with author Karen Sherman

Join us for a conversation with Karen Sherman, to discuss her book, Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere. Sherman has spent 30 years in global development advocating for women in war-torn and transitional countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Kosovo, and the former Soviet Union. She began writing Brick by Brick during the year she spent living in Rwanda with her three sons to oversee the construction of a first-of-its-kind women’s opportunity center. The strength of these women helped Karen find her own way–through conflict zones and confrontations with corrupt officials to a renewed commitment to her family.

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Karen Sherman currently serves as President of the Akilah Institute, Rwanda’s only women’s college, leading its strategy, growth, and partnerships. Prior to joining Akilah, Sherman was a senior executive at Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war to rebuild their lives. Sherman also served as the Executive Vice President at Counterpart International, an international nonprofit development organization that partners with local organizations to build inclusive, sustainable communities in which their people thrive. Sherman has been featured on BBC, CNBC Africa, Al Jazeera English, and Voice of America.

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Globalization and Human Rights – Dr. Kijoteru Tsutsui

Dr. Tsutsui is professor of sociology, director, of the Center for Japanese Studies, and director of the Donia Human Rights Center at U-M. His research interests focus on political/comparative sociology, social movements, globalization, human rights, and Japanese society. His current projects examine (a) changing conceptions of nationhood and minority rights in national constitutions and their impact on actual practices, (b) global expansion of corporate social responsibility and its impact on corporate behavior, (c) experimental surveys on public understanding about human rights, and (d) campus policies and practices around human rights. Tsutsui’s research has appeared in numerous social science journals. Dr. Tsutsui will provide some interesting insights in to this important topic.

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Igniting Impact: Enhancing Business Practice and Research Through Greater Collaboration

Focused on translating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into practical solutions to address global challenges, this conference will gather top thinkers from U-M and across the country to discuss and brainstorm ways for business and other disciplines to take responsibility for these goals.  

This event is co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute Business & Society program and Responsible Research in Business Management.



Sessions take place in the Tauber Colloquium, 6th floor, Michigan Ross School of Business
Thursday, March 5th

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Welcome & Opening Keynote

Welcome from Nancy McGaw, Aspen Business & Society Program, and Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross School of Business

Ach Adhvaryu and Anant Nyshadham, co-founders of Good Business Lab, and their corporate partners share their formula for using research to find a common ground between worker wellbeing and business interests

3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm: Break Out Sessions

What are the big problems you are wrestling with now? How can research help guide the best path forward? Small mixed groups of academics and practitioners brainstorm about the compelling questions they are wrestling with in their work/ problems they are trying to solve, as well as questions that have animated their research.

4:15 – 4:30 pm: Break

4:30 – 5:30 pm: Plenary

Andrew Hoffman, Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and Neil Hawkins, President of the Erb Family Foundation and former Chief Sustainability Officer of Dow, share how research and practice can connect most effectively, drawing on participant input

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Cocktails

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Dinner & Keynote Panel

“What’s next in the gig economy: how Uberization is changing the way you will think about how you work”

“Uberization” is re-shaping labor markets around the world, creating greater convenience for consumers but greater precarity for workers. What does the latest research tell us about how to take on this dilemma? What new business opportunities are being created?

Carl Camden, founder and president, IPSE.US (The Association of Independent Workers) and former CEO, Kelly Services; Lindsey Cameron, Professor of Management, Wharton School; Hollie Hiekkinen, CEO and Founder, iWorker Innovations; Mike Bishop, former US Congressional Representative

Friday, March 6

8:00 am: Breakfast

8:45 – 9:45 am: Plenary

“What’s next in talent: intrapreneurship, employee activism, and the new deal at work”

Social intrapreneurs have become a movement in the corporate world, using the platform of business to help solve complex and often systematic social problems. More recently, employees in tech and beyond are joining together to pressure their companies to take on more overtly political agendas. Why is this happening now, and what comes next? What can companies do to navigate this fraught terrain?

Kevin Thompson, General Manager, GOOD Worldwide; Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross

9:45 – 10:00 am: Break

10:00 – 11:00 am: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Sustainable Supply Chains: Katrin Giljens (U of North Carolina) – Some suppliers are more effective than others at meeting (or resisting) demands from big buyers. Find out why.

Precarious Labor: Carrie Leana (U of Pittsburgh) – Precarious wages strain people’s souls and also put organizations at risk. Evidence from the trucking industry, healthcare, and elsewhere.

Finance for Good: Emmanuel Kypraios (Maynooth U) – The models that underlie “catastrophe bonds” are surprisingly bad at predicting the financial consequences of extreme events. What lessons does this provide for using finance to achieve social goods?

11:00 – 11:30 am: Break

11:30 – 12:30 pm: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Lean Production and Labor: Gregory Disetlhorst (U of Toronto) – Does implementing lean production also improve things for labor? Some yes, some no.

Gigs and Better Jobs: Lindsey Cameron (Wharton School, U of Pennsylvania) – The gig economy, a labor market that relies on algorithms to facilitate short-term work assignments, has changed how we think of work. In this session, we will discuss some of the benefits and challenges of being a gig worker — namely, what makes this a “good bad” job.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint: John Byrd (U of Colorado, Denver) – Internal carbon pricing by corporations: evidence about how companies are using financial tools to prepare for climate change.

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch & Keynote

1:45 – 2:45 pm: Plenary

“What’s next in China: doing business in China during turbulent times”

The ongoing trade war has created uncertainty about the potential risks and opportunities of doing business in China. What are leading companies experiencing, and what can the latest research tell us about what comes next?

Doug Guthrie, Apple; Christopher Marquis, SC Johnson Professor of Management, Cornell University; Xun (Brian) Wu, Professor of Strategy, Michigan Ross

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Final Reflections & Goodbyes

A Lunchtime Conversation about History, Reparations, and Policy

Speaker: Earl Lewis, Ph.D.

Earl Lewis is the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican American and African Studies, and public policy, and the inaugural director of the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan.

He became the sixth President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in March 2013 and served in that role until March 2018. Under his guidance, the Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to the humanities, the arts, and higher education by emphasizing the importance of continuity and change.

A noted social historian, and immediate past-President of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), Dr. Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley (1984–89), and the University of Michigan (1989–2004). During his previous time at Michigan, he served as director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (1990-93) and Dean, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Graduate Studies (1998-2004). In addition, he held the title of the Elsa Barkley Brown and Robin D.G. Kelley Collegiate Professor of history and Afroamerican and African Studies.

Prior to joining The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lewis served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. As Provost, Lewis led academic affairs and academic priority setting for the university. He also championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.

This event is free and open to the public. Food will be served, so you may arrive as early as 11:45 AM for lunch.

Please RSVP

Human Rights on the Brink

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Michael Breen is president and chief executive officer of Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations. Established in 1978, Human Rights First’s mission is to ensure that the United States is a global leader on human rights. The organization works in the United States and abroad to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Breen leads a staff with offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Houston. Before joining Human Rights First, Breen served as president and CEO of the Truman National Security Project, a nationwide membership organization of diverse leaders inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11 and committed to shaping and advocating for tough, smart national security solutions.

Prior to his work at the Truman Project, Breen led soldiers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Army officer, including by serving for a year as a platoon leader in the Pech and Korengal Valleys with the 173rd Airborne. After leaving the military, he served in the Office of White House Counsel and co-founded the International Refugee Assistance Project, working with refugee families in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Breen holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Dartmouth, having also studied in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the United Kingdom.

Donia Human Rights Center Distinguished Lecture. Global Challenges to Human Rights Today

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014-18)

From refugee crises and global poverty to rigged elections, growing populism – and the intolerance and oppression it breeds, we are at a pivotal moment in the fight for human rights. Throughout his years of service as a career diplomat and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has been a champion for the protection of fundamental human rights. His work has involved the security of equality, justice, and respect – and has directly influenced international justice, United Nations peacekeeping, and women’s development. In this speech, Zeid discusses his concerns about the threats to global stability posed by such forces as racism, xenophobia, nationalism and authoritarian leaders, and poses that the safety of humanity will be secured only through vision, energy and generosity of spirit. According to Zeid, “Silence does not earn you any respect — none,” and only through civic activism can we ensure equality and justice.

Lunch Talk with Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud

Contact: Habhab, Ali Nizam

Description: Join the Middle Eastern Law Students Association for a lunch talk with Michigan’s Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud. She will be discussing her experience as a ME/NA woman in public service, as well as some of the substantive legal issues the Solicitor General’s office is addressing.

Defending DACA

Description: One of the most important cases of the current Supreme Court Term is about DACA – a program that nearly 700,000 people depend on for the right to work and protection from deportation – and whether it was properly ended by the Trump administration in 2017. The program has been kept in place since then by federal court injunctions. The Supreme Court will hear argument in these cases on November 12. Please join Professor Leah Litman (Michigan Law ’10) and Ethan Dettmer (Michigan Law ’97) – key members of the litigation team that won one of those injunctions, and that is currently defending it in the Supreme Court. They will discuss the history of the litigation and preparations for the upcoming argument. RSVP via Symplicity under “Events,” then the workshop you wish to attend.

Contact: Office of Career Planning

Critical Engagement with Transitional Justice: Perspectives from Africa and Latin America

Colombia and South Africa experienced two of the longest civil conflicts since the Second World War. Both underwent intensive, tenuous and difficult negotiations in order to end their respective conflicts peacefully. What does it mean in such contexts to bring about “transitional justice?” What values and interests tend to drive transitional justice processes, and what aspects of justice tend to be overlooked? How can societies address key forms of injustice that formal transitional justice processes downplay or omit? What were the comparative successes, failures and difficulties that face societies after conflict in their quest for greater democracy, human rights and social justice? This interdisciplinary panel will offer a comparative cross-regional discussion of transitional justice. Leading scholars from Africa and Latin America will share insights about macro-level commonalities in transitional justice processes across diverse societies. They will also examine how those high-level dynamics have affected micro-level social, civil and political dynamics in the various countries they study, work and live in—and thus the experiences of ordinary survivors seeking remedies to continuing injustice.

Participating speakers:

Litheko Modisane(University of Cape Town)
Keith Vermeulen (Methodist Church of Southern Africa)
Alejandro Castillejo-Cuellar (Universidad de los Andes)
Gustavo Jose Rojas Paez (Universidad Libre de Colombia)

Yazier Henry (University of Michigan) as moderator